Northwest Tasmania is often an afterthought but there are so many incredible experiences to be had in this corner of the apple isle, it's worth a visit in its own right.
A trip across the pond with Spirit of Tasmania means you can save on the cost of taking your car and pick up a hire vehicle in Devonport. The northern coastline has a Mediterranean climate and can be quite warm, even in winter. It's also accessible to some of the best wildlife-watching, Cradle Mountain scenery, remote coastlines, vast wetlands and wineries.
A few years back, we did this trip in mid-winter and it was fabulous. Black Bluff was capped with snow and we'd walk in the verdant forests, returning to log cabins for wine and a raging fire. I've also done it mid-summer, when it's warm and the heathland buzzes with the sounds of insects and the chiming calls of bright green Ground Parrots.
Here's one suggestion for a tour route:
DAY 1: Arrive, pick up hire car. Drive to the town of Sheffield. Enjoy the cafes and restaurants and book a mural tour.
DAY 2: Breakfast in Sheffield, then onto Marakoopa Caves. Visit Marakoopa Cafe for lunch then drive over the mountain range to Loongana (the mountain range is spectacular).
DAY 3: Explore the Leven River Gorge and surrounding forests. Descend to the river and watch where it flows through a 1m-wide gap in the canyon floor.
DAY 4: Walk the Black Bluff trail along the river and up into the magnificent ancient beech forests.
DAY 5: Relax in your log cabin, read a book and wait for the evening. Crack open a bottle of wine with the chance to see wild Tasmanian Devils up close.
DAY 6: Drive to Cradle Mountain Lodge for the night and indulge yourself in a bit of luxury.
DAY 7: Drive to Queenstown for a day out in the wild rivers and mountain scenery on board the West Coast Wilderness Railway. If you're adventurous enough, take a white-water rafting cruise in one direction and train back up hill!
DAY 8: Take a cruise on Lake Macquarie and the wild Gordon River.
DAY 9: Drive to Stanley and take the chairlift up "The Nut"
Day 10: Visit the Hellyers Road Distillery in Burnie, visit St George's Falls and the Fern Glade Reserve, then make your way to Devonport in time for the ferry home.
If you'd like help to organise this trip, contact us for advice on getting there, vehicle hire and road conditions, best time of year for certain activities and to pre-book you places to stay and things to do.