From the orchards of the famed Tamar Valley to the bustle of Hobart’s seafood-laden waterfront to the magnificent winemakers along the Freycinet Coast, Tasmania offers something for all tastes. It’s easy to travel Tasmania in a motorhome but be aware that the roads are often narrow and winding and maps can be misleading. It will almost always take longer to get to your destination than you first estimate.
And allow time to stop at roadside stalls to pick up everything from fresh farm eggs to berries.
Hobart has a colourful history dating back to 1803 and is a magnet for visitors who enjoy its busy waterfront, historic buildings and rich colonial and convict heritage.
The city has undergone a transformation over the past decade, emerging with a busy year-round cultural scene, myriad restaurant and bar options, gourmet delis and a range of festivals.
It is surrounded by vineyards – with the Derwent Valley and the Coal River Valley close by – and is home to several nationally-noted restaurants, including Franklin (with an organic ethos and focus on natural wines), Italian-accented Fico and options up the River Derwent at MONA.
In the Derwent Valley, Stefano Lubiana was Tasmania’s first certified biodynamic winery and the on-site Osteria restaurant specialises in fresh local produce.
Among the standout cellar doors in the Coal River Valley are Pooleys (pop in for a pinot and a platter) and organic-focused Frogmore Creek.
“Must do” experiences in the city include bustling Salamanca markets on Saturdays and a visit to the historic Cascade Brewery.
Huon Valley Charm
Head south of Hobart to enjoy the bucolic beauty of a twin-tailed valley that is rapidly building a reputation for its cool-climate wines and artisan ciders. Cygnet, Franklin and Geeveston are among the most popular destinations.
Home Hill Wines is regarded as one of the country’s leading producers of premium pinot noir; and is a popular lunch venue. Also check out the Elsewhere, Kate Hill and Two Bud Spur winery cellar doors and the Willie Smith’s Apple Shed (an organic cider pioneer), Frank’s Cider and Pagan Cider.
Tamar Valley Tipple
The Tamar Valley Wine Route is a classic gourmet trail through wineries, orchards and country lanes. The wineries are almost all family owned and operated and there is every chance the person offering you a cellar-door tasting is also the viticulturist or winemaker.
Top cellar doors include Josef Chromy, Pipers Brook/Kreglinger, Bay of Fires/House of Arras and Tamar Ridge.
But there are also dozens of small producers including Holyman/Stoney Rise, Delamere, Holm Oak, Moores Hill, Winter Brook and Goaty Hill that are well worth a detour.
Expect to find stellar chardonnays, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, rieslings and pinot gris – and sparkling wines the locals like to boast are second only to those of Champagne.
Tasmania's East Coast is not only breathtakingly beautiful - it is also home to several outstanding wine producers, including Freycinet, Spring Vale, Milton, Devil's Corner and Gala Estate.
The East Coast’s fresh, locally-grown produce is famous (including the seafood) and the East Coast Wine Trail is a new route designed to further add to the region's reputation.
The Freycinet National Park, jewel of Tasmania’s East Coast, is around a 2-½-hour drive from both Hobart and Launceston, and occupies most of the beautiful Freycinet Peninsula. Wineglass Bay has been named as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The East Coast is also home to some of Tasmania’s finest boutique wine producers. The Farm Shed in Bicheno always has at least five local wines available for tasting, and sells over 50 wines from 19 different producers.
Freycinet Marine Farm has a farm gate sales outlet where visitors can buy oysters, mussels, scallops and abalone, which can be enjoyed on the deck, or taken away.
The high-end Palate restaurant at Saffire serves up multi-course degustation dinners or al a carte options.
There is plenty to discover on the Tasman Peninsula, south-east of Hobart including Port Arthur.
The area is known for gourmet drawcards such as William McHenry Distillery and the local produce served at long lunches at the Lavender Farm.
Also, don’t miss out on the Bangor Wine Shed, overlooking the water at Dunalley. It is a cellar door, farm gate shop and restaurant in one – and specialises in local oysters.
Spirit lovers will want to pop in for tasting at both the Nonesuch and McHenry distilleries, while Bream Creek Farmers Market promises produce direct from local farms. It is held on the first Sunday of every month.
Set on the Tasman Peninsula, NRMA Port Arthur Holiday Park can be found one hour and 20 minutes from Hobart and is central to the region’s major attractions including the Port Arthur Historic Site.
The Spirit of Tasmania ferry departs from Port Melbourne and arrives in Devonport. The trips are between 9 and 11 hours and you can easily book your motorhome to travel on board. More info and prices: www.spiritoftasmania.com.au
Where to stay
Hobart: Try Discovery Holiday Parks in Risden (www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au/caravan-parks/tasmania/hobart-hobart), Seven Mile Beach Caravan and Cabin Park (www.hobartcaravanpark.com.au) or Truffle Lodge on the banks of the River Derwent in the Derwent Valley (www.trufflelodge.com).
Huon Valley: The Huon Valley Caravan Park in Huonville is in a quiet level area on the banks of the Mountain River (www.huonvalleycaravanpark.com.au).
Tamar Valley: Among the best caravanning bases is Greens Beach Caravan Park; dog-friendly and right on a popular swimming beach (www.greensbeachcaravanpark.com.au). At George Town, The Pier Hotel Campground, and Low Head Tourist Park are both popular (https://lowheadtouristpark.com.au/).
Freycinet Coast: Camping inside the Freycinet National Park is allocated by ballot in August (www.discovertasmania.com.au/accommodation/freycinetnationalparkcampingground).Swansea Holiday Park offers both powered sites and cabins (www.swansea-holiday.com.au)
Tasman Peninsula: Port Arthur Holiday Park is set in 40 acres of lush grounds (www.nrmaparksandresorts.com.au/port-arthur/) while Lime Bay State Reserve is far more rustic (ph: 1300 827 727)
More info: www.discovertasmania.com