This is the 1st and the last day of our 11-day hiking and camping road trip circuit.
Day 1 – Arrival/First Destination
After arriving in Launceston, we conveniently picked up our rental car from the airport. Renting a car in a place such as Tasmania offers a lot of freedom and flexibility in terms of transportation. You won’t need a 4×4 to get to most of the places mentioned here, though there were a couple of unsealed roads on our way causing us a bit of delay, we will point these out later on. Tasmania is also a great place for driving a campervan if you are not into camping and looking for some more comfort.
Launceston is a charming small city, one of Australia’s oldest in fact. Here you’ll be able to do any last minute stocking up before you take on the wilderness. You’ll find a selection of outdoor sports shops on Kingsway where you’ll be able to buy a gas canister, or items you may have forgotten to pack for your upcoming hike or camping, in our case it was a spork. We hopped into Coles to get our food items for the next couple of days of tramping ahead. In Launceston, you’ll find great cafes too, we dropped in for a coffee at Earthly Eats on Kingsway. Once all geared up, we could begin our journey around Tasmania. First stop on the East Coast, the stunning Bay of Fires.
Day 11 – Return Day
On our way from Cradle Mountain National Park to Launceston we got up close to some of Tasmania’s native animals at the must-visit Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary Then we stumbled upon “Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe” just 20 minutes from Trowunna and 40 mins to Launceston. Indeed, this cafe was just as welcoming as its name suggests. As you walk in, you are presented with a bright, airy restaurant with a deck and outdoor seating area in a large grass-covered backyard and pond setting. They had an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and of course all sorts of raspberry desserts and hot and cold drinks to enjoy. If eating there wasn’t enough they also have a small shop with raspberry…everything.
On our way back from Cradle Mountain we still had some time to spare before our flight so we walked around the Cataract Gorge Reserve before driving into the CBD of Launceston. In City Park we spent a while staring at these amusing Japanese macaques. This exhibition has been donated to Launceston by its Japanese sister city Ikeda in the 60s. The enclosure is open from 8am – 4pm from April to September and 8am – 4.30pm from October to March. Launceston CBD is also a good place to have lunch or dinner. A great restaurant we found was Jailhouse Grill, a steak and seafood convict themed restaurant located in an 1800s building. The food is great and quite affordable considering they offer a free, all you can eat salad bar.
If you’d like to see the days inbetween and how we travelled around Tasmania, have a read of 11-day hiking and camping road trip.