At Auto Europe Australia we might be a little bias, but we think that Tasmania has the best combination of culture, heritage, fresh produce and an abundance of protected natural scenery to make for some unforgettable road trips.
While we've known for a long time, the rest of the world might just be finding out just how awesome Tasmania is.
The travel visionaries over at the Lonely Planet pick their top 10 countries, regions and cities each year with an expert panel and a treasure chest of experiences. For this year's Best in Travel, Tasmania sits snugly in fourth place for the best regions to pay a visit in 2015. Sitting up with the likes of the Atacama Desert in Chile and Gallipoli on the coast of Turkey is an achievement. If you're wondering how Tassie's done it; lets us show you in a 250 kilometre road trip from Launceston to Freycinet National Park via St Helens.
Launceston is the state's second largest city and one of Australia's oldest, being founded as a city in 1806 by European settlers: And there is plenty of Victorian and Georgian architecture in the city centre to prove it. In a show of forward thinking, town planners ruled that to protect this early-modern vibe, most of the buildings in the city centre are below 5 stories.
If you feel like seeing some record breaking transportation, just over a kilometre from the city at Cataract Gorge is the world's longest single span chairlift. That in itself is probably not a great reason to visit, but the scenery below the chairlift and around the beautiful gorge, gardens and bushland sure is. Head out from Launceston on the A3 over to St Helens. This fishing village in the shores of George Bay inlet is great for those who want to wet a line, but also gives an insight to the regions' Aboriginal and Chinese heritage in the History Showroom.
See some of the Green State's natural assets in the white beaches of Binalong Bay to the north. Then put on the hiking boots to explore some of the more than 800 nature reserves that help to protect the unique natural landscapes and ecosystems.
Leaving St Helens means the countdown is on to reach one of Tasmania's most photographed views. Freycinet is situated on the east coast of the island and the peninsula is almost entirely recognised as one of Tasmania's oldest national parks. The short trek to the Wineglass Bay lookout is worth it to see the clear blue bay encased by the pink granite peaks of the Hazards. The best times to visit are sunrise and sunset, but with 300 days of sunshine per year, there's never a bad season to visit.
Tasmania has a reputation for being outdoorsy, so work off the meals of wild abalone, waygu beef, Leatherwood honeys, artisan cheeses and craft beers - maybe not in the same sitting, but each to their own - with a longer hike around the Freycinet National Park.
From Freycinet National Park it's a reasonable 3 hour drive with stopping time for a quick coffee and photos to reach Hobart. If time allows, close the loop and head through the heart of Tasmania via the Great Lake and back up to Launceston.
If you are planning a self drive holiday around Tasmania, give us a call on 1300 656 601 or contact us online.