The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 34 TRAVEL DEPARTURE NATIONAL WITH ITS RUGGED coastline, sandy beaches, vast areas of mountain ranges, rivers and streams, pristine forests and other wilderness, Tasmania is a dream destination. Hiring a car is easy, and the only problem you have in determining your itinerary is choosing which highlights to include as you tour the state. Starting at Launceston, I would recommend an anti-clockwise itinerary. Although most of the roads around Tasmania are sealed, there are some that are good gravel (check with your car hire firm about travelling on them) but the roads mentioned do not need four-wheel drive. From Launceston, head west through Deloraine and Mole Creek to Cradle Valley at the northern end of majestic Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. You can get a taste of the grandeur of the mountains by taking the easy walking path around Lake Dove which nestles below the steep sides of Cradle Mountain. The north-west corner of the state has many natural wonders, including the Nut at Stanley. Along the link road from Marrawah to Zeehan, the Roaring Forties off the Indian Ocean provide dramatic coastal scenes. At Arthur River, cruises are available, or you can explore the natural beauty of the Tarkine Wilderness, the second largest expanse of cool temperate rainforest in the world. The village of Strahan is the jumping off point for a cruise on Macquarie Harbour, as big as Sydney Harbour, with time spent along the Gordon River where you can see the iconic Huon Pine revered for its hardness and use in furniture. The whole south-west of Tasmania is a World Heritage-listed area and there are a number of places where you can drive and experience its majesty. On the way from Strahan via Queenstown to Hobart, turn off the Lyell highway near Hamilton and the excellent road through Maydena will expose you to the beauty of the Lake Pedder area flooded, despite spirited opposition, in 1972 for hydroelectricity purposes. My favourite of all the natural wonders of Tasmania is Freycinet Peninsula, on the east coast of the island. Nowhere in Tasmania can you find it's only natural For a relatively small island, Tasmania has a diversity of natural wonders. STORY ROGER ALLNUTT | PHOTOS TOURISM TASMANIA TRAVEL OFFER: RACQ Travel can arrange your perfect Tassie holiday, with car hire options and member benefits available with Thrifty (see page 79), or car hire and accommodation packages like the 10-night, self- drive package offered by Tas Vacations from $1290 pp (see page 35 for more details). Contact RACQ Travel on 1300 888 449 or email travel@ racq.com.au. MAIN IMAGE: HAZARDS PEAKS. TARKINE WILDERNESS. CRADLE MOUNTAIN AND LAKE DOVE.
August 1st 2012