Five-day soul searcher road trip

Breathe in some of the world’s cleanest air. Walk wild ocean beaches and ancient temperate rainforests. Contemplate the Edge of the World and drive the ‘Road to Nowhere’. Watch birds, waves and waterfalls, cruise along remote rivers, then pamper mind, body and soul with healing day-spa treatments. After just five days in Tasmania, you’ll feel reborn.

Be a spirited traveller and follow this 5-day itinerary, perfect for those looking to reconnect with nature and escape the crowds.

Day 1: Devonport to Arthur River

Begin clearing your head by driving west along the coast to the colourful fishing village of Stanley, which is 90 minutes from Devonport along Highway 1 and the Bass Highway. You will know you’ve headed in the right direction as the Nut comes into view. This 143-metre-high volcanic plug jutting out into the sea beckons with a steep, 20-minute walk up that will raise your heartbeat – or just take the scenic chairlift! At the top, breathe in some of the world’s cleanest air (it’s official) as you marvel at the 360-degree view over Stanley and across Bass Strait. If you’re feeling energetic, complete one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks by strolling around the Nut’s plateau.

Next, veer south for about 45 minutes on route B22 and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of the north-west wilderness along the Tarkine Drive. Pause for short rainforest walks to highlights including lookouts, sink holes and the Trowutta Arch rock formation, and perhaps a barbecue or picnic. Follow the drive to the seaside town of Marrawah, where the beach is often pounded by massive waves. Even if you don’t get out on a surfboard, you can still feel nature’s power from the shore, watching the water curling and breaking and maybe some pro surfers too during the West Coast Classic.

Back-track a little on route C214 to the tiny coastal settlement of Arthur River. Watch the sunset at Gardiner Point, where you’ll find a plaque declaring that you’ve reached the Edge of the World. There’s no land west of here until Argentina, making it the longest uninterrupted stretch of ocean on the planet. Arthur River may be small and remote, but it’s a popular launching pad for wilderness exploration so accommodation shouldn’t be a problem if you book ahead.

Day 2: Arthur River to Strahan

While away some time at the Edge of the World in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area. Walk along a wild driftwood-strewn ocean beach in the company of sea eagles, or across coastal heath where you’ll probably meet blue wrens and wallabies. See ancient Aboriginal rock engravings at Sundown Point, or take a serene journey into ancient rainforest with Arthur River Cruises – you might be lucky enough to spot a shy platypus.

From Arthur River enjoy a scenic 200-kilometre drive south through the Tarkine, the world’s second-largest area of temperate rainforest. You will mainly travel along C249, the Western Explorer Road, also known as the ‘Road to Nowhere’ – but don’t worry, you’re actually destined for Strahan, a historic town perched on Macquarie Harbour where you’ll find charming colonial architecture and seafood fresh off the boats.

Day 3: Strahan to Hamilton

Strahan is the gateway to one of the planet’s most remote World Heritage-listed natural playgrounds: the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Make an early start with Gordon River Cruises, whose boat is the first on the river each day so you’ll see those wondrous watery reflections without interruption. The vessel has electric motors, so the journey could not be more peaceful. It begins with a crossing of vast Macquarie Harbour, past the entrance to the Southern Ocean – named Hell’s Gates by 19th century convicts – and into the rainforest-shrouded lower reaches of the Gordon River.

Back in Strahan, you might want to try another of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks: the 40-minute ramble to Hogarth Falls. Or just start your three-hour drive east along the Lyell Highway and rest up in Hamilton.

Day 4: Hamilton to Margate

From Hamilton it’s only 40 minutes via Ellendale Road to one of Tasmania’s most photographed natural attractions, Russell Falls. Just inside Mount Field National Park, and a short, easy walk from the carpark through lush rainforest, the falls cascade spectacularly in tiers into Russell Falls Creek. Bliss out to the sight, sound and scent for a while, then drive to Margate, about 90 minutes away via the Gordon River Road.

It’s time to utterly relax at Harmony Hill Health Retreat, where day-spa treatments include chakra healing, hot-stone massage and organic facials. If you have time, extend your trip and check in here for a multi-day retreat of meditation, reflexology, vegan meals and more.

Day 5: Margate to Devonport

Head back north via Launceston, which is three hours away on Highway 1. Check out the healthy lunch options in Tasmania’s second city at places like Liv-eat or Earthy Eats, a cafe that sources fresh ingredients locally and has got those dietary needs covered, from vegetarian to gluten-free.


Or enjoy a picnic at the Tamar Island Wetlands, a 60-hectare reserve just outside Launceston. It’s home to fish, frogs, reptiles, mammals and an abundance of birds including black swans, swamp harriers and egrets. Stroll along the boardwalk, then settle in the bird hide and tune in to nature.

From here Devonport is about an hour away via Highway 1. Make the most of the time that remains on the island at the Bluff Road Coastal Reserve, where you’ll find cycling and walking tracks with unbroken views of Bass Strait, plus the old Mersey Bluff Lighthouse. Or squeeze in a bit more pampering just outside town at Lotus Waters Wellness Centre, where options include ionic detox foot spas and ayurvedic treatments – the perfect conclusion to your zen tour of Tasmania. Bliss out, and contemplate your next life-affirming island escape.

Make your way to Devonport, where you’ll board Spirit of Tasmania for your journey home.