Road trip to nowhere?
Jenico William Joseph Preston, Governor of Tasmania 1893-1900 once took an entire month to traverse the road to the West Coast, making the most of the journey! Nowadays you can do it in a day, with some great stops along the way.
We recommend checking weather and road conditions regularly - both can change rapidly (especially in winter).
Escaping from the south.
What’s not to love about a town that built the church with just one door to prevent the (mostly convict) congregation from escaping?
Hamilton was once a lively town boasting several legal (and illegal) breweries and distilleries, a convict-built two-storey schoolhouse and several hotels, as well as St Peter’s Church.
Today you can stop in for a quick break or a bite to eat. Kids will expel some energy at the local playground while parents enjoy the view out towards the Great Western Tiers.
The last town before you hit the West Coast. The Lyell Highway runs through Derwent Bridge and you'll be treated to some scenic driving thorugh wilderness and lakes (offering some of the best trout fishing in Tasmania).
Stop in at Derwent Bridge for lunch and squeeze in a short walk at Lake St Clair before continuing the journey West.
Located between Derwent Bridge and Queenstown, breathe in the fresh air of the Franklin Gordon National Park on this 40-minute walk. The walk is well sign posted and accessed from a car park just off the Lyell Highway.
A short, gentle incline rewards you with tranquil views of Frenchman’s Cap and the national park beyond. Find out more here.
Escaping from the north.
Appearing like an old English village, this was once a major thoroughfare for travellers between Hobart and the North-West. Stop and take in the old village atmosphere, perhaps popping into a local bakery for a cuppa and a chat.
Big and little kids will enjoy a trip to Pearn’s Steam World (reopening from 1 August 2020) to see the biggest collection of steam engines in the southern hemisphere.
Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail
North West Tassie produces world-class fresh produce, wines and treats - and as you drive West you'll come across plenty of places to stop for some samples. Berries. cheese, chocolates and more to nibble on during the journey. Learn more about the tasting trail.
A short drive off the Murchison Highway, Waratah sits on the edge of the West Coast - and the takayna/Tarkine region. A great location for lunch on your way West, Waratah is known for the stunning waterfall located in the middle of town.
If you're after a longer break, the 90 minute return walk to Philosopher's Falls is a great introduction to the beauty that awaits you further down the highway.
Not sure how to prepare for an epic West Coast adventure? Check out our tips here.
Ever walked through a 100 m long abandoned railway tunnel? Just outside of Zeehan is the Spray Tunnel Loop, an easy one-hour return walk that passes through the Spray Tunnel, a 100 m long abandoned train tunnel that leads to what was the Spray Silver Mine.
Queenstown Recreation Ground
In Queenstown, our footy players play on a gravel oval, not grass. It’s not for the faint of heart. Built in 1895 the ground has been called the most infamous and feared football field in Australia. The "Gravel" was inducted into the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
A small coastal community, with few permanent residents, Trial Harbour was the port of Zeehan, serving an important role in the development of the mining industry in the area.