The East Coast – and Maria Island (now a National Park)

Head to Orford and Triabunna where you can catch the Ferry to Maria Island and see the Darlington Probation Station (1825-32 and then reopened between 1842- 1850). Here you will also see convict built roads and also the buildings, as well as the rugged coastline of the island and pristine beaches. Mt Maria is 709 metres high if you want to climb it, with the island renowned for its bird numbers, and also wallabies and kangaroos. Also look to see the limestone fossil cliffs and the painted cliffs too.

Heading north from Triabunna head to Swansea on Great Oyster Bay, Cranbrook and then to the Freycinet Peninsula.

Near Swansea look for two convict built bridges – the Spiky Bridge and the Three Arch Bridge.

The Freycinet Peninsula has the open sea on one side, and Great Oyster Bay on the western side. This area is very popular for all sorts of water sports – including fishing, scuba diving, sailing, wind surfing, sea kayaking and swimming, and Wine Glass Bay cruises can show you the sights. There are a lot of birds, and also seals, dolphins and if you are lucky you may also see Southern White Whales (best between October and December). The Freycinet National Park is also here too – with many walking trails, and accommodation ranging from cabins to bed and breakfast accommodation.

The coast road northwards leads to Douglas Apstey National Park and Bicheno – a former whale station and now a fishing and holiday town. There is also a penguin colony at Diamond Island, and this is a good place to enjoy just the scenery, or if you are lucky enjoy some abalone, crayfish, scallops or trevally. Falmouth, further north also has a pretty beach and the coastal road should in many ways be called the second Great Ocean Road (given that Victoria has the first!) with the road following the coast with great views as you drive along.

St Marys, 160 kilometres from Launceston is the biggest town on the North East Coast, and was also a whaling station and then a port for the tin that was mined in the area. Today it is said to be the “game fishing capital of Tasmania” and just north is Binalong Bay – with a great long white sandy beach and lagoon making it a favourite holiday destination in summer.

Heading inland from St Marys, you will travel through the north east forests passing small towns like Weldborough and Derby to Scottsdale a centre for agriculture, with dairy, potatoes and poppies being the main farm produce. The town is about 22kilometres from Bridport on the northern coast of Tasmania, which is a good place for beach walking and swimming with pristine waters for fishing too. From Scottsdale it is an easy drive to Launceston.

We hope that you have a great time in Tasmania.
Happy Travelling!
Geoff Stuart

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