Point your car in any direction: all roads lead to the epic scenery and big moments that you come to Tasmania for. Embark on an adventure you’ll never forget with our wrap of the five best road trips across the Apple Isle.

Whether you’d rather go slow in idyllic gourmand country, tick off the wildest wilds or make nature thrilling for the kids, we’ve found the perfect driving holiday for you.

Pure escape: the epic north-west

Godfreys Beach, Stanley, where the little penguins parade

Best for: Couples
Fly to: Launceston

You don’t need long stints in the car to go to the edge of the world – just four mind-blowing (but cruisy) days to discover Tassie’s top left pocket. Start in the postcard coastal town of Stanley, where you’ll catch lungfuls of the cleanest air on earth and find seafood and beef like you’ve never tasted. Then tick off the epics: see mighty rivers, the sinkholes of Australia’s biggest cool-climate rainforest and the point where the earth meets the endless ocean…

Highlights: The pure air and jagged bluffs of Cape Grim; The Nut and little penguin parade in Stanley; a cruise on glass-smooth Arthur River; the Edge of the World (at the end of a gravel road); and the pristine Tarkine rainforest.

Wildlife and wine: en route to Maria Island

Convict Barn and Clinker Store, Maria Island, Tasmania

Best for: Couples and families
Fly to: Hobart

The famed Great Eastern Drive is 176 kilometres long and worth it all the way but this section, tracking the Tasman Highway northeast from Hobart, packs some of Tasmania’s best experiences into three perfectly paced days (some trade wheels for a boat). Stay in renovated stables, pull over at vineyards where riesling and local cheese rule and wander the sanctuary of Maria Island, where wombats and pademelons dawdle between natural wonders.

Highlights: Bushland gardens and a farm-stay at Buckland; Darlington winery and Boomer Creek Vineyard; the wildlife and Painted Cliffs of Maria Island; and the seals at Ile des Phoques.

The world-class whisky trail: the Southern Midlands

Old Kempton Distillery, Tasmania

Best for: Group getaways
Fly to: Launceston

Curving through countryside between colonial-era Kempton to the city of Launceston, the drive through Tasmania’s Southern Midlands is studded with award-winning distilleries. Spend three days refining your palate with the good stuff from storied (and previously illegal) stills and hearty meals in proper pubs. This gorgeous, easygoing drive also goes big on sandstone architecture and charm.

Highlights: Blend-your-own whisky at Shene Distillery; drams at the now-legit Callington Mill; historic Oatlands town; cobblestones and next-level baked goods in Ross; idyllic riverside picnics; and more whisky at Adams Distillery in Perth.

Time travel in the western wilds

West Coast Wilderness Railway, Tasmania

Best for: Families
Fly to: Launceston

The Western Wilds road trip is more than a tour through the World Heritage-listed nature. It's a four-day voyage back to times when pioneers found fortunes and Tassie was still known to its convicts as Van Diemen’s Land. Kids and adults alike will thrill at riding puffing steam trains through gorges, eerie tales in real ghost towns and seeing glow worms. Films in heritage theatres and easy pub grub keeps everyone entertained at night and tours make big, wild adventures easy during the days.

Highlights: The atmospheric old mining hub of Queenstown; the ghost town of Lake Margaret; a cruise on the mirror-top Gordon River; kayaking the white King River rapids; the steam train of the West Coast Wilderness Railway; and the glowing Spray Tunnel of Zeehan.

The gourmet getaway: the Huon Valley

Fat Pig Farm, Tasmania

Best for: Couples
Fly to: Hobart

An hour south of Hobart and a world away from everywhere else, the pastures, orchards and pristine rivers of the Huon Valley are an epicurean paradise. Wind your way slowly over four days, plucking crunchy fruit from roadside honesty boxes and finding restaurants where chefs forage produce from their own farms and local waters. Soak up the joys of the Apple Isle’s organic cider, learn to cook and then burn it off with walks through spectacular national parks.

Highlights: The “surfing sushi chef” of Geeveston; long brunch at the Old Bank; sailing the scenic Huon River; cooking class at The Farmhouse Kitchen; lunch at Matthew Evans’ Fat Pig Farm; the soaring Tahune Airwalk; and Hartz Mountains National Park.

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

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SEE ALSO: 21 Magical Moments You Can Only Have in Tasmania

Image credit: Jason Charles Hill, Stu Gibson, Lusy Productions, Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne Chris Phelps, Emilie Ristevski

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