Jess Campbell

by Jess Campbell

posted on January 9, 2024

With stunning landscapes and delicious food, Tasmania is a must-see destination for any traveller. If you’re planning a Tasmania road trip itinerary, the Launceston to Hobart drive needs to be top of your list.

There’s no shortage of natural beauty in this part of the world, where rugged coastlines are located just a stone’s throw from dense forests and rolling mountains. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s an abundance of unique wildlife, historic towns and the rich history of Tasmania’s east coast.

Along the Apple Isle’s east coast, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice by way of natural attractions, pristine beaches, and gastronomic delights along the way. Though the Launceston to Hobart drive will take under three hours, there’s plenty to see and do along the way.

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with your complete Launceston to Hobart driving itinerary. Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend getaway or want to take the family on an adventure to explore everything Tasmania has to offer, discover our expert driving tips to ensure your trip is seamless and stress-free.

In this guide, we’ll be covering:

An overview of the Launceston to Hobart road trip

A road trip from Launceston to Hobart will see you travel across a diverse range of landscapes and buildings rich in colonial history. With an abundant supply of fresh produce, you’re bound to see a number of cafes and restaurants serving up local flavours and culinary delights. The drive from Launceston to Hobart may be a relatively short one, but there are so many places to explore along the way. 

With so many amazing sites to discover, we don’t blame you for wanting to get your trip on the road! Looking for some quick answers about the drive from Launceston to Hobart? You’ll find all the answers you need below:

  • Driving Distance: 201 kilometres
  • Drive Duration: 2 hours 36 minutes 
  • Scenic delights: Before arriving in Hobart, consider making time for popular destinations that include Cataract Gorge, the historic town of Evandale, the convict brick trail in Campbell Town, Oatlands, Lake Dulverton, and the charming town of Richmond with its historic architecture. Once in Hobart, you can access MONA, Salamanca Place, Mount Wellington, and Battery Point. 

Driving conditions: What is the road from Launceston to Hobart like?

Understanding the road is crucial for you to enjoy your drive, so you’ll be pleased to know that the road from Launceston to Hobart is well-maintained. You’ll be driving on sealed roads, making for a comfortable journey for the duration of your drive. 

With the main route connecting Launceston to Hobart being the Midland Highway (National Highway 1), you’ll experience generally good driving conditions along this multi-lane highway. The main considerations you need to factor into your drive apply to those travelling during the winter months of June to August, when snow and adverse weather conditions can affect the quality of the roads. 

Petrol stations and EV chargers from Launceston to Hobart

Petrol stations and EV chargers are located along the drive from Launceston to Hobart, giving you several opportunities to refuel. In Launceston, petrol stations are located along the Midlands Highway and in towns such as Campbell Town, Ross, and Oatlands. With Hobart being a major city centre, petrol stations can be found readily throughout the city centre. 

Given that electric car sales almost doubled in Tasmania in 2023, the government has continued to roll out more EV charging stations to encourage people to make the transition. With 120 public charging points across Tasmania, you’ll easily find charging stations for your electric vehicle along the route from Launceston to Hobart. 

Getting from Launceston to Hobart in one charge is easily done, with most electric cars offering a range of over 350 km. If you do start your drive without a full charge, you can easily find charging stations to top up your EV on the road, too.

What to bring on a Launceston to Hobart drive?

When it comes to packing for a Launceston to Hobart drive, ensure you have clothing appropriate for cold weather and wet conditions. Regardless of the season, it can get cold in Tasmania, particularly when exploring the outdoors and mountains. 

With this in mind, loose, comfortable clothing is also advised if you’re looking to explore the many hiking trails and natural beauty the region offers. Consider hiking shoes and be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen.

If you’re looking to soak up the beauty of Tasmania’s beaches, why not opt for additional extras like beach umbrellas and towels when booking your car from a local Turo host? That way, you’ll be prepared for anything the trip throws at you. 

Damith’s MG3 in Tasmania – why not book a car like this for the Launceston to Hobart road trip?

Discover the perfect driving itinerary: Launceston to Hobart

Ready to hit the road? Choose the perfect Launceston to Hobart driving itinerary from the options below. 

Route 1: Launceston to Hobart in 4 days 

  • Total distance: 505 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 9 hours 35 minutes

If you’re short on time, don’t stress. In just four days, you’ll be able to explore the main sights of Hobart and take in the beauty of the surrounding area, with numerous stops and detours along the way. Sure to please everyone by way of entertainment and sightseeing, this itinerary is ideal for those looking for a quick getaway or locals wanting to discover the hidden gems of Tasmania. 

Day 1: Launceston to Freycinet 

  • Distance: 194 kilometres
  • Driving time: 5 hours 25 minutes

To begin your adventure, make the scenic drive from Launceston to Freycinet as you venture to the east coast. Though a relatively long drive at five hours, there are several stops to be made along the way. Ross, a historic village with convict architecture, is worth a visit, as is Oatlands in the southeast, which is known for its Georgian architecture. 

Once at Freycinet, discover the beauty of the Freycinet National Park, where you can hike to Wineglass Bay and enjoy a dip in the ocean. From Honeymoon Bay to Coles Bay and Cape Tourville Lighthouse, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Day 2: Freycinet to Port Arthur

  • Distance: 205 kilometres
  • Driving time: 2 hours 54 minutes

From Freycinet, make your way to the stunning beauty of Port Arthur, which features colonial architecture and captivating scenery. You can also make a detour to the Tasman National Park, located just seven minutes’ drive from Port Arthur. In a short drive or hour’s hike from the national park, you’ll be mesmerised by the Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and Devil’s Kitchen. 

Consider visiting the world heritage-listed Port Arthur historic site as well, which stands as a sprawling penal settlement that dates back to the 17th century. As one of Australia’s most intact convict sites, you’ll be able to go on guided tours and learn more about the brutal life convicts were subject to. 

Day 3: Port Arthur to Hobart 

  • Distance: 91 kilometres
  • Driving time: 1 hour 16 minutes

Continue along the Tasman Peninsula to the capital. This scenic journey will give you plenty of sightseeing options, with Eaglehawk Neck just a detour away from its rugged coastal scenery.

Tip from the author: Before reaching Hobart, consider stopping off at Richmond, which has Australia’s oldest bridge and charming local shops. 

Day 4: Explore Hobart 

You’ll want to give yourself a day to explore the capital of Tasmania, from the eccentric art gallery that is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) to the Salamanca Market, held every Saturday on the historic waterfront. 

Whether you’re a foodie looking to take in the delicious local produce and fresh food or an outdoor adventurer wanting to soak up the natural beauty of Tasmania with a hike around Mount Wellington or the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, you’ll be spoiled for options. 

Route 2: Launceston to Hobart in 7 days

  • Total distance: 1,303 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 19 hours 22 minutes

To fully appreciate the beauty of Tasmania, why not extend your trip by taking a more scenic route? Consider a longer driving itinerary allowing you to explore the top spots along the Launceston to Hobart drive as you travel at your own pace. 

Day 1: Explore Launceston

Known for its friendly atmosphere, historical charm, and beautiful parks, you’ll easily pass the time in Launceston. Explore the incredible natural reserve of Cataract Gorge, located just a short walk from the city centre, as you take a chairlift for panoramic views and multiple lookout points over the area. 

The beautiful City Park is the perfect place to recharge before a week of driving, while those seeking good food and wine can journey to the Tamar Valley Wine Route, a scenic drive through stunning vineyards in the beautiful countryside. 

Day 2: Launceston to Cradle Mountain

  • Total distance: 152 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 3 hours 42 minutes

Located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, the stunning alpine region is a must-see location for anyone passing through Tasmania. Follow numerous walking tracks around the mountain and enjoy a self guided walking tour or consider trekking to the summit for unbeatable views. 

Day 3: Cradle Mountain to Freycinet National Park

  • Total distance: 283 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 3 hours 44 minutes

Pass through stunning coastal towns on the shores of Great Oyster Bay as you make your way to the incredible landscapes of Freycinet National Park. Here, you’ll find Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach and plenty of other attractions offering stunning views of the area. 

Day 4: Freycinet National Park to Strahan

  • Total distance: 412 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Located on Tasmania’s west coast, Strahan offers scenic beauty and rich history. With charming locals and fantastic little shops and restaurants, you’re sure to land upon a favourite restaurant. Consider visiting Ocean Beach for a surf or take a short hike to Hogarth Falls. 

Day 5: Strahan to Port Arthur

  • Total distance: 365 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 5 hours 20 minutes

The historic site of Port Arthur offers many options by way of exploring Tasmania. Take a boat cruise to the Isle of the Dead, where you can learn more about the lives of convicts and free settlers, or venture to the Tasman National Park for coastal cliffs and hiking trails. 

Day 6: Port Arthur to Hobart

  • Total distance: 91 kilometres
  • Total driving time: 1 hour 16 minutes

This scenic drive will take you through historic sites before coming to the coastal delight of Hobart. Visit the Tessellated Pavement, the Blowhole and Tasman Arch at Eaglehawk Neck, or take a detour along the way to Pirates Bay Lookout. 

Day 7: Explore Hobart

The drive may finish up in Hobart, but you’ll want a day to explore the many sights on offer here. Visit Battery Point with its narrow lanes and historic buildings, or take on the local cuisine as you frequent the many restaurants, cafes and bars. 

Top food spots on the Launceston to Hobart drive

Tasmania might be known for its natural beauty, but that’s not the only thing a drive from Launceston to Hobart has in store for you. With an abundance of fresh, local produce, you’ll be treated to delicious gastronomic delights at the countless restaurants, cafes and bars along the route.

Fancy a taste of Tassie? Be sure to check out the following for a spectacular dining experience. 

Top stop: Once you arrive in Hobart, be sure to visit standout diner Templo, an intimate 25 seat neighbourhood restaurant tucked away in the back streets of the city. Templo celebrates seasonal and locally sourced produce and minimal intervention wines from small producers – you’re sure to have a memorable Tasmanian dining experience at this true food highlight of Hobart.

Stillwater Restaurant, Launceston

Before commencing your drive from Launceston, visit the Stillwater Restaurant which offers casual fine dining in a picturesque setting. 

Ingleside Bakery, Evandale

Rich history isn’t the only thing the charming town of Evandale is known for. Stop off at Ingleside Bakery for a delicious pie, pastry, and other baked goods. 

Ross Bakery Inn, Ross

If you’re passing through the historic town of Ross, be sure to stop off at the Ross Bakery Inn. Along with a plethora of tasty treats and delicious pastries, you’ll also find their famous scallop pies. 

The Drunken Admiral, Hobart

Operating on Hobart’s Old Wharf since 1979, The Drunken Admiral is a family institution and hidden gem. Offering an incredible atmosphere and friendly staff, the food is delicious. 

Pilgrim Coffee, Hobart

In need of a good coffee to keep you going on your trip? Pilgrim Coffee in Hobart is your go-to place for a morning brew and good conversation. The bonus? The setting is incredible, too. 

Honey Badger Dessert Cafe, Hobart

You’ll find this dessert cafe in the heart of Salamanca Square, and one glance at the desserts will show you why this place has become a local treasure. 

Frequently asked questions about the Launceston to Hobart drive

Can I get from Launceston to Hobart by bus?

Yes, you can get from Launceston to Hobart by bus! Tasmania’s Tassielink and Redline Coaches offer bus services that operate consistently throughout the day, with the journey taking several hours. For schedules and ticket prices, visit their respective websites or contact the bus operators directly. 

While these bus services will certainly get you to your destination, schedules are subject to change and you won’t have the convenience that you would otherwise enjoy by booking a car on Turo, allowing you to make detours or stop off at various locations along the route. 

Can I get a flight from Launceston to Hobart?

You can get a flight from Launceston to Hobart. As Tasmania’s two major airports, there are regular flights between Launceston Airport (LST) and Hobart Airport (HBA) that operate frequently throughout the day. Airlines like Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Jetstar typically offer flights on this route. 

The flight duration is relatively short, typically taking one hour. While a good option for those short on time, you won’t be able to tick off the main attractions or visit certain stops along the way that hiring a car on Turo affords. 

Are the roads between Launceston and Hobart sealed?

Driving between Launceston and Hobart, you’ll find sealed and well-maintained roads for the duration of your road trip. The primary route connecting the two is the Midland Highway (otherwise known as National Highway 1), which makes for a comfortable driving experience that suits any type of vehicle. 

That said, road conditions are subject to change depending on weather conditions, construction, and potential detours. Ensure you have planned your trip carefully and consider adding GPS navigation as an optional extra thanks to local hosts on Turo.

What is the best time of year to travel from Launceston to Hobart?

Ultimately, the best time of year to travel from Launceston to Hobart will depend on your preferences and the activities you wish to do. That said, summer is the peak tourist season from December to February. During these months, you can expect the roads to be busier and popular attractions to be fairly crowded as locals and international travellers alike look to soak up the warmer temperatures. 

For this reason, most consider the months of March to May to be the best time to visit Tasmania. During these autumn months, the weather is pleasant and the landscape comes alive with rich colours. It makes for a great experience taking to hiking trails or sightseeing, particularly for nature enthusiasts and budding photographers. 

While spring is also a great time to travel, winter can pose greater challenges. The weather is cold and some areas can experience snowfall, particularly in higher elevations. This is great for those looking to partake in winter activities like skiing, but bear in mind some outdoor attractions might have limited accessibility and driving conditions can be significantly harder to manage. 

Want to take on the Launceston to Hobart drive in style? With Turo, you can find the perfect ride for your journey. If you’re starting your drive to Hobart from Launceston (or vice versa), let Turo connect you with the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Why not keep the road trip going? Explore the Hobart to Cradle Mountain road trip for an epic day trip or weekend away in Tasmania.

Jess Campbell

Jess Campbell

Jess is Sydney-based and loves the outdoors. While she likes to think she has what it takes to compete on ‘ALONE’, her survival skills need some work. Born in Singapore and raised in South Africa, she’s hiked across Ireland, surfed in Hawaii, spent six months in Kenya and covered much of Africa. Having spent a year in the north of Spain, she’s resolved to come back to tackle the Camino de Santiago. Until then, you can find her providing the best snacks and playlists on Aussie road trips.

A view of the coast in Torquay, one of the most popular Melbourne day trips
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