From picturesque sun-drenched beaches to conifer-strewn alpine plateaus, Tasmania is a stunning island state with great swathes of gorgeous wilderness to explore.
Spectacular natural scenery is the big drawcard here. Yet there’s more to Tassie than its jaw-dropping views.
The fertile island produces some of Australia’s best produce, which you can nibble at local farmer’s markets or rustic paddock-to-plate restaurants. Its petite yet pulsating cities boast a thriving arts scene, with world-class museums like MONA leading the charge. This ancient state also hosts some of Australia’s oldest historic sites, a sombre reminder of the country’s dark colonial past.
Due to its compact stature, you don’t need months of leave up your sleeve for an epic Tasmanian adventure. Behind the wheel of a hire car or campervan from Bargain Car Rentals, you can savour the highlights in a week or two.
RENTING A HIRE CAR IN TASMANIA
Public transport exists in Tasmania, but the system isn’t ideal for tourism. You’d waste hours each day travelling between destinations, and local buses don’t service many highlights at all.
As a result, a self-drive holiday is the most convenient and cost-effective way to travel around Tasmania. Driving distances are short, despite the windy roads and rugged terrain. And with striking scenery arising at every turn, a road trip brings you closer to Tasmania’s enchanting nature.
Car Rental in Tasmania Versus BYO Car
The Spirit of Tasmania runs a car ferry between Devonport and Geelong. While it’s a convenient service for long-term travellers, the ferry isn’t ideal for holidaymakers with limited time.
For starters, you’ll need to get to Geelong (and home again) with your own car. Unless you live nearby, that means driving massive distances—remember to factor in fuel.
Furthermore, you’ll lose a full day in transit as the ferry sails across the Bass Strait (nighttime departures are more convenient). Should rough swells arise, you’ll suffer seasickness on the arduous eight-hour jaunt.
Finally, taking your car on the Spirit of Tasmania isn’t all that cheap. For shorter trips, it’s just as cost-effective—and oodles more convenient—to fly in and hire a ride on arrival.
The Benefits of Renting A Car in Tasmania
- Freedom: Don’t confine your itinerary to an inflexible series of pre-booked tours and hotels. A hire car in Tasmania gives you the freedom to explore the state at your own pace.
- Affordability: At Bargain Car Rentals, we specialise in providing cheap car hire in Tasmania. Our rock-bottom rates let you bounce around the state while keeping the budget in check.
- Convenience: No need to work with strict public transport or tour schedules. A hire car lets you set your own itinerary and travel Tasmania on a whim.
- Nature: Explore gorgeous off-the-beaten-track gems and admire spectacular landscapes while you drive. A car rental in Tasmania lets you savour the state’s jaw-dropping nature in style.
The Benefits of Campervan Hire in Tasmania
Renting a decked-out campervan gives you all the aforementioned benefits and more:
- Extra savings: Roll your transport and accommodation expenses into one with a cosy little home on wheels.
- Less driving: No need to return to your accommodation after an action-packed day. A campervan lets you pull into the nearest campsite and retire for the night.
- Camp out under the stars: Wouldn’t you rather overnight in a jaw-dropping national park than in a stuffy hotel room?
- Free camps galore: Tasmania is Australia’s free-camping capital, with a multitude of magnificent cost-free places to stay (pro tip: download Wikicamps).
- Amenities: Everything you need is in the van with you, from a picnic lunch to sun cream and fresh clothes.
TOP 10 DESTINATIONS IN TASMANIA
You could spend months cruising between Tasmania’s intriguing historic landmarks and spell-binding natural sites. But chances are you just don’t have that much time.
If you’ve got limited annual leave, you’ll need to hone in on the highlights. Here are our ten favourite Tasmanian destinations.
Huddling the Derwent River, Tasmania’s scenic capital wows visitors with its breathtaking vistas. Admire pastel-coloured colonial buildings at Constitution Dock, or take your rental for a scenic cruise up Mount Wellington. If you rock up on a Saturday, a meander through Salamanca Market is a must. Creative types would be mad to miss MONA, one of the world’s top modern art museums.
2. The Tasman Peninsula
In the state’s southeast corner, this cragged peninsula excites outdoorsy types and history buffs alike. Take a challenging hike along Cape Raul or Cape Huay to straddle vertigo-inducing sea cliffs—they’re among the world’s tallest. As one of Australia’s best preserved colonial sites, Port Arthur Historic Site is a sprawling convict settlement with a sombre past.
3. Bruny Island
Connected to the Tasmanian mainland by ferry, Bruny Island retains an endearingly secluded vibe. Hit The Neck lookout to admire its razor-thin isthmus, then tackle next-level walks at Labillardiere Peninsula or the Fluted Cape. Worked up a sweat? Treat yourself to a carefree beach day at Adventure Bay. South Bruny National Park is your best bet for scenic seaside camping.
4. Maria Island
Avid animal aficionados adore Maria Island, an untouched isle teeming with curious native critters. You’ll have to leave the rental car behind because this uninhabited island is a pedestrian-only affair. Walks range from easily-accessible strolls to lengthy multi-day jaunts. Whichever you choose, expect to encounter wombats, wallabies, and other furry creatures. Keep an eye out for endangered Tasmanian devils foraging for leftovers at the Maria Island Campground.
5. Mount Field National Park
This spectacular national park showcases Tasmania’s diverse wilderness, from temperate rainforest to glaciated landscapes. An easy-going stroll at the base meanders between gushing cascades—don’t miss Russell Falls. Driving uphill sees the vegetation transform into frost-resistant eucalyptus forests. Energetic hikers mustn’t pass on the legendary Tarn Shelf Track for its otherworldly alpine lagoons.
Tasmania’s second biggest city wraps around the glistening Tamar River. Once you’ve seen its gardens and museums, cruise to Cataract Gorge for some epic ravine-side rambling. Hop on the chairlift for elevated views, or treat the kids to an afternoon at Penny Royal Adventures. Oenophiles (and everyday foodies) can sip top-notch Pinot Noir on the 170km Tamar Valley Wine Route.
7. Freycinet National Park
Tasmania’s most visited destination is a dreamscape of dramatic granite tors and crystalline coastlines. The curvaceous Wineglass Bay is among Australia’s prettiest beaches—it’s well worth the hike. Serious trekkers can escape the crowd’s with a prolonged multi-day adventure.
8. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
From teeming moss-covered rainforest to majestic snow-capped peaks, this sprawling national park encapsulates Tasmania’s diverse landscapes. Family-friendly boardwalks traverse glacial lakes and wild alpine moorlands. More challenging jaunts send you deep into Tasmania’s moody alpine heart —the Overland Track is a classic.
9. The Gordon River
Snaking through Tasmania’s remote southwest, this pristine river is shrouded by birdlife-rich rainforest. Although adventurous multi-day canoeing tours offer an immersive experience, most travellers admire the forest-fringed river on a boat cruise from Strahan. Head to the curvaceous 140-metre-high Gordon River Dam if you’re road-tripping from Hobart.
10. Bay of Fires
An east coast favourite, Bay of Fires wows travellers with its turquoise-tinged waters and orange lichen-cloaked boulders. Base yourself in breezy Binalong Bay or set up camp within the reserve. Beach lovers can cruise between other east coast hotspots like St Helens, Bicheno, and Coles Bay.
TASMANIA CAR HIRE: WHERE TO GET A RENTAL
You can hire a car in Tasmania’s three biggest cities: Hobart, Launceston, and Devonport. Strategically situated near the state’s most spectacular attractions, these handy hubs put you within easy road-tripping distance of numerous jaw-dropping locales.
Bargain Car Rentals stocks a modern, well-maintained fleet at all three cities. And with airport pick up/drop offs at Hobart and Launceston, you can step right off your flight and start exploring.
Many of Tassie’s most sought-after sites reside within a quick drive of Hobart. From secluded islands to jagged peninsulas and wildlife-rich sanctuaries, there’s no shortage of big-name places to explore.
Keen to hit the ground rolling upon touching down in Tasmania? We offer cheap car rentals at Hobart Airport so you can start road-trippin’ lickety-split. Grab your bags from the carousel and pop into our airport office to collect your ride. Alternatively, we also have a handy central depot for car hire in Hobart city.
From compact hatchbacks to roomy sedans and luxury SUVS, we’ve got a wide range of vehicles in both our Hobart depots. We stock kitted-out campervans for outdoorsy types and 8 to 12-seater minibuses for travelling groups. In town for work? We’ve also got a range of commercial vehicles in Hobart, from removal trucks to trailers and tradie vans.
The Best Places near Hobart to Visit with a Hire Car
- Mount Wellington (30 mins): Towering over the city, this majestic mountain offers epic vistas from its lofty wind-swept peak—don’t miss the Organ Pipes walk.
- Mount Field National Park (1.5-2 hours): From waterfall-strewn rainforest to shimmering alpine tarns, this enchanting national park is a must.
- Bruny Island (2 hours): Boasting beautiful beaches and top-notch produce, secluded Bruny bewitches nature lovers and foodies alike.
- The Tasman Peninsula (1.5 hours): Sky-high seacliffs and sombre historical landmarks make this a bucket-list destination for explorers of all types.
The Best Hidden Gems near Hobart to Visit with a Hire Car
- Willie Smith’s Apple Shed (30 mins): Savour the Apple Isle’s best-known export in the form of brandy, cider, or snacks.
- New Norfolk (30 mins): Chock full of historic abodes, this charming riverside town exudes old-timey vibes.
- Geeveston (50 mins): Spot platypus frolicking in the river or kick back and relax in this quaint Huon Valley town.
If northeast Tasmania beckons, Launceston is the perfect base to kick-start your adventure. “Lonnie,” as the locals call it, straddles a picturesque river and sits close to several must-visit sites.
Air travellers can hire a car from Launceston Airport and start cruising within moments of arrival. Otherwise, grab a hire car from our Launceston city office.
Our Launceston depots both stock a wide range of vehicles. Whether you want a compact budget-friendly hatchback or a spacious luxury sedan, the perfect ride awaits. We also have campervans and commercial vehicles for visiting workers.
The Best Places near Launceston to Visit with a Hire Car
- Liffy Falls (50 mins): As the North’s most beautiful waterfall, this stunning multi-tiered cascade is destined to impress.
- Bridestowe Lavender Estate (50 mins): Snap an envy-inducing social media shot amid a vibrant sea of bright pink flowers (blooms Dec-Jan only).
- Tamar Valley Wine Route (170km route): Vino aficionados will adore sipping Pinot Noir on the scenic Tamar Valley Wine Route.
- Freycinet National Park (2 hr & 15 mins): Cragged granite tors and breathtakingly beautiful bays make this Tasmania’s most popular destination.
The Best Hidden Gems near Launceston to Visit with a Hire Car
- Evandale (15 mins): Adorable Evandale oozes old-world charm with its quaint eateries and colonial-era façades.
- Woolmers Estate (20 mins): Get a glimpse inside the opulent lives of Tasmania’s 19th-century bourgeoisie at this elegant manor estate.
- Beaconsfield Mine (35 mins): Learn the harrowing story behind Australia’s infamous mining disaster at this insightful museum.
Hugging the sparkling Bass Straight, Devonport is a handy base for adventure-seekers exploring Tasmania’s remote Northwest. From untouched rainforests to crystalline lakes and wind-swept beaches, this far-flung region has endless off-the-beaten-track adventures.
Right outside the Spirit of Tasmania terminal, our Devonport car hire depot is perfect for passengers stepping off the ferry. With rentals ranging from fuel-efficient hatchbacks to spacious family sedans and 12-seat people movers, we’ve got a vehicle in Devonport for groups of all sizes.
Need a luxury car, campervan, or commercial vehicle? Try our Launceston depots instead—they’re only an hour from Devonport.
The Best Places to Visit near Devonport with a Hire Car
- Cradle Mountain (1.5 hours): A vast network of enchanting trails meanders around Australia’s most picturesque alpine peak.
- Leven Canyon (50 mins): Admire this cragged canyon from an easy-to-access lookout or tackle a challenging scramble through its ravine.
- Trowutta Arch (2 hours): This collapsed rainforest-shrouded cave is the highlight of the super-scenic Tarkine Drive.
- Mole Creek: Limestone karst caverns lie hidden beneath the forests near this quaint one-street town.
The Best Hidden Gems near Devonport to Visit with a Hire Car
- Gunns Plains Caves (40 mins): The illuminated walkways of these beautiful subterranean caves are accessible by a scenic countryside drive.
- Mount Roland (45 mins): Looming over the landscape, the steep hike up this cragged mountain peak rewards you with classic Tassie views.
- Great Western Tiers (1 hr & 15 mins away): Solitude-seeking hikers will find endless trails to trample in this spectacular mountainous region.
- Corinna (2hr & 30 mins away): Teeny weeny Corinna serves as the gateway to Tasmania’s seldom-explored west.
Wondering how to best spend your limited time in Tasmania?
We’ve put together two sample itineraries for an epic self-drive tour. Whether you’ve got one week or two, these action-packed adventures hit the best bits in a whirlwind trip.
One Week East Coast & Alpine Itinerary: Ex Launceston
- Day 1: Explore the wineries and scenic lookouts of the Tamar Valley.
- Day 2: Cruise from Launceston to Bay of Fires (3 hours) for some carefree beach time, stopping off at spots like Bridestowe Lavender Farm and Lilydale Falls.
- Day 3: Drive down the coast to Freycinet National Park (2 hours), stopping at beachside hamlets like Bicheno and St Helens. Summit Mount Amos for sweeping Wineglass Bay views.
- Day 4: Head to the Tasman Peninsula (3 hours). Visit Port Arthur Historic Site and hike along towering seacliffs at Waterfall Bay or Cape Huay.
- Day 5: Cruise to Hobart (1.5 hours). Explore the capital’s historic sites and museums (MONA is a must) and take a scenic side trip up Mount Wellington.
- Day 6: Drive to Lake St Clair (2.5 hours), stopping for tea in New Norfolk. If time permits, swing by Mount Field for a leisurely walk between its rainforest-shrouded falls.
- Day 7: Depart early and drive to Launceston via Cradle Mountain (5 hours). Choose one of the numerous scenic walks around the base of this majestic alpine peak.
Two Week Tassie Lap Itinerary: Ex Hobart
- Day 1: Spend the day exploring Hobart and Mount Wellington with your hire car.
- Day 2: Drive to Bruny Island (2 hours) and visit highlights like the Neck, South Bruny National Park, and Adventure Bay.
- Day 3: Cruise to Cockle Creek (3.5 hours), stopping at pretty Huon Valley towns like Geeveston and Frankston. Add a detour to Hastings Caves if time permits.
- Day 4: Drive to Mount Field (4 hours) for gorgeous rainforest and alpine walks. Break up the trip with a stopover at New Norfolk.
- Day 5: Take a side trip to the Gordon Dam and back (2.5 hours return), stopping at alpine lookouts to admire the stunning Southwest scenery.
- Alternatively, skip Gordon Dam and add a day for the Tasman Peninsula at the end.
- Day 6: Drive from Mount Field to Strahan (4.5 hours), swinging by Lake St Clair to stroll along its crystalline shores. In the evening, watch Australia’s longest-running play, The Ship That Never Was.
- Day 7: Take a Gordon River cruise in the morning, then drive through remote rainforest to Arthur River (3.5 hours), stopping at Zeehan and Corinna enroute.
- Day 8: Cruise from Arthur River to Stanley (3 hours) via the Trowutta Arch and Tarkine Drive.
- Day 9: Hug the coastline on a scenic cruise from Stanley to Devonport (1.5 hours). Possible pit stops include Boat Harbour Beach, Wynyard, Penguin, and Ulverston.
- Day 10: Drive from Devonport to Cradle Mountain, with a side trip to the stunning Leven Canyon (2.5 hours).
- Day 11: Head to Launceston (2 hours), stopping to explore the eerie caves of Mole Creek. Hit a few vineyards on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
- Day 12: Drive to the Bay of Fires (3 hours) and spend a day relaxing on the beach.
- Day 13: Travel down the east coast towards Freycinet National Park (2 hours), stopping for a swim at beach towns like St Helens and Bicheno.
- Day 14: After a morning hike to Wineglass Bay, head back to Hobart (2.5 hours) to conclude your adventure.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TASMANIA
Tasmania is a state of four seasons—the climate varies considerably throughout the year.
Summer (Dec-Feb) is the best time to visit, thanks to its balmy temps and long sunny days. However, this near-perfect weather makes summer extremely popular. That means higher prices on hotels and car hire as well as thicker tourist crowds.
Spring (Sep-Nov) and autumn (Mar-May) bring pleasant weather with lower prices and fewer fellow visitors. The months closer to summer (Mar to mid-Apr and mid-Oct to Nov) offer comfortable temperatures and less rainfall.
Winter (Jun-Aug) gets pretty chilly in Tasmania and sees more rain than other seasons. While it’s not the ideal time for outdoor adventures, there are plenty of indoor attractions to visit. Remember to factor reduced daylight hours into your travel plans. Many visitors organise a winter trip to coincide with Dark Mofo, a famous art and culture festival held in Hobart each June.
Tasmania is wetter than other Australian states, although most rain falls in the west. Its spectacular east coast beaches often boast clear sunny days while the rest of the state soaks.
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TASMANIA CAR RENTALS: BOOK YOUR EPIC ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE
Ready to turn your Tasmanian travel goals into reality?
Book your ride through Bargain Car Rentals today. As Tassie’s best car rental agency, we offer unbeatable rates on various vehicle types. Whether you’re looking to hire in Hobart, Launceston, or Devonport, our conveniently located depots have the perfect ride for you.
So grab a cheap car rental in Tasmania and save while exploring this amazing state.
EXPLORE THE BEST OF TASMANIA WITH TASMANIA UNEARTHED
Looking for authentic local insights and top recommendations for your Tasmanian adventure? Discover unique places to visit, ideal itineraries, and exciting holiday ideas at Tasmania Unearthed, your ultimate guide to Tasmanian travel. Whether you’re planning a relaxing getaway or an action-packed excursion, find all the information you need to experience Tasmania like a local.