I recently travelled with my family along one of Australia’s greatest drives, the ‘Great Eastern Drive’ in Tasmania and let me tell you, they really have it all down there. From mountains and forests to white sandy beaches, cosy cafes and miles of open fields, Tassie really ticks all the boxes. If you’re thinking of visiting Tasmania or you’re after a killer road trip, here’s a peak at what I experienced.
Now I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about travelling on a plane (again) with my 14 month old son Judah. I’m sure most of us can attest to being on a plane with someones child crying in our ear, but if you think that sucks, there’s nothing like being the one partly responsible for such an uninvited increase in decibels. Thankfully, things went smoothly in the air and less than two hours later we were in Launceston heading east to begin our road trip.
The plan from here was simple, beginning at St Helens we would slowly make our way south, stopping along the way at a handful of the cosy coastal towns and soaking up all that the east coast had to offer. Let me tell you, as far as road trips are concerned, they don’t get much easier or more convenient than the Great Eastern Drive. North to south or south to north, just follow the road along the edge of countless miles of sparkling ocean and you can’t go wrong.
Stopping at St Helens, Bicheno and then on to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, it soon became clear that there was a common vibe that accompanied these towns; laid back and slow-paced, which suited me just fine. The drive between destinations was usually less than 2 hours, perfect for Judah to have a nap and awaken fresh to check out the playground facilities at the next location. I think it’s safe to say he approved of them all.
For such a small area, Tasmania really boasts an abundance of diverse landscapes to photograph, hike or just admire from afar. On the east coast I would have to say that the Freycinet Peninsula was a highlight for me. Aside from the clear blue waters that surround the peninsula it was the pink-toned ‘Hazards’ mountain range which stole my heart. These granite peaks rise from the sea and are an awesome sight to behold from multiple vantage points, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the low lying sun paints the face of the range in rich fiery colours.
As some much needed rain set in, our road trip was drawing to an end as we reached Swansea. Our cottage at the Piermont Retreat was the perfect place to take refuge and soak up some down time to the sound of the crackling flames of the open fire and rain bouncing off the corrugated roof.
The Great Eastern Drive has a way of making you feel like you are far from everything else that is happening in life and I couldn’t believe we had been on the road over a week. After a busy past few months, this road trip was a perfect way to slow down and take in and admire the simpler things in life. I was grateful to share these sights with my family and was reminded that it’s these moments that I will cherish the most in life.