The best time to take a break
It’s almost impossible to decide which season is my favourite time to visit Tasmania’s east coast. I love the cool, crisp days of winter here, the colour and warm light of autumn and the long, lazy days of summer. But, as I drove the length of the Great Eastern Drive in the first sunny weeks of Spring, I was reminded just how wonderful this region is in the springtime.
As the days grow longer on their journey towards summer, the east coast landscape starts to come alive. Flowers are bursting from roadsides and new growth gleams on hillside vineyards and fields. The sun sparkles off the sea, east coast towns are humming with the energy of the new season, and the gentle curves of the road are uncrowded.
The Great Eastern Drive leads to the best experiences that the east coast can offer. At this time of year, the scenery is breathtaking, the summer crowds are yet to arrive and it’s easy to feel as though you have the entire coast all to yourself.
Now is the best time to take a break, and to celebrate spring with a little rejuvenating road trip of your own. All you need to do is choose the place you’d most like the stay, the places you’d most like to explore, the food you’d most like to eat, and the experiences you’d most like to have, and you’re well on the way to shaking off winter, refreshing your tired soul, and embracing the new season in the best possible way.
1. Settle in
There are so many fantastic places to stay on the east coast and, without summer crowds to contend with, finding the perfect option for your stay is simple. Choose from holiday cabins and campsites to private villas, retreats and eco-lodges or comfortable motel rooms and apartments, all along the coast.
Finding the accommodation that suits you best gives you the opportunity to stay longer and take a little time to really explore and get the most our of your Great Eastern Drive break.
Check out Where to Stay
2. Explore the sea
The east coast is a beach lover’s paradise. This region has 220 kilometres of coastline that holds some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere.
Some have an international reputation, and some are little hidden gems. Local businesses provide seemingly endless ways to enjoy the sea here—cruising, sailing, sea kayaking, fishing charters, diving and sea-based wildlife tours.
And, while ocean temperatures are still cool, the inviting, crystal blue sea can sometimes prove too tempting to resist. This is an excellent time of year for surfing, with clean swells rolling in to beaches right along the Surf Coast.
See some of the east coast Tasmania Outdoor Adventures here
3. Spread your wings
Just breathing the air here can be a revelation—taking in the clean, crisp ocean air is reviving for the body and spirit. But taking to the air can refresh the soul in another way altogether. Highly credentialed local operators offer scenic flights or charter flight adventures of the east coast.
Join a scheduled tour or design your own east coast scenic flight on a charter for a truly unforgettable experience.
4. Stretch your legs
I love walking. I think it’s the best way to really discover a place. There are so many opportunities to discover the east coast on foot—from short strolls leading to scenic lookouts, to bushwalks in the region’s three national parks—Maria Island, Freycinet and Douglas Apsley. Take a self-guided walk, stroll the beaches at your own pace, or join a guided walking experience. In springtime, the walking tracks here are uncrowded and fringed with the flowers of the Tasmanian bush, and the mild temperatures and longer days at this time of year make walking a total pleasure.
Take a moment and explore the Walking Adventures here
5. Go for a wander
The joyful pace of summer is fun, but I love the laid back feeling of springtime just as much. East coast towns are welcoming and uncrowded at this time of year and you can take your time lingering in local shops, galleries and museums, finding treasures to take home with you, or spending a whole morning or afternoon browsing.
Take your time over coffee and locally-made sweet treats, or sit down to a lunch of local produce and fine wine that lasts all the way until dinner.
Explore Relaxing Experiences
6. Hit the road
A road trip along Tasmania’s east coast has been listed at number one on Australian Traveller Magazine’s 2014 list of the 10 Greatest Road Trips of Australia, and number two on its 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia.
This iconic drive touring experience rivals some of the greatest road trips in the nation for incredible views and destinations that will inspire you to stop and stay.
East coast roads are also perfect for cycling and bike touring holidays, with long, undulating roads, incredible scenery, a gentle climate, and easy cycling distances between welcoming seaside and rural towns. You can even try a little off road adventure on a mountain bike, 4WD or quad bike experience.
Check out the Road Trips
Spring clean your soul
I started out on my journey on the Great Eastern Drive feeling burdened by work stress and depleted from the routine of winter. My head, as they say, was not really in the game. But after just two days on the east coast, I returned from my springtime road trip feeling transformed. My stress was gone, I had a new perspective on things, and I felt…well, fresh. Like I’d been spring-cleaned.
And the thing is, it was all so very easy.
See you on the road,
Are you ready to plan your Great Eastern Drive getaway?
Take a weekend, a few days or longer to explore, feast and wander on the Great Eastern Drive, and experience a truly unforgettable adventure.
To help plan your visit, you can check our travel times and driving distances.