Across the Roof of Tasmania

by Steven Chater from Trip Plan Australia. Check out Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner that will help you make the most of your next road trip through regional and outback Australia.

Pick the right day, weather wise, and the north to south drive across Tasmania via the Highland Lakes is a fantastic experience.

We’d tried once before and all we saw was fog. Not interesting and sometimes a little scary.

But this time our day was a beauty. We headed off the main highway at Deloraine, fuelled up, picked up some sandwiches (and yes, cake!) from the bakery and headed off to take the opportunity to call in to the beautiful Liffey Falls.

Liffey Falls has a series of four levels, with the walk down to view each level winding through wonderful rainforest. Ah, I can smell the eucalypt freshness now!

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - moss on the rocks at Liffey Falls

Moss on the rocks at Liffey Falls

At some stages it’s possible to make your way onto rocks in the middle of the stream, providing a great experience. I stood for some time listening to the water rushing by …

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - middle of the stream looking down

Middle of the stream looking down

… and then turned around to see this fabulous sight upstream from the same spot.

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - looking back upstream

Liffey Falls – looking back upstream

The walk down and back from the carpark is around 45 minutes, but with time to stop and absorb the atmosphere, it took us a little longer. Surprise, surprise, we figured that it was so close to lunchtime that we had to take advantage of the facilities provided to sit and have our sandwiches and cake!

On the Falls walk you do get a sense that there’s some climbing to be done.

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - the climb ahead

The climb ahead

It’s a little twisty, but not for very long. There is a rugged beauty when you reach the top, with great views back to the north.

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - looking back north after the drive up A5 from Deloraine

Looking back north after the drive up A5 from Deloraine

And then over the rise more great views, this time of the Highland Lakes.

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - the highland lakes

View across the Highland Lakes

There is 19km of well maintained gravel road up on this top stretch. Our little Hyundai i20 hire car handled it, no worries.

The first main town after the drive along next to the lakes is Bothwell. This town pays great homage to Scotland – it even has a golf museum!

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - Bothwell, Tasmaina

Bothwell – the Scottish town!

Our destination was Kettering, which is south of Hobart.

A great thing about Tasmania is that its capital is still not that populated that there is need for an arterial route. Don’t get the wrong impression – the roads are great. In fact you drive past Hobart’s Constitution Dock to get on the main road south.

And then after a bit of a drive you arrive at a pub that offers this kind of view from its restaurant …

Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - view from the Kettering pub

View from the Kettering pub

A great day’s drive – and when you tell the locals you get a “tut, tut, what a long drive”. But compared to some stretches done on the mainland – well, it’s not that great a distance and it’s filled with interest.

Kettering is the take off point for beautiful Bruny Island, and is far enough south to let us get to the most southern place in Australia, Cockle Creek – both the subject of the next post.

This post is the second in a series of four about our trip to Tasmania in February, 2014. In the next post we spend time on Bruny Island and in the Huon Valley.

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Itinerary Planner, road trip inspirations - Map across the roof of Tasmania

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