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Tried and tested southern journeys that everyone can enjoy
Words and Images by: Rachel Doherty


White isolated sand that stretches on forever makes Tassie’s east coast an expected winner

Known for its old growth forest, Tasmania also habours some of Australia’s finest beaches, with the most accessible found east. Spiriters driving over the Tamar River from Devonport to St Helens, will relish frequent distractions en-route; but prioritise the three-tiered St Columba Falls, via Scottsdale, if time gets away from you.

At dusk, glowing lichen-covered limestone at Binalong Bay and beyond earn the Bay of Fires its name, and offers enough camping nearby for self-sufficient travellers to secure a secluded patch year round.

Southwards, Bicheno offers caravan park camping, fun walks, and local seafood, with the Bicheno Blowhole and the Douglas-Aspley NP highlights. En-route to Freycinet NP, seafaring Orford is dwarfed by forest-clad mountains, with southbound 4WD-capable rigs saving an hour on gravel via the Wielangta Forest Drive. Take care, though, as the newly-reopened road was yet to be graded when we went to print.


See Tasman Arch up close on the Tasman Island Cruise

The ocean-facing Friendly Beaches provides small-to-midsize motorhomers the crème of the national park camps, but they’re further from Freycinet’s tourist traps including Cape Tourville and Wineglass Bay. Finally, don’t miss Port Arthur, and discover its surprisingly progressive history, before splurging on the Tasman Island Cruise. – Rachael Doherty


Day 1: Devonport-Bay of Fires, St Helens

  • Enjoy countryside
  • Rainforest walk and St Columba Falls, via Scottsdale
  • Witness a Bay of Fires sunset

Day 2: St Helens to Bicheno

  • Savour an early lunch at St Marys via Marys and Elephants Pass
  • Wade in the waterpool at Douglas-Apsley NP, or hike up to the gorge
  • Fine dining at Bicheno

Day 3: Bicheno-Freycinet NP 

  • Walk to the Paradise Probation Station, Orford

Day 4: Freycinet NP-Port Arthur

  • Wine Glass Bay walk

Day 5: Kates Berry Farm on your way to Port Arthur

  • Port Arthur, late afternoon

Day 6: Port Arthur

  • Tasman Island Cruise.



  • Take your pick, past St Helens
  • East Coast Holiday Park, Bicheno
  • Friendly Beaches, Freycinet NP
  • Port Arthur Holiday Park


  • Purple Possum Wholefoods and Cafe, St Marys
  • Kate’s Berry Farm, Swansea


  • Stretch the legs on a rainforest walk, via Scottsdale to Binalong Bay
  • Enjoy a full body climb to the Lookout Rock State Reserve for views of Bicheno
  • Lose yourself on Deninson Beach, en-route to Freycinet National Park
  • Earn your way to spectacular views at Wine Glass Bay
  • Scare yourself silly on a lantern-lit Port Arthur Ghost Tour after dark


Take the alpine route from the Murray all the way to our nation’s capital

Getting from the Victorian border to Canberra is really easy. Fuel up, thread your rig in between the lines of semi-trailers on the Hume Highway, and drive for 3½ hours. Done. But where’s the fun in that? Why not take the iconic Australian High Country and see firsthand the places that have helped shape the nation?

Take the backroad from Albury along the Lake Hume foreshore to Jingellic, then to Corryong before picking up the Alpine Way through Kosciuszko National Park to Jindabyne. Cruise into Canberra along the Monaro Highway. Not one for winter – but it’s great for the rest of the year. – Kath Heiman.


Day 1: Albury to Jingellic

  • Establish camp at Jingellic on the Upper Murray

Day 2: Jingellic to Corryong

  • Cast an early morning fly
  • Take the sealed bike path to Corryong
  • Inspect the ‘Man from Snowy River Museum’
  • Marvel at the WWII Prisoner of War rug at the Historical Society
  • Camp at the beautiful Colac Colac ‘Clack Clack’ CP on Nariel Creek

Day 3: Corryong to Geehi Hut, via Tintaldra Guesthouse Store and (best little) Tea-House

  • Wander the Snowy Hydro Power Station on the Alpine Way
  • Establish a riverside camp at Geehi Hut campground in Kosciuszko National Park near the Kosciuszko mountain hut with an open fireplace

Day4: Geehi Hut to Jindabyne via Thredbo

  • Ride the 1.8km chairlift and enjoy a hot chockie the terminal
  • Bobsled downhill 700m in a lugestyle ride in summer, mountainbiking, walking
  • Warm up at the Wildbrumby Schnapps distillery and cafe

Day 5: Jindabyne to Canberra via Cooma

  • Park in town at Cooma and give the kids a chance to stretch their legs
  • Stop in for pancakes at Bredbo Pancake and Crepe
  • Check out the crazy big Christmas shop and the local cafe serving rabbit pie.

River fun at the ‘Clack Clack’ Caravan Park.



  • Free camp at Jingellic next to the family-friendly Bridge Hotel.
  • Colac Colac ‘Clack Clack’ Caravan Park, 6km from Corryong
  • Old Geehi Campground (next to the Alpine Way)


  • Schnitzels and chips at the Bridge Hotel, Jingellic Milkshakes at Tintaldra (best little) Tea Rooms and Museum
  • Bredbo Christmas Barn for a kids’ Christmas fantasy land! (open 1 June – 23 December)
  • A 10km detour out of Jindabyne to Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery and cafe for mum


  • Floating around in the Upper Murray with a rubber dinghy
  • Angling for trout in the Murray
  • Riding along the sealed path from Colac Colac to Corryong
  • Dangling above the trees on the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift or speeding 700m down a bobsled
  • Seeing how the old ‘Alpine Men’ used to live at Geehi Huts


Break away from the burbs, with the fun, family-friendly Bass Coast

It’s rarely broadcasted, but if you’re visiting family and friends in Victoria’s south-east, there’s camping at Akoonah Park, an easy 30 clicks east of the fabulous and free Cranbourne Royal Botanical Gardens, VIC.

You’ll find a truck-load of big rig parking at the second of two venues managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Society, putting you in a great frame of mind to wander the delightful Australian Garden. Alternatively, you can stop in at Gumbuya Park when it reopens with a new water park in time for summer. After enjoying a splash, the grandkids can pet the baby animals, feed the roos or experience close encounters with dingoes, snakes or crows, while the  older ones can challenge each other on the twin toboggan rides or kick a ball on the vast communal lawns.

Next, venture southwards and bunker down at Cowes in Phillip Island for two nights. There’s enough here to entertain everyone for a week but if your stay’s short, let the little ones milk a cow and then try your hand at cracking a whip at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. There’s an awesome rope course at SkyTrail for the older crew, while spotting penguins nesting at the Nobbies and watching the procession after dark will hold broad appeal.

Then, it’s on to Bass Coast, bound for Inverloch, where the tide stretches out for miles, before venturing east for Bear Gully camp in Cape Liptrap. – Rachael Doherty.


Day 1: Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens to Phillip Island

  • Wander the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Or, enjoy snags and kick a ball with the crew on the vast lawns at Gumbuya Park
  • Bushwalk the fabulous Glen Forbes before hitting the island

Day 2: Cape Woolamai to Churchill Island Heritage Farm

  • Enjoy the calm and safe waters of Cape Woolamai Safety Beach
  • Entertain the kids with an afternoon at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm or challenge the older ones on the SkyTrail course

Day 3: Penguin spotting at the Nobbies

  • Take a leisurely morning stroll on Cowes Beach
  • Stretch the legs on the Nobbies boardwalk but don’t forget your jacket!
  • Finish the day with the Penguin Parade

Day 4: Inverloch to Cape Liptrap

  • Shell collecting at low tide
  • Dine out at Inverloch pub before setting off for seclusion.



  • Floating around in the Upper Murray with a rubber dinghy
  • Angling for trout in the Murray


  • Legendary milkshakes at Caldermeade Farm
  • Caramelised banana bread or Devonshire tea at Churchill Island Heritage Farm
  • Amazing ice-cream from Gusto Gelateria and Pastry, Inverloch


  • Wander the Australian Garden at the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Milking a cow or cracking a whip at Churchill Island Heritage Farm
  • Learn to catch a wave at one of many surf schools on the Bass Coast
  • Seeing penguins nestled in their burrows at the magnificent Nobbies
  • Digging for crabs and exploring rocks at Cowes main beach at low tide
  • Collecting shells and splashing in the shallows at Andersons Inlet, Inverloch

Tags: South Tasmania TAS Scottsdale Binalong Bay Bicheno Bay Port Arthur Wineglass Bay Tourville 4WD Wielangta Forest Drive Devonport St Helens Freycient Deninson Beach Swansea St Marys
Category: Features
Written: Sun 01 Oct 2017
Printed: October, 2017
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