TASMANIA CAMPERVAN RENTALS

Southern Tasmania (1 week tour)

Spend at least two days around Hobart, enjoying the colourful waterfront, the Saturday Salamanca Market, a two-hour trip to the summit of Mount Wellington, the city's nightlife and restaurants. Hobart also has a fine museum and arts complexes and galleries, and many sporting centres.

From Hobart, take a two-day trip to the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. It is Australia's premier convict site and a must for any visitor to the State.

Take the Convict Trail from Seven mile Beach to the wonderful old village of Richmond with its extraordinary Richmond Gaol, the Old Hobart Town model village and the Richmond Maze. A 10-minute side-trip from Richmond takes you to the Zoodoo wildlife park. You travel over Australia's oldest stone bridge at the Coal River.

Continue to Dunalley, which has a monument to explorer Abel Janzoon Tasman, whom the island is named after. See the Arts Centre Fishmarket near the bridge over the Dunalley canal to the Peninsula. Enjoy the panoramic views approaching Eaglehawk Neck, see the freak Tessellated Pavement of nature's carving of rocks on the foreshore, the Tasman Blowhole, mighty Tasman Arch and the Devils Kitchen.

Spend a day taking a guided tour of the amazing ruins of the Port Arthur convict penitentiary and surrounding buildings, the lamplight ghost tour if you're brave, and a cruise around, and go ashore on, the Isle of the Dead. Take the circuit route on the peninsula to Nubeena, with its Wedge Bay convict site. See the old convict probation station at Saltwater River and the Cascades convict trail site in the village of Koonya.

On the return to Hobart, stop off at the amazing colonial museum at Copping and spend time at Sorell, where interesting attractions can be located through the Visitor Information Centre. The free Tourism Tasmania brochure The Convict Trail has lots of information and a good map.

Round off the week with a two-day trip along the marvellous Huon Trail south of Hobart, through captivating countryside and the orchards that gave the State the name of the Apple Isle.

The town of Franklin has fine restaurants and the Wooden Boat Centre. Stop at Huonville on the Huon River and the Forest & Heritage Centre at Geeveston. A half-hour meandering drive through wild forests and mountain views takes you from Geeveston to the famous Tahune Forest Airwalk, where you can stroll over the Huon River among the tree tops. A drive of an hour or so further south takes you to fascinating Southport and, to the west, the Hastings limestone caves and warm thermal springs.

If you drive south via Huonville, on the return north to Hobart turn right just across the Huon bridge and be rewarded with a drive to Cygnet, along the coast past Garden Island and up the D'Entrecasteaux Channel via Woodbridge, Kettering, Snug and Margate.

A marvellous day or half-day option is to take the vehicular ferry at Kettering to picturesque Bruny Island, rich in scenery and coastal pursuits, including splendid fishing and Atlantic salmon farms. Unlike other operators, TCR not only permits but encourages a visit to Bruny.

Turn left when entering Kingston to return to Hobart along the old Convict Trail for breathtaking views of the coast. Visit the old Shot Tower.

And you've had a marvellous week! Get more information in the free brochure The Huon Trail.

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