Explore the rich history of Melbourne and Tasmania on this itinerary, which includes guided tours and a self-guided road trip across Tasmania. Spend two days in Melbourne and travel down the epic Great Ocean Road. Fly to Tasmania's capital, Hobart, and drive north to historical convict towns like Longford and Oatlands. Take in Tasmania's lake country and a glimpse of the southern lights along the way.


  • Embark on an unforgettable drive down the Great Ocean Road
  • Feed Tasmanian devils and other animals by hand
  • Learn about Australia's convict and colonial history
  • Take a culinary tour of Bruny Island

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne & Take a Nightlife Tour Melbourne
Day 2 Tour Melbourne's Arcades & Explore the City on Your Own Melbourne
Day 3 Day Trip Traveling the Great Ocean Road Melbourne
Day 4 Fly to Hobart & Tour a Wildlife Sanctuary Hobart
Day 5 Culinary & Nature Day Tour of Bruny Island Hobart
Day 6 Explore Hobart Hobart
Day 7 Drive to the Scottish Heritage Town of Bothwell via Kempton Bothwell
Day 8 Drive to the Historic Convict Town of Longford via Steppes, Miena & Liffey Longford
Day 9 Discover Convict History by Driving to Oatlands via Campbell Town & Ross Oatlands
Day 10 See Oatlands' 19th-Century Distillery & Drive Back to Hobart Hobart
Day 11 Depart Hobart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne & Take a Nightlife Tour

Melbourne under blue skies
Melbourne under blue skies

Welcome to Melbourne, which is known as Australia's cultural capital. A driver will pick you up at the airport to transfer you to your accommodations. Take the rest of the day to explore the city at your own pace. While Aboriginal communities have lived in the area for over 40,000 years, the city wasn't founded until 1835 as part of a British colony. These histories meet in the Royal Botanic Gardens, which feature Victorian-era landscaping and an area of First Nations bush medicine and plants.

Stop by Queen Victoria Market (or "Vic Market" as the locals call it) to grab picnic supplies and post up in one of Melbourne's parks like Flagstaff Gardens. Or check out Melbourne's art galleries and museums like the National Gallery of Victoria or the Art Yarramunua Gallery. Rest up for a guided evening tour, which will take you into the heart of Melbourne's elegant nightlife and the city's dark past, beginning with a delicious meal and entering spots that only the locals know. 

Day 2: Tour Melbourne's Arcades & Explore the City on Your Own

Melbourne City
A view of Melbourne in the sunshine

This morning begins with a small group tour of Melbourne's historic laneways, back streets, and arcades. Visit the Block Arcade, Centre Place, and AC/DC Lane, where the spirit of rock and roll is alive and well. Learn about these locations' histories, marvel at street art, and stop at cafés to try Melbourne's famous coffee. After the tour, the day is all yours to keep exploring the city. Sports lovers can find much to do here, as the Melbourne Cricket Grounds is the largest cricket stadium in the world. 

Day 3: Day Trip Traveling the Great Ocean Road

12 Apostles
The 12 Apostles rock formation
Embark on an epic all-day guided road trip down one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world: the Great Ocean Road. This stretch of highway runs 150 miles (240 km) along Victoria's southwest coast. Stroll through a eucalyptus forest where koalas are abundant. Stop for lunch at Apollo Bay, a tranquil seaside town that's the gateway to the famous mountains of the Otway Ranges. Embark on a brisk hike through the rainforests of Otway National Park.

Then, travel further west to Port Campbell National Park. Here, you'll witness the world-famous rock formations on the Great Ocean Road. These include the romantic cove at Loch Ard Gorge, the London Bridge archway, and of course, the 12 Apostles, a group of ancient limestone rock formations rising out of the sea. From there, you'll be returned to Melbourne and transferred to your hotel.

Day 4: Fly to Hobart & Tour a Wildlife Sanctuary

The viewpoint from kunanyi / Mount Wellington
The viewpoint from kunanyi/ Mount Wellington

A driver will transfer you to Melbourne Airport today, where you'll take a quick flight to Hobart in Tasmania. Once an island of First Nations peoples, later a penal colony for the British Empire, and finally an Australian state, Tasmania is a place steeped in history. After settling into your hotel, step out in Hobart, the island's harbor capital and Australia's second-oldest capital city. Experience the city's colonial architecture or enjoy the relaxed island lifestyle at a restaurant along the water.

Explore the surrounding wild and stunning landscape of kunanyi/ Mount Wellington, which offers the best views of the sunset. In the evening, embark on a tour of the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, which is 30 minutes north of the city and can be reached on your own or with a private transfer. Hand-feed native animals like tawny frog mouths and sugar gliders, play tug of war with a Tasmanian devil and meet Forester kangaroos.

Day 5: Culinary & Nature Day Tour of Bruny Island

The Neck on Bruny Island
The Neck on Bruny Island
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Today is an all-day tour centered around Bruny Island's beautiful scenery and delicious produce, located just south of Hobart. Savor the flavors of an exclusive private cheese and beer experience at the Bruny Island Cheese Company. Enjoy a lunch of local dishes while overlooking Adventure Bay. Wander through nearby gardens with stunning views of the landscape and later, walk through the ancient Mavista Rainforest

Day 6: Explore Hobart

Hobart on a clear day
Hobart, on a clear day
Today is all yours to explore Hobart and see more of this fascinating city. Consider checking out MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art), which houses art from the David Walsh collection, and which Walsh has described as a "subversive adult Disneyland." Head to Salamanca Place and sample goods at the stalls of the open-air Salamanca Markets. Try to spot Tasmanian devils at Bonorong Park, wander the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, or stroll along Hobart's picturesque harbor.

Day 7: Drive to the Scottish Heritage Town of Bothwell via Kempton

An open road in Tasmania's Central Highlands
An open road in Tasmania's Central Highlands

Pick up your rental car today and drive north to Bothwell, making sure to stop at highlights along the way in this area of the Central Highlands. These include the village of Kempton, which was settled in the 1820s by Rum Rebellion mutineer and Tasmanian wool pioneer Anthony Kemp. This old 19th-century coaching stop still features impressive colonial buildings.

Continue to Bothwell, whose history goes back to the 1820s, when Scottish families settled the area. Tartan street signs indicate this heritage, and other Scottish elements pepper the town and its buildings. Stop at St. Michael's and All Angels Church to find the rare ecclesiastical feature of a fireplace. Head to St. Luke's Church to see the pagan faces of a Celtic god and goddess carved by famous convict sculptor Daniel Herbert. Soak in more of Bothwell's history by staying in a convict-built structure overnight.

Day 8: Drive to the Historic Convict Town of Longford via Steppes, Miena & Liffey

Rushing water of Liffey Falls
The rushing water of Liffey Falls

Drive north today to Longford, which will take you to Tasmania's lake district in the Central Highlands. Begin the day with a self-guided trek across the Highlands Power Trail. Continue to Steppes to see the strange sculpture of a circle of stones populated with bronze castings of Tasmania's native animals. Stop for a meal in the village of Miena, which sits on the shores of yingina/ Great Lake. Drive to Liffey to marvel at the cascading Liffey Falls before ending the day in Longford.

In the historic town of Longford, there's the opportunity to visit or even stay in convict-built cottages at Brickendon and Woolmers Estate. These places are part of the UNESCO-listed Australian Convict Sites. Brickendon features a convict-built farm village that dates back to the 1820s, while Woolmers Estate has a blooming rose garden and Australia's oldest operating shearing shed. Curious travelers can walk a trail between the two properties.

Day 9: Discover Convict History by Driving to Oatlands via Campbell Town & Ross

The arches of the Red Bridge in Campbell Town
The arches of the Red Bridge in Campbell Town

Today, head south to Oatlands and take in some sights along the way. The first stop is Campbell Town. Brush up on its convict history at the Campbell Town Museum. Have a picnic along the Elizabeth River, which is spanned by the Red Bridge, built in 1838 by convicts and said to be made of 1.5 million bricks. The next stop is Ross, whose history of wool production is tightly knit with the village's identity. Learn more about this at the Tasmanian Wool Center.

Walk across the Ross Bridge, built in 1836 by convicts, which crosses the Macquarie River. This is Australia's third-oldest bridge, also overseen by Daniel Herbert, whose 186 carvings were so exquisite that he was pardoned for the crime that had sent him to Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land). End your walk at the Ross Female Factory Historic Site, one of four female factories in Tasmania and the most archaeologically intact female convict site in Australia. Finally, continue to Oatlands, filled with convict-built Georgian buildings and a rich history to fascinate any traveler. Spend the night in Oatlands.

Day 10: See Oatlands' 19th-Century Distillery & Drive Back to Hobart

Callington Mill in Oatlands
Callington Mill in Oatlands

Spend today exploring Oatlands before taking the hour-long drive back south to Hobart. Make a stop at Oatlands' 1837 Callington Mill, a former flour mill turned whiskey distillery. For those looking to get a deeper look at convict history, consider popping just north of Oatlands into the town of Tunbridge. There, the 1848 convict-built Blackman River Bridge is Australia's oldest wooden-decked bridge.

If you're interested in seeing more of Tasmania's distilleries, there are a handful to visit en route back to Hobart. The Old Kempton Distillery in Kempton is located in an 1842 coaching inn and offers tastings and tours. Further south, just outside of Hobart, is Shene Distillery in Pontville, where you can sample Tasmania's only triple-distilled whiskey. Finally, return to Hobart at your leisure and spend the night there.

Day 11: Depart Hobart

Depart Australia
An incredible view over Hobart
Enjoy your last morning in Hobart before a driver picks you up to transfer you to the airport. Fly back to the mainland and continue to your next destination. Safe travels!

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Map of Off-the-Beaten Path Australia: Melbourne & Tasmania Road Trip - 11 Days
Map of Off-the-Beaten Path Australia: Melbourne & Tasmania Road Trip - 11 Days