Rivers Run is a road trip through the varied and beautiful landscapes of Tasmania. It starts in the capital city of Hobart and you retrace the steps of the Derwent River back to its source in the mountains near Lake St. Clair. The road trip can be broken up into three or four days. Be sure to take your time to see the waterfalls, streams, marshes, national parks, and more along the way.
Rivers Run Photo Credit: DiscoverTasmania.com.au
Sunrise over the Derwent River Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Hiring a Car in Hobart
Hobart Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
Rivers Run Road Trip Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
When you start out on the Rivers Run road trip you can hire a car in the city of Hobart or at the Hobart International Airport. When you do rent a vehicle, be sure to consult with the car rental agent for guidelines about driving in Tasmania and about any specific restrictions. Much of Tasmania is rugged terrain, especially the trip to the northwest area and Lake St. Clair, so be sure to let your agent know where you are going so that they can provide you with the correct vehicle, proper maps, and driving instructions. See our site to get a rate quote and see what great rates Budget has available for you.
Day One: Hobart to New Norfolk
Hobart Skyline Photo Credit: Wikipedia
New Norfolk view from Pulpit Rock Lookout Photo Credit: NewNorforlk.org
The first day of the road trip begins in Hobart and heads to New Norfolk. There are sights to see on the way, namely the Bridgewater Bridge, which symbolizes the gateway into the more remote region on Tasmania. This picturesque town is about a 30 minute drive west of Hobart. It’s a great place to start out the road trip but also the ideal place to slow down, relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Take in the rugged countryside scenery and take a step back in history with the historic architecture. Some of the oldest buildings in Australia can be found here. Climb the lookout at Pulpit Rock for the best view of the town. Depending on how long you spend in New Norfolk, you can visit the Salmon Ponds at Plenty, the Museum of Trout Fishing, and the historic Redlands Estate. Before departing New Norfolk, be sure to stock up on supplies because most of the points west on this road trip are more remote.
Mt. Field National Park
After passing through New Norfolk, be sure to take time to explore Mt. Field National Park. The park is just about another 30 minutes west of New Norfolk. It is known as Tasmania’s most beloved national park. There is a lot to see and do in the park and facilities for day visitors. Camping and accommodations are also available. There are camping and caravan facilities near the entrance where you will also find the visitor centre, the shop, and a café. Picnic facilities are location at the lower end of the park. If you are looking for accommodations, those would be in Westerway, Ellendale, or New Norfolk. The park offers an amazing variety of flora and fauna. You might spot a platypus during dawn or dusk. The plant diversity located here is very vast. The beautiful waterfalls are definitely a spot for taking pictures. During winter, this is ski country with plenty of winter sports activities available. If exploring caves interests you, just south of the park is the Junee State Reserve and experienced cavers can explore The Junee Cave.
Hamilton and Bothwell
Bothwell Village Photo Credit: Think-Tasmania.com
Rathos Gold Course Photo Credit: AustraliaGUide.com.au
The next stops on the road trip west are the classified historic township of Hamilton and the old Village of Bothwell. Hamilton is in the valley on the Clyde River. The picturesque views of the Great Western Tiers tower off in the distance. This is a quaint, small rural farming town. Bothwell shows off Tasmania’s 19th century colonial heritage with its old Georgian architecture. It was settled in the 1820’s. This village also represents Scottish immigrant history in Australia. The Rathos Golf course was the first golf course built, not just in Australia, but in the entire southern hemisphere. It is believed to be the oldest golf course in the world outside of Scotland and just to add to the classic Scottish highland motif, sheep graze freely on the fairways. You can stay overnight in Bothwell or nearby Miena. A wilderness fishing lodge is among the accommodation choices.
Bothwell to Lake St. Clair
Lake St. Clair Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Twisted Lakes in Lake St. Clair National Park Photo Credit: WikiTravel
Tasmanian Devil Photo Credit: LakeClairLodge.com.au
Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
Our road trip’s last leg is the leg from Bothwell to Lake St. Clair. Towns along the way include Waddamana, Bronte Park, and the Great Lakes district. This is prime fishing country where fly fishermen from all over the world come to cast their rod and reels. Lake St. Clair is the deepest fresh water lake in all of Australia. It covers 17 kilometres and is the centerpiece of the World Heritage Area. It is also part of the protected lands of Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park. Lake St. Clair is the end of this road trip, but is also the end of the Overland Track hike coming in the other direction through Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park.