Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania and is located in the northeast section of the island state. The touring route from Launceston to Bridport is the known as the North East Trail and it showcases the beauty of the pioneering spirit. The trail includes vineyards, farms, forests, and untouched beaches. The whole drive all at once would only take about one hour; but on this journey we break it up into sections so that you can take your time to explore this beautiful section of the country.
Launceston to Bridport Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Hiring a Vehicle in Launceston
Launceston Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
Renting a car for your road trip is the best way to see the countryside and all the sites you want to see on your own time. Budget has two rental locations in Launceston. You can hire a car in Launceston in the city or rent a vehicle at the Launceston Airport. Check with your car rental agent about safety guidelines for driving in Tasmania’s rugged wilderness, most of the island is not developed so maps and guidelines can help keep you in the right direction. When you let your car rental agent know where you are headed, they can help give you insider tips and ensure that you have the right vehicle for the terrain you will encounter including the hills of the North East Trail. Click through to see the rate quote calculator and get the best car rental rates in Tasmania.
Launceston to Lilydale
Launceston to Lilydale Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Lilydale, Tasmania Photo Credit: AccommodationsinTasmania.com
Lilydale Falls Photo Credit: TasmaniaForEveryone.com.au
Section one of the trip is Launceston to the town of Lilydale, a farming hamlet. Lilydale is a quaint town with European roots, but a distinctively Australian landscape and surroundings. Along the way you can stop in Hollybank Treetops Adventure Park for a Segway tour and zip-line as well as bushwalking or biking. Mount Arthur is the mountain that defines Lilydale’s landscape. It was originally called Germantown and is known for its English-style gardens. Lilydale’s slogan is “the Home of the Painted Poles”. The painted electric poles in the township represent the artistry and culture of the original settlers of Lilydale in the 1860’s. Many of whom were potters, craftspeople, and artists. The nearby Lilydale Falls in Lilydale Park are one of the most picturesque views here.
Lilydale to Pipers Brook Vineyard
Lilydale to Pipers Brooke Vineyard Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Pipers River Region Photo Credit: TasmaniaForEveryone.com
Jansz Vineyard Photo Credit: DiscoverTasmania.com.au
For the next stretch of the road trip, you can take an excursion to the west on Pipers River Road or stay on course. This is wine country of the Pipers River Region. Of course, we don’t have to tell you, but don’t drink and drive. This region is cooler in climate and perfect for vineyards, orchards, and many other crops that thrive in cooler weather. Along Pipers Brook Road you will find the Jansz Wine Room and Interpretive Centre and the Pipers Brooke Vineyard. You can take the Tamar Valley Wine Route and end this leg of the journey in Pipers Brook Vineyard. The Tamar Valley is also known as “Sparkling Tasmania”.
Pipers Brook Vineyard to Bridport
Pipers Brook Vineyard to Bridport Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Scottsdale Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Pipers Brook Vineyard to Bridport is the last leg of our North East Trail touring route. The highlight of this portion of the road trip is stopping at Bridestowe Lavender Estate at Nabowla. Time your visitor during the peak of bloom during December and January. There are 265 acres of beautiful fields of lavender gardens. There is a café and visitor centre. Take the tour and learn how lavender is used in cooking and for essential oils. As you make your way to Bridport, stop by the town of Scottsdale and tour the dairy and poppy farms there.
Bridport Photo Credit: ExploreAustralia.net.au
Barnbougle Golf Course Photo Credit: TravelThereNext.com
When you reach Bridport, you will notice it is quite different from the countryside you drove through to get there. In Bridport, there is plenty to do including beach fun, river fishing, ocean fishing, and bushwalking. Visit the freshwater rainbow trout farm, the Bridport Wildflower Reserve, and the Granite Point Conservation Area. The area also provides great golfing and seafood dining.
Mt. William National Park
Coastal Lagoon in Mt. William National Park Photo Credit: Parks.tas.gov.au
No trip to the north east of Tasmania would be complete without visiting Mt. William National Park. Its beauty cannot be denied as you can see from the aerial photograph of the peninsula surrounded by turquoise waters and dark blue seas. It is a significant area for the conservation of Tasmania’s flora and fauna. The lands protected here are coastal heathlands rich in dry sclerophyll plants, wildflowers, grasslands, and the signature look of the Xanthorrheoea plants. The animals that call this place home include wombats, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, Bennetts wallabies, pademelons, and the rare Forester kangaroos. Mt. William National Park is also an important bird area with many full time and migrating birds spending time here. While in the park, you can go bushwalking, enjoy the wildflowers blooming in season, swim along the beaches, go fishing, and more. Camping is available throughout the park at different campsites as well a barbeque and camping facilities.