Mild and balmy, Tasmania's east coast is a gently undulating drive lined with turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, many of which easily take the prize for the most beautiful in Australia. It is easily a year round destination thanks to the mild climate, but if you travelling in the summer months it is worth getting off the tourist trail with one of the four day walks.
If you find it easier to fly into Launceston simply reverse the itinerary.
You can spend at least three days in Hobart and explore many of the surrounding regions, such as Mount Field National Park, by car, or with a private guide for a day. TMAG (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery), MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary should all be on your 'must-do' list along with a flight with Tasmanian Air Adventures and a boat trip with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.
Day 4 and 5
As tempting as it is to drive to the Port Arthur Historic Site and back in a day, it is a huge shame to miss out on all that the Tasman Peninsula has to offer so either build another night into your itinerary or book one of Tasmania's private guides to do the driving for you and you will see far more than you dreamt possible.
A day trip, however, will preclude one of the historic Ghost Tours, or even a Paranormal Tour for those (adults only) who have an inquisitive nature ....
Day 6 and 7
Orford is the beach retreat for many Tasmanians who have a shack here for their summer holidays so it is a great way to find out how the Tasmanians spend their leisure time. There are the most wonderful views over to Maria Island, a national park and wildlife haven, which now has wild devils breeding. Darlington is a World Heritage listed convict settlement, and there are all twelve endemic bird species. A day trip to Maria Island is well worth doing, although by far the best way to experience this paradise isle is with the four day Maria Island Walk.
Day 8 and 9
Like Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula is one of Tasmania's icons and therefore gets very busy during spring and summer months. Another four day walk, the Freycinet Experience, makes exploring the national park a joy and a privilege and takes you into parts that no one else walks in with maximum creature comforts meaning that almost anyone with a reasonable fitness level can do it. Accommodation is limited on Freycinet, and if you are not doing the walk, the historic town of Swansea is a very good place to consider for your accommodation as it is an easy drive to the peninsula yet peaceful, with some lovely family run restaurants, and Kate's Berry Farm which takes coffee and cake into a whole new dimension! Wineglass Bay Cruises is an unforgettable way to experience the Freycinet coastline and all its wildlife.
Leave the Freycinet Peninsula behind and head north to the Bay of Fires, so named by the early explorers sailing past who saw the Aboriginal fires burning on the shore. Accommodation is even more limited here, unless you consider yet another of the Great Walks of Tasmania - the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk. If not, you could opt for a beach house or, if you have a couple of days to spare, spend them with Craig 'Bushy' Williams of Pepperbush Adventures, one of Australia's top wildlife guides who knows the northern eastern wilderness and forests like the back of his hand. His 'Quoll Patrol' and 'Puggles and Bubbles' tours will simply blow you away.
If you are spending your last night on the Tasmanian mainland in Launceston, Tasmania's second city, why not spend it in a World Heritage listed convict built cottage on Woolmers Estate with the National Rose Garden, or the pretty-as-a-picture Brickenden Farm next door, also a World Heritage listed convict site, which is still run by descendents of the original owners. Being just 20 minutes from the city means you can still enjoy Cataract Gorge and the world's longest single span chairlift while getting a behind the scenes insight into Tasmania's remarkable convict history that shaped its future for generations to come.
Day 12 - 14
For your absolute piece de resistance in Tasmania, do what almost no one else does and fly to Flinders Island, the largest of the Furneaux group of 52 islands just off Tasmania's northeastern coastline. Flinders Island is 800 square miles with more than 800 stunning beaches and less than 800 residents, and abundant bird and wildlife. Accommodation is simple but stylish - choose from lovely beach house accommodation or a wonderful farm stay complete with free range guinea pigs. Walk, take boat trips to the outlying islands, or just soak up nature at its most glorious before taking your onward flight from Flinders Island to that metropolisis called Melbourne.