Tasmania's second-largest city, Launceston sits pretty on the banks of the Tamar River. If you arrive early, there are near endless distractions to give you a taste for the Apple Isle. We suggest jumping on a boat to cruise the city's might waterway, gliding through the Tamar Valley and into Cataract Gorge. This rare natural phenomenon unites bushland with neat Victorian gardens, replete with ferns and exotic plants. It's also a sacred place for the palawa Indigenous community. You will feel your spirit soar.
Get a different perspective of the green cavern on the scenic chairlift, zipping you over the water to a lofty lookout. Consider yourself a bit of a gourmand? Some of Tassie's top wineries are within easy reach. Sip your way around the Josef Chromy estate, Swinging Gate or Jansz before meeting the adventurous souls that will keep you company over the next week. The day is yours to fill as you please. (D) Stay: Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston
Arriving at Bridestowe Lavender Estate, you could be forgiven for thinking you've been transported straight to Provence in France. This bucolic patch of purple is a feast for all the senses. Wander neat rows of flowers while engulfed by soothing aromas (did you know lavender is a great sleep aid?). Then taste the property's wares, whether in lavender ice-cream or honey made from the 500,000 very happy bees that spend their days here, fluttering amid flowers.
Moving moments await at Legerwood Carved Memorial Trees, an avenue of sculpted trees, carved in homage of fallen WWI soldiers. It's a poignant reminder of just how privileged we are to have Tasmania's scene-stealing landscapes to gaze over today. Be sure to end your night spotting the area's little penguins. (B/D) Stay: Diamond Island Beach Resort
Embarking on your Freycinet adventure, you may think someone has taken the glasses off your nose and cleaned them for the first time. The towering Hazards Range that backdrops your base gleams pink in the morning sunshine. Fun fact: the prized granite here was used to build the foyer of New York's Empire State Building.
Beyond, the brilliant blue ocean curves into perfect coves carpeted with golden sand. And dusty greens patchwork Cape Tourville's virgin eucalypt forest, stretching as far as the eye can see. And you get to take it all in on a Wineglass Bay lunchtime cruise, revealing the gem-like crescent and its (albeit brisk) gin-clear water. There's a reason this beach tops global “best of the best” lists. Dive in if you dare! (B/L/D) Stay: Eastcoaster Tasmania
Freestone Point was once home to the world's largest wood chip mill, built on the unceded lands of the Paredarerme people. It's had a philosophy change, and is now intent on charting a sustainable path. Today's onward journey takes you to Hobart, but before you arrive in the Tasmanian capital, you're treated to a Welcome to Country by the Traditional Owners of Oyster Bay.
If you thought this industrial setting is beyond repair, wait till you see the organic gardens - help horticulturalists propagate seeds that will be returned to the mill's grounds. Richmond impresses in a different way - this historic town is like stepping back in time. (B) Stay: Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart (3 Nights)
Isle of the Dead, Pirate's Bay Lookout, Devil's Kitchen… the attractions around Port Arthur Historic Site give away the region's grim convict heritage. But don't be put off by the colourful names; the rolling green countryside, rugged cliffs and dramatic rock formations make this one of the most postcard-perfect pockets of the state. Explore what remains of the World Heritage Site on a Port Arthur guided tour with a historian - they know all the secrets that took place behind these walls - then enjoy a different perspective of the attraction from the water on a scenic cruise.
Tonight is yours to enjoy at your leisure. We can recommend any number of stellar restaurants and wine bars to while away the evening in. (B)
Today is one of decisions. Do you fancy lingering on a Hobart tour of the city centre, exploring gallery-lined streets and taking in glorious Georgian architecture, either at your leisure or with a guide? Or perhaps you're inclined to explore the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, occupying one of Australia's most historically significant sites and home to an eye-watering 800,000 objects ranging from fossils to fine art.
Maybe you want to end your Launceston to Hobart tour the way it began: savouring the state's end-of-the-Earth wilderness areas. Take on Mount Wellington, with its glorious alpine forest and views of the River Derwent. Or cruise to spot playful sea lions and ogle Australia's highest sea cliffs around Bruny Island. That's an island, off and island, off an island. It's a difficult choice, but it's all yours. (B/D)