Tasman Highway

Like the Midland Highway, Tasman Higthway connects the major cities of Hobart and Launceston  however it takes a different route, via the north-eastern and eastern coasts of the state. The beginning of the highway also acts as a major commuter road to Hobart residents living on the eastern side of the Derwent River. The designation Tasman Highway arises from its location facing the Tasman Sea  named, like the state itself, after Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman. The highway is one of the longest in Tasmania - 410 km, with an average traveling time of 4 1 D2 hours.

The Journey
The Eastern Outlet: The Eastern Outlet is a 24 km section of the Tasman Highway between Hobart and Sorell. As one of the city's 3 major radial highways, the outlet connects traffic from the Hobart city centre with Hobart International Airport and commuters on the eastern shore of the Derwent River as well as intrastate traffic on the east coast and Tasman Peninsula. With recorded Annual average daily traffic of 67,000, the Tasman Bridge is the busiest portion of the Eastern Outlet and the Tasman Highway as a whole.

The southern section of the Highway commences on the fringe of the Hobart Central Business District at the intersection with the Brooker Highway and the Davey/Macquarie couplet. Featuring between four and five lanes of traffic and utilizing a lane management system for peak hour traffic, the highway travels north along the western shore of the Derwent River, intersecting with the Domain Highway before preceding over the Tasman Bridge.

On the eastern side of the Bridge there are two interchanges in close proximity; the East Derwent Highway intersects the highway immediately after the bridge via the Lindisfarne Interchange and within 500 meters there is an interchange connecting Rosny Hill Road. From Rosny Hill Road the Tasman Highway continues east, intersecting with the South Arm Highway at Mornington and concluding at the airport roundabout. The highway continues east for a number of kilometres until it crosses the Sorell Causeway and enters Sorell.

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula

Sorell to St Helens: After Sorell, take the road to Orford, a pretty town on the east coast of Tasmania. The road to Orford remains at the national standard as a two-lane highway, albeit with only a few overtaking lanes along its distance. The remainder of the road to St Helens is two lane, with even fewer overtaking opportunities. The eastern, coastal portion of the highway is spectacular, in places running just metres from the Tasman Sea, which makes this the eastern-most A road in Tasmania. The Tasman Highway is marketed as East Coast Escape between St Helens and Orford, to fit in with Tasmania's scheme of introducing tourist trails, a way of simplifying navigation of key tourist locations in Tasmania.

Prior to 1990, there was no coastal route between Falmouth and the Chain of Lagoons  one had to travel into and out of St Marys, both roads being steep grades. The bypass was officially opened in December 1991, though motorists had been using the partially constructed road before its opening. Great care was taken during the construction to protect Aboriginal middens and the general environment.

Bay of Fires

St Helens to Launceston: After leaving the coastal plain, the highway is a two-lane road through the mountains to the west of St Helens. It passes waterfalls and through timber and rainforest country. The portion between Launceston and Scottsdale runs through the Sideling Range. There is a lookout which offers a spectacular view of Scottsdale and its surrounds. The highway passes through several former mining towns on its way to Launceston.

Tasmanian Road Distances

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Major Destinations

Freycinet Peninsula
Jutting out between The Tasman Sea and Great Oyster Bay on Tasmania s east coast, the Freycinet Peninsula is a rugged and beautiful stretch of land, noted for its white-sand beaches, secluded coves, panoramic vistas, rocky cliffs and excellent bushwalks through the Freycinet National Park.

A charming fishing port on Tasmania s east coast, which in recent years has grown in popularity as a holiday resort. Penguin tours are one of the town s most popular attractions, while the local wildlife park has a wide array of fauna, including kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and pelicans.

St Helens
Situated on Georges Bay, St Helens is the largest town on the north-east coast of Tasmania. A popular resort for fishing, swimming and other aquatic activities, its position makes St Helens a good base from which to explore the whole north-east corner of Tasmania, which includes the picturesque Bay of Fires.