Bass Highway connects the major cities and towns of Tasmania's North West - beginning at Launceston, and following the coast through Devonport and Burnie, all the way to Marrawah on the west coast. It's a great day's drive that will take you all the way to Marrawah on the west coast if you are so inclined, visiting the many coastal towns on Bass Strait along the way, however we recommend you allow more than a day as there is so much to see and do here.
The Great Western Tiers are the northern face of the Tasmanian Central Plateau, which rises up to 1420m above sea level and is dominated by Cradle Mountain. In the foothills of the Great Western Tiers can be found a wide range of attractions both man made and natural which can be explored on this drive. It is also an alternative route to reach Cradle Mountain from Launceston. Allow a full day for the drive; add additional time if you are contemplating taking any of the bushwalks in the area or spending more time than a quick visit.
Cradle Mountain is a destination many visitors to Tasmania have high on their list. There are a number of ways to get there from Launceston. This one is a little round about, but the detours and back roads we take you down make the journey to Cradle Mountain much more interesting. This drive is a loop that starts and finishes at Devonport, however, any of the towns of the north west - Devonport, Stanley, Wynyard, Burnie, Ulverstone - would also make a good starting point for this day trip.
Take a drive from Burnie along one of North West Tasmania's most historic roads, pioneered by the region's premier explorer, Henry Hellyer. In 1827, work commenced on the construction of a road from the little settlement of Burnie to Surrey Hills, an inland area selected as a suitable place for the Company’s sheep to graze. The road work employed five men, constructing a muddy track through the dense coastal rain forests. This route generally follows what is now Marine Terrace to the Emu River, then up from the coastal plain via Old Surrey Road, through Romaine, Ridgely, Highclere and on to Hampshire, a distance of around 30 km.
Castra Road (State Route B15) starts at Ulverstone and winds its way south through picturesque hills and farmland on its way to Nietta, a tiny village located about 44 kilometres south-west of the town of Devonport. If approached from Devonport via Forth, Castra Road is joined at the village of Sprent. On the way you'll pass some of the prettiest dairy farming country you are ever likely to see. Drive a little further past Nietta and you'll reach Leven Canyon, a little-known tourist destination in Tasmania where you'll come face to face with nature at its most dramatic.
There are essentially two ways to travel by road between Devonport and Launcestion; there's Bass Highway, which is takes just over an hours and bypasses just about every town on the way, and then there's the Meander Valley Highway, which follows Bass Highway closely, but takes in just about every town, village and settlement on the way. It will take a lot longer, and how much longer depends on how captivating you find the places you pass through.
There are hundreds of names on a map of Tasmania, which to many Tasmanians are just that – a name on a map. Preolenna is such a place. I must admit that when a friend suggested it as a place to visit, I not only had to look on a map to find out where it was, I also had difficulty finding information about it. o my surprise I found that it was only 44 km west of Burnie, so we packed the car and headed for Flowerdale and the turn-off to Preolenna on Bass Highway.