Featured stops | Buckland Church | Orford |
As you leave Copping, watch for the turnoff to the right to the Kellevie Road.
Rather than follow the A9 back to Sorell and then the A3 to Orford, Swansea, Bicheno and Coles Basy Freycinet you can cut directly through Kellevie and Nugent to join the A3 Tasman Highway at Buckland.
Not only will this save driving distance, it will route you through some charming rural and forest country as you head north.
Follow the Kellevie Road to Kellevie. Watch for the turnoff to the left at Kellevie (the road will become Bream Creek Road – turn to the left and stay on the Kellevie Road towards Nugent) and follow it as it winds its way towards Nugent.
After a series of particularly sharp hairpin turns, the road will emerge from the forest and onto open farmland. Watch for the turnoff to the right onto the Nugent Road.
Drive through the hamlet of Nugent and follow the road through more forest until it joins the A3 Tasman Highway just to the east of Buckland.
Turn left onto the A9 Tasman Highway and drive into Buckland. The Buckland Church is worth looking through, it is a fine example of early colonial church architecture.
Tasmania Buckland Church
From Buckland it is an easy 20 minutes through light forest and farmland and along the bank of the Prosser River to Orford.
Orford is a popular east coast town much loved by Hobart residents as a weekend getaway.
Many Hobart residents have weekend “shacks” (second weekend houses) in the area.
Before crossing the bridge over the Prosser River to follow the A9 Tasman Highway north, there is a short drive to the Three Thumbs Lookout for spectacular views out over Maria Island, Mercury Passage and the east coast as it stretches northwards.
3 Thumbs Lookout
Where the A3 turns hard left to cross the bridge as you come into Orford, turn sharp right instead onto Charles Street.
Watch for the turnoff to the right marked Weilengata Road. Turn off and follow the Weilengata Road through the trees and watch for the turnoff to the right (uphill) to the Three Thumbs Lookout.
It is a steep drive uphill, but the views are worth it. There are elementary picnic facilities at the lookout. Drive back to Orford, cross the bridge over the Prosser River and follow the A3 north towards Swansea and Bicheno.
If you wish to visit Maria Island, watch for the turnoff to the right onto Louisville Road and follow it to the Eastcoaster Resort. The boat transfer leaves from the Eastcoaster at regular intervals.
If visiting Maria Island, be sure to allow about 4 hours for the round trip excursion, about half an hour each way on the boat, then 3 hours walking and exploring time on Maria Island itself.
Alternatively, you can opt to stay the night on the island and explore it further.