Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
HIstory and Valleys | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
My Freycinet to Launceston self drive itinerary takes us from the east coast, over the elephant Pass, down the Fingal Valley and into Launceston through the historic village of Evandale.
This is a drive itinerary writtten by a local. It is designed to get you off the beaten track to take the scenic and historic route into Launceston
It is about 3 hours drive point to point, but if you allow time to look around at different stops it will take all day.
Things To See and Do | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
Bicheno | Douglas Apsley National Park | Elephant Pass | The Fingal Valley | Clarendon House | Evandale | Launceston
Background | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
The route I am using from Freycinet to Launceston runs up the coast to Bicheno and beyond, but cuts inland at the Elephant Pass to St Marys.
You will drive up the Fingal Valley, and then cut off through the backroads to Evandale and on to Launceston.
Bicheno | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
From Coles Bay, at the gates of the Freycinet National Park, follow the Coles Bay Road back past the Friendly Beaches to join the A3 Tasman Highway just to the north of Apslawn.
Turn right onto the A3 Tasman Highway and follow it north and into Bicheno. James Ebeneezer Bicheno was the British Colonial Secretary for Van Diemen’s Land 1843-51, and it was after him that the town was named.
Today, Bicheno is a fishing and holiday town. As you drive into town, watch for the turnoff to the right that will take you along the waterfront with some very interesting coastal rock formations and the chance to scramble out right to the water’s edge.
The clarity of the water is amazing. This road will bring you back to the township.
The Bicheno Hotel is on your left as you drive north, and there are a number of shops and a supermarket on the right just before the Hotel should you require supplies for a picnic later in the day.
Douglas Apsley NP | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
As you leave Bicheno heading north, watch for the turnoff inland to the left to the Douglas Apsley National Park and the Apsley Conservation Area.
This little known National Park is a place of surprising contrasts and offers a wide range of diverse scenery in a compact area.
it is one of the few East Coast Parks that conserves a full range of the dry sclerophyl forest plants that are part of the Tasmanian East Coast ecology.
It offers picnics by a stream, forest and gorge walks and the chance to study rare plants and animals if interested. Continue north along the coast on the A3 Tasman Hwy.
Elephant Pass | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
At Chain of Lagoons, watch for the turnoff inland (left) onto the A4 road that climbs over the Elephant Pass before running back to join the A4 Esk Highway at St Marys. St Marys is an old mining town, and evidence can still be seen of the Coal Mines.
Yes, it is well worth stopping at Mount Elephant Pancakes, on the left at the top of the Elephant Pass.
Fingal Valley | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
The origins of the name of the Fingal Valley lie in Ireland, and the Talbot Family, Barons of Malahyde, have owned Malahyde Estate in the valley since 1824.
Follow the A4 Esk Highway through this very picturesque valley and into Fingal.
The road follows the banks of the South Esk River (the one that joins the Tamar Estuary at Launceston) to rejoin the A1 Midland Highway at Conara Junction. Turn north (right) onto the A1.
Backroads | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
After just a few minutes, watch for the turnoff to the right (east) that takes you on the backroad to Nile, Clarendon House and Evandale.
Turn off onto the C416 and wind through open farmland and light forest before crossing the South Esk River, zig-zagging a bit and then turning hard left to run northwards towards Nile and Evandale.
Just past Nile, watch for the turnoff to the left onto Clarendon Road and follow it to Clarendon House.
Clarendon House | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
This beautifully restored, colonial mansion is reminiscent of the country gentry lifestyle of the mid-1800’s. Set in 7 hectares and on the banks of the South Esk River, Clarendon House was established by one James Cox.
The house is a part of the National Trust and has parks and outbuildings to be explored.
Launceston during the 1800’s quickly became the centre of a fertile, productive farming area spreading south as far as Ross, west as far as Deloraine and backing up against the rugged Western Tiers of the Tasmanian Central Plateau.
This is an area of rich farmland with a backdrop of pure wilderness. Migrants from England, hoping to find a better life in Tasmania, did so with gusto, creating some of the finest homes and estates in Australia. Clarendon House is one of these.
Evandale | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
From Clarendon House, follow the C416 into Evandale. We have been following the south Esk River on its way to Launceston, and Evandale sits on the South Esk some 18 Kms south of the city.
Evandale is classified as an historic town, and is famous for its Sunday Morning market as well as the annual World Penny Farthing Races which are held in February.
Evandale was originally settled in 1811 and has been well maintained, with many of its original buildings still part of the landscape.
Brown’s Village Store on the Main Street is worth a visit, as is the local Evandale Hotel for either lunch or dinner.
On to Launceston | Freycinet to Launceston Self Drive itinerary
From Evandale, stay on the B41 through Western Junction and past the Launceston Airport until it joins the A1 Midlands Highway at Breadalbane, and then follow the A1 into Launceston.
Other Tasmania Day Drives: > Tasmania Day Drive Itineraries
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Map of Tasmania: > Map of Tasmania
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Find Tours and Activities: > Tasmania Tours & Activities
More Information on Evandale : > Evandale, Tasmania – Wikipedia