The ferry arrives early in the morning and most people choose not to have breakfast on board as that's even earlier. Take a thermos if you really need an early morning cuppa. After the quarantine inspection as you leave the arrival area you will receive a plastic bag containing tourist information, including a map inside the back cover of Treasure Island.
Even without the map you will be able to follow the other cars and turn left away from Devonport and towards Launceston. It’s Route 1.
About 5 km along this road on your right you will see d’Anvers Chocolates. They are open for breakfast and make wonderful hot chocolate served in wide continental cups without handles. It’s delicious. Their menu includes such European goodies as real croissants and baguettes with cream cheese and smoked salmon. If you can wait a bit longer, another place that opens for breakfast is the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. It’s on the left after about 50 km, 40 minutes easy driving. They serve a range of delicious things, many of which include raspberries - muffins for example. The restaurant has an open fire and big windows looking out onto an attractive garden, home to many native birds.
Suitably fortified you are now ready to set off.....
Stay on Route 1 heading towards Launceston. However, there is no need to go into the city. You will come to a junction where you can veer left into Launceston or keep going to the right. This is still Route 1 and is also called the Midland Highway. Confusing we know.
There are 2 main ways to reach us via the Midland Highway from Launceston
- Head south till you reach Conara Junction and turn left on the A4. It is 81 km from this point to Chain of Lagoons, where you reach the A3. The signpost mentions the East Coast and you pass through Avoca, Fingal and St Mary’s. At St Mary’s take the road to the right which is signposted Elephant Pass and Bicheno. (It’s still the A4, but so is the left fork, which goes to St Helens. Confusing!) The road is windy but very pretty and at the top you come to the Elephant Pass Pancake Barn. This is a bit of fun if you need lunch by then. There are amusing notices about what the elephants will do if you park in the wrong spot etc and the menu consists of various types of pancakes. Keep going and eventually you will reach the A3 at Chain of Lagoons. Turn right heading for Bicheno. From Bicheno it’s 11 km to the Coles Bay turn off. This is quite an attractive drive but it takes 45 minutes longer than the other way.
- Head south till you reach Campbell Town then turn left onto the B34, signposted Lake Leake and Swansea. It’s 57 km from Campbell Town to the A3, where you turn left heading for Bicheno. The sign also mentions Coles Bay at this point. It’s then 23 km to the Coles Bay turn off. This is the shorter of the 2 routes.