We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we travel, the Palawa and the Tarkiner Tasmanian Aboriginal Group. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today and remain as the traditional custodians of the land.
When you think of Tasmania (Lutruwita in local Aboriginal language), the Tarkine Drive is not a road trip that usually jumps to the top of the bucket list. Well, it should be.
Having recently spent 3 months travelling around Tassie in our campervan, we were lucky to experience the best that this adventurous island has to offer.
And one region that really stuck with us is the stunning Tarkine and it’s driving route.
Located on the north west coast of Tasmania, the Tarkine Drive is a self-guided loop that starts and finishes in the town of Smithton.
It takes you to glorious waterfalls and temperate rainforest, along sprawling beaches and walking trails, and to the edge of the world, literally.
There’s a reason it’s a hidden gem in Tasmania!
The Tarkine Drive – Itinerary, History and Things to Do
During our travels we found a lot of people talking about the Tarkine Drive, but not too much great information for it online. That’s why we decided to do the drive ourselves and publish this ultimate guide.
Here is our complete 2-day itinerary, filled with the best stops, walking trails, and places to see on the Tarkine Drive.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
But First: Tarkine – What’s in a Name?
Let’s start from the beginning and talk about the name Tarkine. The name Tarkine means ‘belonging to, or of, the Tarkiner.’
An Aboriginal tribe in the area known as Tarkiner people lived in the Sandy Cape region of the wild west coast of Tasmania for more than 40,000 years.
They were one of three Aboriginal tribes on the West Coast, stretching from the Pieman River mouth to the Arthur River.
The Tarkine area is filled with relics and remnants of their fascinating existence, including middens, hut sites and other artifacts.
These archaeological sites reflect a rich Indigenous culture and spirituality that still exists today.
Unlike a lot of Tasmania that has sadly suppressed the island’s Aboriginal heritage (and destruction), in the…