Launceston is the second biggest city in Tasmania (after Hobart), attracting travellers from all over the state due to its abundance of natural beauty, historic buildings, and several wineries throughout the Tamar Valley region. While you can fly directly into both Hobart and Launceston, it's also popular to road trip around the state because of its picturesque scenery, stopping in small, charming towns along the way. It's because of this that the Cradle Mountain to Launceston route is a popular one.
Getting from Cradle Mountain to Launceston is fairly easy and straightforward. Unfortunately, there is no commercial airport in Cradle Mountain so you're unable to fly between the two regions, however, there are two other options, self-driving or catching a bus/coach.
Travelling from Cradle Mountain to Launceston by car
Driving from Cradle to Mountain to Launceston is the most popular way to travel between the two areas, not only because it takes the least amount of time but also because it gives you the chance to visit small towns and beautiful landscapes along the way. The car journey between Cradle Mountain and Launceston will take around 2 and a half hours (149km) but this can be as long as 3 hours with heavy traffic. This route will take you past charming towns such as Sheffield and Deloraine, as well as farmland and historic landmarks.
The freeways between these two destinations are in relatively good condition and are monitored and maintained with regular check-ups. The route is easy to navigate with road signs along the way, giving you clear directions as to where to go. Be mindful if you're travelling at night as large animals can cross the road, potentially causing damage to your vehicle. Also, be aware of cold weather conditions when driving this route during the winter months as snow and black ice could hinder your ability to drive between the two destinations.
Travelling from Cradle Mountain to Launceston by bus/coach
While there are no direct public transportation options between Cradle Mountain and Launceston, it doesn't mean self-driving is the only option. There are various companies that offer shuttle services between the two destinations with the most popular one being run by Cradle Mountain Transport. This company, based in Launceston, provides regular and reliable transport between the two regions running 6 days a week (no service on Sundays).
If you're wanting to catch a ride with Cradle Mountain Transport, departures leave from 3 pm, aiming to have you in the Launceston CBD by 6 pm at the latest. This option is more expensive than self-driving with the cost for the Cradle Mountain to Launceston route sitting at AUD$77 per person.
Travelling from Cradle Mountain to Launceston by bus/coach is not only a good option because you don't have to navigate the freeways and roadside directions yourself but also because the friendly and experienced bus/coach drivers have extensive knowledge of the surrounding regions, able to give you background information on historical towns and answer any questions you might have along the way.