Three days isn't long to explore an island, but Andrew Drummond makes the most of them.
Tasmania in three days? It can't be done.
Many people look at a map of the island state while planning a holiday and underestimate how much time they'll need.
Roads twist and turn, rise and fall, and can be covered in ice or darting wildlife.
Estimating an average driving speed is nigh impossible. And that's before taking into account all the necessary scenic stop-offs.
But travellers on a tight schedule shouldn't rule out enjoying a taste of Australia's southernmost gem.
Leaving Melbourne on a 7.30pm crossing of Bass Strait, passengers arrive at Devonport in northern Tasmania about 6am the next day.
It's rarely rough and not a tough crossing as the Spirit of Tasmania ferry offers a range of accommodation options, even a pretty decent restaurant and bar.
Once back on terra firma, head northwest along the coast, passing through the quaint centres of Ulverstone, Penguin (so named for its popularity as a home for the flippered, flightless bird), Burnie and Wynyard.
Destination one is Stanley: an appealing fishing village that dates back to the early 1800s and has an intriguing geographical feature named "the Nut".
Jutting into the sea with steep rocky sides and a flat top, the Nut actually has volcanic origins but is now a tourist drawcard.
There's a chairlift to the top or those up for a challenge can embark on the steep walking path before following a network of tracks leading to lookouts that are surrounded by grazing wildlife.
Stanley's main appeal is its hospitality.
A hearty meal of fresh local seafood accompanied by Tasmanian beer or wine can be followed by a seat in front of an open fire with a couple of mouthfuls of island fudge.
Strahan on Tasmania's west coast is the destination for day two. Reaching it requires a spectacular drive through the state's varying landscape.
The road at first winds through rolling hills of dark, rich, potato-growing soil and lush green pastures where dairy cows graze.
But the scenery soon changes to one covered in tall regrowth and native forest.
The road crosses creeks and passes through reserves, and in cooler months it's common to drive through falling snow, which adds a fairy-tale feel.
Another seafaring village, Strahan can be as relaxing as a tranquil cruise along the mirrored Gordon River, or as exhilarating as a rain forest four-wheel driving adventure.
Day three on the road will head south, but not quite reach Hobart.
The destination is New Norfolk and a night of luxury at Woodbridge on the Derwent.
The convict-built 1825 waterfront homestead boasts a ballroom and numerous sitting rooms and has been restored to five-star pleasure. Some guests arrive by seaplane at a private jetty in front of the property.
New Norfolk and the surrounding district boasts a variety of antique shops, cellar door sales, even a boutique brewery.
Just 30 minutes' drive from Hobart, it's also possible to make a dash to the capital city before heading north to again board the Spirit of Tasmania and complete a round trip of the island in just a few days.
Along the way
Stop at the historic north coast port city of Burnie, once home to a major pulp mill and paper production operation responsible for famous brand, Reflex. Visitors can join a paper-making workshop at the contemporary waterfront museum and art gallery.
Down an unsealed trail not far from Strahan, a steep climb up soft sand puts energetic visitors on the crest of a visually impressive collection of dunes. Kilometres away past undulating sand hills, the distant wild ocean sends in surf spray and wind buffets tumble weeds and clumps of grasses and ensures footsteps are quickly erased.
Artist Greg Duncan has created a larger-than-life timber sculpture wall, depicting scenes of life and nature from Tasmania. A work-in-progress, the wall - made of metre-wide and three-metre-tall carved pine panels - will be complete and 100m long by the end of the year.
For more information: Visit discovertasmania.com.au