A guide to the most scenic mountain road in Tasmania; the 99 Bends road on the Lyell Highway from Queenstown. Find out how to get here, what to expect and check out some epic sunset photos from my recent visit.
It’s no secret that Tasmania has some of Australia’s most scenic roads, from epic mountain passes to unmatched coastal routes. However, there is one particular spot on the West Coast that might just take the cake as Tassie’s most picturesque driving road. Locals call it the 99 Bends, a curvy, winding road of perfect tarmac that snakes its way over the mountains above Queenstown.
In this guide, I’ll outline everything you need to know before heading out to drive the 99 Bends road in Tasmania. I’ll fill you in on how to get here, what to expect and I’ll throw in some great photos from my recent drive in our big van.
Video From the Most Scenic Road in Tasmania
Below is a quick cinematic clip from my sunset drive on this incredible scenic drive in Tasmania's West. I've only just started making videos like this, so let me know what you think and if you'd like to see more.
Where is the 99 Bends Road in Tasmania?
The 99 Bends refers to a section of the Lyell Highway just outside of Queenstown on the West Coast. You will find the stretch of road you're looking for between Queenstown and Gormanstan.
I've pinned the exact location of the 99 Bends road below to help you find it. This is a GPS coordinate to a large pull-over area where at least 4 cars can park, just before the epic winding road up the mountain.
- GPS Coordinates: 42°04’14.5″S 145°33’55.7″E
Car Rentals in Tasmania
Unfortunately, the cost of bringing your own car on the Spirit of Tasmania has skyrocketed in recent years.
Now, it is usually cheaper to rent a car on arrival. I recommend using RentalCars.com in Tasmania to compare rates for different vehicles across dealerships.
(Rentals are limited in Tasmania so it's a good idea to book in advance).
About the 99 Bends Road
No, this road doesn't exactly have 99 bends. However, it certainly feels like it does when you're driving it.
The road is very well maintained and the tarmac is silky-smooth. This section of Tasmania is also quite remote and you'll often have the road here to yourself. Some people like to come out here to test the limit of their cars but remember to do so safely and legally. The road is also quite steep in some sections and logging/mining trucks occasionally use this road, so also remember to keep that in mind.
The 99 Bends road is also a popular spot in the Targa Tasmania Rally.
We travelled around Tasmania in our big long-wheelbase converted campervan, so the going wasn't exactly fast. However, it was still an incredible experience and we were stoked with the images we were able to capture with our drone.
The Ultimate Tasmania Travel Resource
Looking for more Tasmania travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.
Also Nearby: Nelson Falls
Acid Rain & The Strange Landscape
When you're driving the 99 Bends road, you'll notice the strange, almost lunar landscape of the area surrounding Queenstown. This is due to acid rain from the sheer amount of sulfur pollution from the Queenstown mine.
This has killed all of the trees in the area but they are growing back slowly. While this is a beautiful road, it's an eerie reminder of just how much damage the mining industry causes in Tasmania.
RELATED POST: 7 Awesome Things to do at Strahan & the West Coast
More Photos From the Amazing Road
Below are some more photos that I hope will inspire you to take this epic scenic route! Make sure also to check out the Iron Blow Lookout just a little up the road.
Where to Stay In Tasmania's West
The most popular place to stay in Western Tasmania is in Strahan. There's just so much to see and do in this region and it's definitely worth at least a couple of days. Activities like the Gordon River Cruise and the rack and pinion railway are must-dos when travelling in Tasmania.
Below are a couple of my recommended places to stay in nearby Strahan, as well as one in Queenstown.
Wheelhouse Apartments - Strahan
Unique apartments located in Strahan, each with river or lake views. These apartments are some of the best-rated online for Western Tasmania!
The Boat House - Strahan
Another Strahan favourite, this affordable holiday accommodation option features river views and includes a kitchen and living area.
Penghana B&B - Queenstown
If you're after the best place to stay in Queenstown, check out this 1898 National Trust Mansion B&B which is just 2 minutes drive from the Wilderness Railway & the Heritage Tours.
More Tasmanian Travel Guides and Adventure Inspiration
I hope that this quick guide has inspired you to take one of Tasmania's most epic mountain roads; the 99 Bends in Queenstown. For more travel guides and inspiration for your trip, make sure to check out some more articles below.
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
There are other great places to stay other than those you mentioned. perhaps they haven't paid you to mention them.
Tuesday 15th of November 2022
I've mentioned the top three based on my experience and reviews on top booking sites. None of these businesses have paid me. Instead of leaving a salty comment, how about you provide some value by mentioning one?