Tassie Top Tips

We visited in the southern hemisphere springtime, during November and experienced a mix of weather similar to a UK summer. Arriving at Hobart Airport we rented a vehicle from Rent for Less Don’t bother taking the excess mileage option as you will struggle to travel more than 200km per day overall. The extra insurance to cover walloping a Wallaby is essential I’d say. Road-kill is evident all over Tasmania and a Wallaby or Wombat can put a big dent in your vehicle and pocket. Distances between locations are not too great and it’s possible to travel from the Bass Straits in the north to Hobart in the south in one day of relaxing travel.

A very good campsite or reasonably cheap self-cater cabin can be found very close to the Airport. Check out Big 4. They have self-catering cabins and a campsite next to the Hobart Airport Hotel. Book in at hotel reception. This spot has free parking and is close to the city. The city has loads of outdoor shops if you want to buy simple cooking pots for camping. Just take a gas stove head in your luggage. We also packed a light tent, thermarest and sleeping bag. There are also plenty of Backpackers Hostels at slightly higher prices than home. The exchange rate was against us this year and we found most items more expensive, although reasonably cheap (UK prices) beer and wine can be found at the bottle stores.

All of the National Parks offer camping between $13 to $28 per tent per night. Some offer cabins and powered sites if you are considering renting a campvan.

I’ve visited New Zealand and consider Tasmania very similar for activities but without the snowy, glaciated mountains. The rock climbing in Tasmania is better and more extensive and the coastal paddling opportunities rival anywhere in the world. The east coast has miles of isolated sandy stretches, whilst the west is rugged, serious and exposed to the might of the ‘Roaring Forties’. We also chartered a yacht over four nights and sailed south-west of Hobart, sheltered from the full might of the southern ocean by Bruney Island. Hobart is also a neat ‘little’ city to visit, with a fine waterfront. Drive up Mt Wellington to get an idea of the wonderful location of the city. If you fancy a good work-out, hire a bike and peddle!

When you need a rest from outdoor fun, I’d recommend visiting Strahan and Port Arthur to catch up on the appalling convict history (transportation) inflicted on this part of Australia by Britain around the early 1800’s. Not only did Britain practice slavery under the name of convict settlement, but we also ended thousands of years of first nation (Aboriginal) tribal communities in very short order. Not happy kicking the locals out, the rest of the world, especially Britain then embarked on mass de-forestation of species unique to Tasmania, such as the Huon Pine. A very slow growing tree (1mm per year), some examples can be traced back to years BC and are estimated at 5000 years of age. Nothing seems to change, as the world population and greed for materials to feed that growth continues. Our flight to Hawaii awaits

Anyone out there needing some help planning a trip; please feel free to call me. More pictures to follow.

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