Tasmania - DIY!

cody

New Member
it really depends what your interests are.
If you are there to see the city, and maybe explore 1 surrounding area, then it'd be sufficient.

Eg Melb - you will need at least 1 full day for Great Ocean Road, half day for the fairy penguins, 1 day shopping.

Sydney - 1 or 2 days in the city, 1 day at either Bondi or Manly beach and maybe 1 day to either a vineyard or Port Stephens.

4 days in tas is n'tsufficient for you to see much in my opinion. I would suggest seeing Hobart, Mt Wellington, Freycinet and Cradle Mountain.

Flying betw Melb and Tas is a much better option. Flight time is only 1.5hours whereas the Spirit of Tasmania is an overnight ferry. Takes a whole good 8hours to reach. PLus the Bass Straits are quite choppy, so some people will get sea sick.

By the way, the ferry is quite expensive. I recall buying domestic air tickets to fly to Tas was cheaper!

If you are going in summer, there's also a catermerang called Black Cat. It's supposed to be faster, but again it crosses the Bass Straits ie choppy seas.
 


meagan

New Member
hi Cody, thanks for the info! Yep the ferry tickets are ex. The cheapest is $100 for passenger fare but thought travelling by air will be more ex. I will check it out.
 

cody

New Member
i bought return air tickets Melb-Hobart for only about $100+ per person. I find the prices reasonalbe considering the amt of time you save flying vs by ferry.
 

kia

New Member
hi cody,
is it easy to go from airport to the city in hobart? is it better to collect return the rented car from the airport? will i be able to cut cost if i rent the car from the city which will save me the airport tax of abt 32 AUD?
 

cody

New Member
hi kia

sorry i can't advise you on that because i collected and returned the rented car at the airport.

Is there a tax payable on cars rented at the airport? That sounds new to me, coz i didn't have such a charge when i got my car from the Budget car rental company.
 

milo66

New Member
hi jus check on the web that for 7 days tas is abt 2.5k per pax. how much can we save if we travel diy? thks
 

cody

New Member
Milo66: going free & easy is not always cheaper than package tours becoz you dun get the same bulk discounts some hotel chains offer to them. Unless you are really not fussy abt the car you rent, the places your stay and the food you eat.

Icemilo: Melbourne and Tasmania are separated by the Bass Straits. To bring your car across the straits would mean taking the ferry. The journey on the ferry takes 2d/1n and the ride is very choppy. If your are RENTING a car from Melbourne, chances are that they won't allow you to drive it across to Tasmania. Instead, they will tell you to rent a car upon arrival in Tasmania instead.

FYI The ferry ride is not cheap either. Considering the price and the time required to reach tasmania, you are better off taking a domestic flight from Melbourne to Tasmania.
 

milo66

New Member
hi cody..

thks..i would love to travel diy but hubby got his reservation..he is a total road idiot...

anyway when u visit the farms and chocolate factory, do u need to book in advance or u jus turn up at their doorstep and visit them? thks
 

cody

New Member
my pleasure.
not sure abt the choc factory coz i didn't go, but fruit farms are open all day, no need to make bookings.

Farms along the Huon trail dun allow visitors on their farms itself, only at the factory and gift shop.

However the Cascade brewery requires min 2 weeks advance booking. I suddenly recall its the same for the Cadbury choc factory. Must wear long pants and proper shoes also.

Happy planning!
 

missy

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I thought of going to Tas during the last week of dec. will it be cold? if I have like only a week, where should i go? those must go places i read from this thread is mt wellington, hobart.

also anyone tried horse riding? is it ex?
 

cody

New Member
the last week of dec is Tasmania's peak holiday period. So you MUST book all your accommodation and tours in advance.

It won't be cold becoz its summer in Dec; having said that, pls bring along a sweater coz tas is such that you can experience temperature changes v rapidly within a day.

Try to time your visit over the weekend so that you can go to Salamanca market as well. Most 1-week trips would typically cover places like Hobart (city, which include salamanca market and mt wellington), Huon Valley, Richmond and Port Arthur. The lavender will also be in full bloom in Dec, but its up north of Tasmania. You may not be able to view it if you are already going to the above-listed places.

Alternatively, you can spend your 1 week exploring the north of Tasmania. ie Launceston, lavender farms and Cradle Mountain, maybe even Strahan.

Horse-riding, depends on where you go to do it. I went horse-riding at Cradle Mountain, the rides were managed by the resort at A$50 per hour. Not sure if it'll be cheaper elsewhere.
 

meagan

New Member
Hi Cody, thanks for your write-up that you have emailed me earlier. It's very useful. I am planning my itinerary now, going in early Dec. Would you advise booking the accommodation now? I know accommodation at Cradle mountain is quite scarce, so I will be booking a cabin there but I was thinking for Hobart, launceston, I can book there a day in advance depending on the itinerary. What do you think?

On the east coast, if I want to go Freycinet Bay, do you think it's better to book accommodation at Swansea, bicheno or Coles bay?

Thanks!
 

missy

New Member
Thanks Cody for your reply!
happy.gif
 

cody

New Member
meagan: dec is peak period when alot of aussies also flock to tas for holiday, so try to book your accommodation in advance for the more popular places.

If you are NOT FUSSY ie can sleep anywhere as along as the room is clean, then its fine to book just 1-2 days ahead of your itinerary.

once i slept in a motel room located above a bar. The rooms were operated by the bar itself, and it caters mainly to drunkards. It wasn't very pleasant, but the room was clean & area relatively safe.

Regarding your accommodation at Freycinent bay, take the accommodation nearest to Freycinet (its more conveniennt coz the town centre is nearby). PLaces like swansea have little town centres also, but its abit far off and only familiar with the locals.

Freycinet itself has a 5-star lodge, v beautiful something like cradle mountain lodge. but its expensive! book in advance if you're willing to splurge.

happy planning! remember to drop by barilla bay oysters farm (near hobart airport) even if you're not an oyster fan!
 

meagan

New Member
Thanks, Cody! Ok I will try to book the accommodation once my itinerary is more or less confirmed. Yep Barilla Bay is on my list of must-go places.

There is this Cosy Cabins company that provides quite affordably priced cabins throughout Tas. Have you stayed with them before? I am not a fussy type so I rather spend more on sight-seeing and food rather than accommodation. Yes I have seen pics of the Cradle Mountain Lodge and Freycinet Lodge. Beautiful but really ex!

Did you drive when you are in Tassie? How's driving conditions like? I am thinking of renting a 1.6L vehicle but my hubby is more inclined towards 2L. Will 1.6L be sufficient for driving in Tas?

Thanks!
 

mspiggy

New Member
Hello everyone,
I will be going Tas in Nov. From what I read, it seems still quite cold.

I will only have abt 5 days in Tas, you think it's enough? which are the 'must see' places for 5 days? anyone can help?
 

cody

New Member
meagan: cosy cabins is really no-frills. you bring your own bedsheet, towels etc and its a communal toilet. Too troublesome to be lugging bedsheets around in my opinion, so i didn't try staying in any of those.

Besides cosy cabins usu cater for families of 6 and above. If you have only 2 pax, you pay the same price as a family of 6. No point ... plus their locations aren't quite fantastic.

Yeah, freycinet lodge and cradle mountain lodge are really beautiful! choose betw the 2 and stay at least one night. Check out the tourist counters at either launceston or hobart for offers!

Yes, we drove around in tasmania. We had only a 1.6l nissan and it was good enough for the 2 of us. Luggage space was sufficient too (coz there's nothing to shop!). A 2litre won't make v much difference i feel, coz the distance from one place to another within tasmania is quite short and you will be stopping frequently to look at the sights etc.

Driving conditions are v good in aus, just follow the road signs esp the speed limits. Only certain places eg freycinet and cradle mountain are restricted to 4WD only. Other than that, your normal 2WD will suffice.

I won't recommend getting a 4WD either coz the incline of the slopes, the potholes etc of those rough terrain are really quite TOUGH. Many local aussies were seen struggling with their 4WD too!


Mspiggy: Its not cold in Nov, its summer after all! But tasmania is a unique place where the weather changes v quickly. So dress in layers.

Read the postings above on where to go; many have also asked for recommendations on 5 days itineraries.
 

kysha

Member
hi cody,

u mentioned booking in advance for the choc tour. any idea if booking can be done online?

how about the ghost tour at port arthur? advance booking required too?

i'm not going during the holiday peak periods.
 

mspiggy

New Member
Hi Cody,
thks for all the writeup
happy.gif

saw the Franklin Lodge that you mentioned earlier.... it's beautiful!!! how much did you pay per night? can you still recall?
 

cody

New Member
kysha: dun think they have an online booking system. You may need to call them, and secure your booking with a credit card.

mspiggy: paid A$120+ i think; quite pricey in my opinion but truly very beautiful!!!!!
 

cody

New Member
kysha: tas holiday peak season is end-Nov to mid-Feb. As long as you're travelling outside of this period, i think it should be ok to make your bookings only when you arrive in Tas.
 

mspiggy

New Member
Hi Cody,
yap A$120 per night is on the high side compared to the rest of the stays. but from the photos, it's definitely worthwhile. will seriously considering there
happy.gif
 

kysha

Member
hi cody

thanks for advice.....ya think i will book when i arrive in Tas.

btw, i've got mixed comments abt the capacity of vehicle to rent. some advised to go for 2.4 litre and above bcos they say there aren't many petrol stations around. i will be travelling from launceston and making a stop at swansea and then continue to hobart. i'm getting a 1.8 litre car as provided in package. is this sufficient?
 

cody

New Member
1.8 should be more than enough. I had a 1.6 and no trouble looking for petrol stations!

actually the larger the capacity of the car, the more fuel it consumes coz the car is usu bigger & heavier. So its not nec true that you need a larger car for a larger fuel tank.

which car to get is really up to you, just re-fuel each time you're about quarter or half-tank and you're safe!
 

meagan

New Member
Hi Cody, I think cosy cabins have standalone cottages with adjoining bathroom, living and kitchen. There are 4 of us so I thought booking one of those will be just nice. But bringing your own bedsheets sounds really inconvenient. Thanks for the info, I will check with them again.

Hey gals, a tip to consider when you are planning. Go find a big map of Tas and mark in all the popular must-go places. From there, you will be able to work out an itinerary more easily.

mspiggy, i am going to Tas for 6 days. We are starting from Launceston to Cradle Mountain, then through Launceston again to go to the East Coast, down to Freycinet Park, then ending on Hobart on a Saturday. Can go to www.discovertasmania.com.au for more details.
 

meagan

New Member
Hi, need some advice here. I was telling my friends that we are spending about 6 days each in Melbourne and Tassie, but we are told that Tassie is a boring place and it will be better to spend to shorten my stay in Tas and spend more time in the city. I think Tassie is more of a scenic place for relaxation. It will definitely be less 'happening' than the cities, but not sure if it is considered boring. Any comments?
 

cody

New Member
one man's meat is another man's poison.
your friend's definition of boring may not be the same as yours.

but having said that, tasmania IS more of a scenic & relaxing place. don't expect to find the most happening club there, nor the latest fashion trends in tasmania.

maybe your friend is more inclined towards city life than the natural flora & fauna that tasmania offers?

ultimately its your call, its your decision.
You won't really know whether tasmania is boring till you've experienced it for yourself right?
 

meagan

New Member
hi cody, yes you are right, everyone will have their own preferences. It's my first time there so I think I will go ahead with the itinerary that I initially planned. BTW, would you have any recommendations for accommodation at Hobart city near Salamanca?

Thanks again!
 

cody

New Member
can't remember where i stayed in at hobart. it was walking distance to salamanca market, but it was expensive coz it was one of those heritage B&B. Paid A$140 for just a simple room.

Suggest you stay at Sandy Bay instead; its just a quick 5-10mins drive to salamanca market!
Prices of accommodation there are also 10-20% cheaper than hobart.
 

kia

New Member
hi meagan,
when r u going to Tas mania? i am going from 15 to 29 Nov. I will fly in to melbourne for a few days and then domestic flight to hobart. i intend to make a round and then leave from Hobart also. I have not done any detail planning yet. Do u mind sharing your iternary? Pls email me at [email protected] thanks!
 

milo66

New Member
hi cody,

sorry me getting a little confuse here. i be going tas during feb. as of now, i had in mind on the places i would like to visit but the route wise not sure yet. i have a few questions:

1. how do u start with the planning since i am not sure how does the places i wanna go link to one another?

2. regarding accomdotion, do u bk them as and when u stop or its like u bk this place then after travelling, u go back there?

3. if u bk hotel as and when u stop, will u travel further and make it imposibble to go back to the airport?

sorry if my question sound a little silly, first time planning so not too sure. thks
 

cody

New Member
milo:

1) get a map! that's why i say my write-up is more suitable for people who have already done some reserach on their own, else they will have no idea what i am talking about, or which area i am referring to.

2) up to you, depends on your preference. obviuosly if you have already pre-booked accommodation in advance, you'd prob want to explore the surrounding areas and return to the place to sleep so as not to waste your deposit.

3) i dun quite comprehend your question. but surely whichever area you explore, you'd remember that you have a flight home to catch right? one way or another, you'd have to find your way back to the airport!

4) budget car rental: again, i dun quite comprehend your question. what do you mean "select booking outside aus"? i went to www.budget.com.au
 

milo66

New Member
cody:

sorry my questions confused u. i look through the discover tasmania web and had a better idea of it. Thks.

regarding the budget car rental, i went to the website, they have a options titled "booking outside aust" guess it means for resident not staying in tas. so you just went to the aust website and bk right?

Thks
 

cody

New Member
milo:
i went to the budget website and went thru the steps to book a car online.

i didn't see any options "booking outside aust", and i didn't encounter any problems with the quotation / confirmation right up to the stage where i was prompted to key in my credit card details.

the way i see it, "booking outside aus" is meant for ALL australian residents who are trying to book a car OUTSIDE OF AUSTRALIA.
i dun think its restricted to just residents not staying in Tasmania like you have mentioned.

hope this helps.

FYI i used the booking screen on the homepage on www.budget.com.au (located on the top right corner of the webpage).
 

milo66

New Member
hi cody, is the drive up to the cradle mountain lodge very difficult? from there u explore the places on foot?
 

cody

New Member
not difficult at all.
once you reach the lodge, alot of the places are nature walks.
as for the other activities, eg trek around Dove Lake etc, the hotel tour desk will provide transportation (coz the terrain is quite rough, requires some skill and a good 4WD).
 

kia

New Member
hi cody,
it seems that when i use the www.avis.com.au to book a car, there s this info known as "country of residence". WHen i left it at default which is australia, it gives me a cheaper rate than when i change it to SINGAPORE. But i dont find this field in the budget.com.au. Is there a trick here?? why is this so?

thanks!
 

cody

New Member
sorry no comments coz i used Budget instead of Avis.
Can't answer your question as to why its cheaper for aus residents either, perhaps you can send them an email for clarification?
 

idono

New Member
Well, look at it this way. Only necessary if you get into accident. The cost of accident can be quite high. So if you dun take up the coverage, just dun get into an accident.
 

cody

New Member
yeah, i booked directly thru the budget.com.au website. as for the insurance, i bought only the basic insurance coverage coz my travel insurance also had a $500 excess for car rentals.
 

odiey

New Member
Hi cody
Can share your write up on Tas wif me? Am planning a 10 day trip in mid Feb but not sure how to start. only know that we wld like to visit both Launceston and Hobart. Read fr above tat u seemed to know the place quite well =) Is 10 days sufficient to cover most of the attractions?

Tks in advance!
 

cody

New Member
odiey, its better you start off reading guide books first, coz my write-up zooms in on the areas of interest that may / may not be along the route you intend to take. reading my write-up without any prior knowledge / map of tasmania may prove to be more daunting than helpful...

yeah, 10 days is sufficient to cover the area quite substantially. I was also there for 10 days, and i covered the eastern coast of the island as well as hobart, launceston and cradle mountain. I missed out the islands and the west coast (not THAT much to see compared to the east).
 


nibnew

New Member
hi cody,

currently planning a trip now to tas. am not sure regarding the booking of flight. hope u can help. as i need to bk one from spore to melbourne then to hobart, how to estimate the arrival time in melbourne so that i dun have to stay the night there jus to catch the domestic flight to hobart?
 

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