Help planning trip to Tasmania

Old Sep 1st, 2004, 08:26 PM
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Help planning trip to Tasmania

Hello all -

Hubby and I are trying to put together a trip to Tasmania in mid-October. It's a bit short notice for us, as we usually plan months in advance. We've just relocated to the wilds of Indonesia (been here all of five days) so all my research materials are on a ship somewhere and I have limited Internet access.

We have 14-16 days to work with and don't know how to break up the time or exactly what to do. We'll most likely be flying from Singapore to Melbourne and then flying on to Tasmania (Hobart?)

We love the outdoors and like to take our time thoroughly exploring a place before moving on. We enjoy hiking, good food and wine and soaking up the scenery. We know October is off season, but we don't mind cold weather.

We'll probably spend a few days in Melbourne as well, but don't know how much time to devote to Taz.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 08:46 PM
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October will be nice in Tassie. You could start with say Hobart making sure that you are going to be in Hobart on a Saturday if possible for the markets at Salamanca Place which are very enjoyable. Take a nice drive down the Huon Valley and around the river there as its very pretty and tranquil ( well so is all of Tasmania actually). From there you can go over to the other side and go down to Port Arthur and stay at B&Bs all the while if possible. In Hobart my favourite spot is either in Salamanca Place itself in an apartment or on the Pier in an apartment overlooking the water - like out the window! Cannot remember the name of the place tho'.
Plan to stay the night at Port Arthur and go on the Ghost tour.
Return back and detour to Richmond a lovely little convict built village 15 minutes out of Hobart. From there I would drive to Mt Field National Park and perhaps try and stop over that night in New Norfolk at Tynwald Guesthouse and book your dinner there as well - chef is excellant. Spend some time discovering Mt Field area then onto Bushy Park and over to Strahan on the western side of Tasmania. Spend a couple of days there and stay in the cottages that are right near the centre. These are replicas of early settler houses and are really nice. Take the boat trip down the Gorden River and if possible a flight over the World Heritage area there. If you have time and inclination there is a spot where you can camp in a traveller's hut on the Gordon River and be picked up the next day - or whenever! When you leave there make a stop in Queenstown which is probably the most horrible example of what mining can do to the earth but it is an interesting place all the same. Head north from there up to perhaps Stanley where I would stay at - can't think of the name again of the place, but they do meals and you can also get the husband to take you on a penguin tour in the evening. From Stanley head down to Cradle Mountain and expect to spend about 3 days there hiking and getting to know the local wild-life. You could spend more time in and around the N.W but if time does not allow then head to Launceston and surrounds for a couple of days. From there go to Freycinet Peninsular and discover the beauty of the east coast before heading back to Hobart via the inland highway through the midland villages of Ross and Campbelltown.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 08:49 PM
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It is Hanlon House B&B in Stanley!
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 08:52 PM
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Wow! That was fast - thanks LizF.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Thanks Melnq8 for saying that was fast - we Queenslanders are always referred to as slow so your comment is taken with relish :0)
Liz who is another one who is a Queenslander first and an Australian second!
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 10:59 PM
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I'm still struggling with our itinerary for Tasmania in October. Would appreciate further help from LizF and/or anyone!

Here's our preliminary plan -

Days 1-3

Arrive Hobart on a Wednesday morning from Melbourne after an overnight flight from Singapore. Pick up rental car and drive to Port Arthur (2 hours?). Stay in Port Arthur for three nights - first night to recover from our trip, two full days to explore the area and do some hiking.

Days 4-5

Leave Port Arthur in early am of Day 4 - drive to Hobart - spend the day (a Saturday) at Salamanca Place to visit markets that LizF mentioned. Two nights Hobart. Is it possible to explore Huon Valley and possibly Bruni Island using Hobart as a base? Would like to tour Cadbury, but would have to add a day as we'll be there on a weekend.

Days 6-7

Leave Hobart in am of Day 6 - drive to Strahan (unsure of driving distance)via Queenstown, spend one or two nights in Strahan (any hiking here?) If not, only one night.

Days 8-9

Leave Strahan in early am of Day 8 - drive to Stanley (unsure of driving distance)- stay 1-2 nights, depending on hiking opportunities.

Days 10-12

Leave Stanley in early am of Day 10 - drive to Cradle Mountain. Stay three nights Cradle Mountain.

Days 13-15

Leave Cradle Mountain in am of Day 13 -drive to Launceston - stay in area for three nights

Day 16-18

Fly from Launceston to Melbourne stay three nights before catching return flight to Singapore

I've been to NZ several times and have a good feel for travel times and distances, but I'm at a loss with Tasmania. Is it possible to do more in less time? We'd like to see as much as possible, yet still travel at a leisurely pace. We'd like to do some hiking (day hikes only) and visit some wineries, orchards, etc. We much prefer the outdoors to cities.

Any and all help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 11:53 PM
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s'me again.
Do you know I cannot remember how long it takes to P.A but the drive is not that long and there are places to stop and look around on the way there.
Perhaps you could take off one day from Port Arthur and add that to Hobart and surrounds as it is a nice little town. The markets will take you most of the day and you must try and book the Cadbury trip as soon as you get there. You will find the booking office ( Tourism Centre) at the wharf or perhaps you can get on the Government website and book beforehand.
Not that I don't like P.A - I do but 3 nights will be a tad too long I think. If you have the time detour to Richmond on the way back to Hobart and check that little village out.
Huon Valley is a lovely area and should be taken leisurely as there are lovely little bays, villages and places to see en route.
Bruny Island was a great disappointment to me actually and I can't think of a reason to go there. If you have a rental car you will not be able to drive on dirt roads either so be aware of that as there are some on he island.
It takes about 5 hours to Strahan but you will miss a few nice things en route if you just drive thu'. i.e. Mt Field National Park, Bushy Park and the Salmon Ponds and Queenstown as well - it really is worth looking around there. I don't think there are many hikes around Strahan though, it has only about 2,000 people on a harbour that is as big or bigger than Sydney Harbour. There must be some good walks but I think they are further into the Gordon River area.


Stanley should only take about 2 hours or so and don't forget those penguins - unless you have seen them before of course. The ones that I mentioned have their nests in the bushes just behind the B&B that I wrote about.
Crdle Mountain is about 1.5 hours drive and 3 days there is nice but if you like hiking you may want to add an extra day for that here.
There is a cheese factory en route from the Cradle Mountain area to Launceston and it is really worth a visit ( eating that is) followed by a visit to the Rasberry farm for some home cooking with rasberries of course.
There are only about 450,000 people in the whole of Tassie and 125,000 of them are in Hobart so nowhere is there a big city feel. Although everything is close it seems to take longer because there are lots of nice little villages here there and everywhere which need to be checked out. Remember that even if you have to do something else or go somewhere different it only takes about 2.25 hours to drive from Launceston to Hobart. When you get to Tassie you will find more about the state from the Tourist office and can modify your trip from there.
Have a great time. Its a really nice little place.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 03:37 AM
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Thanks again LizF - I feel a bit lost and you've been a great help. Will take a closer look at your suggestions and go from there.

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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 03:47 AM
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BTW LizF - that was really fast (again)!
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Melnq8, Liz has given you excellent advice on Tasmania.
I do a lot of bushwalking, and Tasmania is one place that I enjoy this pastime. What places in particular do you want to walk in, eg. South West Wilderness National Park, the National Parks along the east coast, Cradle Mountain, etc.
If you don't want to venture onto a long walk, then there are shorter ones which are very scenic and enjoyable.
If you let me know, I will list some of my favourites.
There is a short walk in Strahan, around the foreshore, close to town.
Regards Leigh.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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Leigh -

I'm not sure of all the options, that's why I'm finding this difficult.

We definitely want to walk near Cradle Mountain, and we're open to suggestions for other areas.

My itinerary was based upon some of Liz's advice and some suggestions found on the Discover Tasmania web site. I was hoping to see as much as possible without rushing, but perhaps I'd do better to pick a few nice walking areas, and plan around those.

I'm trying to avoid one night stays and alot of B&B/hotel hopping - would prefer to base ourselves in an area and stay for about three nights, taking day trips from there if needed.

I'd love to hear about more walks - we prefer walks in the 3-6 hour range.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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Here is a site with some walks - not that you have to do them with guides but this will give you some idea of what and where there are some nice ones. HTH
http://www.tasadventures.com/tourfind.asp?ttid=w08
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 12:43 AM
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We had a wonderful 7 days in Tas back in Feb, I was lucky to have time to plan well ahead. I started off with a long list of places to visit but eventually reduced it to 2 areas so we had time to explore.

Flew to Launceston, loaded up with groceries, drove straight to Cradle Mountain for 3 days.
Stayed in a cabin in Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village (secluded and quiet) which was only minutes from edge of National Park. Minibuses take you into park as far as Lake. Loads of walks, some over miles of board walks to protect flora. Amazing area.

3 days then in Freycinet area stayed Coles Bay, huge deserted beaches all around.

Last day in Hobart, not much time to look round but recommend Salamanca Market. Stayed at Somerset on the Pier in Hobart which was great

Drive back from Hobart to Launceston was easy, dual carriage way.

Good luck with your planning have a wonderful time


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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 09:03 PM
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Thanks everyone. I think we're making progress...

Considering staying in Hobart, Cole's Bay, Cradle Mountain, Launceston and possibly Stanley.

Still sussing out the details, but you've all been a great help.
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Old Sep 12th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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Melnq8, seeing your going to visit the Tasman Peninsula (Port Arthur region), which is really worth an overnight stay, I would suggest the walk, that goes to Cape Hauy, spectacular sea & cliff scenery.
Regards Leigh.
P.S. At Nubeena on the Tasman Peninsula you will find a restaurant called, "Mussel Boys", which serves great seafood, and of course mussels. Its a BYO restaurant, so take along a nice Bream Creek Riesling, and you will be in heaven.
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Old Sep 12th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Melnq8

If you have access to the New York Times "Sophisticated Traveller" section from today, Septemeber 12, you might enjoy the paean to Tasmania.

AndrewDavid
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 08:08 AM
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You mentioned you were unsure of driving times between places in Tasmania, I found http://www.travelmate.com.au really useful when planning our itinery. Use the Map Maker, on the home page you can get distance and time between two places, or click on the Map Maker link and get a map, detailed directions etc.
Hope this is useful.
If you stay in Coles Bay, East coast, would recommend Madge Malloys for wonderful evening meal. Madge's husband fishes in the morning then cooks at night.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 03:51 PM
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alicat54 - I've since found a similar site for determining driving distances, but will also check out the site you mention. Due to some work issues, looks like we'll have to push the trip back a few weeks. Okay by me, as it gives me more time to plan.

Thanks for all the help!
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