Tasmania 101

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Jan 12th, 2014, 11:30 AM
  #1
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Tasmania 101

Help! I am meeting my adult daughter in Hobart in mid March after she finishes work down in Antarctica. and need some help in my planning. I am planning on renting a car for the 15/16 days we have to tour Tasmania and am looking for input from my seasoned Fodors Tasmania folks? We will be starting our trip and flying out of Hobart both ways.

Our plan is to start in Hobart where her research vessel docks for at least 3-4 days and then pick several key towns to stay in and do day trips from those towns. My daughter is very interested in the geology of Tasmania and both of us want to do Port Arthur and the "convict trail" history.

I have tried to read the various threads although some are several years old here on Fodors. Which key cities/towns or areas would you stay in if you had two weeks in Tasmania? Would we be better off staying in Port Arthur or just do day trips from Hobart ? Do we need to stay in the Cradle Mountain area? Favorite restaurants, tours or rental car agencies you like?
Thanks for any and all input!
dutyfree is offline  
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Jan 12th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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You could do a circle: Hobart 3-4 days, Freycinet National Park 2 days (stay at Coles Bay or Swansea), Launceston 2 days, Cradle Mountain 2-3 days, Hobart.

In Hobart, Garagistes restaurant is fabulous: http://www.garagistes.com.au/

A daytrip to Museum of Old and New Art from Hobart is interesting, the ferry ride up the river is beautiful, we even saw a seal on a jetty. I'm not a huge fan of the art there, but it's transformed the cultural scene of Tasmania. The wine bar is the best of a bad lot in the food department there.

Freycinet National Park and Wine Glass Bay in particular are very beautiful. You could drive to Port Arthur from either Hobart or Swansea, I wouldn't stay there. Swansea has more of a range of places to eat, I'd highly recommend Banc: http://www.thebancrestaurant.com.au/

From Launceston there are some great day trips. The Gorge is a short distance from the city centre and there's a great bird watching area just north of the city. Don't miss Narawntapu National Park, it's a great place to see wombats, echidnas and other marsupials. We stayed at the Charles Hotel last time and I liked that a lot. The steaks at Black Cow restaurant are amazing.

I would stay at Cradle Mountain itself. We have stayed at the cabins and the mountain lodge. The latter is a bit pricey but it is very close to the entrance of the National Park and lots of wildlife roam around the cabins at dusk. Food is a bit so-so and there aren't a lot of options. The food in the bar of the Lodge is the better option.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 08:59 PM
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We just returned from Australia and spent 5 days in Hobart. We did a private tour at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Louisa's Walk, a day trip to Port Arthur; and the Peppermint Bay tour.

Hobart is a lovely town for strolling, shopping & dining.

We stayed at the Fountainside Hotel which is an excellent value: http://www.fountainside.com.au/
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Jan 13th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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We had a very good meal at Ethos http://ethoseatdrink.com/ in Hobart. I wanted to go to Garagistes but they were closed for their winter break at the time.

I would definitely visit MONA http://www.mona.net.au/

We really enjoyed Bruny Island. We stayed at a rental house near Adventure Bay. It's also possible to do a day trip there. You can take the car ferry but check with your rental car company to make sure they allow it as not all of them allow their cars on the ferry. There's also this cruise http://www.pennicottjourneys.com.au/...sland-cruises/ which I haven't taken but a friend has and recommends it.

At Cradle Mountain, we stayed at a cabin at http://www.cradlehighlander.com.au/

I agree with Susan that Narawntapu is wonderful for wildlife watching.
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