Tasmania in July

Jan 25th, 2019, 08:51 AM
  #1  
yds
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Tasmania in July

Hi all. We are planning a 3-4 week vacation in Oceania in July 2019, and one of our planned destinations is Tasmania. Wondering what the "right" amount of time to spend there might be? Our interests are varied - urban things (museums, galleries, walking around town), parks, nature hikes, drives. We a couple in our early 50's, active, but not definitely not hard-core outdoors types (ie: not campers).

Our overall trip plans include time in Australia (Brisbane and/or Sydney and environs), and time in New Zealand (North Island most likely). And maybe a bit of time in Fiji, if we can swing some extra days vacation. And in case you are wondering why we are travelling down under in the winter, we live in Toronto and my wife is a teacher. Summer holidays for us, and the only time we can get extended time.
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Jan 25th, 2019, 03:03 PM
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Would you too upset if your holiday was affected by stormy and tempestuous or cold weather? Because this might be the case in Tasmania and on the North Island of New Zealand. In mid-winter, the North Island gets a lot of rain, generally more than the South Island. On the South Island, winter is the season of least rainfall, though terrible rainstorms can still occur, as the weather is unpredictable. On the South Island, in the mountains and sometimes at sea level we'll get snow. But we can also have many clear crisp beautiful sunny (and short) days. You'd no doubt enjoy some clear crisp beautiful sunny days on the North Island and Tasmania as well.
With respect to hiking, even on sunny days, some walking tracks can still be wet and muddy.
Are you committed to July? There are NZ school holidays in July, and I think in Australia as well. Many New Zealand families vacation on South Pacific islands at this time, with Fiji and the Cook Islands probably being favorites.
Have you considered going to the Northern Territory (Darwin, Kakadu National Park) or Tropical North Queensland instead of Tasmania?
If you go to Tasmania, I would try to give it at least 8 days, keeping in mind that in 3 to 4 weeks you'll also be visiting Sydney, Brisbane and maybe Fiji. Your interests are "museums, galleries, walking around town, parks, nature hikes, drives". How about wine-tasting, wildlife watching, historical sites?

Last edited by Diamantina; Jan 25th, 2019 at 04:01 PM.
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Jan 26th, 2019, 02:01 AM
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The 'right' amount of time is very much up to the individual but I'd say if you spend a week in Tasmania it will give you a taste of the state, if you had two weeks then obviously you'd be able to see more. If you just wanted to see in and around Hobart you could go for a few days. When booking flights, you could save time by flying in to one city and out of another (e.g. in to Hobart and out of Launceston). July in Tasmania will be wet and cold (not as cold as Toronto though!), the suggestion of visiting Queensland instead is a good one.

You haven't mentioned transport, are you happy to hire a car or do you prefer public transport? A car would make it much easier to get around. You could hire one in each state unless you wanted to do something like fly in to Sydney, then spend two weeks driving along the coast to Brisbane and leave the car there (and skip Tasmania, leaving two weeks for NZ).

Also I have to say Oceania is a strange term. Is that what Canadians call this part of the world?

Kay
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Jan 26th, 2019, 05:59 AM
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Agree with Diamantina and Kay that you'd probably want at least a full week for TAS. We've been twice and spent 12-14 days each time and could have easily stayed longer.

We've also visited NZ in winter a few times (the South Island). The weather can indeed be mean spirited, but it can also be cold, clear and absolutely stunning. The best bit about traveling in the winter months (for me at least) is the lack of other tourists, which is a treat, especially now that NZ has been discovered by China.

I have trip reports posted here on Fodor's for both TAS trips (although quite dated) and several winter NZ trips if you're interested.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2019, 09:20 AM
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I agree with one week. We've been to Tasmania twice in winter (and once in summer) and enjoyed that time of year as it's very quiet. It's cold for Australia but not compared to Toronto. You may run into snow at higher elevations like Cradle Mountain. We did a northern loop from Devonport once and a southern loop from Hobart but flying in/out of different airports can work well too. Hiring a car is the most efficient way to get around Tasmania.
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Jan 26th, 2019, 09:35 AM
  #6  
yds
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As I write this, it noon, and -10 Celsius outside, with about 10cm of snow and ice on the ground from a storm we had on Monday. Forecast for next two weeks has a highest temp of -5 Celsius. Winter in Tasmania (daytime highs of 10-15 and night time lows of what, 3 Celsius?) or New Zealand (same highs and lows??) doesn't faze us!

We do like to drive, so that might be a good idea for TAS (and of NZ). I had also considered hiring a personal tour-guide in Tasmania. Thought it being the offseason they might have reasonable pricing and availability. Thoughts on that? And, yes, wine-tasting, wildlife and especially historical sites are on our interest list.

Had to laugh at the Oceania question. No, its probably not a common term for Canadians, Down-Under is much more more common! But since we were also considering Fiji as part of the trip, didn't think Down-Under was as applicable (as wasn't sure if native Australians and NewZealanders might find Down-Under as slightly offensive - Crocodile Dundee and all that stuff!).

Wikipedia definition of Oceania: Oceania (UK: /ˌoʊsiˈɑːniə, ˌoʊʃi-, -ˈeɪn-/, US: /ˌoʊʃiˈæniə/) is a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.
yds is offline  
Jan 27th, 2019, 11:40 AM
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Private guiding tends to be expensive in Australia. We've not hired one in Tasmania but have done so elsewhere in Australia just for the day.
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Jan 27th, 2019, 02:08 PM
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Thought it being the offseason they might have reasonable pricing and availability. Thoughts on that?

Availability perhaps, reasonable pricing I sincerely doubt.
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Jan 27th, 2019, 02:59 PM
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I don't think you need a personal guide for Tasmania.
I could understand if you were going to Cambodia, where you couldn't read or speak the language, or safari in Africa, where you'd need a guide to spot the animals and guard you from risks, or if you were exploring an uncharted wilderness, but 7 to 8 days in Tasmania should be easy on your own. The routes you'll be following are well-covered by travelers, such as cities, convict sites, wildlife locales and attractions, wine routes, hiking trails in national parks. There's so much great travel info for free on the net. The Discover Tasmania website is excellent. There's loads of detailed national parks info on the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, too. For wine trails, there's Wine Tasmania. For convict sites, have a start with Heritage Tasmania.. You just need to narrow down your choice of places and folks on this board will happily offer advice on how to fit it in and in what order you should go. When you get to Tasmania, you'll be greeted by a sea of tourism brochures. There's also the friendliness and helpfulness of the Australians, who are among the most welcoming people on earth.

Why did you feel you are "most likely" to visit NZ's North Island? What is the major attraction for you? The South Island is beautiful in winter. Though weather can sometimes cause delays.

Have you already purchased your international flights? If not, I would try to avoid the July school holidays.

Last edited by Diamantina; Jan 27th, 2019 at 03:23 PM.
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Jan 27th, 2019, 07:21 PM
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I think that most Australian families planning a holiday in July will head north to the warm weather, not south to Tasmania - and those heading to NZ will be most likely going for the skiing. But yes, it may be busier than non-school holiday period. But nothing to worry about I would have thought (except maybe FNQ).
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Jan 27th, 2019, 09:11 PM
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The personal tour guide thing seems to be something North Americans like to do, most Australians wouldn't even think of it. It's just not on our radar except maybe for a day somewhere if you can't easily get around on your own. I'm not saying there aren't guides around, there probably are, but you can easily plan the trip without that extra expense. Maybe Australians are just tight and don't want to spend the money

Thanks for the Oceania explanation, I guess I should have figured that out. It's just not a common expression, neither is down-under (you won't hear anyone here use the term but it's certainly not offensive.)

Kay
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Jan 28th, 2019, 04:42 AM
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When we lived in Australia, we'd refer to North America as 'Up Over'.
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Jan 28th, 2019, 01:18 PM
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As I mentioned in my first post, "There are NZ school holidays in July, and I think in Australia as well. Many New Zealand families vacation on South Pacific islands at this time, with Fiji and the Cook Islands probably being favorites." NZ school holidays: July 6 through July 21.
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Jan 29th, 2019, 10:11 PM
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Haha yds- I can see why the winters in Australia & New Zealand would be positively balmy for you! My godson is from Toronto and after 20+ years here still barely needs a coat in winter.

As you’re stuck with July, I think you could still have a good holiday - you’ll be used to cold & probably unphased by drizzle - just so what you can where & when you can. In Tasmania, Hobart will tick your art & restaurants boxes - although just about the whole State is a food trail. Flying into Hobart & out of Launceston ( or vice versa) would help your timing, but a week would allow you to circumnavigate it, weather permitting.

As others have said, we’re not so much into the personal guide thing here ( nor are the Kiwis) - both countries are very easy to self-drive. However, if you really don’t want to do it - have a look for Tripplanner’s reports. They’re a group of 4 who are in Australia fairly often, don’t drive and use personal tours quite frequently. I can’t now remember whether they post here and on TripAdvisor or just one or the other. I’ll have a look for you later & post any useful links I find.

You’re right - we are in Oceania. Personally, I far prefer that to the fatuous “ Down Under” that some use & seem to think is cute/whatever.

Youll need visas for Australia. Apply here https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...sa/visa-finder
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Feb 16th, 2019, 08:19 PM
  #15  
yds
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Thanks for your inputs everybody. We've booked our holidays last week, and had to make some compromises for the places we wanted to see. Ultimately, we will be in Tasmania for 4 full days - arriving afternoon on July 12th (Fri) and departing night of July 16th (Tues). So far, our plans for Tasmania include MONA, Salamanca market on Saturday, and a day trip to Port Arthur and Bonorong wildlife sanctuary. Also thinking of doing a drive from Hobart to Launceston along east coast, and staying a night in Launceston.

Before Tasmania we're in Sydney for 4 days, then after Tasmania Melbourne for 4 days and over to New Zealand for 11 days. Ending trip with a short couple days in Rarotonga before heading back to Toronto.

July is really our only available travel time - my wife is a teacher and July/August are her holidays - so we'll have to have some overlap with winter breakers. But it's got to be quieter than tourism during your summer (now), no?
yds is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 01:30 PM
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With so few days I'd just stay in Hobart and make day trips. Going up to Launceston just for a night isn't a good use of time IMO.

There's plenty to keep you busy within an easy drive of Hobart.

Yes, definitely quieter than in the summer. TAS in July is not high on the list of most Australians, even over school hols.

Nor should it be an issue in NZ, unless of course you're hanging around ski areas, such as Wanaka and Queenstown.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 17th, 2019 at 01:36 PM.
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Feb 17th, 2019, 04:27 PM
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I agree with Melnq8, if going to Tasmania for just four days, stay in Hobart and make day trips.
Previously, you said your NZ plans will focus on the North Island. Where do you plan on going?
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Feb 18th, 2019, 04:45 AM
  #18  
yds
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Thanks Diamantina. Our NZ plans have changed a bit. We're going to be flying into Queenstown from Melbourne, and then spending the 11 days driving between there and Auckland. Still working on the plans of what to see on that road trip. As noted above, we enjoy road trips, and I like to drive - especially on the "wrong" side of the road.
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Feb 19th, 2019, 12:56 AM
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I'm glad you'll be coming to the South island. The winters are beautiful. There's the occasional rain or snow storm, but more often than not, clear and sunny days. It's also the best time for stargazing, not just because the nights are longer but because the galactic core of the Milky Way can be seen directly above us.
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