Tasmania--tour or drive solo?

Old Sep 10th, 2002, 10:25 AM
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Tasmania--tour or drive solo?


For all those of you who have travelled to Tasmania, (I'm thinking of going for a week) I am debating over whether it would be best to take a tour or a bunch of individual tours when I get there or to just hire a car and drive around. In the past, I haven't had much luck on tours and have preferred to just drive around a place to explore it but want to keep my options open this time around. Cheers for the advice.
Old Sep 10th, 2002, 02:24 PM
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Hi There,
Tasmania is a very easy state to drive around. I would think as you haven't had luck in the past on tours the hire car would be the way to go.
I have always hired a car as it enables you to come & go at will.
Have a lovely time.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 11:21 AM
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I'd say drive. We rented a car and did a week's round trip from Hobart. Stopped in Port Arthur,Freycinet, Cradle Mtn and Strahan. One thing to keep in mind - the roads are winding and (to us) the speed limits seem high for the terrain. There was a lot of press about accidents on the Hobart to Port Arthur stretch while we were there. We covered a lot of ground but Freycinet and Cradle Mtn were worth at least a few days each. One thing to keep in mind, we had some trouble finding accommos without pre booking. Our Aussie friends had advised us that there was tons of accommos and we wouldn't have trouble but I guess everyone was traveling when we were (March).
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 06:07 PM
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You'll love Tassie! Taking a tour vs. independent travel is always a judgement call. The best rule of thumb is to take into consideration how much time you have to spend in a specific area and what you want to experience once you're there. For example, if it's a "must do" and you're only going to be there for a day or afternoon, then you should definately pre-book.

Linda posted that she had some trouble with finding accommodations, and of course you don't want to spend your time running around and stressing out; so if you're going to be staying at some of the more popular areas (and factoring in the time of the year..off season or high season)it may be prudent to make arrangements ahead of time.


Certified Tassie Specialist
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 11:54 PM
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Gee whiz, Melodie, for a specialist you can sure take up a lot of space without giving anyone any information at all. Absolutely *anyone* could have given that sort of help. Please acknowledge that this is a site that DOES NOT have advertising in any way and I know you are just bursting with more of that same information so that people will hopefully email you and you can reel them in.
xyz: Melodie is a travel agent and has not told you anything at all and I believe from what she has said about Tasmania that she has no idea, other than what she has seen in brochures, what there is to see and do.
Having said that I personally would do either a bunch of tours OR hire a car and do your own thing. I think I left a message on your post with a great site you can check out for the things that you would like to do most and you will be able to find any and all of the tours you want when you get to Tasmania. One tour that you should do is to Port Arthur - either drive yourself or take a bus - it is an all day trip as it takes quite a while to go over the penal site when you are there, you may also wish to take the small plane which leaves from the little harbour of Port Arthur and takes people around the very bottom of Tassie and over the Port. It is relatively cheap and very interesting. If you drive yourself you will be able to take in a few of the sites en route to Port Arthur and perhaps a drive around the area down there too which is very pretty. Another nice day is a drive down the Huon Valley where you can see the caves at the end of the road and the beginning of the wilderness area. Its a lovely drive and there are some nice little towns along the way. Again another nice 2 or 3 day trip is to drive to Richmond - a convict built village not far out of Hobart and from there you can go through the midland villages en route to Frecinet Peninsular and perhaps stay at Coles Bay there overlooking some of the loveliest coastline, you can hike around there for ages without getting bored. Another nice day trip is over to Mt Field National park leaving from the south west of Hobart and taking the road up to Mt Wellington on the way to take in the view of Hobart and surrounds - this is one hell of a view point. You come partly down and then detour behind the mountain and go out to the north west to Mt Field. Saturday is the day for the Salamanca markets which is a must and also staying in or around that area is wonderful as there are plenty of wonderful eating areas on the harbour. Last time I was there a little penguin was laying around the boats and the replica of Captain Cook's boat was in the harbour. Tassie is a wonderful place and anyone and everyone will help you along the way. I have never found trouble in getting accommodation and I stayed at the Woolstore Apartment Hotel last February which is about 1 block from the harbour and is fully equiped. There are some wonderful B&Bs around Battery Point though which you would like I am sure. The tourist bureau is down near the harbour too, so everything is at your finger tip. Perhaps do a canoe trip of the harbour - that is fun!!!
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 01:09 AM
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Personally I'd rather drive around Tasmania by hire car than on a coach trip - you have so much more freedom and choices, and the distances are easy to handle. When you are making arrangements for your hire car, check out if there are any restrictions on the type of road you can drive on. We hired a car in Tasmania last year and were told that the insurance would not cover us if we drove on unmade roads. When we got to Cradle Mountain, we were told that the roads within the park were dirt and therefore our car would not be covered if we had an accident.
Two recommendations - Woolmers (near Launceston) is an old and interesting homestead; and the tour over the Cadburys factory is interesting.
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 05:34 PM
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while my reply may not have been as lengthy as yours, I DO know Tasmania, having just been there in April.

Old Sep 19th, 2002, 07:49 PM
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I was in Tasmania last year and enjoyed driving around...Cradle Mountain and Freycinet. However we were in a group of four and so the distances were fine.I don't know your situation but I might have felt differently if I was on my own...Also in Tasmania it's not really an either/or discussion because you could rent a car and take a kayaking trip.
Old Sep 19th, 2002, 08:00 PM
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Has anyone stayed at Hatherley House, Launceston and Lenna of Hobart? Pls let me know your comments. Thanks.
Old Sep 19th, 2002, 10:57 PM
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I have stayed at the Lena in Hobart and was very, very disappointed. Although it was not the middle of summer the room was very hot because of no ventilation - if you opened the windows and curtains the light from the mega sized light which lights up the hotel at night was good enough to read a newpaper with. The rooms were very ordinary and I really would rate it as a 3 star at best hotel. Since I stayed there I have stayed at the Chancellor Hotel, Woolstore Apartment hotel, A 2 bedroom self contained cottage on a farm in Richmond, the Stables at the Pub in Richmond and Oakford on the Pier. For position the latter is wonderful but if you want somewhere that has real character then there are some really nice little B&Bs and hotels around Battery Point that I have checked out and also the new Apartments at Salamanca Place. I stayed at the Country Club Casino in Launceston which was really nice because it's in such lovely gardens and also the York Mansions are really good in Launceston too.
Old Sep 22nd, 2002, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for your advice Liz. Now I'll go cancel my reservation with Lenna.Which hotel do you recommend in Hobart then out of the few you mentioned? I like hotels/apartments with nice rooms. Facilities and location are not important.Thanks for your help again.
Old Sep 24th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Although I don't really have a reply I have just booked the Hotel Lenna in Taz. Should I change it? Which is the nicest hotel and the best location, good area, not too noisy, walking distances to eveything? Thanks, Barb
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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I stayed at the Lena in Hobart once and never again! It was once a charming place and well located but there are others that are better. What I didn't like about it was that I was in the side of the building where they have their spotlights on all night, it was quite warm and I wanted the windows open ( they have no airconditioning ) but if you did that you could read from the lights shining into the rooms and if you shut the curtains you would stifle.
It is an expensive place which needs a renovation quick smart.
The best location is Oakford on the Pier apartments - fantastic
Next is the old Sheraton which is now the Chancellor I think.
There are some terrific new apartments in Salamanca Place and the Woolstore Apartment hotel is not on the sea front but is one block behind and is very nice and for the price of a crumbling old room at the Lena you can get a one bedroom apartment with all facilities - 2 TVs lounge and dining room, laundry in the bathroom and the normal hotel facilities i.e. bar and restaurants and airconditioning.
If you want old then around Battery Point there are many beautiful B&Bs which offer the charm of what the Lena once offered ( without the flood lighting through the rooms).
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