Tasmania trip - help and comments please!

Feb 19th, 2008, 02:12 PM
  #1  
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Tasmania trip - help and comments please!

Hi everyone

Bit of background first - I'm planning a trip to Tassie from 2 - 8 March. I'm going with my girlfriend (we're both mid 20's) and my parents (early 50's). I'm English, but have been living in Sydney with my aussie girlfriend for 18 months, and my parets are heading over here for their first visit.

I'll spend their first week showing them Sydney, and we've decided to head over to Tassie for their second week. From here they go to Melbourne for a few nights with cousins of mine, before rejoining us in Sydney for their last 3 nights.

My girlfriend and I were in Tassie last November for 4 days, and spent them in Hobart, and Port Arthur - so that's why they don't feature much in this trip (my parents insist we go somewhere new for us as well!).

We'll be hiring a car, like nice walks and nature, good food and pubs, and just generally tripping around on road trips - as long as they are frequently broken up by interesting sights, villages, farms, etc.

Sorry if that's too much info!

Anyway - provisional plan: (flights already booked, no accom boked yet - would love any suggestions - prefer to spend under $100 a night per couple - hell, under $50 if we could!)

Sun 2 March - fly into Launceston, arrive 10.30. Spend day exploring Launceston.

Mon 3 March - Day trip to Tamar river area, night Launceston.

Tues 4 March - Day trip to Cradle Mountain area, night launceston.

Wed 5 March - drive to Freycinet area, night spent there - not sure where - Coles bay? Binchero? any ideas? Not sure about this day to be honest, what route would you recommend? interesting things to see on the way?

Thurs 6 March - wineglass bay walk, night spent in same place as night before. See Binchero penguins if didn't do that yesterday.

Fri 7 March - drive to Hobart, either via Ross or Richmond (or both?). See Bit of Hobart in afternoon - maybe up to Mount Wellington. Night Hobart.

Sat 8 March - Salamance markets in morning, parents fly out of Hobart for Melbourne at 4.30pm. Girlfriend and I stay for extra night - buy her a lovely dinner - she'll have earned it for a week with the in-laws!

Sun 9 March - Girlfriend and I fly out of Hobart at 6pm - so extra day to ourselves. Might drive around Huon valley? any other ideas?

how does the above sound? and comments? I would have loved to get Strahn in somewhere, and take my parents to the Huon valley - but would have to miss east coast I suppose - unless anyone knows a way to fit it all in?

Thanks for reading and in advance for any ideas - sorry this turned into a long post!
tomthepom is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Hi Tom -

I can't help but think your time would be better spent in Cradle Mountain than in Launceston - loads of great walks and the wildlife is best seen at night.

Of course, the area around Launceston is much more interesting than the town itself - the Tamar Valley has some nice wineries, strawberry farms, lavendar farms, etc. You might be interested in Tamar Island Wetlands which is located between Launceston and Legana on A7. Tamar is the longest estuary in Australia (70 km) and home to a fascinating assortment of birds.

From Launceston you can drive to Bicheno or Cole's Bay via Scottsdale (A3). There's a Forest EcoCentre located in Scottsdale - it's a visitorís center and forest interpretation site.

This route will also take you through the Blue Tier, a gorgegous area that just happens to be my favorite stretch of road in all of Tassie. You might want to stop at Pyengena Holy Cow Cafe and Cheese tasting room and the Pub in the Paddock. You'll see the signs from A3. St Columbia Falls are also on this road (C428). It's a short walk to the falls from the car park.

Back on A3 you can take the coastal route through St Helens and down to Bicheno or Cole's Bay.

It's a nice drive, 70 km longer than the inland route via St Mary's, but worth the extra time IMO.

We enjoyed our stay in Cole's Bay - we stayed at the Pelican Bay B&B - the owner can accommodate two couples. There's a nice tavern in town that makes great meals.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the tips - I'll check out the places you've mentioned!
tomthepom is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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This B&B site for Tasmania might help with finding accommodation under $100:

http://www.tasmanianbedandbreakfast.com/

I agree with Melnq8 about Launceston versus Cradle Mountain. A day might be more than you need to explore Launceston. Is budget determining your decision to stay in Launceston?
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Hi Susan - thanks for the link - will take a look.

Budget has no bearing on our time in Launceston, as althrough we are trying to do a budget trip, we can spend more if we need to.

I was thinking 3 nights there as I'd have the first (arrival) day for actual Launceston, the second for a trip around the Tamar region, and the third for a day trip to Cradle Mountain.

I thought Cradle Mountain would be fine as a day trip from Launceston? Perhaps I'm better to stay overnight in that area? I was partly influenced into making it just a day trip as we're heading to Freycinet the day after. I thought it'd be easier to get there from Launceston, and we could drive via bay of fires or any other places of interest.

Would a drive from Cradle Mountain to Freycinet be too long for a day? and more importantly - would it be interesting?

Thanks for your help!
tomthepom is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I am doing a very similar trip the week after you. We are flying from Sydney to Launceston and spending the night there. The next we will do a little driving tour of Launcey and then up to Tamar Valley with the end of day driving to Cradle Mountain. We will spend 1.5 days there and then drive to Freycinet (it will be a long day but whatever). I'm hoping for 1.5/2 days there and then we will head to Hobart in the morning of our last day to explore there for a few hours before we fly to Sydney.

I've done a lot of research and while I haven't been there yet I think your itinerary looks good. I wish we had more time but it is what it is. Have a great trip!
Abby43 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Hi Tom -

The drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain is 142 km and will take about 2 hours each way.

Have you considered heading right to Cradle Mountain upon your arrival in Launceston, spending a night (or two) there, then heading back to Launceston, spending a night there (or two), then head to Freycinet?

Launceston to Bicheno is 247 km and will take about four hours, longer if you make stops along the way.

That doesn't give you much time for a side trip to Binalong Bay, but I certainly agree that it's worth the detour. We spent three nights in Binalong Bay on our last trip - lovely area with some very nice walks.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Please note that the drive time to Bicheno from Launceston is the long route. The shorter route via the Midlands Highway takes just over two hours.

Here's a distance/time calculator that might be of help:
http://www.rentforless.com.au/distances.htm
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Cradle Mountain is worth a splurge! The walks and the wildlife are amazing. I've never seen that amount of marsupials in one place anywhere else in Australia. I'd spend two nights there and maybe use your first day to view the Tamar area.

We recently drove the other way--from Freycinet to Cradle Mountain--it's quite an easy drive. I think it took 4 -5 hours with a few stops along the way.
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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hi tom and mel or susan please where is binalong bay? i can't find it on the map... is it close to freycinet/port arthur on the east coast?
or: what to do in tassie in mid- april without a car? thanks la vici
lavici is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Binalong Bay is northeast of St Helens, on the east coast, north of Bicheno and Coles Bay.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Thanks so much everyone - I'm persuaded to spend at least a night at Cradle Mountain - just need to work out whether to go straight there (as suggested) or see Launceston first. Back to looking at maps...

Thanks again for the advice and links - very very helpful of you all.
tomthepom is offline  

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