Tassie Plan: Comments Invited

Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Tassie Plan: Comments Invited

My wife and I are going to be visiting Tassie next year, have a clean slate, and can do pretty much as we wish. In my previous posts I've indicated we are in our early 70s and I am mobility impaired, i.e., I walk with a cane and cannot go long distances. Consequently, we prefer to visit places by car and aren't keen on locations which require a lot of walking.

We've got a good friend in Oz who has been kind enough to put together a suggested plan for the part of our trip which we'll be doing in Tassie. That plan is:

"TASMANIA - You can fly to Hobart, Launceston, Devonport from Melbourne this would give you the cheaper air fare.
Basically the itinerary would be as follows:

Day 1. Arrive Hobart, pick up car, and then drive down thru Huonville, Kettering and back into Hobart for overnight accommodation at say Somerset on the Pier or similar.

Day 2. The morning to look around Hobart and Mt Wellington, before heading for Port Arthur. Overnight Port Arthur.

Day 3. After touring the Port Arthur site, you can then view the Tessellated Pavements and blowhole on your way up to Swansea and Bicheno for overnight accommodation, you may be able to go into Freycinet and see Wineglass Bay from a viewing point. Suggest your own B & B Cottage for the night.

Day 4. Bicheno to Launceston follow the road thru to St. Helens, then Scottsdale to Launceston stay at York Mansions for the night visit Cataract Gorge, Penny Royal Mill.

Day 5. View various aspects around the Launceston area you may be able to fly from Launceston to Melbourne or by chance no flight you can drive down the Midland Highway, visiting old towns of Campbell and Ross known convict historical towns, to Hobart then fly back to Melbourne."

As there are several of you who have been extremely helpful in providing useful and thoughtful comments, I'm inviting you to provide us with feedback on the above.

Many thanks,
BigBlue
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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No need to spend a night in Port Arthur as you can do this as a day trip from Hobart. If you get an early start you can drive to Port Arthur, spend several hours there (this involves quite a bit of walking as the site is HUGE) then stop at the other sites on your return to Hobart. This way you won't have to move hotels quite as often.

Suggest you visit the Sorrell Fruit Farm on the way back to Hobart and pick some fresh berries (if in season).

With only five days, you might want to consider flying in and out of Hobart and skipping Launceston. There's plenty to keep you busy in the Hobart/ Huonville/Tasman Penninsula/Bicheno areas.
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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I agree with the previous poster in saying that you are moving around in accommodation too much. A nice trip is to take the boat from Hobart to Port Arthur and then you come back by bus. Included in the price is entry to Port Arthur. Although there is a lot to see there which is spread out a bit they have a little shuttle train which will take you to the various places of interest and you can just get out there and walk around the site, much better for the legs etc.
You could stay in somewhere like Richmond for instance which is close to Hobart and from there do the Huonville day trip making sure that you do the whole loop and also go to Geeveston and check out the Artisan and wood working shop which is really iteresting. The following morning you can leave Richmond for Port Arthur and return to Richmond that night. You could also stay in Hobart and do those trips too as nothing is really too far away. You can still visit places like the falls at Mt Field as the walk to the falls is short. Then of course there are the convict villages in the central midlands. Consider this: Launceston is only about 2hr 15 minutes drive from Hobart so you are much better staying in Hobart for a lot of the time really or one of the other spots. The cost of the flights are usually dearer to Devonport and Launceston than Hobart BUT you have to consider the time the flights go as some of them leave at dreadful times of the day. You could also arrive at one and leave from another
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Precisely the kind of extremely useful input we're seeking.

Ta very much,
BigBlue
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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Dear lizF,
What are the names of the convict villages in the central midlands?
Sorry to side-track - but I would appreciate the information.

Thank you,
Margaret.
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 09:11 PM
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Not Liz, but I believe Ross is a convict village - home to the Female Factory.
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Old Nov 9th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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There is Richmond, Ross, Campbell Town, Kempton, Pontville & Bothwell ( is a bit out of the way). Evensdale and Lonsdale are closer to Launceston but both are very nice with old colonial and convict buildings. There is also an up-market old estate called Woolmers Estate where you can stay and which is Heritage Listed. I believe it is lovely but I have not stayed there. However, Betsy, who has just got back to the USA from Australia was going there when I saw here and I hope she will do a trip report on it.
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Old Nov 10th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Hi Liz! Yes we returned yesterday and are slowly regaining consciousness. We loved Woolmers, which we found on this board in a report by oliverandharry (link below). We also stayed in Cherry Tree, which had the most comfortable bed of the entire trip. Note, there are some cottages without a washer and dryer that are a little cheaper.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34825064

Trip report is in progress and will be posted here eventually. We're busily packing for a trip to the east coast for Thanksgiving.
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Old Nov 10th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Hi Liz! Yes we returned yesterday and are slowly regaining consciousness. We loved Woolmers, which we found on this board in a report by oliverandharry (link below). We also stayed in Cherry Tree, which had the most comfortable bed of the entire trip. Note, there are some cottages without a washer and dryer that are a little cheaper.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34825064

Trip report is in progress and will be posted here eventually. We're busily packing for a trip to the east coast for Thanksgiving.
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Old Nov 10th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Oops! So sorry to interfere with the formatting. Had difficulty posting.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 02:31 AM
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why don't you email me at [email protected] where I can help you plan the visit. You've had some good advise so far, especially from LizF who knows her stuff - but with your particular needs it might help to create your itinerary with someone who lives here.

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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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If you are driving the Midlands Heritage Highway, also consider Oatlands, which, while not convict built (I don't think) has the largest number of pre-1827 Gergian buildings in Australia. We stayed a night there before moving on to Hobart.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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I was pleased to see you are planning a 5 day trip to Tassie. I live here in the Huon Valley - 30 minutes south of Hobart. We are constantly urging people to consider this area are more than 'just' a day trip - it has so much more to offer in the way of attractions, fabulous waterways, super wine and food and a green and clean part of the world. (ref Betsy's report sent under cover of her e-mail of 11/10)..in fact she has some nice things to say about my property Matilda's of Ranelagh. Why stay in the "big smoke" when you can enjoy when you can enjoy a truly Tasmanian country experience in the warmth and luxury in one of Tassie's historic homes...and yes, I do have a room set up for disabled a assist. Grab rails in the shower, non-slip floor, etc. I too am of the "dicky knee brigade", so know how you feel. If I had only 5 days to spend in Tassie, I would fly in and out of Hobart and concentrate on "doing the south" of the state. Visit Hobart, the capital, Richmond (25 mintues from Habrt), the suggestion to do the Sorrellfruit farm (on the way to Port Arthur) is a good one, visit Port Arthur (about 1 hour from Hobart), and also go to the Derwent Valley - New Norfolk, and all that has to offer, and of course, visit the Huon/Channel/Bruny region. If time permits, take a run up the Heritage High (it runs between Hobart and Launceston) - a 2.5 hour trip, and take in the historic towns, of Oatlands, Ross, Cambelltown and Perth.
that should take up 5 days quite nicely. Good Luck Big Blue - I hope you enjoy your Tasmanian Holiday.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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Calkin, where is Betsy's trip report because I have been waiting for it and have not found it anyway.
BigBlue I do agree with Calkin that the south of Tassie and particularly the Huon would be my choice for seeing Tassie. Richmond is only a short drive and is a convict built village and is just off the route from Hobart to Port Arthur. Like you I am somewhat mobility impaired but have thrown away the cane as I have had replacement parts which do help to overcome the problems a little. There are som many little places around that most tourists do not get to see because they stay in Hobart and usually at one of the bigger hotels which just do not have the personal touch for helpful information about where and which way to go and what to see and where to eat etc.
I endorse Matilda's of Ranelagh in the Huon whole-heartedly and could not recommend better accommodation and I have stayed in the Oriental Room which is set up for those of us who cannot jump hurdles quite as well as we would like to. By the way if you do have a disabled sticker for a car bring that with you so that you can access the appropriate parking.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Liz! When the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, I shall post the long- anaticipated trip report.

We loved the relaxed ambience, welcome, and especially the Tassie breakfast at Matilda's. We bought electric mattress pads for our beds here in the US after finding them so snuggy at Mathilda's.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Liz! When the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, I shall post the long- anticipated trip report.

We loved the welcome, the beautiful surroundings, relaxed ambience, and the Tassie breakfast at Matilda's. We bought electric mattress pads for our beds here in the US after finding them so snuggy at Mathilda's.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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What is it about this thread? Sorry for the double post (again)!
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 09:50 PM
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Thanks Betsy, look forward to your report. May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Calkin, thanks for the good words about your area (how does one pronounce Huon?). Let me amplify a bit on the mobility issue. Like LizF, who has been invaluable with her advice, I have replacement parts (knee, hip). I do use a stick for stability when traveling and also carry my blue badge (handicapped placard). I do not book into (and don't like) handicapped accessible rooms.

From the beginning we've heard nothing but good things about Mathilda's. However, one of your strongest features is, from my wife's standpoint, one of your weakest: the dogs. She is simply not fond of them though they all seem to love her. Consequently, she becomes uncomfortable around them however friendly. So, we have reluctantly ruled out a visit with you though everything sounds so appealing.

We are currently of the mind that three nights in Hobart and two in Longford at Woolmer's Cottages are just the ticket. I've been in touch with Woolmer's and they have a unit all on one floor. As to Hobart lodging, the jury is still out. We had planned on Lenna based on a cousin's excellent stay there but the description of the hillside location put us off. We like to walk to dinner and it sounds as though walking to and from Lenna is a major problem with my dicky legs.

Thanks for all. Keep the suggestions coming, please.

BigBlue
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I had friends living in Tassie a few years back and spent a week with them. Hobart is just lovely, and make sure that you spend a day there when the art fair / weekly market is going on, as there are so many talented artists crammed onto the island. Also, if you want a terrific bakery, Jackson and McRoss is a must-stop.

I do think that swinging up to Swansee and Freycinet is a good idea, and it gives a broader sense of the region. It really depends what you enjoy. The wine region up there is beautiful, but it's also known for it's outdoors hiking and such.

Finally, Port Authur is fascinating. I did it as a day trip via the bus/boat from Hobart. It was a full day but manageable, and you can certainly tour the grounds at your own pace or limit yourself to the museum portions.

You'll have a wonderful time, I'm sure! Safe travels.
cheers,
kaz
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