Tasmania Road Trip

Old Jan 8, 18, 12:01 am
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Tasmania Road Trip

I would be interested in taking a 4-5 day road trip through Tasmania in March. It would be great if I could incorporate some hiking & observing the unique local flora and fauna into the trip. Admiring the scenery (mauntains, lakes, etc) along the way is another plus.

Any ideas which parts of the island I should visit and which roads to take?
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Old Jan 9, 18, 1:54 am
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Half of Tasmania is true wilderness and you want to avoid it (no roads so you won't have much choice; but even very experienced hikers routinely get lost there; I still remember the Australian army survival instructor who was lost for 2 weeks, never more than 5 km from civilization -- it can be that rough). The other half is beautiful and pristine farmland with easy roads. You could pick a place, like Pump House Point, and visit there Lake St Clair Accommodation - Tasmanian Wilderness Retreat - Pumphouse Point ... otherwise it is all great. Bruny island is another idea but less easy to reach.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Half of Tasmania is true wilderness and you want to avoid it ... The other half is beautiful and pristine farmland with easy roads.
Good tip, thanks. I won't stray too far from easy roads. I think I should have enough time to visit maybe 3 distinct parts of the island. Any advice which parts are good to check out and which roads to take? I also rather enjoy mixing with the locals, and avoid the tourist traps (although I'm not expecting many of those in Tassy).
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Old Jan 10, 18, 3:49 pm
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Visit Freycinet National Park. Also, Strahan has some unique floral and fauna, if you go on the boat trip up the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 12:07 am
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My three favorite places in Tasmania are Cradle Mountain, Maria Island and Bay of Fires, but with only 4-5 days you can't do all three. For Maria Island, you need to coordinate with the ferry company and ensure that there is room in the former prison. There is a resident population of Tassie devils in Maria Island, but b you will see wildlife everywhere. I thought Wineglass Bay was overrated and a wasted detour, especially considering the cost of lodging in the area. If you are driving from Launceston, then stop by the Holy Cow Cafe in Pyengana.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 3:27 am
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4-5 days isn't very much time so I agree with focusing on one or two areas or do a north-south road trip (or visa versa) either picking the east coast or the west.

There is tons of hiking, although a lot is remote and/or multi-day and bush walking can be quite hard (think 'routes' through waist deep bogs and climbing over boulders). Cradle Mountain is a lovely area with accessible day walks but you won't see much if the cloud is in. Similarly on Maria Island, where the walks to Mt Maria or Bishop & Clerk are best done on clear days. The Tasman Peninsula area has plenty of day walking, but there is good bush walking all over the state, even in the 'populated' areas around Hobart. Tastrails.com website gives a good overview.

If you want to see wildlife, you are best to stay at locations outside of major towns and/or where the owners don't fence off their gardens! There are lots of rentals (affectionately known as shacks) in bush blocks to rent, where you are likely to see pademelons/wallabies and smaller macropods and brushtailed possums at night.

If by 'unique fauna' you mean devils, there are specific accommodations that feed them so they are your best bet (there are two places I can think of in the north that can virtually guarantee wild devils - there are many wildlife sanctuaries who also offer tours). They occur all over the state and they travel large distances within territories, so seeing them is just luck. The devils on Maria Island are a released population that had become accustomed to humans, part of the devil tumour breeding program. The population has settled in somewhat and are less often in the campsites these days, but they are still sometimes seen. You will see wombats on Maria Island if you stay overnight.

One itinerary good for mountains, wilderness and wildlife would be Hobart-Mt Field-A10-Strahan-Franklin Gordon-A10-Cradle Mountain-Launceston. That could take 5 days to get you back to an airport. With more time, you could head to La Trobe one early morning or evening to look for platypus (they are also present in Mt Field). If you haven't had your fill of macropods, narawtapu has large mobs of kangaroos around Springlawn every evening, as well as wallabies, possums, eagles and snakes. The main thing is to get out early or around dusk. But please do not aim to travel at night, or be prepared to drive really slowly. The wildlife really is everywhere and it's not very fast at crossing roads.

Alternatively do a day trip from Hobart to Tahune and a walk in Wellington Park to see the mountains of the south-west in the distance, then head to the Tasman Peninsula (hiking, cliffs, wildlife, heritage at Port Arthur), spend at least one night on Maria Island (more walking and wildlife) and enjoy some good wine and food along the east coast. Unfortunately March is the wrong time of year for the penguins at Bicheno but otherwise I can recommend the tour (they come right up through the walkways in breeding season when they are feeding their chicks).
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Old Feb 17, 18, 2:59 am
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Originally Posted by mileagerunner View Post
My three favorite places in Tasmania are Cradle Mountain, Maria Island and Bay of Fires, but with only 4-5 days you can't do all three...
I checked out these three (Cradle Mountain, Maria Island, and Bay of Fires), and they're definitely up my alley as well. Unfortunately I might have to skip the Bay of Fires. With the existing road netwrok, it's too much of a detour, and hard to combine with the other two.
Are there any worthwhile attractions along the north coast perhaps? That area would not require as much of a detour after Cradle Mountain.
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Old Feb 17, 18, 8:14 pm
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Are you saying you still want to do both Cradle Mountain and Maria Island? In 4-5 days; flying in to Launceston, the first two nights at Cradle Mountain to get a full day of walking or visit Mole Creek, then 5 hours drive to Triabunna for the Maria Island ferry (I would personally do a day travel via Bicheno where there are red rocks and Freycinet and stay overnight at Swansea); followed by a day / overnight on MI, means you have one day left to explore the Tasman Peninsula on the way to Hobart airport. You can't really fit any more in.

However, there are plenty of other nature / wildlife / outdoorsy things along the north coast too. To the far west is the Tarkine (~3 hours from Cradle Mountain) which is (currently) pristine rainforest - search for the Tarkine Drive and Arthur River but check car rental details for unsealed roads and explicit exclusions (e.g. the 'western explorer'). Between Stanley (The Nut) and Rocky Cape area there is geology and some very nice beaches. Latrobe is platypus central. narawntapu is full of kangaroos and wallabies. Low Head and Penguin have penguins (who'd have thought?). The Tamar Valley inland of these has excellent wineries and dairy. Further east becomes hilly and forested again, with dedicated mountain bike tracks, to the low-rise wukalina-Mt William which has deserted beaches and kangaroos.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 2:04 am
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Yes I was willing to cut the Bay of Fires, if the timing gets too tight. Many thanks though for the replacement ideas. I'll get to work researching those!
Initially I also thought of arriving and departing from different airports to minimize backtracking. But the rental penalty for that was too much, and I didn't find any good one-way rentals as in NZ. Also HBA has more flights and better schedule, and wasting < half-day backtracking is not bad.

Originally Posted by konagirl2 View Post
Are you saying you still want to do both Cradle Mountain and Maria Island? In 4-5 days; flying in to Launceston, the first two nights at Cradle Mountain to get a full day of walking or visit Mole Creek, then 5 hours drive to Triabunna for the Maria Island ferry (I would personally do a day travel via Bicheno where there are red rocks and Freycinet and stay overnight at Swansea); followed by a day / overnight on MI, means you have one day left to explore the Tasman Peninsula on the way to Hobart airport. You can't really fit any more in.

However, there are plenty of other nature / wildlife / outdoorsy things along the north coast too. To the far west is the Tarkine (~3 hours from Cradle Mountain) which is (currently) pristine rainforest - search for the Tarkine Drive and Arthur River but check car rental details for unsealed roads and explicit exclusions (e.g. the 'western explorer'). Between Stanley (The Nut) and Rocky Cape area there is geology and some very nice beaches. Latrobe is platypus central. narawntapu is full of kangaroos and wallabies. Low Head and Penguin have penguins (who'd have thought?). The Tamar Valley inland of these has excellent wineries and dairy. Further east becomes hilly and forested again, with dedicated mountain bike tracks, to the low-rise wukalina-Mt William which has deserted beaches and kangaroos.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 6:54 am
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Question suggestions for time of year? airline?

We are planning our 3rd trip "downunder" - this time to Tasmania. Is there a better/best time of year to go? We will have a car so tranport is not an issue! Also, we are looking for recommendations for flights into Devonport - the 3rd (& smallest?) airport? - to from Sydney or Melbourne?
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Old Jul 28, 18, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
We are planning our 3rd trip "downunder" - this time to Tasmania. Is there a better/best time of year to go? We will have a car so tranport is not an issue! Also, we are looking for recommendations for flights into Devonport - the 3rd (& smallest?) airport? - to from Sydney or Melbourne?
I generally enjoy the fall season, so my trip in March worked out very well. I didn't get to see the Fairy Penguins of Lilico Beach -- they only come to nest there from October to January. I also ended up skipping the Cradle Mountain on a recommendation from a local. It's now very crowded with tourists that arrive by busloads. I was staying near Mount Roland, and went hiking to that part instead. It was an undiscovered treasure with an unmanned log-in station by the entrance (I guess as a safety feature). I didn't see a single human there, but there was another couple hiking at the time, according to the log.

Overall I thought Tasmania is a spectacular destination, and one should visit there sooner rather than later for the following reason. 70% of the island is already fully or partially deforested. As I was there, Commercial Agriculture was on a rampage destroying the world's remaining wilderness heritage. I could be driving through a pristine magical forest for a few miles, then the scenery turn to total devastation with cut down trees scattered on the ground. Further on there would be fires set up to clear the debris. Much of the island's interior now is cow and sheep pastures with occasional fires burning near the edges, where the pastures are claiming more land from the forest.

If you want to start your trip on the North coast, perhaps you should consider a ferry ride from Melbourne rather than a flight. I also got to visit Maria Island -- it was truly spectacular, and truned out to be the highlight of my trip.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
suggestions for time of year? airline?

We are planning our 3rd trip "downunder" - this time to Tasmania. Is there a better/best time of year to go? We will have a car so tranport is not an issue! Also, we are looking for recommendations for flights into Devonport - the 3rd (& smallest?) airport? - to from Sydney or Melbourne?
For Devonport you do not have a lot of options. QF from MEL or QF from MEL

Burnie & Launceston are also on the north coast
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ts_in_Tasmania
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devonport_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnie_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launceston_Airport

For timing try to avoid Aust school & university holidays. Tassie is popular with Aust families for holidays
https://www.australia.gov.au/about-a...ool-term-dates
https://publicholidays.com.au/school-holidays/

Ferry---> https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/
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Old Jul 28, 18, 6:23 pm
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Most people would arrive to Devonport via the ferry from Melbourne. If you are picking up the car there, I would probably take the ferry too. It's a nice experience, a fun way to arrive and gives you an idea of the isolation of the (big) little island.

https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/

Generally the ferry is more expensive than flying (especially if you get a higher-end ferry ticket), and it definitely takes more time, so it depends a bit on your schedule and budget. Although I have no idea what flights to Devonport cost, I didn't even know they had an airport!

Cheaper flights will be found into LST (Launceston), which is only about 1 hours drive from Devonport.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 6:50 pm
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Looking a random date in 4 weeks time MEL-DPO from Au$163 to $345 one way, for a 65 minute flight. MEL-LST about the same, but JQ is cheaper (seat only)

A lot of people on the ferry take a car they own, as I have done several times.
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Old Oct 4, 18, 10:11 am
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I will be in Tasmania for a week in mid-November and have a couple of questions re: previous posts.

Originally Posted by MaxVO View Post
I also ended up skipping the Cradle Mountain on a recommendation from a local. It's now very crowded with tourists that arrive by busloads. I was staying near Mount Roland, and went hiking to that part instead.
MaxVO, was the recommendation based purely on the fact that it would be crowded with busloads of tourists? Or were there other factors that you know of?

And for the larger readership what would the situation be midweek in the middle of November? Is Cradle Mountain worth a day trip then, or should I pick an alternative?

Originally Posted by mileagerunner View Post
I thought Wineglass Bay was overrated and a wasted detour
Mileagerunner, what led you to that conclusion? Pictures of Wineglass Bay make it look beautiful (and, or course, as if you are the only one there, LOL). I've also had former residents of Tassie tell me it's worth a visit. If it's to be avoided (ether in mid-November or completely), can you recommend alternatives?

Maria Island is out for me on this trip (the same former Tassie residents said give it a pass; they know me well, so it might have to do with me rather than anything inherent to the island ).

I would like to see penguins if possible, though, as well as spectacular coastal scenery.

FWIW, I'm flying into Hobart and out of Launceston.

Thanks!
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