Im planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand from october this year. I dont have all the time in the world, but I wonder if I should try to see some of Tasmania also? When is the best time to visit Tasmania, and approx how long would you guys recommend is enough? Things I should or should not do?
Well Tasmania is beautiful and well worth a visit. I was there for 4 days and only saw the west coast. I would think you could do the whole island in about a week. Whineglass bay is suppossed to be breathtaking, and have been told it is a must to see. Other than that hiking around Cradle mountain was incredible. I would look into your schedule further and try to a lot some time in Tasmania.
From what I've heard, Tas is definatly worth it, but there are a few things to note.
1. its not geared towards backpackers, so if you are thinking of going that route, be prepared to spend alot of money on tours
2. as well, from what I hear there isnt much for a transit system out there. So renting a car is almost a must if you dont want to wait around for busses or pay for expensive tours.
Del007 you are correct. There is very little public transport. I was with a few friends and we rented a car. During our travels we picked up several hitchhikers. After speaking with them, it seemed safe and easy with limited time between pickups. So if that is a budget route that suits you then that is a cheap way of seeing Tasi. Otherwise you have spend some money and pay for a tour..
I was there for 4 days and only saw the west coast. I would think you could do the whole island in about a week.
If you only wanted to see the island without stopping nearly the whole time except to sleep, buy food and take toilet breaks, then you could probably see it in a week, but you sure as hell wouldn't see Tasmania properly in a week. I know of some guy who came from Israel who came here to Tasmania and he was travelling for 30 days and still didn't see even close to everything (admittedly he did have to rely on buses which are very hard to get). I thought hell you could see the whole state including Flinders Island, King Island, Bruny Island and Maria island in 30 days, but if you have to rely on buses you have no hope of seeing it pretty well in less than a month. Buses are dreadful in Tasmania. An example is if you wanted to go Hobart-Port Arthur-Launceston, because of the times of the bus if you were to actually see the Port Arthur historic site it would take you a minimum of 4 days to do that distance. If you had a hire car and wanted an extremely long day (first daylight to darkness) well you could possibly do that distance in a day, but you'd be really stuffed at the end of the day!), but two days would be a comfortable time frame to do it in by basing yourself in Hobart. Long distance buses are very expensive (probably not quite as expensive as the long distance trains in Norway but still expensive), and Saturday and Sunday are almost impossible to get anywhere outside of Hobart and Launceston on the buses. Sunday is a day where Hobart is like a ghost town with a lot of stuff either closed or with limited opening hours. Tours are hell expensive, so if you can't hire a car it is going to be very tricky in Tasmania without spending a lot of money.
If you are on a budget, then you probably wont be able to spend a great deal of time in Tasmania, because for tourists it is a pretty expensive place to travel to (same sort of thing for tourists to Norway exept Norway is a bit more expensive for most things).
How long you should spend and what you should see would all depend on if you want to do any walks, what sorts of things you are interested in, if you are mainly here to see a lot of nature or what purpose you have for coming to Tasmania. If you wanted to see just the main sites in Tasmania at a medium pace but spending a lot of time in the car, I would say 2 weeks would do, but to see the whole of Tasmania in 7 days like boreal2673 said would just be absolute madness. Even to see just the West Coast in 4 days is a rush if you want to do any major walks and are to see the area well, but the East Coast has considerably more nice things to see than the West Coast. I've lived in Tasmania for 26 years and I haven't even seen everywhere yet. To see Hobart and it's close by suburbs including doing some nice little walks up on Mount Wellington could be 2-3 days depending on how thoroughly you want to see it and if you want to explore a little of the beaten track.
ABout right now would be the best time to be in Tasmania if you want warm, dry sunny weather most days as it has rarely rained for the last 2 months except on one day where it bucketed down having minor floods. The weather is staying alright for longer and longer every year with global warming, but June/July would be about the worst possible time to come for weather reasons as most days are very cold. Although if you are from Norway like your profile says then you'd be used to way colder temperatures than the coldest Tasmania has ever reached.
If you have any specific questions about Tasmania feel free to send me a message, because I should know the answer to it or if I don't my family members some of which have lived here in Tasmania for more than 80 years would know.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 13, 2007, at 7:15 PM by aharrold45 ]
I agree with aharrold45; I spent 2 weeks in tasmania and wished i had much longer. i did organised tours of the west and east coasts, and got the bus from Launceston back down to Hobart - there are a few of these per day and they are fairly cheap. I went in November and the weather was warm.
try www.jetstar.com.au for cheap flights; I got a Melbourne - Hobart return for $100.
I have been reading a few pages on the internet about Tasmania, and I will without a doubt spend at least 1 or 2 weeks there. Its a shame about the lack of transit system, as I am traveling alone and wont take the risk of renting a car. You freaks are driving on the wrong side of the road... (I have to admit Im not a very good driver) I guess i wont plan much and just see what opportunities I come across. By the way, does anybody know of any good diving spots they can recommend? Thanks
Ive just got back from spending 5 weeks in tassie, well 2 of them was working in a Raspbery farm - thats a story on its own.
Yeah, tassie is definitely worth seeing, much greener than mainland Oz in places and yeah colder - a few nights in the car i didnt sleep, i could still see the stars at 0400 or 0500 hrs.
Cradle mountain Id recommend as well but i got it on crappy weather twice - tried a second climb but it was an even wetter day.
Id say 2-3 weeks would see it nicely for anyone and you shouldnt have much bother getting around on buses etc or rides with car people like myself (i took a few dutchies and a canadian or two), but busing is expensive between places.
The bus system is actually OK, but it can be a bit frustrating. However, we managed to use it to get around.
Hobart is geared up for backpackers - some reasonable hostels. There are good cheap and mid-price eats in Hobart and Launceston.
I would personally only spend a day/night in Launceston, go and look at cataract gorge which is quite pretty.
The wilderness is geared up for campers - and there are some great huts - we got a shiny new hut on the western tiers to ourselves, for three of us, for a couple of nights, free of charge. Go and have a wander!