Get In/Get Out of Tasmania
There are two main ways to reach the island state from mainland Australia.
If you are renting a car on arrival or just plan on visiting the Hobart area flying is probably your best option. Several budget airlines make the journey and fares vary depending on the season (usually between $50-350AUD), with the summer months generally being more expensive (December-February). Check out Jetstar (www.jetstar.com), Tigerair (www.tigerair.com.au), and Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com).
If you are travelling the mainland by car or foot, the boat journey from Melbourne to Devonport is a great option. The Spirit of Tasmania is a large, comfortable cruise ship which makes the trip twice daily (www.spiritoftasmania.com.au). Prices start cheap if you are willing to spend the 10 hour journey on deck in the public area (very comfortable seats and couches are available) and become more expensive if you require a private seat or cabin. Taking your car on board costs extra, but will ultimately save you from spending money on renting.
Accommodation in Tasmania
Accommodation in Tasmania generally consists of bed and breakfasts and camping when you’re out of Hobart or Launceston. In the main cities hostels are more common, with a bed in a dorm starting at around $20AUD per night.
Sleeping in your car or tent in secluded areas if the cheapest (free) and often most fun way to spend the night. With a little scouting you can find amazing spots next to beautiful lakes, beaches and forests. Just be wary of ‘no camping’ signs, and be sure to say hello to the locals passing by.
Food in Tasmania
Tasmania is known for its fresh produce, which can be found in local farmers markets and small pubs up to high end restaurants. Pies and pub feeds are often recommended by the locals (the cheese and wine is great too). Check out www.zomato.com/tasmania-tas/dinner if you’re after something in particular.
If you’re in small towns and plan on going to a local pub for dinner, I recommend getting in early. Kitchens often stop taking orders as early as 8pm.
Travelling on the cheap side? There are supermarkets in most towns. Usually IGA in quiet areas, with larger Woolworths and Coles stores in the cities and larger towns. I strongly recommend carrying a small portable butane burner to cook on the go (gas can be found in most supermarkets).
What Not To Do
Tasmania has a long history of disagreement between environmentalists and loggers/miners in regards to use of their natural resources. People can be touchy on the issue and its best to leave it out of conversation unless you have had a chance to get to know the local.
What To Do/See
Tasmania is known as ‘The Natural State’ for a reason. As a mainlander, Tasmania reminds me of all things beautiful about the continent squished into an Island one third the size of Victoria (Australias smallest mainland state). 45% of the island remains in reserves, national parks and world heritage site so there is a long list of parks and natural wonders to check out which can be found easily on government-run tourism websites (www.discovertasmania.com.au). @Tasmania on Instagram is good starting point. My favourites include the Tarkine, Cradle Mountain and Lake St Claire.
If you’re looking for something a little ‘off the beating track’, travelling by car and turning down random dirt roads will often lead you to an unbelievable oasis. Just be sure to remember to take note of which way you came in, and check your car is suitable for the job. Locals will often be happy to tell you their secret spots so don’t be shy!
If late nights and partying is your scene then Tasmania may not be the place for you (Melbourne will be!). That being said, Tasmania is home to a number of great pubs which are worth checking out if you’re up for a beer and a yarn with the locals.
In Hobart check out The Winston, Post Street Social, and the Telegraph Hotel. In Launceston the Royal Oak, The Irish and Saint John Craft Beer Bar are all worth a visit.
(My) Most beautiful Spots and Moments
Beautiful spots are never hard to find in Tasmania, however, there are a few areas which have made their way into a special place in my heart.
Bruny Island lies to the south west of Hobart. It consists of two islands connected by a thin strip of dunes (Known as ‘The Neck’), surrounded by beautiful beaches and cliffs. The island has abundant wildlife which can be seen overhead in the sky or through the thick forested areas.
Styx Valley of the giants is where you can find Tasmania’s Giant Swamp Gums. These eucalyptus trees reach a height of almost 90 meters, and are believed to be the tallest hardwood trees on earth. They will take your breath away.
One of the coolest things to do in Tasmania is a take a speed boat tour around the Tasman peninsular with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys (www.pennicottjourneys.com.au). The ride takes you around and under the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere, where you will see the most amazing array of animals imaginable. On my trip we saw seals, dolphins, albatross and flying fish (just to name a few). The Tour guides who work with this environmentally friendly company are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. If I was to recommend one must-do activity in Tasmania, this would be it!