$219 - $438
If you combine Australia’s best features of a rugged coastline, pristine bays, quaint countryside, a somewhat tragic history, and a big dose of wildlife, what you are likely to get is Hobart and the other destinations on this island state of Tasmania. Its forests, parks, beaches, mountains, and lakes provide a wonderful getaway. You can indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, surfing, kayaking or simply road-tripping. Peak tourist season is during the warm summer months of December – February with average temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius and several local festivals held all over Tasmania. March – May is autumn in Tasmania and one of the best times for touring the state. The famous Fagus trees turn a glorious red and yellow, making the large forested areas a wonderful sight to enjoy. To view the humpback whales, the best time to visit is during their migratory periods from May – July or September – November. In the winter months from June – August, the average temperature is approximately 12 degrees Celsius and the higher altitude areas do receive some snowfall.
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar Airways, Tigerair, Free Spirit Airlines and Sharp Airlines offer domestic flights from most Australian cities to Hobart and several destinations within Tasmania. Out of the 10 public airports in Tasmania, Hobart Airport and Launceston Airport are the international airports.
Airlines such as Jetstar Airways, Qantas, Tiger Airways and Virgin Blue operate flights in and out of Hobart Airport. However, this airport does not have any convenient public transport to travel to Hobart city centre.
Taxis are easily available outside the main terminal building. A ride from Hobart Airport to the city will cost between $50 AUD – $70 AUD and take approximately 30 minutes.
Redline Airport Shuttles depart from outside the terminal after the arrival of every mainland flight and have several stops in the city close to most of the city hotels. Typical journey time is 45 – 55 minutes and one-way adult fare is $19.00 AUD while child fare is $15.00 AUD.
Renting a car is a great way to explore Tasmania. Several rental car companies have their offices in the arrival halls area. You can also look up some great deals on car rentals with momondo.
Tasmania has good roads, few freeways and motorways, and the drives are usually quite scenic. If you have not opted for a rental car, buses and coaches are a good way to get around the island.
Within Hobart, the Metro buses run across a fairly dense network and many of the attractions in the Hobart region are accessible by the Metro bus. Single adult cash fare ranges from $3.30 AUD – $6.90 AUD based on zones travelled. The Derwent Valley Link bus services the New Norfolk community, Derwent Valley and Hobart. Single adult fare from Hobart to Granton is $6.40 AUD while the farthest point to which the bus travels is Ellendale with a fare of $17.80 AUD. Outside of Hobart, other bus services such as Tassie Link, Redline Coaches and McDermotts Coaches offer tours and transfers to several locations within the island. The Mersey Link Bus Service offers connectivity in Davenport, Ambleside, Spreyton, The Tiers and Latrobe.
Many national companies such as AAT Kings and APT offer traditional coach touring around Tasmania with year-round multi-day itineraries for budget, deluxe and luxury travellers. There are also many options for local sight-seeing tours and specialised tours with themes around wine trails, adventure activities, wildlife, or historic sites.
There is a daily, 30-minute long ferry service to Maria Island from Triabunna Wharf, which is around 86 kilometres from Hobart. For Bruny Island, you can use the daily service operating from the wharf on Ferry Road in Kettering. This is a 35-minute drive from Hobart. The Ida Claire can take you from Cynthia Bay to Narcissus Point via Echo Point in approximately 30 minutes. Prior booking is essential to use this service.
Motorhomes and Caravans
Another popular way to explore Tasmania is by hiring a campervan, caravan or motorhome. There are ‘fee-pay’ as well as free sites around Tasmania and there is a good range of camp sites with all necessary facilities for the adventurous tourists.
It is quite possible to experience all 4 seasons in a single day in Tasmania. Hence, remember to carry a warm jacket no matter when you travel. Do not expect to get good network coverage on your mobiles through many parts of the state. Keep in mind that many eateries close early and only take reservations well ahead of time, so plan ahead on your meal times and venues as far as possible. Do not underestimate the Tasmanian wilderness. Try not to hike alone, carry an emergency kit and plenty of water on your outdoor trips. Also carry a mosquito repellent.
Tasmania hosts several events and festivals almost round-the-year, so do check if there is one happening when you are visiting. Some of the better known festivals include Taste of Tasmania in Hobart around December – January, Chocolate Winterfest at Latrobe in August, Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine in November, Blooming Tasmanian Flower and Garden Festival at Launceston in September, MONA FOMA and Dark MOFO at Hobart in January and June respectively, and the Tasmania Whisky Week held across the state in August.