Tasmania travel advice


Susie de Carteret from our partner, Tasmanian Odyssey, shares her Tasmania travel advice:

Itinerary tips

“Tasmania is much bigger than most people anticipate and driving distances are deceptive. For itineraries of less than two weeks I suggest flying into Launceston and out of Hobart, or the other way around, to maximise touring opportunities. Do take a scenic flight into the South West National Park with Par Avion from Hobart. It is nothing short of jaw dropping and you can usually see the orange-bellied parrot, which is the rarest bird in the world – this is the only place it breeds. And do go to Bonorong or Trowunna – two of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Tasmania.”

What to pack for a Tasmania vacation

“Do pack for all seasons; it is quite possible to experience four in one day – layers are essential. Pack good walking boots and take a torch for nocturnal wildlife spotting. No need to take your Sunday Best – the dress code is very casual everywhere. Don’t expect to always get good or even any mobile phone coverage in some parts of the state.”

Getting off the beaten track

“If you like an adventure, take the road less travelled – the Western Explorer or ‘Road to Nowhere’ which is an old logging track that runs down the west coast from Smithton to Strahan through ancient forest and across the wilderness via the old mining village of Corinna. The road is entirely unsealed, there is no mobile phone signal and you are unlikely to see more than one car a day so take plenty of food, water and fuel and be prepared for a long wait if you breakdown, but it is absolutely stunning. You cross the Pieman River on the single vehicle ‘Fatman Barge’ after you leave Corinna.”

Advice on getting advice…

“Don’t talk to mainland Australians for advice; most of them know less about Tasmania than you do!”

Making time for dinner

“A lot of B&B owners are brilliant cooks and you can eat there for half the price of eating out, and they all use local produce, and you hang out with other guests and local friends pop in, and they always include wine. So when meals are included take advantage of it! And they cater for any dietary requirement , no matter how bizarre!”

And from our Tasmania vacation reviews

“Many eateries close early and/or only take reservations well ahead of time.”
- Sandra Mendenhall , on a Tasmania self drive vacation

Health & safety in Tasmania

Travel safely IN TASSIE

Tasmania health advice

The emergency number is 000.

Always bring mosquito repellent as Tassie mossies can be nasty, carrying diseases such as Ross River Fever.

Be wary of snakes, but don’t panic. Some are venomous, but hospitals have all the anti-venom needed, and there haven’t been fatalities for over 40 years. The dangerous ones are copperheads, tiger and white-lipped snakes.

You might assume that drinking water would be readily available in Tasmania, but it isn’t always the case. There are issues of high lead content in many areas, and water has to be boiled before use. So always check with local people what the deal is. If you are hiking, carry water purification tablets or boil it.

Jack jumper ants are a feature of Tasmania and, with a nasty sting, you need to be able to identify them if going hiking. They are dangerous if you have an allergic reaction to them, which isn’t uncommon. People who are prone to insect bite allergies are advised to take a non-drowsy antihistamine before hiking. If you consider your allergy risk high, bring an EpiPen. Otherwise, if stung, treat with antihistamine cream which works in the majority of cases. If other symptoms such as extreme swelling, difficulty breathing or swelling of the tongue occurs, seek emergency help.

Tasmania safety advice

Never underestimate how wild Tasmania is. Although the wilderness is easy to access, once you are out there, you are really out there. Which is what is so wonderful about it. But you need to take care. Always tell someone where you are going, try not to hike alone, sign the national park log books and have an emergency kit with you. As well as the obvious map, compass and plenty of water. Plus purification tablets. And be well packed with layers and waterproofs.
Always check what swimming conditions are and swim in designated zones. The currents can be fierce in Tasmania, so stick to what the experts know. Popular beaches will have lifeguards in summer. For example, the rips on the Three Capes can be huge. There are places you can swim but you need to seek local advice. One of the best places for swimming is Flinders Island which is fantastic for children. And the water is cold, more like the UK than Australia, so be prepared.
Take care driving on mountain roads not only for bends, but also ice and, of course, wildlife. It is often swerving to avoid an animal that can cause an accident, so go slow and be prepared to stop. Dawn and dusk are when you see most animals.
Photo credits: [Itinerary tips - orange-bellied parrot: JJ Harrison] [Getting off the beaten track: NeilsPhotography] [Making time for dinner: eGuide Travel]
Written by Catherine Mack
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