Lots of interstate and international visitors are flocking to Tasmania thanks in part to a prolific rise in beautiful images popping up all over social media channels and blogs. Here’s a few common mistakes people are making when planning their trip to Tasmania that you may not realise as you gaze into another beautiful sunset photo….
1. Thinking it’s too cold and you don’t want to go
Yes, Tasmania can get cold by Australian standards. Similar to Melbourne she can deliver the proverbial four seasons in one day. She’s no tropical paradise but she’s no New York snow storm either. When someone announces they are going to the Big Apple it is usually met with ‘oohs and ahhs’ They forget that it has weather that can grind the city to a halt. While it did snow in Hobart in the last winter, it had been ten years since snow fell at sea level. Tasmania can actually have crystal-clear blue sky winter days. It can be 10 degrees and you can get sunburnt! So always wear sunscreen (with your beanie!)
Statistically, Tasmania is the second driest Capital city in Australia (behind Adelaide) and the average temperature ranges from 12-24 degrees. Not freezing!
If you are going in winter make sure you pack some wool garments including socks, gloves and an awesome winter jacket. Although a thin wool jumper is recommended for anytime of year, just in case!
2. It’s really small, we can drive around it in three days
Would you drive around England in three days? Tasmania is about three quarters the size. There are very good, mostly double-lane highways between Hobart, Launceston and Devonport and it only takes about three hours to get between north and south. However, be warned that many of the smaller roads can be windy, unmarked and some are unsealed.
There is also so much to see and do that it’s highly recommend going through the small towns along the way where the ‘old highway’ goes. Places like Brighton, Ross, Deloraine and Oatlands all have buildings of significant historic value and they’re just damn cute towns.
The two more popular gateways to Tasmania are Launceston in the north and Hobart in the south. If you only have three days I suggest limiting your visit to one part of the State. Choose either the East or West coast if you start in Hobart. If you land in Launceston, you could spend the whole time in Launceston and surrounds or head out to the North-West or North-East coasts as it’s only about an hour to two respectively. A weekend at Cradle Mountain is also achievable on that time budget. Or you could spend three days in and around Hobart and southern districts. There are some spectacular drives and you really would be missing out if you didn’t stop along the way.
3. I’ll just buy a ticket when I get there
Have you heard? Tasmania is the new black. When the ships set sail on Boxing Day from Botany Bay on their way to Constitution Dock it kicks off what feels like a roll call of festivals for the Apple Isle. There’s the finish of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, the Taste of Tasmania, New Year’s Day at MONA, Ten Days on the Island (2017), MONA FOMA (aka Weekend at Walshies), Hobart Twilight Market, The Wooden Boat Festival (every second year), Dark MOFO and the Mid-Winter Festival. Throw in some Blues festivals, and celebrations of all things food and wine and the social diary gets quite full!
The ‘mainlanders’ have heard of some of these festivals and accommodation is filling up and events are selling out, quickly. The year before last, the organisers of Dark MOFO, in their refreshingly honest summation of the festival, admitted that it was more popular than they had expected. There were a few grumbles from a few people who were attending (often free) events that it wasn’t handled well. Dark MOFO owned it and made it better the following year. But as patrons of these events it’s time to start pre-planning. Let’s face it, no one likes to stand in line for hours so if you can, plan, book and pay in advance.
Tasmanian is where you, and increasingly more people want to be.
So pack these tips in your suitcase and have a great time!