Going to Tasmania

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 07:40
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We are going to Tasmania for the first time in March for 4 weeks. We have a self contained off-road 17ft caravan and Landcruiser. Our aim is general sightseeing, tracks if needed but no 4x4 with the caravan (boss's orders). Any special places to see or things to do? Free or cheap camps? Must do side trips or tours?
We are booked from Melbourne for 0900 departure, any good places to stay the night before, considering Frankston way without local knowledge.
Thanks, Mike.
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Reply By: OBJ - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 08:09

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 08:09
Tried Google?

Here is a sample
AnswerID: 615678

Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:33

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:33
Of course I am doing my own research, I am not stupid. However often peoples' favourite places are not widely published, hence asking here would be smart. You want me to follow a herd of motorhomes?
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:27

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:27
Sorry precious.
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Reply By: Gerard S - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 08:15

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 08:15
Hi. We are touring Tassie right now with a 4x4 and 20ft off road van. If you havent got Wiki Camps on your ph, get it, learn to use it and download the off line content so you dont need reception to check out spots. Theres a lot of great free and low cost camps here.
You may need to adjust to some of the roads...very windy and hilly and narrow.
Special spots? Everywhere! But maybe Bay of Fires and Bruny Island...the Pennicott Wilderness boat trip from Adventure bay is both exciting and fantastic.
In Tasmania you dont need to travel far between camping spots. Sometimes only a few km....so we are unhitching and doing lots of day trips and often checking out the next spots before we camp there. Of you are on Facebook "the Very best of caravan and camping in Tassie" is very active and up to date. Enjoy.
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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:36

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:36
Thanks Gerard wonderful info, when you unhitch - is that a safe option, asking because we have never left the caravan except in caravan parks?
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Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 17:49

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 17:49
Yes Mikee it's safe to leave your van at free camps in Tassie to do day trips, old- fashioned down here, people generally don't touch other peoples stuff.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 22:59

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 at 22:59
We felt it was quite safe to unhitch and leave the caravan. We did lots of exploring down little tracks, and had no fear of finding ourselves caught in a tight parking area for a waterfall by doing this.
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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 09:34

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 09:34
Hi,
Four weeks ......you will only scratch the surface of what Tassie has to offer!
As mentioned in previous post get used to using WikiCamps, a great tool
Free/low cost camps abound.
Don’t miss Strahan (Macquarie Harbour), Mona in Hobart, The Wall @ Derwent Bridge, Relic Ware in Latrobe, all along the east coast....
We are going back again for the third time in January for three months this time to catch up on what we have missed before.
Enjoy your trip, we have found night crossings to be better (for us) .....that way you don’t ‘lose’ a day.
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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:39

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:39
Thanks Tony, my wife gets very seasick. She would never sleep anyway so we thought in daytime she could at least see what was upsetting her!
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:50

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:50
Mikee5,

I have a wife with the same affliction. There's no way she could do the ferry trip, day or night. If she did, she'd be sick for the first week, it takes her that long to get over it. The way we do it is I take the night time crossing with the rig. She flies - chooses a flight that gets to Launceston somewhere before or around 9am. 3 or so hours for me to off the boat at Devonport, do the quarantine check and drive to Launceston airport - it works perfectly, with minimum waiting time for her.

It needs a bit of forward planning for her to get the right flight at the right price. Typically it's one of Virgin's Happy Hour specials that they do occasionally, eg Sydney to Launceston for $70.00.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 23:25

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 23:25
I usually only get seasick from lack of sleep the night before has she tried something to help her sleep and taking the usual travel calm tablets the next day.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 08:49

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 08:49
Unfortunately, Batts, the only thing that works is abstinence :-)
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Reply By: rumpig - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 10:15

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 10:15
Couple of places that are absolute must sees...Legerwood Memorial Trees in the tiny town of Legerwood, and the Wood Stave Pipeline near Derwent Bridge on the road into Laughing Jack Lagoon. Also must sees are The Wall at Derwent Bridge (used to be able to free camp in front car park of Derwent Bridge pub), Mt Wellington at Hobart, Port Arthur (obviously), drive Jacobs Ladder at Ben Lomond National Park, drive the Western Explorer Highway (need to check you'd fit on the Fatman Ferry though), any little town like Ross, Sheffield or Oatlands etc etc etc that have awesome history and great just to wander around, Cradle Mountain, Bruny Island camping at Cloudy Bay was great, as was Bay of Fires and Macquarie Heads (Strahan) and Cockle Creek and so many other places......way way to many things to mention and places to stay, that's just some of the highlights from our 5 week visit there.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:21

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:21
Unhitch the van to drive Jacobs Ladder. :-)
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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:42

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:42
Thank you, my measurements indicate we will fit on the ferry, only just. Info like this is a great help.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:48

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 12:48
I just looked at the Exploroz photo of Jacobs Ladder and it doesn't look anything like it.

Jacob's Ladder Tasmania

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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:24

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:24
Wow, gotto drive Jacobs Ladder, awesome. Not with the caravan, it cuts corners when turning tightly, might lose it?
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:55

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 13:55
We were at the top in October 2016 and there was snow at the resort on top. The road up has quite a few very tight switch backs. Great lookout at the top.
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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Monday, Dec 25, 2017 at 10:31

Monday, Dec 25, 2017 at 10:31
Hi Mike H9
I think you looked at Jacobs ladder NSW
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Reply By: Gerard S - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 14:28

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 14:28
Unhitching? Each spot on its merits. So far we have unhitched just about everywhere. I have a DO35 hitch which has a well designed hitch lock available which I use. You'll soon see at each spot whether folks feel safe to unhitch.
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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:04

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:04
Hi Mike
You'll love Tassie, but mind the narrow roads ...... small place so don't hurry. Plenty of exceptional hiking if you enjoy that. Cradle Mountain has some good walks, Cape Hauy near Port Arthur is good and not long ( great cliffs), and if you can travel south, camp at Southport and take a day trip south to Cockle Creek, then a hike to South Cape Bay ...... next stop Antarctica !!

North Western wilderness areas are fantastic.
Doesn't matter where you go, there's lots to do and see. You can camp at Abel Tasman Caravan Park first night as it's close to the terminal ..... or head straight out.
Have fun.
Cheers
Jim
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Reply By: Member - Racey - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:53

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 15:53
Hi Mike, I agree with everything been said in particular Tony's comment about scratching the surface. We spent 3 months earlier this year and didn't see everything. As I see it in four weeks you have 2 options go crazy and drive every day trying to squeeze as much as possible or pick out several areas and do them properly. I would suggest do the North coast including Cradle Mountain then drift down the west coast to Strahan, Maria Island (good boat cruise out through Hell Gate) and onto Queenstown take the Rack Train ride. It's a better drive coming out of Queenstown this way than going in from Hobart. Onto Derwent Bridge and see "The Wall' a must see. Then to Hobart and surrounds. I would leave the East Coast for another day. The return to the boat is then a straight run up the highway.

No doubt there will be other opinions; food for thought.

Have a great trip.

Cheers
Jon
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 16:30

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 16:30
I've got a document with some of our favourite places, which I pass on to travellers we meet on the big island. I can email it to you if you PM me with your email address.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 08:29

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 08:29
Sorry can't PM as not a member any more. E*mail addy is 2braces77 at gmail dot com. Written funny so spambots don't recognise it, I am cautious like that. Thanks for the offer.
Mike
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Reply By: Member - kev.h - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 18:54

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 18:54
Don't miss Mount Field NP (on the way from Cradle Mountain to Hobart) good camp area if its booked out there is a private camp ground a few Klm's away cant remember the name its only fairly new
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Follow Up By: Member - kev.h - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 20:41

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 20:41
Camp ground is called -Left of Field on Gordon River Road- $25 .00 per night with power and water
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Follow Up By: Member - Racey - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 22:18

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 22:18
Left Of Field is a great place to stay. Unhook and take a day trip to the Lake Pedder and surrounds.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 19:34

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 19:34
I hope you can find time to get up through the Midlands,,, very nice... So much to see in a short 4 weeks. We spent 6 weeks and we still had plenty we missed out on, Enjoy. Michael.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:06

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:06
There is also the Great lakes, You can make a long day trip up there from many camp spots (so you don't have to move camp.) Include the Waddamana Power Station Museum in that trip. It is their first big power station, now decommissioned but still mostly intact. We drove up from Cambridge. More information
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:55

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 13:55
The Waddamana PS is more than just mostly intact now - it is a fabulous museum for those technically inclined, with cut-away and restored generators, turbines and ancillary machinery, control boards and switchboards in the main area. Also some original offices have set up to reflect their original purpose with period furnishings and equipment, mannequins in period costume, photographic displays etc. Upstairs there are many interesting displays in glass cabinets.

The outside transformer yard and switchyard is a bit run down. Most of the big stuff has gone, but there are some smaller items on display - worth a look if you're there anyway.

Some of the village houses are restored and available for let (I think - not sure about that)

Good camping at Penstock Lagoon.

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Reply By: Theo D - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 21:55

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 21:55
Second the notion to visit 'The Wall' near Derwent Bridge on your way to Queenstown. Hillsides around here are always good for snow in the cool months, probably my favourite area of Tassie... really nice countryside. But The Wall is just a great piece of art, so much work has gone into it... really worth a look.
But the best part of Tassie has to be Freycinet National Park & Wineglass Bay. This part of Tassie has it all and is totally unspoilt. You shouldnt have too many issues with a Van around there. Strange as it sounds it's probably the warmest part of Tassie (Swansea and surrounds) - if you're a keen fisho it's the best fishing in the whole state and some really good trout & freshwater stuff also (guided fishing & stocked lakes etc)
But yes 4 weeks is nothing. Funny because you could drive from Hobart to Burnie in deadset 5 hours straight if you're keen but there's just way too much to see.
NE corner around Bridport etc is also nice, relatively quiet. If you're up for a bit of excitement there is a private business near Bridport that runs quad bike tours on they're private property and its the best thing I did in Tassie the other year. Awesome scenery and tracks, highly recommend... caters for everyone. Kookaburra Ridge Quad Tours

www.kookaburraridgequadbiketours.com
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 23:52

Saturday, Dec 23, 2017 at 23:52
Hi Mike, with only four weeks, pick a few key places that appeal the most and see those. If there is any time left, you can look further.

I have seven Blogs on our trip to Tasmania in My Blogs from 2006 to help you choose areas that appeal most to you. Happy to give more information, because these Blogs are still a brief account of all we saw and did.

Someone has mentioned "The Wall", and this is always one of the first things recommended in Tasmania. It was only opened after our visit so one we missed.

Highlights I would say are do-not-miss include Cradle Mountain, Port Arthur, Convict built bridges still being used today, Wineglass Bay, Devil's Gullet, a selection of the many waterfalls with Russell Falls being considered the prettiest although far from the biggest. The path to Russell Falls and Horseshoe falls further along the same trail is currently being upgraded. Also many lookouts on the roads you will travel.

As all Tasmanian National Parks require payment of an entry fee, it pays to purchase a multi parks pass. This can be purchased on the Spirit of Tasmania, or on line.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 12:44

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 12:44
One nice spot to spent a night is around Geeveston, beaut little old timber town, some beautiful wooden carvings around town, and a short drive west to Tahune Forest Skywalk which was worth the time and cost, some massive tress there.
We stayed at a small backpackers when we went through, but there is just north of town a place called Shipwrights Point, which could be a council free RV type spot, dump point > Google maps has it shown.

I have been down there a few times, a few trips for bushwalking various places . . . if you can manage some walking, Tassie is a mecca for short and long walks.
Recommend Lake St Clair, you can catch a ferry either way to top of the lake, and walk the other direction there or back.
It is a day walk, follows the Overland Track, 5 to 7 hrs, 16km.
Or you can do the drop off or pick up at Echo Point 10km about 3 hrs.

If you wanted to see Wineglass bay, you could do the walk up to the lookout from the base, about 1.5km each way, 1 to 1.5 hrs return depending on pace.
To get onto the beach itself is only 1.5 or so hrs for good fitness level, but coming back will be slower, best to allow it as a day walk, and picnic lunch on the beach, there is a campsite only at southern end.

I also did a 3 week driving tour with wife and daughter many years ago, in the commo, stayed backpackers in remote spots.
Covered a lot of the island, off ferry, across to St Helens, down to Bicheno, Bruny, did the island and day boat out from Adventure Bay, Port Arthur, Hobart, Geeveston, Cockle Ck, up again and west to Lake SC, Strahan (awesome spent a few days here), do the railway, and harbour / river cruise, up to Cradle, short walks to Dove Lake etc.
Up to coast, had a day free so drove west to Penguin and back to catch ferry back.

The ferry then was very stable, not sure about the new ones, but the on board gyros made the trip very comfy and smooth.

As said in suggestions to either scratch the surface all over, or do a few spots in detail . . . that depends on your likes when travelling.
Personally, we just liked cramming as much as we could in, we didn't feel rushed in 3 weeks, but it went fast, and we only had the sedan.
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Reply By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 18:28

Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 at 18:28
Hi Mikee. On the West Coast the Montezuma Falls is the tallest in Tassie at 90m? The track in is a nice drive for a standard 4wd, not hard if you take your time, just damp rainforest. Best free camps are Bay of Fires near St Helens, a must do town. Lagoons Beach free camp between Falmouth and Bicheno. We recently did the Pennicot boat tour out of Adventure Bay, Bruny Island it was a great experience. Strahan - Abt Railway and Gordon River Cruise worthwhile. Sheffield - town of murals. Launceston -Cataract Gorge.
Enjoy your visit to our state and like most on here you will be itching to come back again.
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Reply By: Member - Scott & Sally - Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 09:31

Friday, Dec 29, 2017 at 09:31
For a nice little out of the way Free camp area try the Griffin camp area near Mathinna on the Esk River.
AnswerID: 615760

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