1 week in Tasmania in May - Suggestions?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 9, 2012 2:28 PM Last Post By: sgardner
Feb 9, 2012 5:01 AM
1 week in Tasmania in May - Suggestions?3-4 friends and I are planning to spend about a week in Tasmania after a conference in Melbourne in May. I just wanted to get general ideas of sights to see and travel tips, so we can start researching more specifics. We are all in our mid to late twenties, and are fairly adventurous and active. We are interested in exploring nature/seeing wildlife/hiking/kayaking/etc, but would like to mix in some cultural activities as well. Recommendations for must-see/do? Wineglass Bay? Cradle Mountain? Hobart? Bay of Fires? I assume with the limited amount of time, our best bet is to fly over from Melbourne and then rent a car. Would it be too cold for a camper van? Or would we be better off staying at hostels and renting a car?
Thanks so much, and sorry about the lack of specifics. At this point I am just trying to get some general ideas so we can plan our time there more carefully.
Feb 9, 2012 3:21 PM
1The key is to no try and see too much at once, especially in Tassie where the scenery changes so rapidly in a short space of time. As someone who lives in Tassie after moving down from the mainland, the best suggestion is to fly into either Hobart or Launceston and spend a week on the east coast of Tasmania. You could easily base yourself in Hobart for the week and have plenty of things to do and see over the week, but seeing the east of coast of Tassie is really worthwhile. There are other places in Tassie that are also really worthwhile such as Cradle Mountain, Stanley, Tarkine, and Strahan, but to see them requires you to do a lot of driving on winding roads. Unless you really want to see those places this trip, I would plan to come back another time and visit the North and West Coast. The best time to see Cradle Mountain in my opinion is in the middle of winter with snow covering it.
My top must see and do's are:
1. Hobart - visit Salamanca Markets (on every Saturday morning) - Finish the day off with sunset on Mt Wellington (weather permitting)
2. Tasman Peninsula - Visit Port Arthur and if you like short bushwalks, the Cape Hauy walk is one of the better short walks in Tassie (4 hours long).
3. Stay the night at Eaglehawk Neck - next day an absolute must do is the Tasman Island Cruise.
4. Coles Bay\Freycinet Peninsula - Do the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach bushwalk. Its 11kms long but a relatively easy walk and completely worthwhile.
5. Stay the night at Coles Bay - next day Freycinet Adventures has 3 hour Kayak Tours. Finish off the day with sunset at Cape Toureville Lighthouse Lookout -absolutely brilliant. That night there is the Penguin Tours at Bicheno.
6. St Helens\Bay of Fires - another must do when in Tassie.
7. Drive to Launceston via Wellborough and Scottsdale, stopping at the Pyenganna Cheese Factory and the Pub in the Paddock (which is just down the road from teh Cheese Factory)
You can then either fly out of Launceston, or alternatively drive down the Midlands Highway to Hobart (3 hours) and fly out from there. The above probably doesn't sound like much, but believe me it will quickly fill up your week, and the drive up the east coast is just brilliant.
As for the weather the one thing that you must prepare for in Tassie is the variability. The weather down here changes quiet rapidly where one minute it could be warm and sunny and then a few hours later windy, cold and rainy. In May the weather will be rather cool or cold depending on where you are from. With 4 people a campervan is the best and cheapest way to see Tassie.
Feb 10, 2012 12:14 AM
Feb 10, 2012 5:24 AM
3I just got back from Hobart today and I can recommend the Astor Hotel as a great place to stay. It's very central and reasonably priced.
Feb 20, 2012 2:13 AM
4Excellent reply by #1.
I think Hobart + Tasman Peninsula + the East Coast will keep you completely occupied for a week, plus you get to see some fantastic natural places without spending all day driving.
Its probably most convenient to hire a car and 'pickup and drop off' from Hobart airport, but there are other cheaper car hire companies closer to the CBD, depending on your budget. Google will help you find them.
In May, it gets dark at 5-5.30pm in the evening and I think hiring a car and staying in Hostels and cheap hotels is a better option. That way you'll have somewhere to relax and socialise in the evening after it gets dark and a warm, comfortable place to sleep. I think campervans are a better option in Tassie in summer when the days are longer and warmer.
Feel free to ask some more questions as the trip gets closer.
Feb 26, 2012 12:02 PM
5There's some nice walks on the Tasman Peninsula (some longer than 1 day also). Maria Island also has some nice hikes and a bit of history.
An alternative would be to head west:
- You can also stop off at Lake St Clair, get the ferry to the other side and go on a hike to the Acropolis (part of the Overland Track) - allow 2 days).
- Head to Strahan, take a cruise on the Gordon River (stunning on a clear day!) and/or a kayak. Bit of convict history on the cruise. There are some overnight cruises.
- Head north along the highway (the inland highway has some spectacular views), some great rivers/rainforest etc.
- We went to a place called Mountain Valley Lodge, abundant wildlife, Tassie Devils on your doorstep, platypus in the river, Pademelons/Quolls/Possoms/Wallaby's everywhere. Some very nice hikes nearby including Winterbrook Falls a great rainforest walk.
- You can head up to Cradle Mountain and do some great short hikes up there also.
- Tarkine rainforest is beautiful also.
Generally, the West Coast is more lush with beautiful rainforests, rivers, lakes etc. A bit more mountainous as well.
Mar 9, 2012 2:28 PM
6Whilst the West Coast has spectacular scenery I don't know if you'd want to be around there in May.
The roads ice up quite frequently and are sometimes closed. The average MAX temperature is 12 degrees, going down to 6 degrees at night. Note that Queenstown receives up to 3.5 metres of rain a year (most of it in the winter).
I'd suggest to do the East Coast of Tasmania in this trip, and the West Coast in the summer. Although, even in summer it can snow in the West!
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