Tourist centres are heavily booked in summer, over Easter and on public holidays – get in early. Weekend trips are popular with mainlanders (the 'MONA effect') – so look for cheaper midweek fares.
Self-contained accommodation Beach houses, city apartments and historic cottages.
Camping and caravan parks Tasmanian camping grounds and caravan parks don't skimp on the wilderness.
B&Bs and boutique stays Many B&Bs are historic homes with tales to tell. Boutique hotels up the ante.
Hotels and motels Heritage hotels (plus a few contemporary ones) and myriad drive-up motels.
Hostels Backpacker joints in Tasmania can be hit-and-miss…but there are some good ones.
Self-contained holiday houses and apartments in Tasmania are largely midrange affairs rented on a nightly or weekly basis – a great option if you're travelling with kids or a group of mates, or just want to cook dinner once in a while. Historic cottages are pricier, starting at around $200 per night, but often include breakfast provisions.
Cottages of the Colony (www.cottagesofthecolony.com.au) Self-contained historic cottages around the state.
Home Away (www.homeaway.com.au) Self-contained historic cottages and rental properties.
Tas Villas (www.tasvillas.com) Self-catering accommodation.
Camping & Caravan Parks
Camping in most national parks requires you to purchase a parks pass and then pay a small (unpowered) site fee (usually couple/child $13/free, additional adult $5). Facilities are generally pretty basic but often include toilets, picnic benches and fireplaces (BYO wood). There are also plenty of free camp sites in national parks, with minimal facilities.
Other than at a few particularly popular places (eg Freycinet National Park on the east coast) it's not possible to book national-park camp sites…so arrive early! Organise parks passes in advance (unless there's a visitor centre where you can purchase one on-site). Camping fees are payable either on-site in deposit boxes or at visitor centres.
Parks & Wildlife Service (www.parks.tas.gov.au) Click on ‘Recreation’, then ‘Camping’. Also the hub for info on parks passes.
Camping Tasmania (www.campingtasmania.com) A deep reservoir of Tasmanian camping info.
Tasmania also has plenty of commercial caravan parks, with hot showers, kitchens and laundry facilities. Unpowered sites for two people generally fall into the $25 to $30 price bracket; powered sites usually range from $30 to $40. Some parks offer cheap dorm-style accommodation and cabins. Cabin configurations vary, but expect to pay $100 to $170 for two people in a cabin with a small bathroom and kitchenette.
Caravan Parks Tasmania (www.caravanparkstasmania.com) Comprehensive website, detailing all of Tasmania's caravan parks.
Tasmanian Tourist Parks (www.tasmaniantouristparks.com.au) Selected caravan-park listings around the state.
B&Bs & Boutique Stays
Tasmania’s B&Bs occupy everything from restored convict-built cottages to upmarket country manors and beachside bungalows. Some places advertised as B&Bs are actually self-contained cottages with breakfast provisions supplied. Only in the cheaper B&Bs will bathroom facilities be shared. Some B&B hosts may cook dinner for guests (usually 24 hours’ notice is required). Rates usually range from $150 to $300 per double.
There's an increasing number of top-flight boutique hotels in Tasmania, in places as urban as Hobart and Burnie, and as far-flung as Lake St Clair and Stanley. Rates are certainly lofty – at least $300 a night and sometimes a lot more – but you definitely get what you pay for.
Beautiful Accommodation (www.beautifulaccommodation.com) A select crop of luxury B&Bs and self-contained houses.
Hosted Accommodation Australia (www.tasmanianbedandbreakfast.com) B&Bs, homestays and farmstays.
Oz Bed & Breakfast (www.ozbedandbreakfast.com) Nationwide website with good Tasmanian listings.
Tasmania Luxury Accommodation (www.tasmanialuxuryaccommodation.com.au) Resorts, boutique hotels and luxury B&B accommodation – high-end stuff.
Hotels & Motels
In Tasmania’s cities, hotel accommodation is typically comfortable and anonymous, often with a kitsch heritage bent (though some newer contemporary options are appearing). Aimed at business travellers and midrange tourists (doubles generally upwards of $160), they tend to have a restaurant/cafe, room service, a gym and various other facilities.
Midrange drive-up motels have similar facilities to hotels (tea- and coffee-making facilities, fridge, TV, bathroom). There’s rarely a cheaper rate for singles, so they’re a better option if you're travelling as a couple or a group of three. Prices reflect standards, but you’ll generally pay between $120 and $160 for a room.
Inkeepers Tasmania (www.innkeeper.com.au) Midrange hotels, motels, lodges and apartments.
The established YHA network in Tasmania comprises just three hostels, but backpacker accommodation can be found in most major towns. Often you’ll need to supply your own bed linen, or sheets can be rented for around $5. Sleeping bags are usually a no-no.
Tasmania has plenty of independent hostels, but standards vary enormously. Many are old rabbit-warren pubs that have been transformed into backpackers, with rowdy bar areas and makeshift bathroom facilities, while others are converted motels where all rooms have private bathrooms. Newer purpose-built hostels generally have tidier facilities, with good communal areas and plenty of bathroom space. Other good places are small, intimate hostels where the owner is also the manager.
Independent backpacker establishments typically charge $27 to $37 for a dorm bed and $80 to $100 for a twin or double room with shared bathroom (upwards of $100 if there's a private bathroom).
Tasmania has three hostels as part of the Youth Hostels Association (www.yha.com.au): in Hobart, Bridport in the northeast and Coles Bay on the east coast. YHA hostels offer dorms, twin and double rooms, and cooking and laundry facilities. The vibe is generally less 'party' than in independent hostels…but there's always plenty of cutlery.
Nightly charges start at $27 for members; hostels also take non-YHA members for an extra $3. Australian residents can become YHA members for $15 for one year; join online or at any YHA hostel (sometimes it's thrown in for free as part of your first booking). Families can also join: just pay the adult price, then kids under 18 can join for free.
The YHA is part of Hostelling International (www.hihostels.com). If you already have HI membership in your own country, you're entitled to YHA rates in Tasmanian hostels.
Some Tasmanian pubs have been restored – the new Alabama Hotel in Hobart is a prime specimen – but generally, pub rooms remain small and weathered, with a long amble down the hall to the bathroom. They’re usually central and cheap – singles/doubles with shared facilities start at $70/90 – but if you’re a light sleeper, avoid booking a room above the bar and check whether a band is playing downstairs that night.
Long-term accommodation If you want to stay longer in Tasmania, noticeboards in universities, hostels, bookshops and cafes are good places to start looking for digs. Shared-flat vacancies are also listed in the classified sections of the daily newspapers (and on their websites). Online, check out Gumtree (www.gumtree.com.au).
WWOOFing See Willing Workers on Organic Farms (www.wwoof.com.au) for info on working on farms in return for bed and board.