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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tasmania: How to Get There and Around

Posted by Jana Kubíčková On 14:46 1 comment

How to get there

By air

Tasmania is well served by sea and air links to Australia’s biggest cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth or Darwin. Singapore Airlines also connect Hobart with Singapore via direct international flight. The fares can get as cheap as $79 for the flight from Sydney to Hobart one way during Jetstar’s frequent special deals. From Australia the following airlines fly either to Launceston or Hobart:


Hobart international and domestic airport is situated 17km from the city center which is easily reached by the Airport Shuttle Bus. Car hire and campervan facilities are also available at the airport.


By Sea
The Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ferries cross the Bass Strait from Melbourne to Devonport on the north coast of Tasmania. It offers the convenience of being able to take your own car on holiday with you from $89 per vehicle and from $128 per person one way.



Accommodation

If you need to stay overnight close to the Hobart or Launceston airports, there are a few conveniently located tourist parks which offer a wide range of accommodation options from cabins or caravan sites to affordable camping sites with free use of camper's kitchen and bathroom facilities.
  • Hobart Airport Tourist Park is Hobart's newest caravan and cabin park conveniently located within a few minutes of Hobart Airport and 15 minutes from the Hobart's CBD. There is a complimentary shuttle bus service to and from Hobart Airport. The rates start at $35 per powered site per night.
  • Right next to Hobart airport is Barilla Holiday Park, a popular caravan park located in beautiful Cambridge area. The rates start at $13 per unpowered site or $28 per powered site in low season.
  • The Longford Riverside Caravan Park is located in Longford, approximately 15 minutes west of Launceston, Tasmania. The Caravan Park is situated on the banks of the picturesque Macquarie River and includes 58 powered camp sites, caravan and cabin accommodation.


Transport

With the exception of the most popular hikes such as those in Cradle Mountain area, most of the hiking tracks such as South Coast Track, Western Arthur's Traverse, Mount Anne or Walls of Jerusalem are not accessible via road or public transport and even an option of arranging transport to your trailhead with private shuttle company can be quite a challenge on weekends or public holidays, and almost always an expensive exercise. 


Car hire
Major international rental companies, such as Avis, Budget, Europcar and Thrifty, have booking desks at airports and in all major towns, and there are many specialist local businesses ready to assist with your hire needs. The rates can plummet to $80 per economy car per day in high season, so always try to book well in advance.
  • Economy Car Rentals usually offers the most competitive prices including zero excess option
  • Lo-Cost Auto Rent in Hobart (03-6231 0550; 105 Murray St), Launceston (03-6334 3437; 80 Tamar St) or Devonport (03-6427 0796; 5 Murray St)
  • Rent-a-Bug in Hobart (03-6231 0300; 105 Murray St), Launceston (03-6334 3437; 80 Tamar St) or Devonport (03-6427 9034; 5 Murray St)
  • Selective Car Rentals in Hobart (1800 300 102, 03-6234 3311; 47 Bathurst St)


Public transport
Tasmania has a reasonable bus network connecting major towns and centers, but the weekend and public holiday services are infrequent. The main bus lines that cover most of the state are Redline Coaches (1300 360 000, 03-6336 1446) and TassieLink (1300 300 520, 03-6230 8900).


Private shuttle
  1. Evans Coaches can provide transport for bush walkers in and around Southern Tasmania. They cater to independent travelers or walking groups with an option of airport pick ups and drop offs. The cost is usually very high for less than 4 passengers, although some destinations can be arranged on weekends or public holidays. They can offer the following connections: Hobart to Serpentine Dam ($500.00 for 1 to 4 passengers, departs: 9.00am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), Geeveston to Hartz Mountain (in conjuction with Tassielink, $65.00 per person), Hobart to Farmhouse Creek ($80.00 per person - minimum 4 passengers), Hobart to Precipitous Bluff ($80.00 per person, departs: 12:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday), Hobart to Scotts Peak Dam ($400.00 1 - 4 passengers, departs 9.00am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), Cockle Creek to Hobart Airport ($90 pp, departs: 12:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).
  2. Tiger Wilderness can offers private charters for walking groups as well as independent travellers. They provide transport to and from the following National Parks: Cradle Mountain and St Clair, Arm River, Lees Paddocks, Walls of Jerusalem, Frenchmans Cap, Southwest and other places. Check their website for the free quote.  
  3. Mountain Bikes Tasmania is a new transport provider in Tasmania offering flexible transport options from the airport to the start of the major bushwalking areas. They can also pick you up from the end of your walk with return transfer to either Launceston or Hobart airport.
  4. Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences provide a comprehensive transport service for bushwalkers seeking to access Tasmania's walking tracks. They can offer very convenient and flexible schedule to and from Hobart Airport.
  5. Adventure Seekers provide transportation service to the following bushwalking tracks: Hobart to/from Frenchmans Cap ($120 pp), Cradle Mountain ($190 pp), Lake St Clair ($110 pp), Walls of Jerusalem and Arm River Track ($190 pp), Cockle Creek ($105 pp) and Scotts Peak Dam ($120 pp); Launceston – to/from Cradle Mountain ($110 pp) and Walls of Jerusalem ($110); and Lake St Clair to / from Cradle Mountain ($150 pp), Hobart ($110 pp) and Launceston ($110 pp)  


Tips
Most private shuttle can provide assistance with the purchase of National Park Passes, fuel and gas for camping, books and maps for your walk, as well as equipment hire and limited range of camping foods. Most of them also encourage you to share the cost for your transport with other people so check on the forums such as bushwalk.com or contact the company in advance to see when other people are going so you can share the cost. For the more budget minded hitchhiking business does work and you can always find other  people heading the same direction on the bushwalking forums. If you're planning to visit a few different  National Parks, hiring a car very often ends up being the cheaper option not mentioning the flexibility of your own car which in an unpredictable wilderness such as Southwest or Cradle Mountain is almost always a welcome bonus.





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