21 MUST-know travel and camping hacks for Tasmania

I am freshly back from the Apple Isle. Who knew I could learn so much in six days? Here’s some essential local knowledge to help you plan and navigate your Tasmanian road trip.

SUMMER IN TASMANIA

  1. Summer in Tassie does not always equal warmth – but our swims were worth it! Our road trip rule is to at least put your toe in to each ocean you find (do NOT follow this if you have any rips, sharks or other fatal hazards).
  2. If you do not know what a rip is, please swim in the flagged patrolled areas.
  3. For any given day trip bring – a jumper, long pants, shorts, a raincoat and umbrella – you may just need them all! PS It can snow in summer! 
  4. Yes, you are further from the equator BUT don’t be misled. The UV factor is severe, so slap on your hat, slip on sunscreen etc…

WINE AND FOOD

Tasmania - First apples of the season!
First apples of the season!
  1. Did you know Tassie has four different wine trails? Their bubbles are sensational. You’ll need a designated driver to really appreciate it all.
  2. Tassie bakeries stock Banbury tarts, a pastry concoction with currants and jam. I’d never seen one, and had to try it. I think it’s an acquired taste.
  3. I love that you eat the variety, rather than the fruit or vege. I tasted sublime dutch creams and black (skin and flesh) potatoes. We had a prune that was not dried, but fresh! We dined on fresh raspberries, strawberries and grapes picked from the vine, goggling green with envy at our friend’s ripening orchard.

PRONUNCIATION

  1. Bicheno is pronounced Bish-en-NO (it does not rhyme with cappucCINo, there is no EEN). Hellyer is Hell-ee-air, not “Hell, YEAH“, like I had hoped. Stanley is pronounced Stanley.
  2. VERY IMPORTANT: If you are in Tassie, you do not say: ‘Back in Australia…’ To avoid offending anyone, substitute with: ‘Back on the mainland…’

DRIVING IN TASMANIA

  1. Unless you are free camping, and there are no booking options – organise your accommodation and caravan parks! Even in the larger centres, it was super busy. Don’t try to wing it. You may end up disappointed.
  2. I love the free and budget camps in Tassie. So many beautiful locations, seaside or in the mountains.
Tasmania's Bay of Fires has one beautiful FREE beachside camp after another - but it helps to know which is suitable for your vehicle and what facilities are in each one!
Tasmania's Bay of Fires has one beautiful FREE beachside camp after another - but it helps to know which is suitable for your vehicle and what facilities are in each one!
  1. I was told this but really didn’t believe it until we were there. Allocate more time for driving. 100 km does not equate to an hour’s travel, unless you are on the Midland Highway. Roads are mostly mountainous, narrow and full of curves. So if you want to fit in all the cellar doors and local produce, plan shorter day trips.
The Spring Vale vineyards cellar door is a stable built by convicts in 1842 - a perfect place to sample Tasmania's bounty
The Spring Vale vineyards cellar door is a stable built by convicts in 1842 - a perfect place to sample Tasmania's bounty
  1. Keep an eye out for road signs. They really are a joy in Tasmania: Nowhere Else, Promised Land, Paradise, Meander, Kindred and Woolly Butt, to name a few.
  2. The ‘Nut’ is not a pecan, macadamia or almond. You can climb all over it – but it takes fitness to hike up it!
The Nut, Stanley, Tasmania
The only nut in this photo is in the background!
  1. There are also a lot of Uppers! Try not to get them confused. You might be aiming for Upper Natone and end up kilometres away in Natone, which is just near Upper Stowport, but a fair way from Stowport!
  2. Just like the roadkill, history and natural wonders are at every turn. I oohed and ahhhed at the spires and turrets, waterfalls and trails.
  3. Just because the map indicates the name of a town – please do not expect a pub, or perhaps a little store. Some of those place names seem to be districts. For example in Arthur River you can take a cruise, but not a sit down meal. The Arthur River store does make great takeaway burgers, however!

TASMANIAN ANIMALS

A fluffy echidna looking at me - between Leven Canyon and Nietta
A fluffy echidna looking at me - between Leven Canyon and Nietta
  1. You won’t just find Tasmanian devils in zoos. They are all over the place! Our friends had them fighting out their farmhouse windows! Quolls can steal chooks. They’re vicious. Tassie devils are more likely to eat roadkill – and so become roadkill themselves.
  2. Possums and pademelons are the darkest I’ve seen, compared to “on the mainland” – and very bold. There are no apex predators, like across the Bass Strait. The echidnas are fluffier in Tasmania! Who would have thought? And wallaby stew is on the menu!
  3. There are penguins in Penguin. They just aren’t living, breathing penguins – but we hear they are nearby. You’ll find them resident at loads of beaches in this beautiful state.

FINAL TIP

  1. Book another trip! For the smallest state, it is jam packed with wonders and experiences just waiting for you.

You’ll find caravan parks and free and budget campsites all in our CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App and guides. The latest CAMPS Pendium box set has separate state guides. It means you can just take the one book, all about Tasmania (with camps and caravan parks) and a protective jacket. This is much lighter compared to your CAMPS 11 books with all Australian campsites, from every state and territory.

Thanks to Mark, Tanya and Leisa for sharing their knowledge on their home state. 

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Free and budget oceanside camps are plentiful
Free and budget oceanside camps are plentiful

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