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7-day itinerary

Bath, United Kingdom
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7-day itinerary

Hi

Would appreciate any advice in fine-tuning our itinerary below (especially days 5-7) for a 7-day visit to Tassie in November, flying into and out of Hobart.

We are first-time visitors, a couple from England, and want lots of Hobart and history/convict trail attractions, nice scenery, animals, and craft-type things. Unlikely to return. We like to be busy! Have found details on all the mentioned attractions online. We don’t want any major walking or any outdoor pursuits/hiking, gentle walks are good though.

Seem to have run out of time for the North West (Cradle Mountain).

Would like to fit in evening penguin viewing somewhere, not necessarily paid-for at Bicheno/Bridport, any advice welcome.

Staying Hobart first 2 nights, then suggestions on stopover towns would be appreciated (looks like Launceston, Devonport?). Obviously we could do some travelling when the attractions have closed for the evening if this fits.

Many thanks.

Day 1-2

Female Factory, Cascades, Botanic Gardens

Battery Point, Salamanca Market (Sat a.m.), St. David’s Cathedral, Gasworks Complex, Waterfront

Day 3

Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts; Mount Nelson Signal Station, Huon Valley Apple and Heritage Museum, (sadly Huon Valley Mushrooms closed as it will be Sunday), The Shot Tower, Tahune Forest Airwalk

Day 4

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, Richmond Gaol, Port Arthur

Day 5

Coal Mines Historic Site (must-see), Bonorong Wildlife Park, Grindewald (miss this?)(in that order?) Devonport: Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre/ Museum; Maritime Museum

Day 6

Mole Creek Marakoopa Cave, ??Sheffield??, Bridestowe Lavender Farm, Launceston, boat trip to Cataract Gorge

Day 7

Freycinet/Wineglass Bay, Longford, Woolmers Estate

Day 8

Time to drive to Hobart airport for 11.30 a.m.

South Pacific
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1. Re: 7-day itinerary

7 days is usually enough time to see about half of Tasmania if the route is efficiently planned, so you should be able to accomplish a lot. And you've found quite a few interesting places to visit - but also a few less so.

My first comment, however, is that the island is bigger than you think. It's about as big as all of Ireland and you have a couple of trips from one end to the other which can be accomplished easily in a sentence, but will take all day in a a car.

As examples, the trip on Day 5 from Port Arthur, via the Coal Mines and Hobart (or thru Richmond again), to Bonorong, then up the Midland Highway, past Launceston to Devonport in time to get to two very minor attractions during opening hours is probably impossible unless all you do is drive. And you will drive quickly past a lot of much more fascinating places with no time to see them in order to see not much at all, I'm afraid. For example, you will have missed most of the convict-era towns of the Midlands (like Oatlands with its working mill and Ross's bridge and female factory) and World Heritage listed Woolmers and Brickendon in the rush, only to try to fit some of it in on Day7.

And if history is your thing, you should not miss seeing Launceston which has the largest intact collection of 19th century architecture in Australia. At the moment, you'll see almost none of it late in the afternoon on day 6.

Similarly the sprint from Launceston to Hobart airport (nearly 3 hours drive) to catch a morning flight is too risky to contemplate. Change the flight departure to Launceston, please!

The best advice I can give you at this point is to get a map of Tasmania and plot all the places you want to go on a map and join them together in a circle, if possible. Or, in a straightish line starting in Hobart and ending in Launceston.

I think this would help rationalise the trip. It leaps out at me when you list places to go in non-sequential order and you tend to be doing that. The trip around the Huon Valley and the sequence Devil Park - Richmond - Port Arthur (as you've written them) involve much back-tracking. Each days trip should be a circle or a straight line.

Take a look at this page and focus on the latter half of the circle it describes from Hobart to Launceston up the east coast. I think it gives you everything you could ask for more efficiently than your present plan: tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g255096-c119432/Ta…

To fit the penguins in, either head up the east coast from Port Arthur to Bicheno, or delete Devonport and insert George Town and see them at Low Head. George Town also has the best Maritime Museum (Bass & Flinders Centre) and the convict-built light house and pilot station at Low Head.

Finally, I appreciate the amount of research you've done on the web to find many of these places. I suspect you've used DiscoverTasmania a great deal. However, being a government site, it's obliged to list every place without regard to merit. I recommend a few hours spent just on the Tasmania, Hobart and Launceston TripAdvisor forums. There's lots of useful information in the Top Question FAQs and in the Things To Do lists. In those lists, other travellers like you offer their opinions on the relative merits of places.

I realise I haven't been very helpful at this stage, but I think you have plenty of time to organise the sequence of places and there's a great deal to be seen in Tassie. 7 days is ample to see what you have listed and more.

Luigi

Bath, United Kingdom
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2. Re: 7-day itinerary

Hi

Thanks very much for all your comments.

Unfortunately the flights cannot be changed without considerable expense, so we are stuck with going in to and out of Hobart.

Seems like we got the location of the Devil Park and the Wildlife Park mixed up.

Day 3 ...Mount Nelson; Shot Tower at Taroona - before the Apple Museum, etc.

Day 4 Our thinking behind Richmond – animal park - Port Arthur was: To see Richmond early and backtrack to the park to get there for the 11.30 park tour and see Port Arthur at the end of the day so we could maybe fit in the Ghost Tour.

Day 7 Longford - Freycinet - Oatlands: what would be the best route, do we go through B34 - is this part of the National Pass area?

Could someone clarify, if possible, please the days we would need Park passes: Mole Creek and Freycinet only (2x$24) as this would be slightly cheaper than the $60 holiday pass?

You’re right, don’t think there is much point going to Devonport before closing (thanks for the info on the other Maritime Museum).

Reckon we should stay in the Oatlands area on the way back down so there is less of a journey on the final day. Just didn’t want to waste time getting in to Hobart again the previous evening and end up seeing the same place to bide time until the flight at lunch time (1.30 p.m.).

Have used the Parks & Wildlife Service, See Tasmania SmartVisit Card, Discover Tasmania and other websites (have now found the whereis maps website which helps a lot)...

Yes, plenty of time to plan yet!

Thank you.

White Beach...
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3. Re: 7-day itinerary

If you are visiting Port Arthur, you won't want to miss seeing the beautiful coastal scenery as you drive around - the Tasmans Arch, Devils kitchen etc are in the Tasman National Park so you would need a pass there too - probably best to get a $60 one then you can not worry about it!

South Pacific
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4. Re: 7-day itinerary

OK, I’ll have a go at a circle, picking up most of your sights plus a few others. I’ve tried to concentrate on the scenery and convict history places:

Days 1 & 2 – do all the things in and around Hobart: so Female Factory, Cascades (is this meant to be the brewery? If not, drop it.), Botanic Gardens, Waterfront & Battery Point & Salamanca Market (Sat a.m.), St. David’s Cathedral (maybe), (Gasworks Complex is not work seeing – it’s a Hog’s Breath cafe and an off-licence), Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts, Mount Wellington, Mount Nelson Signal Station (if Mount Wellington is cloudy).

Day 3, Do a bit of a circle down into the Huon Valley. Your main goal here is to get to the Tahune Airwalk at Geeveston. Stop at the Apple Museum and the Wooden Boat Museum on the way there. Come back via the Shot Tower. You will find other fresh fruit places on the way. (If you want to see a cave, go to Hastings, but seen one cave, seen them all, IMO.)

Day 4. Go to Richmond (very briefly) then on to Port Arthur for most of the day. Skip the Devil Conservation Park at Taranna (way too expensive for what you get). Head north out of Port Arthur toward Swansea or Coles Bay.

Day 5. See Freycinet NP, then head further north to St Helens and to Bay of Fires then west through Derby and Scottsdale (very pretty country) to Bridestowe Lavender farm and on to George Town. (I spend lots of time discouraging going to the lavender farm at other times, but in November it will be magnificent.) See Penguins at Low Head.

Day 6. See George Town sights mentioned previously, then on to Launceston (perhaps crossing over the Batman Bridge to come down through the winery country) for Cataract Gorge and (the short) boat trip.

Day 7. Do guided historic walk in Launceston, then Woolmers and Brickendon at Longford, then head south through Ross to Oatlands. Visit Callington Mill and hope for a windy day. Stay there o’night.

Day 8. Leave early, heading south toward Hobart and turn off at Brighton (signed) to Bonorong Wildlife Park. Then go to airport.

This will involve a whole lot less back and forth driving and will give you some extra worthwhile sights to see.

If this trip appeals, I'll post a few links for some of these places and write directions for Bonorong to the airport in a later post.

Luigi

Edited: 21 August 2010, 09:51
White Beach...
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5. Re: 7-day itinerary

Just another suggestion re Luigia's last suggested itinerary - if you want to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Coal Mines Historic Site (which you said was a must see, I'd suggest spending the night in the Port Arthur Area then head up the East Coast the next day. The 2 historic sites are about 20-25 drive away from each other and both worth seeing as they are so different from each other yet historically complement each other well. You could then do the evening ghost tour as well if you have not done enough ' historic' stuff!

Bath, United Kingdom
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6. Re: 7-day itinerary

Yes, we intend to see a litlte of the coast around Port Arthur. Will get a pass, thanks. And staying near there is defnitely an option.

The new itinerary sounds great, thanks very much Luigi.

(No, not doing the brewery just the FF; no, not intending to do the caves, yes the Devil Park is too expensive; boats and Callington sound good!)

Looks like Bonorong opens at 8.30 which is great, have noticed attracations usually do short days! There seem to be three possible routes from Bonorong WP to the airport, shortest and quickest is the middle one, Richmond Rd and Back Tea Tree Rd.

Appreciate all your help in making our trip better. :-)

South Pacific
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7. Re: 7-day itinerary

Yes, that's about right for the trip to the airport. You've got two real choices: at the bottom of Bonorong's driveway either:

1. Turn left and go through Old Beach, along the eastern shore of the Derwent River to the highway near the Tasman Bridge, or

2. Turn right and go back toward Brighton until you see the sign to Tea Tree and Richmond, then to the airport from just short of Richmond. There's a fair bit of roadwork (bridge building) near Brighton, so the first part of this route is a bit of a pain, but it's a pleasant drive otherwise.

Luigi

8. Re: 7-day itinerary

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