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to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Sydney, Australia
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53 posts
36 reviews
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to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Firstly, thank you everyone for your informative threads and posts on the wonderful topic of Tasmania.

I am in the process of planning a family trip for five and as such your current top threads are spot on!!

My question is this:

I have noticed that some of the Tassie knowledge banks seem a touch reserved in their comments on campervanning. We have never done it before, but we are pretty good at camping and long trips so we're not adverse to it.

My inclination towards the camper van idea is the cost saving (hire car + accommodation would possibly cost quite a bit more?) and holiday bookings. As this has been a last minute idea I suspect I will struggle to get accommodation?

My few points against are that we miss out on some of the gorgeous looking accommodation! and that we may end up in lots of tourist parks which my husband absolutely LOATHES! (he's more a hike in and camp kinda guy).

If anyone could take a minute to make a suggestion it would be most appreciated.

We have bee hives so we plan to try to visit some honey/bee operations if you know of any? Also my husband is a big cider beer fan and I am a self confessed good food addict and (if I do say so myself) great cook! so any must do experiences you suggest would also be appreciated.

That said, depending on responses I think I'm inclined to copy cat one of the other great looking itineraries on here that has been tweaked by Luigi's many great suggestions.

What do you think? am I dreaming pulling it together at such short notice to January?

Thanks so much for any advice.

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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25,276 posts
73 reviews
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1. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

In my opinion, camping is for people who like camping: vanning is for people who like vanning. Everyone should already know whether that's them or not.

It's really "dangerous" to turn up in a strange place, for a short time, to see the sights WHILE TRYING TO LEARN TO CAMPERVAN at the same time. That's a holiday disaster in the making, IMO. Just have a think about the ramifications of dealing with packing and unpacking your house evry day, a speed of 30kph on Tassie's winding roads, flat batteries because you left a light on, rain, and worst - grey and black waste - while you "enjoy" your holiday.

People who have not campervanned before also harbour misconceptions about how easy it is to just "pull over by the side of the road and pitch the awning for the night". By-and-large that's prohibited almost everywhere in Australia except for very rare designated over-night stopping points which are spartan places.

In Tasmania quite a few small towns allow you to take some space on the town common. Local councils do this in the MISTAKEN belief that the vanning fraternity will spend money in the town. They don't. Vanners have every intention of spending nothing and dumping the cassette into the council dunny on the way out of town. And it sends the local small caravan park operator broke in the process.

Now if that lifestyle suits you, go for it!!

But best advice I can give if you do decide to "van" is to book into proper caravan parks and get proper facilities so you don't have to cart your sh1t around with you. :))

And if you do that, you might as well stay in on-site vans! And if you do that, you might as well have booked a motel room! and if you do that .....

Enough!

Luigi

Sydney, Australia
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53 posts
36 reviews
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2. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

hahaha, I had a feeling that was your take on it!

Glad I asked though, because they are very good points. Especially with three kids!

I'll see what I can find accommodation wise then.

Thanks for the advise.

legs

South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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25,276 posts
73 reviews
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3. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Don't worry. Rob will be along soon to tell you the opposite. :))))

Cradle...
Destination Expert
for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
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11,709 posts
238 reviews
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4. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Luigi how can you say that :)). OK OK I do like campervans, but I'm going to agree with you. I wouldn't even think about taking a campervan around Tassie at that time of the year with 5 people, especially the area I live in. Because the journey to Cradle Mountain takes twice as long, following the thousand campervans heading that way.

Last time I hired a campervan it was in the off season, it was 6 berths for 2 people. No I'm a full size vehicle with nice hotel room person.

I can advise that free camping in the community public reserves or town commons will soon be a thing of the past and my sources tell me it could be in place very soon, watch this space.

One thing I don’t like about campervaners, again in my area, I couldn’t count how many times I have nearly rear ended them. One minute their doing a reasonable speed then all of a sudden it snapshot time, no warning breaks full on and stopping in the middle of the road because they can’t pull over as quick, take their snapshot then of they go again.

Legs, IMO you should try the car and hotel scenario.

Safe travels -Robert

Sydney, Australia
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53 posts
36 reviews
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5. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

great team work gentlemen.

Now to the trick of finding accommodation at that time!! wish me luck ;-)

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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3,985 posts
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6. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Hi legs - I could throw a spanner in the works here:) Have you considered taking your own car on the ferry with your own camping gear?

We did this a few years ago and it worked out really well. If the weather was bad or we just didn't feel like setting up camp - we'd book in somewhere. If we found ourselves in a great area for camping - we'd set up camp.

We were so glad that we WERE camping & NOT "vanning" as many of the campsites are a way out of town so if you suddenly find yourself needing supplies or take the fancy for a meal at the pub - you can't just pack up & drive your vehicle into town.

Other than that - with 3 kids in tow - try looking at cabins in van parks (I know hubby won't like it but they are economical and the kids get heaps of room to run around once you settle in for the evening) or farmstays are another great option that will give you all a different experience.

Sydney, Australia
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53 posts
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7. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

Thanks Tez, yes I had considered that option. Just running the costs on that option over cheap virgin flights. Would be quite an experience!

8. Re: to campervan or self drive? ...that is the question!!

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