WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Tasmania is a modern state and everything you expect to find in Australia, you will find in Tasmania. It is also a very tourist oriented state with a wide variety of accommodation styles. You can buy all the usual necessities and luxuries of life in the cities of Tasmania. However, there are some things about Tasmania that you need to know. Below are a list of key things that a tourist should know.
You should read them all or click on any blue word in the list below to go straight to that section. Alternatively, if you click on the SMALL INDEX icon above you will go to a list of all the places available in the small format size suitable for mobile phones. The HOME PAGE icon takes you back to the start page, while the LARGE INDEX icon takes you to a list of the places available in the large format size suitable for ipads, laptops and PCs. I will now discuss the following issues in this order:
- FERRY or PLANE
- CAR or BUS
- NATIONAL PARKS
- GETTING LOST
- REGION Pages
- SMALL PHOTO & INFORMATION Pages
1/ FERRY or PLANE: Tasmania is an island, so you will need to decide whether you are taking your car on the ferry ship the "Spirit of Tasmania" or you are flying down and renting a car. Below are the ferry and plane services to help you to book your passage in my Google search box above:
SPIRIT of TASMANIA
2/ CAR or BUS: The most convenient way to travel around Tasmania is by car. There are no passenger trains or trams in Tasmania anymore. The trains listed are local heritage trains. Touring Tasmania by public bus is a more complicated option. The key hire car and bus companies are listed below for you to book in my Google search box above:
METRO BUS LINE
3/ ACCOMMODATION: If you wish to avoid doing too much driving, then locate yourself wisely. The attractions of Tasmania are in areas that are easy to reach, if you have located yourself wisely. I suggest that you decide from my different region pages, which you access from my top menu bar, what you want to see and then find yourself the right accommodation.
Give yourself a day for each attraction, as there is nothing worse than the frustration of trying to see it all in a short time. What to see is explained in the individual place's SMALL PHOTO & INFORMATION page, like my "ANSONS BAY" page.
My top menu bar INTEREST page will give you a good summary about where to see the ANIMALS, HERITAGE and NATURAL WONDERS of Tasmania. I suggest you scan what is available in the different regions and then form a timetable of how long you want to stay there to see them.
You can also access attractions from neighboring regions according to where you locate yourself. I have organized my REGIONS, so that the listed attractions are no more than one hour away from the accommodation settlements. In the top orientation section of each place information page I have ended by telling you what nearby places are worth considering.
On each place information page you will find an interactive Google map that will show you your road accessing options. Based on your budget and the attractions that you desire to see, you should then book your accommodation accordingly. If you plan to use a caravan then visit www.caravantasmania.com.au
4/WEATHER in Tasmania is relatively mild, but it can change rapidly. Always have cold weather clothing with you and always check the weather before you go out. You are particularly warned not to go bush walking or boating in bad weather, if a bush walkers or boating alert is given by the weather bureau.
Every year some silly tourists are only saved by the skills and dedication of our emergencies services. SNOW IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY is fairly common, despite these months being in the height of the Tasmanian summer.
Always remember that Tasmania is a very different place from the rest of hot Australia. This is why you must always have cold weather clothing with you, particularly if you go bush walking.
The seas can also be very rough around the Tasmanian coast. So boat users beware! This also applies to boating on the Highland Lakes.
Tasmania also has unique animals that have only survived, because they were protected from animal threats from the Australian mainland. It is important that you help to protect Tasmania by not bringing in things that could harm her. Tasmania already has fox and rabbit problems.
Many Tasmanian species are in some danger. The Tasmania devil is now being devastated by a facial tumour disease of unknown origin. So please help the Tasmanian Customs and check with them before bringing in: FRUIT, VEGETABLES, FRESH FOOD, ANIMALS and PLANTS.
6/ NATIONAL PARKS: Many of the best attractions are in national parks. You must have a valid pass to enter any national park. You can purchase a pass at the entrance to the major parks, but there are many minor parks, where there will be no easy way to purchase a pass. However, you will still be expected to have one! The easiest way to solve this problem is to buy one online.
Many national parks do not provide for litter collection and they may not even provide for fresh water. If there are no litter bins then you are expected to bring out all that you take in. This is because, after much experience, litter bins have been found to encourage abnormal behavior in animals. Visitor should:
Bring out all that you bring in
Take away nothing, but memories
Leave nothing, but footprints
Shoot nothing, but photos
CONSERVATION AREAS are not quite the same thing as national parks and you should not expect the same high standards. Rather they are areas where the native plants and animals are being protected. Some conservation areas are in the process of being made into national parks. Nature reserves are similar. You usually do not have to pay to enter them.
7/ ANIMALS: Only in the listed wild life parks will you realistically be able to see Tasmania's unique animals. You are unlikely to see many wild animals, except wallabies, in the wild. You also need to be careful when you drive that you do not kill or injure native animals, as they often cross roads. If you injure an animal please ring Injured Wildlife on 03 6233 6556 or 03 6268 1184. If the animal is dead take it off the road, as it is a hazard to other drivers and to other animals.
The golden rule for animals is look, but don't touch! Know that:
Kangaroos can give a vicious kick
Devils have a very powerful bite
Platypuses have a poisonous spur
Jumping jack ants can give you very painful bites
Snakes have a toxic bite
Birds may dive bomb you
ANTS: If you see an ant nest, walk away from it immediately and report its location to other people. Ants are much more dangerous than their small size indicates and people need to be warned.
CAMERA FLASH: Do not photograph any animal using a flash, as this may scare the animal and scared animals can be aggressive.
TASMANIAN TIGER or Thylacine is now officially extinct, but many people regularly claim to see them, especially at night. I personally know two people who have seen one. Do not approach a Tiger, as it has a deadly bite. However, if you can safely make photos or video, then you should contact the WILDERNESS SOCIETY on www.wilderness.org.au/ their telephone number is 03 63317488. Your photo or video could prove to be invaluable in providing proof that this unique, marsupial carnivore still exists.
FOX FREE TASMANIA asks everyone to report the PLACE and TIME that they see any fox, so that eradication many be implemented by telephoning 1300 369 688 or contacting www.dpiw.tas.gov.au
They warn you not to approach foxes as they bite. If you notice a fox den, note its location and report it. Do not approach the den, as you may scare the fox away.
Foxes can easily be distinguished from dogs by their long bushy tail. Their eyes, also, shine large and yellow in a light beam, unlike the eyes of native animals. If you want to learn more about foxes go to http://www.thefoxwebsite.org
8/ GETTING LOST should not be a problem, as Tasmania is not a dangerous place. All the premier sites have many directional signs for visitors, however, if you do go bush walking on some secondary sites, you need to use common sense. Signs may be lacking and the trails may be confusing.
All bush walkers should have COLD WEATHER CLOTHING and WATER with them on any walk. It is a mistake to presume that you can find water, whenever you need it. EPIRBS (Emergency Position Indicating Recovery Beacon System) are also recommended by the rescue services, as they make locating a lost person infinitely easier.
Detailed maps of Tasmania are available from TASMAP.
"Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service" recommends you:
KNOW YOUR WAY and walk within your capabilities.
BE PREPARED – take clothing and equipment to suit changeable weather and track conditions.
AVOID WALKING ALONE – other sources recommend a minimum of three persons.
LET SOME RELIABLE PERSON KNOW of your plans and be sure to advise them of estimated return time.
RECORD YOUR TRIP intentions in the log books (These are in the parks at the start of the tracks.) This will help searchers to locate you, if you are reported overdue or missing.
TURN BACK or change your plans, if the weather deteriorates or the walk is more difficult than you expected.
They also recommend that you bring:
WATER – a minimum of one litre per person per day,
HAT, SUNSCREEN & SUNGLASSES,
STURDY WALKING SHOES.
WARM JACKET– beaches and mountains can become cold, wet and windy.
WATERPROOF COAT– cold weather in Tasmania can come quite unpredictably.
Other sources further advise that you should:
Start by studying the trail map and always stick to marked trails.
Don't be dependent on satellite navigation systems - consult your own compass.
Note the direction of landmarks and the sun as you walk.
Look back every 100 meters to get the "back view".
Critically, if the trail ends or becomes confusing, turn back.
If you do become lost; the golden rule is DON'T PANIC! Most people don't walk very fast, so you can't be very far off course, if you think about it. You need to use your brains to find your way back. I have personally been lost and I saved my own life by using my survival knowledge. The advice given by Parks and Wildlife is to do the following things:
RETURN TO YOUR LAST KNOWN POSITION, if you possibly can – don't try to go on!
LOOK FOR LANDMARKS or the sun and try to relate these to the way you have come.
If you can go to a high point, without losing site of your last known position, go and have a wider look.
If it is not obvious, which way to go, then stay put and call for help. There may be others on the trail. THREE yells, whistles or light flashes are the international call for help.
Remember that the worse thing that you can do is to go wandering around aimlessly and getting yourself even more lost or even injured.
9/REGION pages summarize what is available and of interest to a tourist in that region. You should read these before you go to the individual attraction pages for that region.
10/SMALL PHOTO & INFORMATION pages will tell you what you need to know about that place. These pages are suitable for viewing on mobile phones. The individual pages follow the same format:
ORIENTATION relates you to where that place is in Tasmania, what attractions are there and how it relates to other nearby places.
GOOGLE MAP will show the locations of key places and recommended access routes. Zero in on these for more information.
TOURIST Information tells you where the tourist office or tourist information board is located, if there is one.
SIGHTS explains what is there to see.
ROUTES explains how to get to the sights.