Explore Tasmania, Australia on a Cheap Holiday in a Rental Camper van, Caravan or Motor home
Where is Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania is the little broken piece off the bottom of Australia. This amazing island is situated at Australia's most southern point, making it the closest seaport to Antarctica.
It only takes approx. 5 hours drive from the top to the bottom of this magical island, it's all that's in between those two points that will repeatedly take your breath away.
Tasmania is the leading state in Australia for cheap, self-drive holidays in a camper van, caravan or motor home. Meander along roads that cross from countryside to beaches, from suburbia to sprawling paddocks and pastures. Hike over mountains, walk through native bushland, swim in pristine rivers, trek through virgin snow and drive over smooth roads, all in one day.
And if nature isn't your thing one day, stop in at Tasmania's world famous museums, visit vibrant Salamanca Markets, taste gourmet food and wines caught, grown or produced in the state, indulge in the many festivals and events. Then immerse yourself in the dynamic art, culture, shop at the numerous delightful boutiques or discover the barbaric convict history of Tasmania's conception.
There is just so much on offer in Tasmania, Australia, that you'll need more than a few days here. Hire a rental Campervan, caravan or Motorhome or bring your own and see Tassie on your own terms. Find out what you need to know, to have a great holiday in Tasmania.
How to Get to Tasmania
There are three main entry points into Tasmania: Hobart Airport, Launceston, Airport and The Spirit of Tasmania, Devonport, Port.
- Hobart Airport is the larger of the two airports and is the most popular entry point for travelers flying into the state. Nearly all of the vehicle rental companies are based at the airport, or close by in Cambridge (approx. 5 minutes drive from airport). The major airlines fly from most capital cities into Hobart a few times a day, although Melbourne, Australia is the linking city for flying in from another country.
- Launceston Airport is situated at the top end of Tasmania. Services are limited, although arrangements can often be made. The major vehicle rental companies are available and local operators can make their vehicles available to you in Launceston or Devonport at an extra cost. Flights are traditionally cheaper and fewer than Hobart Airport.
- The Spirit of Tasmania is a large ferry that departs Melbourne, sailing across Bass Straight to Tasmania. With the option to take your vehicle with you, many travelers count the crossing as a highlight of their trip. Just like any other floating cruise liner, The Spirit of Tasmania offers overnight private cabins, seats or
Spirit of Tasmania
Spirit of Tasmania sails between it's Devonport, and Melbourne terminals. Leaving for an overnight journey, or day sailing between December and April (peak period). Options for accommodation include deluxe cabins, twin or four berth cabins or ocean recliners for every budget.
Benefits of sailing over flying are:
- Can take your vehicle with you (this includes camper vans, caravans and motor homes).
- Take your pets with you, booked in the kennels.
- No excess baggage - fill your car with camping equipment, fishing poles, sporting equipment, travel bags etc.
- Amazing sea crossing and views of Bass Straight.
- Relax while you travel (particularly the driver) over the biggest substantial sea crossing in Australia.
Lonely Planet Tasmania Guide
Lonely Planet - Top Ten Cities - Best in Travel
Lonely Planet, the most prestigious travel publisher in the world has declared Hobart one of their Top Ten Cities in Best in Travel for 2013. They reckon our glorious mountain, swank markets, contemporary, cultural environment, and gourmet foodie scene are sublime. They recommend their readers visit this unique island before the rest of the world finds out about it. Read their top notch reviews and recommendations about Tasmania in Lonely Planet Tasmania (Regional Travel Guide)
Hiring a Camper Van, Caravan or Motorhome
Tasmania is a leader in RV Friendly towns and facilities. Clearly signed dump points are available in most towns as well as extra facilities to accommodate travelers in camper vans, caravans or motor homes. Roads are well maintained, particularly along the touring routes having road and curb care, regularly occurring.
All brands, sizes and shapes of travel vehicles are available from the many reputable hire companies operating in Tasmania. Both large, national companies and smaller, local operations offer road vehicles at an attractive price.
A self contained camper van, caravan or motor home can be all that is needed to explore most of Tasmania.
- For those on a budget a 2 - 3 person camper van fulfills all your basic living requirements, although they very rarely contain a toilet or washing amenities. Camper vans have multi-use furniture which often transforms into the bed.
- Moving up a notch to a Motor home, the opulence in some of these vehicles is similar to deluxe hotels. Motor homes have a separate toilet and shower area as well as the designated sleeping areas and seating. Required if you're traveling with 3 or more people.
- Caravans are popular with travelers who like to park somewhere for a length of time, un-hitch the caravan and go exploring in the tow car. Again accommodation that can provide for up to 8 people. Beds are permanently set up in often walled off bedrooms.
What's the Weather in Tasmania
Tasmania is one of those places where you can often experience the four seasons in one day. And if it's not in one day, then it will definitely be in the week.
Mostly known for its milder weather, the close proximity to Antarctica keeps the island cool in all seasons.
- SPRING - often a mix of cool and warm days, many drizzly rainy days.
- WINTER - very cold with icy winds and rain. Cool days and freezing nights.
- AUTUMN - days warming up, with intermittent wind and rain. Nights can still be cold.
- SUMMER - Mainly warm, mild days with potential harsh sun. Warm evenings, cool nights. Occasional summer showers or storms.
NOTE - Tasmania has a heavily depleted ozone layer and therefore a higher risk of sunburn. Sun protection and/or avoidance is required.
What to Pack
T-shirts, long sleeve tops
T-shirts, singlet tops
T-shirts, warm long sleeve tops
Thick warm Jumpers, warm undergarments
Shorts, long thin pants
shorts, long pants
warm, long pants. Longjohns
Spray or wind jacket
wind or sun jacket
warm, thick winter jacket
Sneakers, thongs, sandals
sneakers, thongs, sandals
boots, sneakers and bed socks
swimmers, sunglasses, hat
swimmers, sunglasses, hat
sunglasses, hat, scarf
sunglasses, warm beanie, scarf
Where to Stay While in Tasmania
Tasmania has a vast array of accommodation available. Depending on your budget, you could stay in:
- Self-contained apartments - these often provide your own facilities to prepare meals and are serviced regularly.
- Backpackers or hostels - provided near all major towns and National Parks.
- Hotels/Motels - all sizes, budgets and styles available in all towns.
- Bed & Breakfasts - are very popular in Tasmania and cater for all family types.
- Resort & Lodges - may be private cabins or eco retreats perched on the edge of national parks or Ocean cliffs.
Although to truly experience Tasmania's natural beauty, breath taking landscapes and natural environment camping and farm stays are the travelers choice:
- Camping at Free Campsites - provided by the council with often no or limited facilities e.g. drop toilets, running water.
- Paid Campsites - maintained by the council rangers, camp fee's are collected and facilities are provided and cared for.
- Farm Stays - experience a working farm by camping on an allotted plots of land provided by a local farmer for a small fee.
- Caravan Parks - both powered and un-powered sites are offered. Bring your own Van or hire a cabin within the park. Full facilities provided with equipment for children at selected parks.
Note - Christmas and Holiday periods can often be fully booked out in advance in most paid and free campsites and caravan parks as locals also holiday within the state.
Hints to Make Your Tasmanian Holiday Cheap
- Bush walking on the many tracks including the well known, Overlander track.
- Cataract Gorge in Launceston free entry into the gorge and pool.
- Mount Wellington - self drive to pinnacle and walk the mountain, or just soak up the view.
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery located in Hobart offer's free entry.
- Botanical gardens free to walk around and picnic in.
- Bay of Fires free camping sites
- 60 short walks of Tasmania
- Visit The Nut at Stanley
- Park your camper van, motor home or caravan at one of the numerous shopping centers that accommodate larger parking and stock up your camping fridge
- Drive through the mining town of Queenstown and view the unashamedly mining town.
- Stop at any of the numerous majestic waterfalls
- Attend the Taste of Tasmania, and watch the free buskers
- Catch the Ferry over to Bruny Island
What Attractions are in Tasmania
- Hobart Casino
- Zoodoo wildlife park
- Ride the chairlift over cataract gorge
- Port Arthur Historic Convict Site
- Visit National Parks
- Cruise down the Gordon River
- Visit penguin beaches
- Catch the Wilderness Railway Train
- Hastings Caves
- Fly to Flinders or King Island
Events in Tasmania
- The Taste of Tasmania 28th Dec - 3rd Jan
- Mona Foma 13th Jan - 22nd
- 10 Days on the island 20th March - 29th March
- Dark MoFo
- Falls Festival 29th Dec - 1st Jan
- Sydney to Hobart boat race 26th Dec - 1st Jan
- Wooden Boat Festival.
- Tasmanian International Beerfest 15th Nov - 17th Nov
Bringing Your Dog to Tasmania
Tasmania is typically a dog friendly state. There are many free camp sites and accommodations that welcome dogs.
With its own dog walking community in Tasmania, there are an abundance of registered dog walking tracks and beaches, they even provide poo bags. On leash and off leash times can vary over different seasons and councils. Limited beaches are dog walking beaches, before a particular time and after another allocated time. Be diligent about this, the dog patrolman is very diligent in built up areas.
Due to Tasmania's natural wildlife, plus the preservation of flora and fauna native to the area, NO DOGS are allowed in any National Park. If you do drive into one with your dog, please do not let them out of your vehicle. Fines will be issued by National Park Rangers if you are known to have had a dog in a National Park.
Your dog can travel to Tasmania with you on the Spirit of Tasmania. Each dog is provided with its own kennel in a ventilated deck, and is provided fresh water. (Food prior to boarding can make your dog sea sick.)
Your dog is not allowed on the deck or in your cabin with you, DO NOT leave them in your vehicle as pets have perished as the vehicle deck is not ventilated.
Every dog entering Tasmania must be treated against Hydatid Tapeworm 14 days prior to coming. Documentary evidence must be provided in the form of a Vet's subscription, Vets letter of treatment, receipt of purchase or the actual packaging itself.
Map of Tasmania with Road trip Markers
There's not too many places in the world you can choose to either save your dollars, or spend up big, like you can in Tasmania. Experience the most stunning natural landscapes, displaying sunsets of beauty, peaking around the craggy mountains - your eyes will want to soak it in forever.
Draw in the historical stench of colonial days, discovering Tasmania's barbaric past. Meet the friendly locals, they're certainly a unique lot.
Trek through natural environments that have been protected and protested over for many years. Hug a tree if you wish, there's plenty of them. Ride a boat, a plane, a helicopter, a chairlift, a horse or just walk on your own two feet.
However you see incredible Tasmania, Australia, you'll never forget its amazing, rare, natural beauty.