Sunday, May 14, 2017

Things people DON'T tell you about Tassie

First time in the 'forgotten state.' For those who don't follow me on Snapchat, I did a spontaneous trip with relatives to Tassie for 3 days. Spontaneous as in everything was booked only about a week ago. Travelling with a 1 year old and 90 year old isn't easy, with some really slow people, and everyone knows I like to pack my itinerary rather than take it easy and yolo each day. There's actually heaps to do in Tassie, but I only had a limited time and needed to really cut down on what we could physically do with young children and elderly but still have at the same time. You have to factor in like 30min toilet breaks-not even joking. I might actually do a short blog spot about my trip if I have time...(oh the irony, somehow I don't have time these days...Missed a few emails and other paper work stuff...)

On to the main topic because in my half a day super quick internet research and reading other people's blogs, I didn't find any info about this. Well obviously, since travel bloggers post nice travel pics, and food bloggers just focus on food.

- Hobart has no night life. Everything closes before 5pm, they don't open Sundays even the CBD, and on Saturday everything closes at around 4pm. It's like a shortened Sydney Sunday on a Saturday then shortened again. Not sure how people used to the city life...(relatives already found Sydney shops closed early...)
- They don't even have office buildings in their CBD.
- They have 'voucher' parking, mainly pay by coins and no change given. Most pay parking only limits you to 2 hrs. Even disabled parking have time limits of 1 or 2 hours. In Syd I think parking is more expensive, but disabled parking is untimed...
- Everything feels like it closes at 3pm. Did not see any person when driving through small towns in the middle of the day.
- Most of the small towns their restaurants close before 8pm (i.e. last orders at like 7pm). Like in Sydney even in the suburbs on a weekday, they open till like 10pm.
- They charge for plastic bags, just like in Northern Territory. It's only in NSW where you have the 'luxury' of plastic bags, but we are the most behind in trying to be more conservative and environmentally friendly. I forgot if they charge for bags in QLD and VIC.
- They don't accept Woolies Everyday Rewards Cards 'it's Tasmania.' They also don't have save 4c/L at Caltex. I guess us NSW peeps really do get more value for money
- Need to purchase a National Park Pass if you're planning to go see the major sights i.e. Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park. The money helps to maintain the place, and rangers do check the parking lots regularly. The toilets are also ok and not too dirty.
- Everything is expensive, just add $5-10 to any normal Sydney dish (I actually knew this before but just saying...)
- Tiny, tiny airports at both Launceston and Hobart (with super overpriced food)
- Heaps of rental cars though. You can't experience Tas without self driving. The main reason we drove was cause asian tour places charged min $500 for 3 days not including flights or food, or day tours to see Cradle Mt $120 even though you only need to buy a park pass or your vehicle, so prices for tours are crazy inflated.
- They have visitor's registration for hikes, in case you get lost where you sign in and out. Only discovered this after my two shortish hikes/walks. Next time when I do the longer 3-5hrs hikes I'll register...really did not know this until I left lol
- Some places limit the amount of water you can get at the beginning of the hike, and they also have signs it's not 100% safe to drink.
- Inform accommodation of your check in/out times. They were surprised we checked in late and checked out early. Well I like to maximise my day...
- Reception only exists in the city, and small towns.

- Hobart reminds me of Queenstown. A cute little town with a lake and a mountain by the side overlooking the town. Just Queenstown's mountains are nicer with the snow capped peaks and are more pointy, where as in Hobart, fog/clouds cover the peak most of the time.

Driving: the main topic tbh

- I have to say my driving experience increased exponentially even though I've had my full's for almost 3 years now (or 7 yrs driving experience incl L's).
- To drive around Tasmania, you have to go up and down mountains to cut from West to East.
- To go on mountains the curves are super tight. I though driving through Blue Mountains to Bathurst  to roads were curvy, which are one or two lane and newly paved. THIS IS NEXT LEVEL CURVY. Even my dad who's had heapsss of driving experience from taxi's, motorbikes, vans etc and driven heaps of places interstate, Tassie wins for curviest and tightest roads.
- All roads are 100km/h though the mountains. Highways mainly 110.
- Since there aren't that many people, most roads in the mountains are one lane, so gg if car is coming at you fast. If another car is coming, kind of have to touch the mountain side, and other car is just almost on the cliff edge...
- There are 'barriers' on the side, but just those wooden pickets, sometimes just a thin wire, and then it's a cliff drop down the  mountain. If you veered a tiny bit to one side, well goodbye, off you roll down the mountain
- Elephant pass road is the bendiest imo. Having a Ferrari or Porsche would be cool to drift on the multiple bends, but also a high chance you'll fly off the mountain since you're going so fast...
- There are trucks which go on the mountain as well. If you're unlucky you go at 40km/h and just add another 30min to your trip since you can't overtake.
- They even have those signs which advise you on recommended speed limit when making turns. Normally in Sydney if I'm going at 60 and it says 30, I can still go at 60 since the car is stable enough. Here we got a decent car, but the max is 100 and it says 15, I actually had to go at 15 just in case I fly off the mountain/road when doing those tight curves.
- It's actually impossible to go 100 in the mountains, or even know flat roads, since the flat roads are sooooo frisking bendy.
- See roadkill every 5 minutes. Literally. From just knocked, to decapitated, to skinned with fresh raw flesh, to bones to dead for a few days. Mainly possums and some wombats (?). Managed to only hit one which is pretty impressive after driving around 16 hours on the trip since it's impossible to stop when you're going at 100 at night. I saw it then felt the wheel go over....Like why couldn't it run out half a second later so it goes after the wheels...
- NSW is actually pretty nice in having warning signs for speed cameras, and they are on relatively fat poles. In Tas, there are quite a few cameras on the thinnest poles in between trees and no warning signs so not that great if you're a tourist since you don't know where the cameras just don't speed
- Mountains can be super foggy, so if a car is in front of you, try to stick with it
- Also need to take extra care esp when raining on a curvy mountain. Normal straight roads and it's raining I do take extra care but can still stick to speed limit. Not here...from 100 down to like 50.
- Use 4wd on the mountains (I only did it on the 2nd day lel). Don't cheap out and hire a small car. You won't really make it up the mountains without slowly down considerably.
- Did I mention street lights don't exist? Well only in the CBD, and the CBD is tiny.
- It was pretty fun though driving through mountains, just more concentration and skills needed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is a super helpful list! My family and I might actually go to Tasmania sometime, so I'll definitely have to review this list then!