ATM's and Banking
All major banks can be found around Tasmania. They operate under normal working day trading hours, with ATM and EFTPOS facilities available in all major centres.
Most public areas, shopping centres, accommodation, attractions and restaurants have disabled facilities and services. Locations with wheelchair standard tracks include Mt Field, Cradle Valley and Hastings Thermal Springs. Several hire car firms offer hand-controlled vehicles. Wheelchairs and other mobility aids are available at Surgimed in Hobart. NICAN (National Information Communication Awareness Network) has a database of current accessible services and facilities the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Tasmanian operators offering special facilities are on NICAN's web site.
Driving and Distances
Australians drive on the left, which can be disconcerting for visitors used to driving on the right side of the road. Roads are generally good and major routes well signposted. Speed limits and distances are expressed in kilometres and vary substantially from 50 kph in residential and heavy traffic areas to 110 kph on freeways (please follow signage for speed limits). Drink driving is a serious offence and heavily policed. Drivers can be stopped anywhere at random and subjected to a breath analysis test. Offenders are arrested and fingerprinted, so it can be a bad end to a fine evening or a long lunch. The legal limit in Australia is a blood alcohol content of .05%.
Tasmania is very popular for its special events throughout the year. Many accommodation properties will impose minimum night stay requirements and charge a supplement over these periods. It is advisable to pre-book accommodation.
Bass Strait is the sea-road to Tasmania. The route is operated by two superfast ships, Spirit of Tasmania I and II. These vessels offer an overnight service in both directions between Melbourne and Devonport seven days a week, year round, with additional services in peak periods.
For those traveling by air, Virgin Blue and Jetstar operate frequent services to Tasmania, with direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Launceston and Hobart. Regional Express operate services to Burnie and King Island. King Island Airlines and TasAir also operate services to King Island. Island Airlines Tasmania operate services to Flinders Island.
Tasmania lies south of the 40th line of latitude, in the path of the world's cleanest winds. The island is separated from mainland Australia by the 240 kilometre-wide Bass Strait and is Australia's smallest state - about the size of the Republic of Ireland and twice the size of Switzerland. While it may be compact, locals don't like it when anyone leaves it off a map of Australia!
Click here for a map of Tasmania.
Tasmania is disease free and aims to keep things that way. You must not take in any fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, soil or plants. There are bins to dump any of these items at all entry points and inspections with trained sniffer dogs are carried out. It may sound stringent, but this unspoiled wilderness could easily lose the 'un' by one apple introducing a pest or disease.
Tasmanians love their local regions - the west coasters their mountains, the east coasters their beaches and dunes. The north midlanders revere their history and heritage, and the north-westers their fertile farmlands. For more detail please click here to locate the regions.
Being a compact island, Tasmania's regions clip together in little modules, allowing the visitor to easily plan a holiday based on what to see or what to do. In our Regions section we have suggested things to do in each area and our Attractions area has many special interest areas. As a guide line, allow at least three days for each region you want to explore, remembering that it only takes an hour or two to drive through a region if you just wanted to enjoy, say, Hobart, the Tasman Peninsula and Launceston & Tamar Valley in a week.
Click here for more information on suggested itineraries of Tasmania.
To discover the real Tasmania there is no better way than to hire a car or campervan and pack some walking boots. The roads are good and the driving is easy and pleasant. From Hobart it's only 40 minutes to the beautiful Huon Valley, 90 minutes to historic Port Arthur and an hour from Launceston or Hobart to dense native forests. While distances are relatively short, however, the hills with winding roads can be misleading when looking at a map. The 300 km trip from Hobart to Strahan is about a four-hour drive without stops - and not stopping en route to enjoy the scenery is not recommended!
Travel Online represent a number of great rental vehicle companies, which include Budget Rent a Car, Europcar, and Britz or Maui Campervans or Motorhomes. Renters have to be 21 or older and hold a current driver's license, however an international license is not necessary. Please refer to our Campervans and Car Rental websites for further details on driving in Australia.