Tasmania: What’s the Point?

Yes, exactly!

What is the point of moving all the way to Australia and then going to Tasmania? Those were the shockingly short-sighted numbskull thoughts that went through my head when considering emigrating to Oz. Why move all the way to go from one cold place to another, I would wonder.

I now eat my words, although those words were never uttered. I apologise to all Tasmanians for my ridiculous thoughts, and to all those considering moving to Tasmania. I was wrong and you are right. I can now definitely see the point of moving to Tassie.

Any of you who read Mondays post called a quick peek at Tasmania will already know two of them. You will have seen mine and Elizabeth’s favourite moments from the holidays, but I left you on tenterhooks waiting for the favourite place of Mrs BobinOz from our holiday last week.

It was Marakoopa Cave, near Mole Creek…

Maroopa Cave TasmaniaCaves don’t photograph too well, do they? Here are three with the light on…..

Maroopa Cave Tasmania

Maroopa Cave Tasmania

Maroopa Cave TasmaniaBut I can tell you, when the guide did turn those lights off it was an absolutely amazing experience. Total darkness with just the sound of dripping water in an acoustically optimised cave. Spooky!

We also saw glow worms, which didn’t photograph at all on account that cameras were not allowed to be used in that section of the cave. But glow worms here, as it turns out, are kind of cave maggots that can’t walk. So they glow to attract food to them, and it works.

After a year or so, the glow worms turn into the less exotic sounding fungus gnat. This means they have grown wings and can fly.

Hurrah! Hurrah!

Then they die within about five days, often by being attracted to a glow worm and getting eaten.

What a life!

We had coffee and hot food in a cosy little cafe just outside of the cave. Great view!

tassie in winterHobart.

The streets of Hobart and the housing looked typically English. Note the narrow pavements, just like the ones I used to tread when I was a small child….

Hobart streetHere’s a view of Hobart from halfway up Mt Wellington………

Hobart: A view from Mt WellingtonTalking of Mt Wellington, here’s a chance to see Elizabeth throw a snowball at her mother, as a bystander ducks.

snow fight on Mt wellingtonNice shot! She wanted to throw a snowball at me, but I said “Who would take the photograph? Just throw them at your mother.”

You’ll probably recognise the little snowman here, bottom left…..

snowmanIt’s the one Elizabeth made. We could have built one much bigger than “Carrot Nose” behind, but we were going for the cute look.

Almost everywhere we drove there were lakes….

Lakes everywhere…. and there certainly weren’t many other cars. You’d struggle to get caught in a traffic jam here.

Other than that, it’s rolling hills, countryside and a place teeming with wildlife. Tasmania still has a huge population of wallabies and wombats, but not so many of this little fellow. The Tasmanian devil is now classified as endangered…..

tasmanian devilI wasn’t lucky enough to see one in the wild; this little chap was in a wildlife sanctuary.

We drove from Hobart in the south, all the way to Launceston in the north. I say “all the way”, but it’s not far. About 200 km. We loved every bit of the journey and even saw one or two other cars on the way.

Traffic in TasmaniaAnd if you keep driving, you’ll hit one of the furthest points north in Tasmania and you will see views across the Bass Strait towards mainland Australia….

where's australiaBut as big as Oz is, you still can’t see it.

Yes, there are lots of “points” to Tasmania. It’s the Lake District on an island. It’s possibly the cleanest air you’ll breathe. Forget traffic jams. Full of fantastic natural beauty. Rolling hills and countryside everywhere. Quiet, peaceful and relaxing. Lake and sea views around every corner. It’s just not as hot as mainland Australia.

But it’s also not as cold as England.

Of course, you’ve got to like all of Tasmania’s points and if your idea of heaven is the Gold Coast, then the place is not for you. It’s probably not for me either, but I do see the point.

Tasmania gets the thumbs up!

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Dale Reardon September 8, 2011, 12:09 pm |


    Have just found your site and blog and congratulations on discovering Tasmania.

    I must admit my bias – I was born in Launceston and have lived in Hobart for many years as well. I also operate a relocation business helping people moving to Tasmania so I really do love Tasmania.

    Did you manage to make it to Salamanca Market on Saturday? It is really worthwhile.

    I also love Battery Point as I lived there for quite a while and operated 3 bed and breakfast properties in Battery Point for many years.

    I hope you keep posting about Tasmania and encouraging people to move there – it really is worthwhile.

    Have also sent you a couple of queries through your website contact form so hope that turns up okay.


    • BobinOz September 10, 2011, 12:07 am |

      No, we were a little bit gutted about that. We were only there for six days and we decided to do Hobart first and Launceston second. So on the Saturday, we were in Lonnie. We did hear about the Salamanca Market after we booked it all up, and we thought about changing it around.

      But with the flights booked it was too hard. We will definitely catch the markets next time, and there will be a next time.

      Anyone interested in moving to Tasmania, check out Dale’s site, click on his name above. There’s plenty of information there.

      • Tyler December 27, 2011, 4:38 am |

        I think salamanca is overrated. A lot of boring arts and crafts if I remember correctly. It does look nice though I guess.

        • BobinOz December 30, 2011, 12:37 pm |

          Colourful is the word most use to describe it. I would have liked to have seen it, shame we were not there on the Saturday.

  • Ozpinoy August 14, 2011, 5:03 am |

    I’ve always wanted to Travel to Tasmania and living there was an ideal thought.

    Most of my friends though see me as being crazy because apparently there’s nothing there—and that’s the exact point, why I want to live there, because the idea that there’s not much out there, makes me want to live there, and of course it’s going to b be cold….

    But to this day. I’ve never been there at all. Hopefully one day I get to visit.

    • BobinOz August 15, 2011, 1:28 pm |

      By “nothing there” I think people are generally referring to things like Disney World or Alton Towers. There are only two major cities and they are both smaller than all of the major cities on the mainland. Tasmania doesn’t have huge shopping complexes and it doesn’t have a Las Vegas lookylikey.

      But there is plenty there, plenty of natural beauty, plenty of space and plenty to do, provided you don’t want the above.

      Hope you get to give it a try one day.

    • John Vance August 15, 2011, 4:36 pm |

      Rubbish there’s a lot there, but after living there for 30 years or more I wanted to get off. That beside the fact that unemployment is rife there!
      I was getting dizzy. I had a return ticket, but never cashed it.

      • BobinOz August 16, 2011, 12:03 pm |

        There you go Ozpinoy, take no notice of the nothing sayers. And you certainly wouldn’t be “crazy” to move there, I could see the attraction of living in Tasmania for sure.

    • Tyler December 27, 2011, 4:35 am |

      It’s not really that cold, just much colder than the rest of oz. Mornings are the worst – you might get some frost in the winter. Rarely if ever snows except on the mountains. I’ve only seen snow once and I’ve lived here for 22 years – even then we had to go looking for it. It’s very nice in the summer though. It’s often warm with a nice cool breeze. One big difference compared to the UK, I suspect, is that there’s always a blue sky here no matter how cold it is (OK sometimes it’s overcast but not often).

      • BobinOz December 30, 2011, 12:41 pm |

        Yes, that is the major difference, plenty of clear blue skies in Tasmania most of the time. In the UK, the default sky is usually a dull shade of grey.

        No comparison really.

  • BobinOz August 10, 2011, 12:45 pm |

    Darn, left Launceston at at about five past 6 on our first day. Must’ve just missed it! Shame, I’d have liked to have seen a short queue at some lights or something.

    Queenstown sounds like fun!

  • John Vance August 10, 2011, 11:17 am |

    Try the peak period in Launceston at 5:30 till 5:50? All the Centerlink staff and other public servants heading home! You can easily miss it.
    Re roads, the roads in the NW Tassie are sparse, and you will try and go thru Queenstown, on the way to Stanley and the Gordon river cruise, only to find the road only goes past the outskirts. I went in, then I got lost! Couldnt get out. A subtle trap…Dont go into the town. The natives expect you to buy em a beer. Then they will tell you how to get out, but not before! They will ogle at your wife and make up stories about how the last lot to get lost there got eaten by an englishman.

  • John Vance August 8, 2011, 3:45 pm |

    The Gordon River cruise isn’t to be missed. I went there and on the way, the sky, the clouds suddenly turned an incredibly colour and it darkened. There was a major bushfire around Savage River, and it had been caused by a 4WD crash on Saturday. It had built up over the weekend, and this was the result. It was quite an erie feeling. Its one of the reasons some of the greenies dont want roads into these pristine forests. They wish to keep it for themselves and their bushwalking mates. No drivers or their families…

    • BobinOz August 10, 2011, 11:06 am |

      I’ll add the Gorden River to my list of must dos next time I go, which I will. Hopefully they don’t arrange a bush fire for every cruise though?

      Do they need more roads? Hardly any cars there, couldn’t get in a traffic jam if you tried!

  • John Vance August 5, 2011, 5:21 pm |

    Bob, you idiot (in the nicest possible way) Why didnt ya tell me you were going there? I lived in tassie from 1956 till 75, I could have told you where t ogo. If ya havent been told before (in the nicest possible way)
    You missed the best parts . The East coast in summer, the west coast in summer (though I spent a cool winter there working on an explosive truck at Savage River) Then there is Port Arthur, and Strahan , lake Pedder and the river cruise there. Went there a coupla years ago and loved it.
    It seems youre gonna have to go there again because of your mistake. Coldsville. Huh, real winters real people and really cold and really nice and unspoilt except for J&T Gunns wanting to tear the heart outa da place….Real rotten polititicans as well….Like you never left home that..

    • BobinOz August 8, 2011, 2:09 pm |

      Hehe, yes, I’ve been told where to go on many an occasion.

      You’re right, I’m an idiot, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you. I know we missed a lot of the best parts, we were only there for six days and our main mission was to see snow, which we accomplished as you know. But we both agreed we are definitely going back to Tasmania someday, and for longer. When that happens, I’ll ask you for a list.

      It’s a great place, but as you say, shame about the politicians.


      • Tyler December 27, 2011, 4:30 am |

        ONLY six days. Geez you can drive across the damn island in about 3 hours. That should have been enough time to see the whole thing. What were you doing?

        • BobinOz December 30, 2011, 12:36 pm |

          Well we didn’t just drive across it, we turned left and right on many an occasion. Sometimes we’d stop and look at stuff. Things take longer that way.

  • Gordon July 22, 2011, 9:04 pm |

    Great pics Bob , I was about the same age as Elizabeth when my folks took us kids to places like Jenolan Caves and Smiggins Holes , those are memories that stay for life !

    You’re one up on me , i’ve never been to Tassie , but once a few years back I was in a pub in Lyttleton , N.Z. and I overheard 2 English elderly gents discussing Australia and they agreed that “the best part of Australia is Tasmania” .

    I did wonder at the time if that was because Tassie was most like New Zealand and New Zealand was most like England ( climate wise ) !

    Regardless , Tassie is one of the unspoiled wilderness areas left , and should be valued as such , I’ll get there one day !

    Even up around Cairns ( tropics ) there exists the Atherton Tablelands which , with its elevation of 1200 – 2000 feet gives it the “air-conditioned ” feel . It can get frosts in winter , that might surprise a few people , it goes to show the many faces of Australia . Thanks for sharing your holiday Bob , good one !

    • BobinOz July 25, 2011, 10:03 pm |

      I can’t be one up, for a start I’ve never even heard of Jenolan Caves and Smiggins Holes, let alone been there. Never mind all the other places you’ve no doubt been to.

      Tassie really is an unspoiled wilderness and I do recommend it, I’m sure I haven’t finished with it yet. But then there are so many other places I want to see too, I need more holidays!

      Cheers Gordon.

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