Getting Around Tasmania
Sharp Airlines (www.sharpairlines.com) flies from Launceston and Burnie to Flinders Island and King Island. Par Avion Wilderness Tours (www.paravion.com.au) offers flights into the South West World Heritage Area, including a variety of scenic flights and bushwalker access to the remote South Coast Track.
Within this small, compact and sparsely populated island, traffic is rarely a problem. Even in Hobart the capital peak hour lasts for a couple of minutes if that. All major cities, towns and historic villages are linked by major highways and roads. Some of the most splendid mountain, lake and coastal scenery lies off the key routes and are accessed via sealed country roads and minor routes.
Side of the roadLeft
Excellent in general. Tasmania has just a handful of well maintained highways including the Midland or Heritage Highway connecting Hobart and Launceston, the Tasman Highway to Port Arthur and Southern Outlet. Though two-lane roads are also in good condition, some car hire companies have special conditions for use on unsealed roads.
Major car hire companies are Hertz, Thrifty, Avis and Budget and low-cost VroomVroomVroom. Cars are generally available for pickup at the airport and certain hotels. Compare rates at www.fetchcarhirehobart.com.au.
Coaches are an essential form of tourism transport with daily intercity connections between Hobart and Launceston and to a number of regional centres. Metro Services operate coaches around Hobart and Launceston.
Tassie Link (www.tassielink.com.au) and Redline Coaches (www.redlinecoaches.com.au) operate the main intra-state service, Hobart-Launceston, to the Huon Valley, Port Arthur, Richmond and the East Coast. Redline also connects Hobart with many North Coast towns and minor rural areas state-wide.
To get to and from Freycinet National Park use Freycinet Connections (www.freycinetconnections.com.au), and for other routes try Mersey Bus Link Service (www.merseylink.com.au), which runs coaches and commuter buses on the North West Coast around Devonport and Latrobe.
Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT, www.ract.com.au; tel: +61 (3) 6232 6300)
There are no rail services in Tasmania
Main ferry services in Hobart include Derwent River sailings from the Brooke Street Pier as well as many tourist cruises (www.hobarthistoriccruises.com.au) and water taxis (www.hobartwatertaxis.com). For Bruny Island, a car ferry operates on a regular daily schedule from the wharf in Ferry Road, Kettering, 35-minutes drive south of Hobart. For fare and timetable information contact Bruny Island Ferry (www.brunyislandferry.com.au; tel +61 (3) 6273 6725).
In the Lake St Clair Cradle Mountain National Park, the Ida Clair takes visitors from Cynthia Bay, at the Lake's southern end, to Narcissus Point at the end of the Overland Track. Booking is essential for the summer and winter service (tel: (3) 6289 1137).
For the east coast Maria Island, there is a daily summer service from Triabunna Wharf 90 minutes drive northeast of Hobart. For bookings and details contact Maria Island Ferry & Eco Cruises (www.mariaislandferry.com.au; tel: +61 (4) 1974 6668.