10 Things To Know About Tasmania Before You Go


Planning a holiday to Tasmania? Excellent choice.

Although we had both visited Tasmania years ago, this was the first time visiting the island state together with fresh eyes and a few more dollars in the bank account. Despite this trip being within our home country, Australia, there were a few things that caught us unaware, so, we thought we should pass on these lessons to fellow travellers.

Here are some useful things to know in advance, especially if it’s your first time visiting Tasmania.

Walking towards Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain National Park


1. You’ll experience the 4 seasons in a day, almost every day

The best time to visit Tasmania is arguable, depending on who you ask. We purposefully travelled to Tasmania at the beginning of the Australian summer for the warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours. 

Across our 17 days Tasmanian road trip, we were blessed with fine weather, with a rainy day in Freycinet National Park at the beginning and some light drizzle here and there. On the days that there was an overcast sky and howling winds in the morning, we would often find ourselves driving through the countryside in the afternoon with a clear blue sky and warm sunshine on our skin. 

Based on our experience and also speaking to locals, you need to be prepared for the 4 seasons in a day. A raincoat should be packed and dressing in layers is usually wise too.

2. The sun feels hotter than you expect

If like us, you’re visiting Tasmania in November, you need to pack sunscreen and you need to apply it. Our Tasmania road trip began at the end of November 2021 and we were blessed with mostly clear blue skies and sunny days. What we didn’t expect was the heat of the sun! It was much hotter than anticipated that we ended up with sunburned foreheads and blistering skin after our few days exploring the east coast of Tasmania.

So we recommend that you slip, slop, slap. You have been warned.

3. Not all roads are sealed

Yes, Google Maps can show you the fastest route to your next stop but keep in mind that not all roads are tar sealed.

We found this out the hard way when we drove to The Keep in Goulds Country (along C841). Mind you, there is no other option given the remote location of this Tasmanian luxury accommodation retreat, but the logging roads did catch us off guard.

2WD cars should be able to handle these roads anyway, but it pays to know now, particularly when booking your rental vehicle in advance and planning a Tasmanian road trip (consider your travel insurance cover if you’re selecting a campervan option!).

4. Phone signal can be patchy

Bevan is with Telstra and Jasmine is with Vodafone so having each of us across two networks was beneficial. We found that even along the coast line close to towns, phone signal is patchy. When visiting the cities, the phone signal is perfectly fine.

If you’re heading inland, we found that Telstra provides better service. When you know that you’re going to a remote location, check the directions before you lose signal, take a screenshot of the route on your phone or lock in the route on Google Maps before going off grid.

5. Don’t forget your National Parks Pass

Tasmania has 19 national parks in total which covers approximately 40% of the state. So if you’re planning to visit Tasmania, we can hazard a guess that you’re likely to visit at least one national park and you will need to purchase a National Parks Pass.

A parks pass can be purchased per person or per vehicle. All the relevant and most up-to-date information about entry fees and types of national park passes can be found on this website.

We purchased the Holiday Vehicle Parks Pass which cost AUD $80 and was valid for two months for up to 8 people in the one vehicle. It covers entry into all Tasmanian National Parks, including Cradle Mountain (price and information valid as at November / December 2021).

Wandering over the rocks at Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park

6. Don’t even try to fly

Drones are not permitted in National Parks in Tasmania. Period.

There are signs throughout the parks so please don’t be a douche and respect this directive. There are other popular locations that will not allow the non-commercial use of your drone unless you have a license. Seek permission if you are unsure. Otherwise use your smartphone, your DSLR and tripod.

7. Book your rental car from Hobart CBD rather than Hobart Airport

Depending on your Tasmania itinerary, consider booking your rental car from an alternative location than the airport.

By choosing to end our 2 week road trip around Tasmania in Hobart and opting for a CBD car rental agency, we reduced our car rental period by two full days. The two days’ savings plus CBD location was a material difference compared to a car rental from Hobart Airport – even after budgeting for two Uber trips between Hobart Airport and Hobart CBD.

It pays to do a little extra research if it means you can save some money to put towards another part of your holiday!

8. Drive slowly and watch out for wildlife crossings

Tasmania is home to an abundance of wildlife including wallabies, wombats, echidnas, birdlife, pademelons and plenty more.

We passed more roadkill during our road trip than we would have liked and even had a few close scrapes ourselves. Often the roads are winding and one-lane only in each direction with little room on the shoulders. It goes without saying – drive carefully – especially at dawn and dusk.

9. There are no toll roads

Hooray! It’s the smallest state in Australia with virtually no highways. You’re unlikely to drive for longer than 2 hours at a time to your next destination and thankfully, there are no toll roads.

Speed limits and paid parking are still a thing so make sure to take note of both.

10. Biodiversity is sacred

If it’s your first time visiting Australia but also your first time visiting Tasmania, remember that there are strict laws in place to conserve and protect Australia’s biodiversity. Given that Tasmania itself is an island, the unique species only found here also need additional protection.

You cannot bring in any fresh produce from the mainland such as fruit and vegetables, so make sure to throw away any food scraps before entering Tasmania. There are hefty fines and penalties for those caught.

Tasmania Travel Restrictions - As at November / December 2021

Do you need a COVID-19 test to enter Tasmania?

At the time we travelled, we did not need a negative PCR test or a negative RAT result to enter Tasmania from Queensland.

The only requirement was to complete a Tasmanian e-Health declaration online (which somewhat functioned as a Tasmanian border pass) and to show this completed declaration to authorities upon arrival at Hobart Airport. Essentially, the e-Health declaration would allow you to enter Tasmania from Queensland if you had not been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days and we were confident that we were not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

When we arrived back to Queensland in early December 2021, the Omicron variant was starting to spread in Australia and the entry requirements into Tasmania soon changed to adapt to the circumstances.

Check the relevant state and health websites before travelling to ensure you have met all COVID-19 related entry requirements.

Is Tasmania safe to travel?

Absolutely. Follow the road rules, be prepared when entering national parks and take caution when the weather turns bad. Given Tasmania’s remote location and less densely populated cities and towns, COVID-19 has fortunately had minimal impact to the locals but has been detrimental to the tourism industry and many local businesses with state border closures. With some advance planning and the above helpful tips, you will enjoy a wonderful trip in Tasmania.

Things to know about Tasmania


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