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Tasmania is an incredible adventure playground for all kinds of travellers.

Whether you’re on a mission to cleanse and relax, go off grid or simply satisfy that adventure nut inside of you, Tasmania has an abundance of stunning scenery and adventure activities for you to enjoy.

In this article, I’m going to be listing how to get around Tasmania, and my top 10 tips for travellers – no matter your budget!

I’ll also highlight a couple of ways that you can travel around Tasmania, without hiring a car. 

How to Get Around Tasmania (My Top 10 Tips!)

Wanting to know how to get around Tasmania? And all the options available to you, no matter your budget?

You’re in the right place!

Unlike other states in Australia, there is no public train service in Tasmania. 

According to Our Tasmania, the last passenger train ran from Wynyard to Hobart on the 18th July 1978. Today, trains are only used for freight purposes, not for carrying passengers.

Because of this, Tasmania has invested heavily in providing quality roads and motorways that allow for epic driving adventures and scenic views everywhere where you go.

If you don’t have a licence or want to save your pennies, there are other options you can look at outside of hiring a car. I’ll explore these in detail below.

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The Most Popular Way to Travel Around Tasmania: Driving

If you haven’t travelled around Tasmania before, self driving is a great way to get around. Especially if planning to head to regional hubs, smaller towns, or more remote wilderness areas. 

But one key tip…

Tasmania is not as small as people think it is. 

It’s actually a similar size to Ireland.

So, you will want to allow plenty of driving and rest time throughout your journey.

If you’d like some tips on how long you should allow to drive around Tasmania, you can check out the below article:

The Advantages of Driving

  • Cheaper than booking multiple day tours to get around Tasmania
  • There’s lots of choice around the vehicle type you can hire
  • You can drive to your own schedule and take your time 
  • You can be more spontaneous and change your plans based on how you feel on a given day
  • There’s no need to plan your trip to fit in with strict schedules or timetables
  • You can pull over and pause to absorb the scenery as you please 

The Disadvantages of Driving

  • You can get tired or fatigued from driving a lot. Especially if trying to fit multiple places into a single day. 
  • If travelling alone, driving long distances can get lonely and you may miss spotting incredible scenery due to focusing on the road
  • You will need to find places to park your car or pay parking fees when staying in accommodation overnight (if they don’t offer parking)
  • If your vehicle is damaged by wildlife, you may need to pay the insurance excess or relevant car hire fees. 

Notes for International Travellers

In Australia, we drive on the left side of the road. So, be mindful of this when driving around Tasmania. 

Some nationalities may require an international drivers licence to hire a car and drive around Tasmania (especially if your license isn’t in English). Click here to learn more. 

When driving around Tasmania, speed and distances are measured in kilometers (kms) and all road signs are in English 


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7 Ways to Get Around Tasmania

Which Type of Car Should You Hire?

Hiring a car is one of the most popular ways to get around Tasmania. However, your choice of car is one of the bigger decisions you’ll need to make. 

The car that you choose will depend on a few factors including:

  • Where you’ll be driving
  • How long you’ll be driving for
  • Where you plan to stay (Eg. free campsite or check-in accommodation) and
  • Your budget

In the following section, we’ll look at the different kinds of vehicles you can hire in Tasmania and the situations they’re best for. 

One thing to keep in mind when picking a hire car is wildlife. In a smaller car (if they decide to jump out in front of you) you may be less protected than a larger 4WD or campervan.

But, this will only be a problem if driving through regional areas at dawn or dusk.  If only driving on the main roads or between cities, you should be fine.

Car Hire Notes

  • Given the lasting impact of COVID-19 and the reduced travel demand, some hiring companies have reduced their rental fleets. 
  • This means that you may have less choice in the type of car you can hire, with stock levels and supply chain delayed. 
  • If you’re struggling to find a car to hire, you can also use car sharing apps or look at alternate forms of transport, as I’ll mention in a separate section below. 
  • Another option is to base yourself in Hobart or Launceston and book guided tours or day trips to get to places outside of the city. 

Ensuring Your Insured Correctly

If you are planning to drive around Tasmania, ensure that you have access to good travel insurance. Particularly insurance that covers you in the event of a car accident. 

If you don’t intend on getting travel insurance (which I highly recommend if travelling for a long time), at least invest in car insurance with your car hire provider. 

1) Hiring a Standard Car in Tasmania 

If planning to enjoy a short stay in Tasmania or stay in hotels overnight, hiring a standard car may be the best way to get around Tasmania. 

Doing so will allow you to freely move between locations and is unlikely to break the bank.

The Advantages of Hiring a Standard Car

  • Cheaper than most other vehicle options
  • Easy to park around the city and touristy locations
  • You may have more choice on the car type you drive
  • Car hire can usually be arranged at, or picked up from, the main airports (especially for larger companies) 

The Disadvantages of Driving a Standard Car

  • Less protection from wildlife on the road (if they jump out in front of you) compared to a 4WD
  • Can’t sleep in it overnight (if a small car)
  • Not built for camping or if you have a lot of gear to take with you

 

Related Article:

How to Hire a Car?

Want to hire a small car to drive around Tasmania? Start your car search below.

My favourite websites for car hire include: in Tasmania

 

 

2) Hiring a 4WD in Tasmania

If planning to bush camp overnight or go off-roading along uneven dirt tracks, hiring a standard 4WD vehicle may be the best way for you to travel around Tasmania. 

4WDs fitted with a bull bar, can also give you greater protection on the roads and you can really drive wherever you want, when you want.

The Advantages of Hiring a 4WD

  • More flexibility with where you drive – eg.  off-road tracks which require greater tractions and suspension. 
  • Some 4WD’s can come equipped with camping gear (Eg. an awning) which will allow you to set up camp overnight. This can save you money on accommodation throughout your journey.
  • Can get to more secluded areas
  • Added protection from wildlife if they jump out in front of you when driving
  • Relatively easy to find parking
  • Can carry more gear with you compared to a standard car

The Disadvantages of Driving a 4WD

  • May consume more fuel, making it more expensive to run than a standard car.
  • Usually more expensive to hire

How to Hire a 4WD?

If you’re interested in hiring a 4WD to get around Tasmania, here are some great options to check out below.

Hiring a 4WD can be a great way to get around Tasmania

3) Hiring a Campervan, Motorhome, or Caravan

If wanting to stay in campsites without sacrificing standard luxuries, staying within a campervan, motorhome or caravan could be the way to go. 

They will give you greater flexibility with how you spend your nights, and also some luxury additional comforts that other styles of transport won’t give you (eg. a shower, toilet, power, cooktop, personal space, etc).

When I go to Tasmania, this is likely how I’ll be travelling. Mainly because I like the idea of having a toilet and shower on board, so we don’t have to stop at public toilets all the time. 

Although it may be more expensive than some of the other options, you will save money not having to pay for accomodation. 

The Advantages of Driving a Campervan, Motorhome or Caravan

  • Can save money on accommodation given you can sleep inside the vehicle
  • Have more personal space 
  • Access to general living facilities (eg. toilets, showers, cooktop etc) 
  • Can save money on buying food out because you have your own mini kitchen so can cook your own meals
  • More protection from wildlife if they jump out in front of you
  • Can carry more gear with you compared to a standard car

The Disadvantages of Driving a Campervan, Motorhome or Caravan

  • Parking may be more challenging and you’ll need to look for dedicated campsites to stay overnight
  • May consume more fuel, making it more expensive to run than a standard car
  • Usually the most expensive to hire compared to a standard car
  • Campervans are popular in Tasmania, so there are many rental companies to choose from

How to Hire a Campervan?

It’s actually pretty easy to hire this form of transport in Tasmania – it’s very popular amongst tourists. You will however, need to book well in advance as inventory can be limited. 

A great website to start with is Motorhome Republic.

It’s one of the largest motorhome rental companies across the world and they have a great range of different campervans across Tasmania. The website is also user-friendly, has lots of reviews and an easy booking process. 

You will be able to compare various rental options across 10 different reputable fleets, including popular companies like Britz, Maui and Apollo.

Many of their options are also cheaper than other campervan hire companies. 

Here are some of the top campervan hire websites I suggest you check out:

Driving Around Tasmania: Hire a Campervan

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Other Transport Alternatives:

Want to get around Tasmania without hiring a car? No problem.

If you don’t want to drive or hire a car, there are plenty of other options you can check out to travel around Tasmania safely and cheaply. 

Here are some alternatives to check out below: 

 

1) BYO Car

If you live in Victoria, or will be travelling across from Victoria, the Spirit of Tasmania ferry will allow you to bring your car across to Tasmania. 

This is a convenient strategy for Victorians, as you’ll get to save money on car hire and also have a night of accommodation included (if taking the overnight ferry). 

The Spirit of Tasmania sails between Port Melbourne and Devonport in Tasmania and takes around 9-11 hours, and you will have the choice to share or book your own private cabin. 

Pets are also welcome!

Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and some birds are allowed aboard the Spirit of Tasmania. This is awesome if wanting to overland with your favourite fur friend or doggo 🐶 in the passenger seat.

Once you disembark at Devonport, you can off-load your car and begin your road trip to Launceston, or wherever else you’d like to go. 

If you’d like to bring your own car across from Victoria, you can view the Spirit of Tasmania schedule and fees here

The Advantages of Driving Your Own Car

  • No restrictions on driving with pets
  • Greater flexibility as you don’t need to pickup or return your car on a certain date
  • Save money on car hire costs and don’t have to pay for additional insurance

The Disadvantages of Driving Your Own Car

  • You must take the ferry across from Victoria to Tasmania, which can add a day/night onto your trip

2) Domestic Flights 

If you’re unable to drive or don’t cope well with ferries, you can also fly between the main cities of Australia to Tasmania. Particularly with companies like Jetstar and Virgin, which offer cheaper more budget-friendly flights.

There are also some local flight providers in Tasmania that will allow you to fly between Hobart and Launceston.

 

3) Local Bus/Coach

If you have a limited budget or want to travel like a local, another alternative to hiring a car is catching the local bus and coaches.

Local buses are an essential form of public transport in Tasmania with various bus routes operating between the main cities. Given the lack of trains, buses are a popular way for locals and tourists to get around Tasmania. 

The Advantages of Catching Local Buses

  • Don’t have to stress about driving yourself, especially if it would mean driving on the other side of the road
  • Cheaper than some other transport methods, especially when travelling short distances
  • Timetables are pretty reliable
  • Buses are frequent – especially during the peak season 

The Disadvantages of Catching Local Buses

  • Less flexibility and choice on where to go, when you go and who you can book with
  • Departure times often depend on the season (ie. peaks & lulls)
  • Local buses tend to stop at other bus stops and multiple locations on the way to your destination. It will therefore take longer for you to get to your destination compared to driving yourself. 

You can also get around Tasmania by catching the local bus

Catching Buses: How to Use the Green Card

To take advantage of the bus routes, you’ll need to purchase a Green Card” (a metro ticket) from a bus depot or agent. 

The card itself costs around $5 AUD. You can then choose to load as much money onto the card as you like (eg. $20), depending on how much you intend to use it.

Your Green Card contains information including your default trip and concession details (if any) to ensure that the correct fare is automatically deducted.

When your travel card balance is getting low, simply top it up with new credit (money).

When boarding the bus, simply tap the card onto the driver’s ticket machine. The cost of the trip will automatically be deducted from your balance so there’s no need to tap off.

If you’d like to read more about local buses in Tasmania, you can check out fees and routes on the Discover Tasmania website, or with the individual operators below: 

 

4) Book Day Tours or Multi-day Excursions (With Transfers Included)

If you prefer to sit back and relax while everything is organised for you, booking a single day to multi-day trip from a local operator can be a great way to go. 

It’s also a nice way to support local business! 😃

Booking a day tour can be a convenient way to travel around Tasmania if you are short on time or only want to visit a select number of locations or attractions. 

If travelling solo or for a longer period of time, it can bring a lot of relief given you don’t have to organise or book anything yourself. It’s all pre-organised! 

Do keep in mind that the cost of day trips can add up quite quickly though. But, the bonus is that you usually get a lot of value from it:

  • Transfers included
  • A tour guide to educate you about the destination (or to simply keep you entertained whilst on the tour)
  • Tips from a local’s perspective
  • The chance to socialise with others

For a list of awesome day tours around Hobart or Launceston, you can check out these popular options below (from Get Your Guide). 


5) Taxi/ Uber/ Private Transfer

In the main cities, you may find it handy to catch a taxi to some of the main tourist sites, however you will pay a price. 

Prices for taxis can be high and vary significantly on the season and time of day. The general rule of thumb is that they are most expensive on weekends, public holidays and between 8pm and 6am on weekdays.

There’s no need to tip taxi drivers in Australia (including Tasmania), but you may find that your fee is rounded up to the nearest Australian dollar, rather than down. 

Uber has also been rolled out in some of the main cities in Tasmania, mainly Hobart at this stage. This is another option to consider is exploring the city, but just know that options may be limited.

 

6) Small Ferries Between Islands

If you’re interested in travelling to some of the smaller islands around Tasmania (eg. Bruny or Maria Island) the best way to get there is by small ferry. 

To learn more about the smaller ferry transfers and their applicable schedules, click here.    

 

7) RideShare/ Carpool Services

If you have a really tight budget, there is some ability to take advantage of rideshare or carpool services across Tasmania. However, options are limited so you’d want to travel more spontaneously than working to a strict travel plan.

Here are some websites you can check out for rideshare/carpool services:

How to Get Around Tasmania| 10 Top Tips

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In Summary:

So, there you have it!

I hope that this article has helped to give you insight into the 10 best ways to get around Tasmania. 

As you can see, hiring a car and driving is not the only way to travel around Tasmania (even though it is the most popular among travellers)!

If you don’t have your driver’s license or want to save some money on car hire fees you can also:

  • Take the bus
  • Book day tours 
  • Try carpool services 
  • Bring your car across from Victoria via the ferry

If you prefer luxury, your own space or are short on time, you can always book:

  • Local flights between the main cities
  • A campervan/motorhome or caravan
  • A taxi / private transfer

There are truly so many options, so ensure to do your research and choose the travelling style that works best for you. 

If starting to plan your trip around Tasmania, ensure to take advantage of our FREE Tasmania 10-Day Self-Drive Itinerary by entering your details below.

Have a great trip!

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Hey guys, I’m Ash & welcome to Adventure Travel Pro!

As a seasoned traveller, I share knowledge, advice and inspo for newbie solo travellers and thrill seekers.

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