Tasmanian Self Drive Touring Tips

Take A Local
30 October 2023

Tasmania, the island state of Australia, is a dream destination for travelers seeking rugged landscapes, pristine wilderness, and unique experiences. The best way to explore Tasmania’s hidden gems is by hitting the road. However, touring Tasmania’s diverse terrain requires a bit of preparation and local know-how. In this blog post, we’ll share a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your Tasmanian road trip, ensuring a safe and unforgettable journey.

PLAN AHEAD

a. Itinerary: Start by planning your route. Tasmania has so much to offer, from coastal drives to mountainous terrain. Determine the destinations you want to visit and create a rough itinerary.  Check out the Take A Local tours for some inspiration!

b. Accommodations: Accommodation in Tasmania has been known to sell out so we suggest reserving accommodations in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak tourist season. Tasmania offers a range of options, from hotels to campgrounds.  There are also a large number of free campgrounds around the state you can investigate.

c. Weather Check: Tasmania’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to check the forecast before you head out. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and pack accordingly.  We have a saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices”!

CAR RENTAL

If you’re not bringing your own vehicle, consider renting one on the island. Ensure your rental car is in good condition, has adequate space for your luggage, and is suitable for the type of terrain you plan to navigate.  There are the usual car rentals available at the airport but you may save a few dollars if you can rent from a city location.  Make sure you check the Terms and Conditions of your rental carefully.  There are a number of dirt roads in Tasmania and many rental companies don’t allow dirt road travel.

NAVIGATION

a. Maps: Even in the age of GPS, it’s wise to carry physical maps or atlases of Tasmania, especially in remote areas where GPS signals may be weak.

b. GPS and Apps: Use navigation apps or a GPS device to stay on course. Download offline maps to avoid losing your way when out of cell phone range.  There are numerous areas in more remote parts of Tasmania where online maps won’t work so downloading maps for offline use is a great idea.  The Take A Local app is designed to work in an offline situation when required.

ROAD RULES

Tasmania, like the rest of Australia, has its own set of road rules. It’s crucial to familiarise yourself with these rules and adhere to them. Some important tips include:

a. Speed Limits: Respect the posted speed limits, which can vary based on road conditions.  We get that sometimes you want to take it easy so check behind you and if cars a banking up in your rear vision mirror, pull over at a safe place and allow them to pass.

b. Seatbelts: Always wear seatbelts, and ensure all passengers do the same.

c. Alcohol and Drugs: Don’t drink and drive, and avoid any substance that impairs your driving ability.  Tasmania’s blood alcohol maximum level is .05 but we suggest 0.0.

d. Mobile Phones: Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal unless you have a hands-free system. Even then, you are not allowed to touch it.  Utilise Siri and Google voice recognition features.

e. Wildlife: Be aware of wildlife on the roads, especially during dawn and dusk. Drive carefully in known animal crossing areas.  You’ll see yellow signs in known wildlife areas.

ROAD CONDITIONS

Tasmania’s diverse landscapes mean varying road conditions:

a. Mountain Roads: When driving in mountainous regions, be prepared for steep and winding roads. Drive cautiously, especially in adverse weather.  Be aware of oncoming traffic as roads are often narrow.

b. Unsealed Roads: Some attractions may only be accessible via unsealed roads. Check the conditions before venturing out, and consider a 4WD if necessary.  If you are in a rental car, check your rental agreement to see if dirt road driving is allowed.

  1. Fuel and Supplies:

a. Fuel/EV Charging Stops: Tasmania’s remote areas may have limited fuel stations, so plan your refueling stops carefully.  If you are in an electric vehicle, check out plugshare.com for charging locations.

b. Food and Water: Always carry extra supplies, such as water and snacks, especially when exploring less populated areas.  There’s plenty of shops around but in the event you get stuck somewhere, having food and water on hand will serve you well.

EMERGENCY KIT

Pack an emergency kit with essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight, basic tools, and make sure your vehicle has a spare tire, jack and tools required to change a tire.

Touring Tasmania by road is a rewarding experience, offering you the chance to explore its natural beauty at your own pace. By planning ahead, adhering to road rules, and staying mindful of Tasmania’s unique characteristics, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable journey through this island paradise. With these tips in mind, your Tasmanian road trip will be a memorable adventure filled with stunning landscapes, wildlife encounters, and cultural discoveries.