Tasmania & Melbourne 2015 – Day 1: Tasmania (Hobart) – Mt. Wellington

It has always been my dad’s dream to travel together on a free and easy trip where we can self-drive around and obviously Australia became the best choice because it is right-handed drive and there is no language barrier.

I started to plan for this 10 days 9 nights Tasmania + Melbourne trip around half a year before because it was our first. Previous trips were always with tour agencies but we have started to hate how we had to be forced to go to places where we ain’t actually interested in – basically a waste of time and money.

Please scroll all the way down for individual days link & other detailed guides eg. reservation of car, Airbnb etc

We departed from Changi Airport late at around 8pm.

My cute little travel buddy

After which we had to transit at Sydney. As there was more than an hour of free time, we went to get our tourist SIM card at Optus. Once you exit from the arrival gate, just turn right and you will see the 3 telco shops at the right. I was actually more inclined to get Telstra because of it’s coverage but the price difference was too great. Optus Prepaid Card costs only AUD$30 for 30 days with 1.5GB data & unlimited standard national calls. 10 days would actually mean only AUD$3/day. The staff was very efficient so we still had time to grab a bite.

We settled for breakfast at Hungry Jacks (which is actually just Burger King).

Hungry Jacks for breakfast while transiting at Sydney Airport

Once we reached Hobart airport, half of us went to get our baggage while my dad and I went over to collect our car for the next few days in Tasmania. The car collection place is just beside the baggage collection area. Once you are at the baggage area, walk all the way right and exit from there. Cross the road and you’ll reach. All the car rental companies are there.

We booked Avis because I compared all the car rental companies and Avis came up to be the cheapest even after you add on a “reduce liability to zero”. (For tips on renting cars in Australia, refer to here)

Our first destination was our Airbnb guesthouse! We booked with Jacinta for our stay in Hobart. It was very easy communicating with Jacinta. I’ve told her this was the first time we were doing Airbnb and had no clue on how it worked. She was very responsive and was very flexible especially with our “check-in” timing because the plane got delayed.

The house is huge and it’s exactly what you see in the Airbnb page here. The view is definitely a plus and from one of the bedrooms, you get an elevated bed which gives you a spectacular view of the river without even needing to stand up. Some pictures of our awesome guesthouse below!

A place to park our car outside the house

The view of the river one of the bedrooms

The living room (please pardon our clothes lying everywhere)

The view from the balcony

Seriously love this place. Hop over to the link I’ve mentioned above to check out more photos of the place. Really recommend it. Jacinta also left us many brochures and maps of Tasmania which we could use for our reference.

(Get $28 off your first Airbnb booking by following this link. Do take note that you must go to this link before you register. If you have already registered before, you will not be able to get the credit because this was what I did. In the end I had to delete the account and remake one to get the credit)

After settling down, we were all hungry. We had no choice but to cancel our plans of going to Salamanca Place because the market was already over due to the delayed plane *cries*. In the end we continued from there and went to Woolsworth to buy groceries for our picnic at Mount Wellington!

Our cart which is getting filled

Australia food is expensive and if you want to save on meals, definitely go to either Woolsworth or Coles for groceries. You can buy an entire roasted chicken at AUD$10. It’s so worth it! Plus there are many other ready made meals such as lasagna, pasta, etc. All you need is either a microwave or oven which we do have in our guesthouse.

After stocking food, it’s time to head up to Mount Wellington!

Mount Wellington, officially known as kunanyi / Mount Wellington, is a mountain in the southeast coastal region of Tasmania, Australia. The mountain is the summit of the Wellington Range on whose foothills is built much of the city of Hobart.

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Greeted by the lights of Hobart

We took around an hour and half to reach the summit of Mount Wellington. On the way up, we were busy snapping photos of the pretty view of Hobart at night. This photo above was taken on our way down. The reason for only 1 photo? The winds were SO STRONG. I am not kidding. My dad stopped the car near the ledge to let us take a few pictures but we could feel the entire car shaking. It was totally impossible to snap a photo properly.

We will never forget the epic moment which happened at the peak.

*Dads stops at the peak beside the lighthouse to let us alight and snap some pictures*

*Husband tries to open the door*

Husband: It’s locked.

Dad: No it isn’t. *Checks the car* Yeah it isn’t.

*Everyone else tries to open the respective car door beside them*

Finally my older brother managed to open the door but only slightly. We realised in the end that the force of the wind prevented us from opening the car door. Yes, sounds ridiculous but it’s true. In the end we couldn’t have picnic since we couldn’t even open the car door. I think even if we did try, our food will probably end up in the wind.

Lesson learnt, always check how strong wind speeds are before attempting to travel up a mountain.

In the end we have dinner back at the guesthouse (no regrets) and had  a great night sleep.

*Note: I will slowly update the links once the post for the individual days are completed.

A short summary on our itinerary:

Day 1: Tasmania (Hobart) – Mt. Wellington

Day 2: Tasmania (Hobart) – Port Arthur & Tasman National Park

Day 3: Tasmania – Barilla Oyster Farm, Sorrell Fruit Farm, Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay

Day 4: Tasmania (Launceston) – Elizabeth Town Bakery, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe, Ashgrove Cheese, 41 Degrees South Tasmania, Melita Honey Farm

Day 5: Tasmania (Launceston) – Table Cape Lighthouse, Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park

Day 6: Tasmania (Launceston) – Seahorse World, Platypus House, Tamar Valley, The Cataract Gorge

Day 7 & 8 : Melbourne – Great Ocean Road

Day 9: Melbourne – Phillip Island

Renting a car in Australia

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