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Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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19,355 posts
30 reviews
43 helpful votes
Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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Hi Taswegians

I am departing for Antarctica in Dec from Hobart and as I last lived there as a 5 year old in the early 70s I would love to re-explore some places I remember and some I never got to see or have forgotten over time.

I was initially looking at booking a DIY private tour - basically a car and driver (as I am a non driver) but now a pal from Sydney has suggested they fly down and we rent a car and they will take me anywhere ! Yeay!!

As a non driver I tend to wayyy over estimate times and distances - and also forget that not all states have sights 8 hours apart like the west!

So I have grouped some things into single day blocks and am seeking opinions as to what is doable and what isnt.

The only days that are date specific are a saturday Dec 3 (for Salamanca Markets and CBD stuff) and Wed Dec 7 which is when I board the ship - so more wandering CBD stuff - maybe museums.

No flight booked yet so I am flexible and still working on exactly how many days I need to do all this.

So my days - in no specific order:

1) Hastings Caves, Tahune Air Walk, Russell Falls.

2) Bruny Island (via a tour I saw that does scenic flight there and back and a 3 hour scenic boat). Long all day thing.

3) Tassie Devil Conservation Park and Port Arthur.

4) MONA (whole day ?? what else can be done in this area from my list below)

So if thats 4 days plus a saturday and wednesday morning - what out of the below list can be included on any of the above days on the way to other things ?

Tas Museum & Art Gallery

Cat & Fiddle (childhood memory!)

Mt Wellington for both daytime and night time photos.

Photography from scenic points at Bellerive, Rosny Hill lookout (for Mount Welling views is morning or afternoon light better ?)

Richmond (bridge, buildings, gaol, model village).

Womens Prison.

Both myself and my friend are ones who like to mosey and take loads of photos from every angle - so not just leaping out of car, take a shot and straight back on the road. And I wouldnt call either of us fit so we wont be sprinting anywhere at great speed!!

Neither of us do seafood so generally happy to seek out a steak or chook meal anywhere that takes our fancy but happy for recommendations in the CBD near the wharf for night meals (italian or aussie usually).

The night before the ship leaves I join the passengers at the Grand Chancellor but for the other nights I will be looking for a 2 bedroom serviced apartment. Have only just started looking on wotif for ideas for that. No major hurry yet - more important to work out how many days I need for the flight booking.

Anyway - sorry its long - as a DE I hate it when people are vague and give no info to build an opinion on LOL !! Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

australia
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1. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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Russell Falls is opposite direction to Tahune/Hastings Caves

MONA is a half day if you drive there, or the ferry trip is a good option. Maybe (if you drive to MONA) an afternoon drive in the afternoon to Derwent Valley/Russell Falls is possible - December the days will be long enough. And getting to MONA has got you out of the city/inner suburbs in the right direction.

Richmond could be included as slight detour on the Port Arthur trip.

Cat and Fiddle might be a disappointment - the shops have taken over, and 'alley' is now fully built in.

Tasmania, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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2. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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You're an Antarctica addict, aren't you, PP? And I envy you heading off on Mawson'sn 100th anniversary of departure, too. Should be a great trip!

I concur with Dev about the drive from Tahune/Hastings area to Russel Falls: it's really too far in a day. If you go to Mount Field/Russel falls you'll probably need to make a day of it and you should go via Bonorong or Something Wild Wildlife parks. IMO, the devil conservation park is just way too expensive in comparison. Bonorong is best.

If you need something extra on the day you go to Port Arthur, include Richmond on the way there or back. And if you didn't hate seafood, Barilla Bay oysters would also be good. ;-)

You can easily spend the entire day at MONA. Take the ferry from the Brooke Street pier. The first one leaves at 9 30am. You need to book it on the MONA website.

If you do get back early from MONA you could do Mount Wellington that afternoon.

The Female Factory is really just four stone walls and I recommend doing it as part of Louisa's Walk which starts at Cascade Brewery at 2pm. Louisa makes it come alive.

The best place to photograph Hobart from the eastern shore is Kangaroo Point bluff. Take a look at my TQ on Hobart's secret places for details. If you didn't hate seafood, I'd recommend Hobart's best fish and chips just nearby at the Fish Bar. ;-)

You won't have any problem finding non-seafood at Salamanca of an evening, but the docks itself is wall-to-wall seafood. Sorry.

The Cat&Fiddle has been a bit sad since the Myer fire a couple of years back and it won't be what you remember.

Take a look at the apartment rooms at Fountainside. There are others, but it's good value for money.

Wave to the penguins for me. :)

Luigi

Australia
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for Canberra
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22,263 posts
3. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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I remembered the Cat and Fiddle from my trip in the 80's so when we went in the mid 2000's I was looking for it and I was like, I was like, huh, that's it?

The big orange ship was in port when we were there, I was so excited just seeing it docked there. I envy you actually sailing off to Antarctica :-)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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19,355 posts
30 reviews
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4. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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Thanks folks ! I am baffled as to where my brain got the Tahune/Hastings being on the same road as Russell Falls ! I had it written in a note book for ages !

Yes I expect the Cat & Fiddle wont be the same as the kiddie memory but as a littlie I got lost and separated from my mum and it was the only place I knew so I sat there for hours till mum finally located me. I dont have any photos of it from that time so its something I want to see and photograph.

Thanks Dev - will reconsider MONA and Russell Falls as a single day.

LOL Luigi - you trying to kill me with all the seafood suggestions - its only a death causing allergy I have hehehe !

Yep I always wanted to go to Antarctica since my teens, never imagined I would go two years in a row and see both sides of the continent so its a lot of different dreams come true. As well as the 100 year celebrations its also the final voyage for my icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov so a lot of people from its past are joining the expedition.

I was thinking the conservation park as it was on the way to Port Arthur and maybe less touristy ?? I get a little agro when my time is interrupted by a bus dropping off 90 manic tourists and their brats !!! So I thought the less advertised pricier one might attract a different crowd ??

Will put Richmond into the Port Arthur day as suggested.

So Salamanca is the main foodie place at night ? I saw on google earth that the wharfs opp the Chancellor were predominantly seafood ones LOL.

Thanks for the Fountainside suggestion - will take a look now.

Which ship is the big orange one Mac ? I am quite excited about sailing out of one of the most historical harbours - another thing on the to do list!!

Tasmania, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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5. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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The two orange antarctic ships that home port in Hobart are the Aurora Australis (AUS) and l'Astrolabe (FR). They dock at Piers 1 to 4 next to Salamanca (where the Steve Irwin also docks at the end of the whale hunter aggravation season).

The Devil Conservation Park IS the touristy one because it's on the way to Port Arthur. All the tour busses stop there.

I really don't think you've got time to do anything much else if you go to MONA.

Luigi

Edited: 9 years ago
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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19,355 posts
30 reviews
43 helpful votes
6. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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Thanks Luigi - I was sitting here googling "orange ships" !!!!

Ahhh OK re conservation park - will rethink that completely then and look at the other two for a different day and stick with a nice historical day of Richmond and PA.

Is photography permitted in MONA ? this will give me a better idea of how long my friend and I can spend there - if we are allowed to get the cameras out we would definitely be able to spend the entire day exploring.

Based on my list - do you think I need one more day ? If I leave the CBD, Salamanca markets, and museums for the saturday and wednesday - does the rest look rushed ?

Actually if I had to lose one thing I can forgo the Bruny day. I have a big King island shipwreck reunion in 2016 that I could combine with extra time in Hobart where I could do Bruny.

Sydney, Australia
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117 posts
7. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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You can take photos in MONA - so that might take up a bit more of your time. It's on my to do list but I have to live vicariously through my parents photos until then!

Tasmania, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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37,630 posts
67 reviews
303 helpful votes
8. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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I think you either need to drop something or add an extra day to do Russel Falls.

No flash or tripods allowed in MONA, so you need a swish digital camera. It's v dark in the gallery, with very good tight lighting on the exhibits.

Luigi

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
19,355 posts
30 reviews
43 helpful votes
9. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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Glad I can take photos at MONA - have never used a flash at concerts or museums (and am often baffled by people who do use them !). Me thinks this will mean its a definite all dayer then !

What kind of fitness level is needed for the falls ? Its another thing that is a little memory tucked away in a 5 year olds brain.

I think I will redraw the itinerary up with an option to lose Bruny. Not sure if my friend has been there or not.

Tasmania, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
37,630 posts
67 reviews
303 helpful votes
10. Re: Rough first itinerary for a few days in Dec
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The walk from the info centre at Mount Field to the falls is dead flat and only about a kilometre each way. It's actually wheel-chair accessible!

Luigi

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