Hobart and Surrounds

Discussion in 'Passport' started by Scooter, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Heading to Tassie this weekend so thought I would hit up the ski.com.au crew for some advice or ideas.

    Went there not that long ago and did Port Arthur and MONA plus trip to top of Mt Wellington and general city stuff (Salamanca markets etc.).

    This trip thinking maybe heading up to Freycient national Park for a look and a wander (check out that wineglass bay). Worth it? Probably stay overnight somewhere so anyone care to offer some recommendations?

    Russell Falls worth it? I notice it was at the entrance to Mt Field national park and had considered maybe going up to check out Mt Mawson but was that worth the effort? Looks like chains are required in the NP and with a hire car that could be problematic (although I note a couple of the car rental agencies have additional snow cover so pay x to allow you to go above snowline).

    Also lastly when we were there last and had our little hire car I remembered thinking I probably wouldn't want to drive up Mt Wellington with snow on the road (in the little buzz box at least) but I see that they have gates anyway to close the roads so driving up if is snowing or snow on the road probably isn't an option (understandable given folks like me in said little rental buzzbox :D). From the parks site I see they make mention of it might be x walk to get to the snowline if the road is closed so what do they do? From memory given the road I wouldn't have thought driving as high as you could (I.e. to the closed gate) and then parking would have been a great option or did they have space to park cars off the road where the gates are?

    If we are lucky enough to have snow up on Mt Wellington I would have walked (from Ferntree?) but it looks like the Pinnacles track is actually closed till August so what are hiking options to the summit (assuming Pinnacles track was the main/easiest route).

    Anyway, happy to take on board any advice or ideas regarding Hobart and its surrounds so fire away and thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Freycinet and Coles Bay are lovely.
     
  3. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    Bicheno is nice to stay, fairly close to Freycinet and Coles Bay.

    the oyster cafe (Freycinet Marine Farm?) at Coles Bay is a must do. Freycinet winery has excellent pinot & riesling. Milton winery worth a visit but not in the same league

    on my only visit to tassie, we had a great day touring south of Hobart mainly along the coast and then up as far as Huonville. next time we'll go to Bruny Island too

    if you are into wine, then the coal valley north east of Hobart id pretty special
     
  4. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Another vote for Freycinet and you'll definitely want an overnighter given it's a bit of a hike from Hobart.

    Reasonable chance of snow on Wellington this coming weekend with a cold front clipping Tasmania

    Hounville, the Houn Valley and Cygnet are decent day trip, and back via the Channel Hwy and Kingston etc. Some lovely coastal villages including Kingston Beach.
     
  5. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal
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    A bit closer to Hobart is Richmond. Lovely little town and a very nice 30 min drive from town. A couple of cracking little wineries out that way too.
     
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  6. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Oldest bridge in Australia. Lots of convict history. good bottle shop too.
     
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  7. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal
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    Extremely good bakery
     
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  8. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Thanks for the replies folks :thumbs:

    Nobody has anything to say about maybe going up to Mt Mawson for a bit of snow play?

    I flicked off an email to the Mt Wellington ranger so will see if I get a response. Briefly looking at the walking map the gates (used for road closures) seem to line up with marked Parking areas so that seems to indicate you could probably drive to the closed gate and park and then hike from there.

    But might be a moot point anyway as the road is actually a decent distance so might be better to just work on doing a hike up from Fern Tree or The Springs - those tracks seem about 4 to 5 k's and even with the Pinnacles track closed there seems to be a marked trail just a bit wider so I should be able to get to the top.

    You based in Tassie @mick chopps ? I know Wellington often gets snow (and did as per that recent event) but how did lower elevations go with the early June system that delivered wide spread snow to the mainland? I actually didn't think they got anything at lower elevations.
     
  9. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    I’m not but my old man is. They missed the coldest of the airmass that we recieved in Vic so no low level snow. Too much hook for Tassie, but ultimately that’s a benefit for us on the mainland.

    The road up to Mawson is pretty err rugged as I understand, or at least it was last year. Might be in better knick now with the construction work up there on the new shelter and the need for better access.

    Forecast is for snow showers for Wellington for Friday and Saturday so good chance the road will be closed. Doesn’t look to be a low level snow event though.
     
  10. Seafm

    Seafm Too far from the snow
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    Bruny island is a must do. If your into spirits there's a place there that sells every boutique whiskey made in Tasmania. Staying at Swansea is a good east coast choice for visiting wineglass bay, don't forget about some sturdy footwear. Our motel room there was a bit dated but the view made up for it. You can go from there inland to head up to Launceston or back to Hobart without backtracking.
     
  11. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Bruny Island is good but it’s a whole day on it’s own. The smokehouse does the whisky tastings, at a cost, but you can also get all their offerings at the Lark barrell room in the city.

    It is a great spot and this time of year won’t be too busy.
     
  12. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Snow if you are not skiing or boarding is a pain in the arse. Why would you bother?
     
  13. Seafm

    Seafm Too far from the snow
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    I went to the House of Whiskey but the prices are a bit steep. Or so I found out when back in Hobart, I saw the same bottle in a deli $20 cheaper..........so I bought a second bottle.
     
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  14. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    I found Bruny Island to be very ordinary. A collection of places doing food etc - on an island. Those sorts of places (a whisky place, a cheese place, a honey place and a couple of cafes) are all over Tassie anyway. They're not a destination in theselves but rather, something to break the drive when you're on the road. Bruny Island offers nothing that's not available elsewhere, imo.
    Not particularly scenic either (from your car). Fairly flat, dry grass and occasional glimpses of sea.
     
  15. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    * Surf. At times, epic. I loved living on Bruny.
     
  16. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    Rugged is very relative....

    Road up to Lake Dobson is fine, just the odd tree down at times, bit of alpine moor to cross at top. Mt Field is a great microcosm of the islands mountain, Tarn Shelf / Rodway Range being one of the best daywalks in the state, in any season. Plenty of emergency shelter huts to take refuge, just take a stove or couple of thermos. The vegetation gradation with altitude is a great highlight on the drive up to Dobson. Very easy day trip from Hobart.

    On a fine day, the drive down to new Lake Pedder is lovely, as is going across to Queenstown, or over the Lake Hwy to the north coast. Coast south of the Huon is great as well, beautiful forest to water edge. Channel is always nice, just keep your eyes off my property down there.

    Tasman daywalks also great, although a bit busier down there now with the 'new' Three Capes walk. Bit closer than Freycinet.

    Lake St Clair on a still winters day is just magic, feeling lazy, take the ferry up & back & just enjoy the glacial geomorphology. Again, get an early start & enjoy the drive.

    You could do a 'Boodwah' & day trip up Mt Anne?
     
  17. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    Wellington closures very variable, they try to keep it open as much as possible being one the drawcards for the city.

    Generally for the average snow event it is closed at the Springs which has the largest parking / safe turning on the mountain. Plenty of options from there as you know, although actually summit plateau of Wellington can be pretty brisk & exposed. Some beautiful hidden little huts & cliffs lower on the mount are worth a visit though.

    Hiking up North West Bay river on backside (south) of range is another superb daywalk, canyon'y in places.
     
  18. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Come on - why wouldn't you bother :D

    Although I might forgo Mt Mawson and just settle for a hike up Wellington if they do get a dusting up there. In Googling about snow in Tassie etc. it just seems that Ben Lommond is better setup for a sneaky snow trip or at least that is what I am taking out of a few quick searches. Almost seems like a trip to the snow pulling out some of the cold gear and I did have an old snowboard in the front room sitting there (was supposed to be practicing some balance moves - think I have used it once for 5 mins) but yeah, a slide was never on the cards but would have happily gone up for a look see if it wasn't too much effort.

    Does that have that little couloir I have seen some of you Tassie folks taking about hitting with decent snow?
     
  19. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    Yes indeedy. That is the one. Very obvious faultline visible from Shelf Camp. Horrific grovel out though, arguably you could fall into some very deep karst systems going down there.

    Mt Anne & it's surrounds is a simply stupendous 'short walk', one of our very best & while your up there, one tends to think "how am I ever going to enjoy a walk on the flatland again?"

    Rufus is oft more reliable for some ridable snow than the Ben, but more walking to get up there.
     
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  20. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Been and gone so thought I would post an update in case any body was interested - at the very least have to share my "snow" photos :D

    Ours kids went north to stay with family for 10 days so it was just a quick getaway for us. Was never looking to do everything so figured as we were there 4 nights with the 5th day a write off due to an early flight a few things to do would be plenty. Got into Hobart lunch time Sat and whilst we did the Salamanca markets on a previous trip (Port Arthur and MONA being the main objectives that trip) I hadn't realised they were Sat only (so there is a tip for others) so decided to have a wander and do lunch so quickly into Hobart and checked into accommodation at Sandy Bay and then walked to the markets. Have stayed at http://www.mayfairplaza.com.au/ both trips and would again. Its a decent location (close to Coles and Woolies as well as eats etc.) and for those that don't know Sandy Bay has easy walking access to places like Battery Point and the City (15-20 mins) and is generally a nice part of Hobart.

    Got to the markets and it was funny seeing at least a handful of folks that had been on our flight into Hobart so guess we were all thinking along the same lines. The markets are a good way to spend a couple of hours then we just had a wander before heading home and having Thai for dinner.

    Sunday was basically Mt Wellington day. Drove up last time and this time really wanted to see it coated in white and for awhile it was looking likely with decent moisture and temps predicted to deliver snowfalls Sat and Sunday but the closer we got the likelihood and moisture just disappeared :cry: Gutted - but I had planned to hike up assuming the road was closed so even though we could have driven up figured we would go with the original plan so parked at the springs to set off at 10am. The main route (Pinnacle Track) was closed with the recommended route being up the front (sawpit, organ, zig zag etc.) but I had planned for doing the Icehouse track and then the South Wellington route so we did that.

    Think they said that was 2.5hours and we were spot on that hitting the summit at 12.30pm with 20-30 mins at least used having a chat to a poor bugger that had his $600+ jacket blow off (put it down for a sec - he reckoned he had been searching for over an hour) as well as another fella and taking pics etc. Ice House track a bit rough and ready (no idea where the remnants of the ice houses were - thought they would have signed them at least or something) and whilst easier going when you got up to the plateau that the south wellington track was on there wasnt a track as such so you wouldn't want to be doing it when the cloud rolled in or in a blizzard etc. because even though it had snow/track poles were spaced not that far apart (10-20 meters etc.) on a couple of occasions you really had to work out where to go even in clear weather so with limited visibility no chance.

    Lots of water around which makes sense as its mostly rock and probably just as well I chose to do the south track because it at least afforded us some iced over puddles[​IMG]
    And of course some snow LOL
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Not quite what I wanted but I guess you have to take what you are given and there was at least a section that allowed me to scrunch up a (admittedly small) snowball to peg at the other half :D I say just as well we did the south route because the actual summit (touristy area) and tracks down the front side were devoid of snow and ice entirely so if we had of driven up or done the front side tracks we wouldn't have even seen the small dusting or ice that we did.

    Just near the summit was a bit of a drop off that had cloud forming as the wind passed over the lip - was really cool to see and I grabbed a couple of vids but here was a pic.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, only really spent 15-20 mins up top before setting off back down the mountain. Other half wasn't keen to do the same route down (had knee reconstruction last Sept - think she psyched herself out on the way up with worry about going down) so did the front route. Zig zag to Organ (my god - this traverse was a boggy muddy mess) then sawpit to the road and as she had taken an age on the down (mostly due to over caution) we did the final bit down the road rather than using that H track which ran along the road pretty much anyway. Was 2.5 down as well but if the other half had been a little less cautious would have shaved a heap of time of that as well.

    Went and had a late lunch/early dinner at the Fern Tree pub (was OK - probably a bit pricey for what it was) and that was about it for the day.

    Set off the next day to Freycinet. About 2.5 hours to Swansea and whilst I had planned to stay here as the park was another 50+k's further decided to head to Coles Bay and see what our options were. I must have Googled accommodation in the park and gotten so pricey stuff and not realised Coles Bay had a range of options so very glad I never booked Swansea. This was from Coles bay looking over to Freycinet
    [​IMG]
    Ended up grabbing a cabbin at Ikula for a bit over $100 so happy with that then set off to do the only activity I had planned here which was do the Wineglass bay lookout and go down to have a wander at the beach. Lots and lots of people around and doing the walk up to the lookout and rather than a traditional pic of the bay from the lookout here was one of the actual look out and some of the folks there
    [​IMG]
    It was here I witnessed 4 young foreign (think they were South American) ladies partaking of that most modern (maybe young) pastimes - the selfie LOL My god - for 15 mins I watched these 4 girls primp and pose trying to get the (I assume) perfect selfie. They were swapping jackets and scarves and with glasses with out, this pose that pose etc. etc. etc. It was a sight to behold and they were still going when we set off to walk down to the beach.

    Can imagine this place is very popular in summer. No swimming for us but it was nice enough (eh its a beach - would have rather snow on Wellington ;))
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wineglass bay seen we headed back to Coles Bay. Probably should have climbed Atmos or done one of the bigger hikes but had only planned for Wineglass so that was enough. Had dinner at the Iluka tavern and then went for a night walk (chilly but magic skies).

    Next day was dull and overcast after magic weather for the trip to date ( :mad: - needed cold and wet if I was going to get snow) so headed back to Hobart a bit earlier than planned. Have to say I was surprised that the roads weren't a little bit better than they were. Wasn't expecting a hwy but given its a popular route there were long stretches of narrow road. From the park to Hobart is around 3 hours so last afternoon was a reasonably lazy one (still did a bit of walking down ton etc.).

    Early flight the next day and back home - quite an enjoyable little break and would happily recommend Hobart as a destination. Guess we could have done more but happy with what we did do. Next time might have to head to Launceston and see what that has to offer :)
     
  21. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    Great trip report. I really like Devonport, it's a cute little town. My parents both grew up on Battery Point, so it's well known to us.
     
  22. Seafm

    Seafm Too far from the snow
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    I thought the roads there were a bit ordinary too, bit like some of the rubbish up here in North Queensland.