Making the most of your Tasmanian Odyssey

DO:

Slow down and take your time. Tasmania is the size of Ireland, Sri Lanka or Switzerland, and much of it is covered by wilderness with extremely windy roads, many of which are unsealed. Besides which, every twist and turn brings yet another stunning view. You will need at least two weeks to see the state, three if you want to see it properly.

Get off the beaten track - either with a private guide for a day or more but even independently; don't be afraid to get away from the tourist trail such driving as the epic Western Explorer or 'The Road to Nowhere' as it is better known.

Fly into Hobart and out of Launceston, or the other way round if your time is limited to less than 2 weeks.

Buy a Telstra Sim and register on the local network when you land in Australia. Mobile phone reception is patchy at best but you will have better luck and much cheaper calls with one.

Book ahead. Accommodation is mostly small, and popular areas WILL be fully booked up to six months ahead in the summer months.  Cars are also increasingly difficult to hire at peak times. 

Visit off-season. The biggest myth of all is that you should only visit in the Tasmanian summer. Spring, autumn and winter are spectacular and best of all, you will hardly see another soul.

Leave your wheels behind for at least a day or preferably more, and take one of the excellent private guided tours into the wilderness. You will see things you didn’t expect in your wildest dreams. Worth double every penny you spend.

Stand on the summit of Mount Wellington on a clear day - and then freewheel down by bike.

Island-hop. Tasmania is an archipelago of 334 islands, each with its own spiritual beauty, wildlife, birdlife, history and mesmerising landscapes. Flinders, Maria and Bruny Islands are the most accessible and at least one should feature in your itinerary.

See Tasmania from the air. A light aircraft trip is the only way to fully appreciate Tasmania’s extraordinary wilderness and access parts of the island only available to the most intrepid travellers. Try Par Avion's trip to the South West National Park or a flight over the West Coast rainforest from Strahan.

Acquaint yourself with the local wildlife at one of the excellent wildlife parks when you arrive. All Tasmanian Odyssey guests can book a private keeper tour at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for the price of general entry. A close up encounter will give you the ‘wombat vision’ you need to spot them for yourself in the wild.

Experience a Tasmanian Devil feed. Quite simply, the most extraordinary wildlife experience on earth.

See a Platypus in the wild. Tasmania is brimming with them - if you know where to look despite many Tasmanians never having seen one! 

Stand under the tallest flowering trees in the world, awe-inspiring, at over 100 metres.

Try your hand at fly fishing -  in 2014 Tasmania celebrated its 150th anniversary of fly fishing - it is officially the birthplace of fly fishing in the Southern Hemisphere, with tuition for novices to experts.

Stand on the Edge of the World on Tasmania’s wild west coast and breathe in the cleanest air in the world - blown in all the way from South America and the Antarctic.

Get out onto the water with one of the many sea and river cruises around the state. Along the coast, dolphin, sea eagles and albatross are the norm, and even whales are almost guaranteed at certain times of the year. 

Spend a few hours at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery TMAG) in Hobart for a great introduction to all things Tasmanian.

Prepare yourself for a shock at MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art).

Try a curried scallop pie.

Meet and talk to the locals. You will see lots listed on this website but there are too many wonderful people to mention and everyone has a story to tell.

Keep your eyes and ears open for a Tasmanian Tiger. The chances are they are still out there.

Don’t:

Book your flights before you have done your research - I guarantee you will be kicking yourself and wishing you had spent longer in Tassie! 

Ever attempt to drive at dawn or dusk due to the density of animals on the road.

Follow the classic tourist trail. Even if time is short, you can still experience Tasmania's true beauty by delving a little deeper and explore off the beaten track and for the half the price of the popular tourist magnets.

Try to forecast the weather. You can’t, at any time of year.  We say if you don’t like it, come back in five minutes!

Make the mistake of trying to cover too much of the island in too little time. You need at least two weeks to do a round-state trip. If you only have a few days, limit yourself to one or two regions of the State rather than trying to cram it all in. Each region is as beautiful as another and holds as many surprises.

Spend all your time behind the wheel of a car.

Bother with a GPS. They don't work much of the time. A good map and relaxed attitude to exploring (eg getting mildly lost!) is much more effective.

Hesitate to travel alone. You will find it one of the safest, friendliest places on earth and not a day need pass without company.

Set off on a wilderness walk alone without signing in at a walkers' registration point and leaving your details with someone.

Underestimate your ability to walk. A multi-day walk or guided walking holiday, from one day to a week, is a fantastic way to experience total immersion in the wilderness. There is a walking experience for everyone of every age with reasonable fitness. 

Expect to come back slimmer - Tasmania's produce is now legendary.

Forget that most Tasmanian restaurants stop serving at 730 or 8 pm.

Talk to a Mainlander. They probably know less about Tasmania than you do!

Tell anyone if you see a Tasmanian Tiger.