Australia Sydney and Tasmania Trip Pre-planning

I was so excited for the 2 weeks trip in Australia in December 2017. This Australia trip consists of 2 parts. I will spend the first week in Tasmania and the second week in Sydney.

In this article, I will share more about the planning of this trip and points to notes that I would like to remind everyone.

Flight Booking

I have booked the Qantas Airway flying from Hong Kong to/from Sydney. Qantas has a very sweet policy. It is free for client to change flight within 24 hours after the original flight reserved. This policy really saved me otherwise I would have missed my friend’s wedding.

I have also booked the ticket from Sydney to Launceston and from Hobart to Sydney with Virgin Australia and Jetstar respectively.

Points to Note

Please reserve enough time, say 1.5 hour, for the airport check-in process in Australia because of the tight control of their customs.

Car Rental

I have rented a car for my one week trip in Tasmania. Since I will arrive at the Launceston Airport and leave at the Hobart Airport, the pick-up and drop off locations of my car are different which incurs additional charge.

Car Type

Picking a correct car is very crucial for a trip in Tasmania. Roads in Tasmania consist of a series of mountain roads with many turns.  It is recommended to choose Toyota Camry or higher output car type to make your life easier.

camry tasmania car rental

Reservation

I have compared a few car rental company. There are a number of car rental agency in the market such as vroomvroomvroom.com. I personally found that it is a nice website to compare price among a number supplier. Researching on people’s comment, this website is found to be reliable and price competitive. However, since I would like to purchase a full coverage for my travel, their third party insurance company, Hiccup Insurance, does not provide sufficient insurance coverage that I want. Therefore, I did not opt to book the car through this website. Instead, I rent the car directly from the car rental company. These suppliers clearly listed the insurance that I purchased and I could choose the coverage freely.

I have compared different car rental websites, such as herz, thrifty, eurocar, budget and redspot. Finally, Redspot offered me the cheapest option. For Redspot, there are three packages: TopDog, Middle of the Road and Bare Bone. The difference are the insurance coverage. Please find below the table for your information:

Tasmania Car rental rate card

I strongly recommend everyone to buy the TopDog for full protection. You are also reminded to add GPS during the reservation process. Premium Location Fee will be charged of pick-up and drop off at the airports.

Points to Note:

I have reserved a Camry for 7 day in December. When I first booked the car in September, the price, included insurance and GPS, was 690 AUD. interestingly, when I try to look at the price again in November, the price went down to 650 AUD and I revised the booking accordingly. Therefore, it is advisable to check the updated price occasionally which may help you to save some money.

Hotel Booking:

Since the lamb and beef in both Tasmania and Sydney are just amazing, if possible, I reserved accommodation with kitchen. I will use different website to reserved accommodation such as Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com etc. Expedia is the one I usually used as it is more user-friendly and very often its prices are cheaper.

For Tasmania, we reserved accommodations which do not need to pay for car parking as we have a rental car. Below is price of my accommodation in Tasmania.

Accommodation NamesNumber of DayPrice (AUD)
Auldington, Launceston
110 Frederick Street, Launceston, TAS, 7250 Australia
1 day170
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain
4038 Cradle Mountain Road Tasm, Cradle Mountain, TAS, 7306 Australia
1 day407
Balmoral On York, Launceston
19 York Street, Launceston, TAS, 7250 Australia
1 day102
Beachend Bicheno
45-47 Tasman Highway, Bicheno, 7215, Australia
1 day174
St Ives Apartments, Battery Point, Hobart
67 St Georges Terrace, Battery Point, TAS, 7004 澳洲
2 days352

 

Among all the accommodations that I reserved, I would like to highlight Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and Beachend Bicheno. I was amazed by the beautiful scenery and environment of the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Although the price is quite expensive, I expect it worth the price. For Beachend Bicheno, it is said that you will become a neighbor of the fairy penguins as the penguins just live under your house in Beachend. Please be reminded to check all the booking websites for the most competitive price.

Points to Note

I know that some people will book Airbnb. Since I only travel with my husband, Airbnb does not worth the price. If you have four people or above in the group, it will advisable to book the accommodation through Airbnb.

Route Planning

 

I found that google map is an excellent planning tool for my trip. Below is the google map that how I plan my day-to-day trip in Tasmania. There is a “ruler” function that you can measure distance and area between two locations.

capture

While December is a Summer in Australia, sunset will happen at around 8pm. Therefore, a longer driving distance is still very feasible.

Points to Note

You are strongly advised to use the google street view function to view the route that you planned. Especially for the route from Launceston to Cradle Mountain, I saw a number of warning signs along the tortuous road. You will become more aware and cautious during the trip.

Wine Tour

I was planning to join a local Wine Tour in Hunter Valley. After going through those Wine Tour booking website, I hesitated. It is because those Wine Tour booking website did not specify which wineries that we are going. Below is a cap screen from a wine tour website for your information:

Hunter Valley Sydney Ihop Shuttle Service

The above itinerary just state “Visit a selection of 4 wineries/cellar doors in the Hunter Valley”. While I already have a few wineries in mind, I decided to go to Hunter Valley by myself. Below is the locations of my selected wineries (the stared locations):

hunter valley cellar wine tasting map

I found a website that provide hop-on-hop-off service in the hunter valley. It is https://www.ihophuntervalley.com.au. I have reserved 2 seats for the central Pokolbin loop. The price is AUD49 for adult for a whole day tour. Since it is a continuous loop, we can visit as many stops as we like. Below is the timetable of the Central Pokolbin Loop and it covers so many attractions! Cheese, Chocolate, Beer and Wine are all famous products in Hunter Valley. I am looking forward to my wine tasting trip already!

Central Pokolbin ihop shuttle service timetable

Being a wine lover, I plan to spend as much time as possible in the hunter valley. Therefore, I planned to wake up at 5:00 am in the morning to catch the 6:15am train from Central station to Morisset. After arriving at the Morisset, I will take bus 163 to Cessnock where Ihop will pick me up to the hunter valley. I will also spend a night in the Pokolbin village so that I could enjoy the dinner at the Pepper Tree Wines.

hunter valley public transport sydney

Points to Note

Since the last bus of 163 leaves Cessnock quite early (i.e. 4:45), it will be a waste of time for a one day travel at the hunter by taking public transportation. Therefore, we reserved a night in Pokolbin village so that we could leave the hunter valley on another day.

hunter valley public transport sydney

There are a number of travelers driving on their own to visit the Hunter Valley. However, both my husband and I object drunk driving. Therefore, we gave up the idea to rent a car to travel to Hunter Valley.

For your information, I talked to some local. In Australia, it is common to have car accident due to drunk driving. The chance of car crashes at night is much higher than in the morning.

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