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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 Names||Number of Day||Price (AUD)|
110 Frederick Street, Launceston, TAS, 7250 Australia
|Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain|
4038 Cradle Mountain Road Tasm, Cradle Mountain, TAS, 7306 Australia
|Balmoral On York, Launceston|
19 York Street, Launceston, TAS, 7250 Australia
45-47 Tasman Highway, Bicheno, 7215, Australia
|St Ives Apartments, Battery Point, Hobart|
67 St Georges Terrace, Battery Point, TAS, 7004 澳洲
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.
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.
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.
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:
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):
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!
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.
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.
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.