Driving in Tasmania
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Driving in Tasmania

    In a few weeks I'm going to be in Tasmania for a week on holiday. Would be interested in any local knowledge on TAS state specific things such as what hours do school zones operate, are there warning signs for speed cameras, etc. - anything I should know to stay legal in TAS.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Pug_405_Mi16's Avatar
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    Gday mate,

    Tassie has some very interesting roads, most side streets are 50, school zones 40, they are well signed with times the opetate.

    Open road is usually 110 but some of the smaller roads in the country are 100.

    Other then that you will have a ball!


    Cheers

    Ben
    1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! ajpolden's Avatar
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    Hi
    Just as Ben said open road speed limit is usually 110km/h, but only when signed. Otherwise, assume the default 100km/h limit.
    In town the speed default is 50, 60 if signed so.
    School zones usually operate monday-friday from 8:00-9:30am, and then 2:30-4:00pm but I am not sure whether they change depending on the school's hours. Either way, they are signed.
    Permanent speed cameras are signed, you will not be given any sort of warning (other than the illegal flashing of oncoming car lights) for the others.
    Tassie has some great roads (although perhaps the "highways" leave a lot to be desired), great fun to drive on.
    Another point that should be noted is that 98 octane u/l fuel is not sold anywhere here . The best you'll find is 95RON stuff, and it's pricey.
    If you want to check road rules etc, you can find them at the transport division's web-site:
    http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/lice...rules_q_a.html
    All the best on your holiday - hope the spring weather behaves itself!
    Andrew.
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    I found that the local cow cockies drive like total idiots. They have leaf spring hiluxes with bull bars up to their armpits and they really take the road for granted. I always gave them room to overtake me - which they'd do as I don't generally speed (... too much ...) and those guys only knew two speeds, lethal and Warp factor 11. I didn't know Hiluxes went that fast.

    The other major danger is the Gunns tree trucks. When they are hauling logs, they take all the road and then some, and take extreme liberties with corners and lanes. When unloaded, they haul the trailer up to the tractor and they really abuse the road rules. Every time there's a hairpin, a crest, or a blind corner, reduce speed to the posted yellow sign, change down a few gears to zoom out just in case you need to make for the trees before a huge truck catches you like a big roo. I've never seen one of these trucks obey the speed limit and have failed to catch them on several occasions, even on Elephant Pass. I do not drive like a pussy on twisty turny bits, either. Avoid as if they are a 44 tonne brick.

    I have taken both my turbo Beetle and my C3 down to Tasmania, and had no difficulty in obtaining 95 as long as I took on fuel when I had the opportunity. Tassie is a small place, and so if you know you can only really get fuel at any price is Devonport, Launceston and Hobart, that's where you fuel up. I took a bottle of octane booster for emergency use, but I never needed it. The A1 (the main highway up and down the middle of Tassie) is also a good source of 95 fuel, but it can be tricky to find out where the nearest petrol station is that might have some.

    Places you have to go:

    a) look up the Targa routes - these are the best driver's roads in Australia. Bar none. However, note the big trucks and cow cockies. There isn't that much traffic, but remember, if you can't see around a corner, there's a 44 tonne truck doing 140 coming straight at ya. Saved me a few times

    b) Elephant Pass - there's a great pancake place up the top (and in Launceston too, but the view is much better at the top of Elephant Pass). Best pancakes in Tassie.

    c) Fire Bay. Awesome

    d) Freycinet National Park. Stay nearby and go early. Take a day pack, sun protection, good walking shoes, a warm coat with plenty of water and a decent camera. Best easy and moderate difficulty hikes I've been on in Australia. Stunning! Takes about four hours to do the Saddle - great views, but there's so much more. Buy a week pass - it's a little bit more, but you will get free entrance to all the other national parks.

    e) Russell Falls / Mt Field National Park. Russell Falls is beautiful and a very easy 15 minute dawdle unless you want to go up the top in which case it's a fairly easy 45 minute dawdle. The snow fields in the same park has snow well into October unless it's been very mild, so take warm clothes and a change of shoes. Russell Falls is usually not snowed in but can be chilly.

    f) I really love some of the C roads. I managed to find a C road which was little more than a goat track crossing a farmer's field. It had cow gratings and sheep. I've never had to shoo livestock away from my car before. Awesome.

    There's just so many places. Tasmania is the ultimate tourist destination for the nature lover who likes a good drive. If you want nightlife, Tassie is not really the place for you, but honestly, I love it. I go as often as I can.

    Andrew
    2003 C3 Exclusive Panoramique auto

  5. #5
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    You should be aware that unlike most states, the Tas police happily drive around in different coloured patrol cars, such as red, blue and grey/silver, as well as white, in both 4WD and sedans. Bear that in mind when checking your mirrors...

    There is a permanent speed camera on the Tasman Bridge, and one on the Lonnie-Hobart road near Longford. Both are signposted.

    If you're out and about early in the morning or late at night, be aware that Tas roads can ice up in certain locations conducive to this when conditions are cold enough. The road down to the Huon Valley comes to mind, as do the hillier parts of the main highway north of Brighton, and the last few kms into Mt Field Nat Park to name a few. Main roads tend to have amber warning lights in known trouble spots and if these are flashing, ignore them at your peril. No need to be paranoid about ice though, just consider the weather conditions, topography, time of day and drive accordingly, and you'll be fine.

    There's a lot more wildlife down here compared to the mainland too, as you'll notice from all the brown furry lumps on the road. Although a lot of locals seem quite happy to run over anything in their way, you may prefer not to, so keep your eyes peeled early/late in the day.

    Log trucks should be given a wide berth when near forestry areas. Don't even think about pushing your right of way with them.

    Watch out for white, late model cars, like corollas, hyundais etc. with Tas rego when out of townships. They're probably fly/drive tourists pretending to be locals. The Europcar/Budget. etc sticker on the rear window is the clue. Apt to be unpredictable and almost invariably can't drive round corners (the other clue) thus making overtaking difficult/impossible, give them a wide berth.

    Brett

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! WAUTY205's Avatar
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    Should I mention motorhomes!!!!!!!!!!!! Getting stuck behind an 80yr old couple in a 5 ton, 3m wide, camper with a 2lt diesel up some of the mountain passes can make a very un-enjoyable drive.

    West coast roads are awesome!

    -Will
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  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! tassiediesel's Avatar
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    Default Watch out for the LAW!

    If you do something naughty, expect an infringment notice rather than a warning. If you have out of state plates you might be treated a bit more leniently. You can be "radared" just about anywhere. They have the "white-van" units too. Road blocks/licence checks/roadworthy checks are common.

    Yeah, our farm is out the back of Ulvertone (I'm a "goat cockie"....not a "cow cockie", and I drive Patrol not a Hilux!). Some great driving and excellent places to visit in our area. Have a look at http://www.cavestocanyon.org to get an idea and/or visit our website.

    The weather is cold, wet and windy at the moment, but here in Tassie it can change very rapidly. Always remember this when you are visiting highland regions. Sunshine in the morning...snow in the afternoon. Black Bluff was black when I took the herd out to graze at 7am this morning. Now it's "White Bluff"

    Log trucks? Well so many of them end up on their roofs that it might give you an idea of how they're driven! Just make sure you aren't under one when it flips over.
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  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! Westair's Avatar
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    We spent a month in Tassie mid March onwards and loved it.
    Driving a Nissan Urvan with out of state plates we were treated very courteously apart from a couple of the Holden 1 tonner mob.

    We never found a road without a timber truck-loaded they are dangerous-unloaded a MENACE.
    While we were there a letter to the newspaper criticised a Police patrol car for "carving up" an out of state caravan which was trying to get across a few lanes in Launceston. They reported it as the public are asked to be courteous to visitors.
    We hope to get back next year and tempted to take Fuego!
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  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! TassieExec's Avatar
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    Default Driving in Tassie

    I agree with the other guys, need to take care but it's a drivers paradise if your used to twisty roads and in a good car. Just two other warnings, It's very common down here to be following someone travelling slowly and as soon as you get to an overtaking lane they will speed up, happens all the time. Apart from that, some one else mentioned ice but of particular danger is what's called "black ice" so you can't see it but if you watch weather conditions and be particularly carefull in places that get little if any sun on the road you should be fine.
    Happy motoring
    Neil

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Many thanks, much appreciated. Really looking forward to the trip.

    Twisty roads, logging lorries, black ice ... sounds a bit like my beloved Northumberland!
    unfrogged (for now)

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! tassiediesel's Avatar
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    Default Just like home!

    I was born and brought up in Benton (which was part of Northumberland in those days). Went to TAFE in Ashington and Uni at Newcastle. Maybe that's why I feel so comfortable living in Tassie!
    One thing I forgot to warn you about... Powerlines. Don't assume that they follow the road, In many cases the powerline goes straight ahead into a paddock and the road takes a right angled bend. Bends are poorly signposted, too.
    82 Peugeot 505 Turbo Diesel
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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Just got back from an excellent week in TAS. As ever time only allowed for a fraction of what we'd like to have done but great scenery, hills and coastline, great walking and great roads with appropriate limits (unlike NSW). By far my favourite part of Australia from what I've seen. Thanks for the tips. We'll be back for another visit.
    unfrogged (for now)

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