Here is just an overview of the island, customs and typical sights around the little place we called home for a few weeks:
Tasmania is an island state of Australia, is about the size of West Virginia. It is very mountainous and the people are extremely laid back. We stayed in Hobart, the capital, which is home to over half of Tasmania's population and lies in the central southern part of the island.
The east coast of Tasmania is more arid and mountainous. Blonde grasses are the base to dry knarled trees, and dark green bushes.
The west of more lush and a little more mountainous in contrast.
Hobart is very much a harbor town, and rich in history. It is nestled between the River Derwent and Mount Wellington.
While there, you...
don't typically tip for any services rendered. This was really strange at first, but after you start paying twice as much for half the amount of food, you'll get used to it really quick. By the way, the food there is excellent. You'll be hard pressed to find fast food there, aside from Subway. We ate a lot of seafood at the pier, which ended up to be one of the least expensive meals and most enjoyable treats of all.
may not want to plan on getting smashed. The taxes for alcohol and cigarettes are outrageous. The Cascade Brewery is in Hobart, but we still didn't see a beer for less than $6.00 a bottle, and a case for not less than $40. Apparently, when there is a grape swell, you can get wine for cheap. Wine was about on par with Charlotte prices. Cigarettes are $13-20/pack.
won't expect to see people on cell phones. We didn't see a whole lot of people flashing phones or talking to someone else while ordering and it was a "ear piece free" holiday for us. Thank God!
WILL see well behaved children. Wherever we went there were children. (and a lot of pregnant ladies. A lot!)
will need to order black coffee as "long black" and/or coffee with cream = Flat White. I don't know why, but some advice for you... don't act like you fit in if you are American. You don't. We thought we did for about 30 minutes. Then we ordered "coffee". oops.
will see well manicured yards and pretty gardens. People have a lot of respect for things there, and it shows in their lawn care!
can expect to have 71-75 degree weather with a breeze in the summer, which is our winter. It can be chilly once in awhile and don't be surprised about an afternoon rain shower. If you venture into the bush, bring a sweatshirt.
will experience kindness from people. It is clear that the people of Tasmania are honest, and don't need to find a reason to be mean or underhanded. Even the "punks" are polite.
should see a Tasmanian Devil. They are so adorable and currently endangered. There is an epidemic of tumors developing on the skin of the devil and eventually killing them. It makes my heart sick to know this. If you recall there was a Tasmanian Tiger. The last one died in captivity early this century. If you ask anyone there, there may be some still on the island, but no one wants to report it so that it won't be captured. There is something very powerful about the spirit of faith in anyone, let alone an island of people.
drive under the speed limit. There isn't a lot of "road rage", but great traffic signs!
will have a beautiful vacation that you will never forget!
* map of Tasmania from www.smallguide.com.au