How to (cheaply) do: Tasmania.

What can you do if you have a spare week or so during the semester and want to do something different?

Bored of Brisbane's heat?

Bored of Brisbane’s heat?

Go to Tasmania!

This is what me and a friend did during the Easter break in April. Somehow I managed to get 10 days off from uni and decided to go for a roadtrip around Tasmania, which was one of the best decisions I made in my life.

Wineglass Bay - one of the most stunning views I've ever seen

Wineglass Bay – one of the most stunning views in Tasmania

Going for a trip like this will not be super cheap – you need to be prepared for that. But there are some ways to make it affordable, and here are some ideas tried out by the two of us.

 

1. Campervan

There are ways to rent one for as cheap as you can. I would recommend using compare sites such as Motorhome Republic, which we have used, or Vroom Vroom Vroom, to find the cheapest deals. However, don’t rent through these websites, as they will charge you a 2% surcharge – after you found a camper, just contact the dealer directly.

The price will depend on how good the car is, how many people you need it for and how early you rent it. We were actually pretty lucky as we managed to rent one the day before our flight (don’t ask me why we waited so long), and paid $600 for the two of us for 9 days, which I think is still good – it would be almost the same to stay in a hostel, and with a camper we could sleep virtually anywhere we liked.

With our camper at the Eaglehawk Neck

With our camper at the Dog Line, Eaglehawk Neck

Our camper at The Neck, Bruny Island

Our camper posing at the Neck, Bruny Island

 

2. Camping

Another thing to consider is where are you going to stop to sleep – preferably for free.

There is a mobile app called WikiCamps which shows you free (as well as paid) camping sites all around Australia, Tasmania included. We found it really, really, REALLY useful – you can check customer reviews, whether the site has showers, water, BBQ and other amenities, and the app is compatible with Google Maps, so getting to a chosen spot is shamefully easy.

You can also have a look at a map here, on the Travelling Two blog, however it doesn’t cover all of the spots listed on the WikiCamps app.

The problem with free camping sites is that many of them don’t provide showers, kitchen areas or even drinking water, however, surprisingly, some of them might – plan beforehand and check all the options available and you might be in for a bargain. Tasmania is very traveller friendly, which is definitely a nice add-on.

Sunrise at one of the free camping spots in Freycinet National Park

Sunrise at one of the free camping spots in Freycinet National Park

The cliff was of an average size...

With cliffs of average size…

 

3. Things to do and see

If you are a bit of a traveller, then you’ll be heading to Tasmania to see as many places as you can. There are many possible routes you could take during your road trip, starting from a city of your choice: Devonport, Launceston or Hobart. We began and finished in Hobart, which I think was a good choice, as there are many things to see in this beautiful city.

Coffee break at the Hobart docks

Coffee break at Hobart’s docks

You can see the map of our road trip below to get you started:

Our complete road trip

Our route highlighted in black

 

I would highly recommend going to national parks – they are simply beautiful. My favourite was the Freycinet on the east coast and the Rocky Cape, up north.

To be able to enter Tasmanian national parks, you will have to pay a fee for you and your camper – you can either buy a 24 hour pass ($24) or a 2 month one ($60). I would recommend getting the second one, as in the end it will work out cheaper. You can get it online or in person at any of the parks.

Rocky Cape National Park panorama

Rocky Cape National Park panorama

Also, a thing not to miss is the Cradle Mountain summit at the Lake St Clair National Park – just have a look at these pictures:

Our destination, Cradle Mountain, behind us on the left

Our destination, Cradle Mountain, behind us on the left

And below our feet!

And below our feet

Walking back was still enjoyable enough...

Walking back was also enjoyable enough

Without forgetting to see the Devils @ Cradle for a nice finish!

With watching the Devils @ Cradle for a nice finish!

For ideas on where to go and what to see, you can check out websites such as the Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor or Tasmania Top Ten.

 

4. And how to make this all cheaper?

I would recommend PLANNING, and doing it early. We were a bit spontaneous and due to that sometimes were going back and forth, paying more for fuel. Having said that, we still managed to keep our trip relatively cheap, thanks to free camping and menu of bread and pasta, closing it in around $1000 for a 10 day road trip, which I think was a good price for the unforgettable experience and memories.

And so I’m sure you can do your road trip for much cheaper if you plan well and early. Good luck and enjoy your own Tasmanian adventure! Let me know how you guys went!

Marta x

How to cheaply do: Moreton Island

As students, we are constantly looking for ways to save. This also applies to the weekend trips you’ll do around Brisbane – when you’re done with all of your studying for the week, of course.

Moreton Island is one of those places you HAVE to visit while at QUT. It is situated North-East from Brisbane and is the third biggest sand island in the world, with 95% of it being a national park.

I’ve been to Moreton Island twice. After going there for the first time and camping for one night I still felt I haven’t had enough time to explore and enjoy it fully and decided to go again last weekend.

I would even go back for the third time, only if there wasn’t so many other places around Brisbane I’d like to see before the end of the semester.

So, how can you make your weekend Moreton Island trip cheap?

A piece of paradise

A piece of paradise

1. Getting there. The only way to arrive on the island is to take the Micat ferry from the Port of Brisbane (unless you’re up for a helicopter).

To get there from Brisbane, you can either take the Cleveland train to Wynnum and then take a taxi to the port (regular taxi will be around $25-30, otherwise $15 with Uber) or take a taxi from CBD directly to the port and split it with friends – it will be a bit more expensive (ten of us paid $10 each for a maxi) but will save you one hour worth of sleeping.

When it comes to the ferry – the return journey costs $51.50 – however, this is going to be the most expensive part of the weekend, so don’t give up just yet!

The Wrecks seen from the ferry

The Wrecks seen from the ferry

2. Accommodation. There are two ways of doing it, depending on how much you want to spend and what kind of person you are.

Camping is one of the options – it’s super cheap at $5 per night, and you can choose to put your tent up at the Wrecks Campground, just in front of one of the best snorkelling spots in Queensland. You can register your tent online and printing the confirmation forms out is highly recommended as they are regularly checked.

The other option is to rent a villa – this is a little bit more expensive, but still manageable – ten of us paid under $30 per night each and we had a beautiful house in front of the beach with our own barbecue. We had less beds than people however, so taking a couple of inflatable mattresses could be a good idea for you too.

Sky blue Moreton villas

Sky-blue Moreton villas

3. Food and drinks. The advice I can give is to plan and do shopping on the mainland and bring it with you to the island – what I find works out best is pasta, bread, canned fish and meat for the barbecue.

There is only one shop on Moreton and so the prices are quite impressive. Same with alcohol – the island shop sells wine only, for $20 a bottle.

Avoid having starfish for dinner and shop beforehand!

4. Activities. Moreton Island will keep you busy the whole trip if you wish.

As I mentioned above, snorkelling is one of the things you can do while in Moreton. Best, if you get your own snorkelling kit before the trip – you may be able to get it for $30 in shops like Target or Big W, same price as renting for a day on the island.

Snorkel and discover many other fish at the Wrecks

Snorkel and discover many other fish, turtles and even sharks at the Wrecks

Also, as the island is quite big, to explore it more you could rent a 4WD car – $400 for a day is quite expensive though.

That’s why you could try and hitch-hike on the island – there are many people coming with their own cars for the weekend and if you feel adventurous enough you can ask someone to take you with them on to the North Point or the East coast. It’s a great way to meet some new people too!

Chasing the sunset on the car roof

Chasing the sunset on the car roof

Another thing you could do is sand tobogganing (fancy word for sliding) on the highest sand dune in the world.

You can either join a guided trip for $30 where you get a board, goggles and are taken to the spot in a truck (lazy version) or walk there (takes around 1 hour from the resort) and explore the surroundings in search of sliding boards left behind by other travellers – we found two!

Impressive Moreton sand dune

Impressive Moreton sand dune

Lastly, Moreton Island is famous for its dolphin feeding. This also can be quite expensive – around $65 – and you have to be a part of the resort to do it (meaning you have to stay in a villa).

However you can still sit on the pier and watch the feeding every evening – for free!

Dolphin selfie is a must

Dolphin selfie is a must!

Following these tips you should be able to do a two night Friday to Sunday trip to Moreton Island for under $150, which is not much for the piece of paradise you will experience there!

Let me know if you know any other tricks on how to save when going to Moreton Island and enjoy your trip!