Getting around Tasmania

Driving around

Regulations

Tasmanians drive on the left hand side of the road, as on the Australian mainland, and in New Zealand, Britain and Japan. You must wear a seatbelt as driver or passenger. As in any country the standard of the roads varies, as does the standard of driving itself. Stay alert. Most maps will give a general indication of the road surface. The roads are generally good but may become steep and winding in mountainous areas. Be cautious.

Speed limits are usually indicated by signs, but if no sign is visible the following applies: In built up areas such as towns and cities - 50km per hour. Outside built up areas - 100km per hour. If you are visiting from another country you can drive in Tasmania using your existing licence for up to 12 months - but the licence must be valid and you must carry it with you whenever you are driving.

Fuel

In rural areas fuel may not be available after 6pm. Ensure you have enough fuel for your onward journey. Petrol (gasoline), Diesel and LPG is available at most outlets.

Roadside assistance

The Royal Automobile Club (RACT) provides emergency roadside assistance for members (and members of associated organisations).
Telephone 131 111.

Road Safety Taskforce Driving Tips

Many interstate and international visitors may take some time to adjust to the limited number of dual-carriageways (divided roads) in Tasmania. Nearly all highways have on-coming traffic separated by only a painted line. It is not unknown for the large number of big trucks, including those carrying logs from Tasmanian forests to the ports, to stray across the centre line. Be vigilant and drive defensively.

Your trip may take longer than you think, so plan ahead to allow enough time to comfortably reach your destination.

To consult a map, use your phone or take a photo find a safe place and pull off to the side of the road and stop.

Avoid fatigue when driving long distances by briefly stopping on longer journeys for a break, stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery.

Some good reasons to slow down:

  • At dusk and dawn native animals will be around
  • Roads in highland and mountain areas may be slippery or icy at any time of year in Tasmania
  • In rural areas you may need to share the road with tractors and livestock

While in Tasmania stay legal:

  • Drive on the left hand side of the road
  • Wear a seatbelt (drivers and passengers)
  • Don’t use a hand held mobile phone while driving
  • The general urban speed limit is 50km/h unless otherwise signed
  • Driver blood alcohol content (bac) must be under .05
  • Provisional drivers blood alcohol level must be 0.0

Car Rental / Coach Services

Car Rental

‘Self-drive’ is one of the best ways to see Tasmania as you can choose your own route to take in your personal preferences. There are some real rental car bargains on offer, especially with "stand-by" rates from the major companies and from the smaller local firms.

Long Distance Coach Services

This is a great way to see Tasmania, especially if you do not want to drive yourself everywhere. Coaches connect all major cities and the services are usually good value and run close to schedule. Look up "Bus & Coach Services" in the Yellow Pages.

Public Transport

Public buses operate in Hobart and Launceston between 6am and midnight. This is known as the "Metro" system. Fares are inexpensive and you can also purchase "all-day" tickets for extra savings. Services can be infrequent, however, so check timetable before you plan your trip. In the smaller centres of Burnie and Devonport there are also regular bus services but operating hours may be shorter and services less frequent than in larger cities.

Check timetables available from Metro in each town. T: 132 201