We arrived into Hobart aboard the Celebrity cruise ship Solstice on 13 January 2013. Already in the harbour was another cruise ship the Dawn Princess so we knew that Hobart would be overrun with hundreds of tourists all being crammed onto tour busses and taken to the most popular tourist destinations.
We had not pre-booked any tours as we thought we would just wander around Hobart for the day, but after meeting four other guys on board we all decided to try and find ourselves a private tour operator who would take us to places where the masses would not be going and still get a good feel for Hobart and Tasmania.
We all found our way to the Tourist Information Office a short walk from the port, to find the office and staff overwhelmed by all the cruise passengers. One of our group got talking to Vicki who was at the Info Office to help out during the rush, she said that she could take us to places slightly off the main tourist trail but still hit some of the main high lights.
Cost: AUS$70.00 per head x 6 = AUS$420.00 for a full day tour which included $20 entry for ZooDoo.
This was readily agreed too and within minutes we were off in air-conditioned comfort of a mini van to see the sights. To start Vicki took us though some of the more historic streets explaining the history of the Stone houses and the area.
Next was up to Mt Nelson a wonderful view over the city and harbour and across to where the bush fires were burning furiously. The fires were so bad that no one was able to go to Port Arthur, the historic Penal Colony as the roads were closed.
On to the small town of Richmond, the countryside is very dry and brown due to the drought. Bush fire damage could be seen in places. We even had to make detours to avoid fire that were burning out of control. Richmond has Tasmania’s oldest church, a river with a wonderful multi arched stone bridge. We picked up a quick sandwich, eaten by a river.
Followed by a wine tasting at Pooley vineyard. The cellar shop is part of a homestead that could have quite easily been set anywhere in Europe.
We just had a glass of the Sav Blanc that was nice and crisp. Just what was needed on such a hot day. Other members of the group got the vineyard to box and post wine home for them.
Could quite easily stayed there for the rest of the day enjoying the wine and countryside views, but there were Aussie critters still to see.
Vicki said that with the two cruise ships in port, Tasmania Zoo would be overcrowded so she took us to ZooDoo. This has the feel of a family run type of establishment. Not as slick as I would think the larger Tasmania Zoo would be, some of the enclosures were a bit hokey, but we were able to have personal contact with the animals, including the obligatory photo with a Koala and hearing it roar, who knew they made such a noise.
Going into a large paddock with Kangaroo, Lama, and Deer with a handful of their food was a buzz. The albino Wallaby with the white fur and red eyes looking like a massive over grown rat and to see a Tasmanian Devil for the first time and to be shown a 3 week old was very interesting. ZooDoo also have Lions and Tigers all they are missing are some Bears.
As time was getting on and our ship left at 4pm we had just enough time to go up Mt Wellington that rises 1271 metres (4170ft) above Hobart. The road up the mountain is narrow and winding but gives extraordinary huge views of Hobart. As it is so high the temperature drops to freezing and frequently covered with snow. Coming from 40 degrees at sea level to the chilly heights was a bit of a shock. The views, strange rock formations, flora and fauna makes it a must visit spot.
It was on the way down that one of our number realised that they had lost their passport. Vicki was very helpful, calling places we had been to see if any one had handed in a passport. Ready to go out of her way to do any thing to help.
This is just one of the reasons we would totally recommend using Vicki and Tasmania I Drive Tours. Vicki is very knowledgeable about the history and areas of Hobart and Tasmania; she gave a running commentary throughout the day and did so with out it becoming boring or monotonous.
She gave us everything we asked for, which made our single day in Hobart one to remember and want to return sometime to explore more. So thanks so much Vicki, job well done.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 27, 2013
Thanks Warren for your review. I really enjoyed taking your group around and avoiding those big coaches where possible...thanks for the photos they are great! Hope to see you here for a longer tour one day down the track.
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