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How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Singapore, Singapore
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How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Hi! Would appreciate it if someone could help. I've read that the Tasman Highway is extremely winding in parts and have seen photographs of some cliff hugging parts. Are there extremely winding parts between Hobart and Port Arthur? If I were to drive between 50 and 100 kph, might I encounter road rage or bullies? I'm very keen on this drive as I would like to visit the Tessallated Pavement, the Blowhole, Devil's Kitchen and the Tasman Arch but would like to avoid the high costs of organised tours. Also, if I were to hug the left side of the road to allow an overtaker to pass, how dangerous might that be in areas which have only one lane in each direction? I understand there are no dividers between the two directions of traffic and that 60% of road fatalities occur on intercity highways. I've also not rec'd any encouragement from those I've told abt driving in Tasmania. Many thanks in advance.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

It is a while since we drove it, but I recall a good, tarmac two lane road the whole way with road markings. The road to Tasman Arch is a little less wide and well maintained, but still tarmac. I can't see any problems.

Have you had a look on Googlemaps. Drop the little yellow man anywhere along the road to see the conditions. Roads will be signposted with speed advisories (yellow) and mandatory top speeds (number in a circle).

http://goo.gl/maps/W4McP

As is usual for polite drivers on narrow roads, if you feel others behind you want to go faster, find a safe spot and pull off to let them pass.

rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
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2. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

We were there in December, I don't recall any problems at all. Unless you're an amazingly nervous driver I would think you would have no trouble in maintaining a normal speed.

I would add that cliffs etc scare the beejeezus out of me and I have no recollection of such- we visited all the sites on your wish list.

Edited: 03 March 2014, 07:20
South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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3. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

It's a highway. You just drive on your side of the road (the left), but there is no dividing barrier for most of the trip. Just a white line down the centre of the road.

Drive at a speed that you consider safe. The speed limit is not a target and is not remotely achievable for the second half of the trip to PA from Hobart.

There is no need to anticipate pulling over onto the verge; just drive sensibly in your lane. If someone wants to overtake you, the onus is on them to do it safely. Just do your own thing.

Don't drive at night.

I am aware of one fatality last year in the vicinity of that road. A tourist was thrown from their vehicle in an otherwise survivable accident and was killed because they were not wearing a seatbelt.

Luigi

Edited: 03 March 2014, 07:46
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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4. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Hi,

The roads are all in good condition well sign posted. I drove down to PA a few years ago with a girlfriend. We decided to travel to Port Arthur on one of the worst days; it was bitterly cold, rainy & very windy. We still didn't have a problem at all , the drive took approx 1.5hrs along the Tasman and Arthur Highways to Port Arthur.

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g504319-d…

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Many, many thanks for your replies. I've done my searches and yes, seen google map as well but I think I have nervous passengers. Think I'll take the drive unless I somewhow don't feel comfortable abt it when I arrive at Hobart. I gave up driving abt 10 yrs ago but had safe habits when I was driving, I do feel assured by all your replies and will take up a refresher course and put in practising hours before I do the drive. Appreciate all your replies and their promptness; thank you very much.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

I trust you have a current drivers licence and that you will be doing lots of practice before driving in Australia. 10 years is a long time to abandon a skill.

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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7. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Have a look at doing this tour to Port Arthur and the fast boat trip around the Tasman Peninsula (Tour 3): tasmancruises.com.au/tours/full-day-tour.aspx

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8. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

We drove this route January 5, a Sunday. No problems at all. The road is excellent most of the way. One small section a but windy up abd down but mostly flat terrain. It runs near coastline. We are from Sydney and couldn't believe how quiet the roads were.

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9. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Well if at all nervous don't drive. Get the boat from the main harbour.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: How Difficult to Drive from Hobart to Port Arthur

Tasmania had only 36 road fatalities in 2013. Of course these are tragedies, however in the grand scheme of things we accept that driving is hazardous and potentially lethal, yet this is quite a low number of fatalities by world standards.

Driving in Australia is generally safe, the traffic in Tasmania is not as dense as in other parts of Australia, and you should be able to do the drive safely and enjoy it. If you go in the colder months, there are some parts of this road which may be subject to snow and ice. These are signposted, and you should exercise more care on these sections.

I do however agree that 10 years of not driving means you need a lot of practice before attempting to drive independently and in traffic again, especially in an unknown foreign country.

In general, Australians will try and drive AT the speed limit for a particular section of road, unless it is obviously impossible (for example due to weather, traffic, road conditions, or sometimes by default in rural/non built up areas the speed limit is 100km/h but it might be a gravel or winding road where it would be ridiculously unsafe to drive at 100). If you want to go very slow and enjoy the scenery, be mindful of sharing the road with others. It's one thing to say that the speed limit is not a target, but if someone is driving at half the speed limit when road conditions don't warrant it, then this is also a little inconsiderate. Don't perform any strange or sudden manoeuvres, drive at a constant speed and be predictable. Use your indicators etc.

Perhaps seek out some youtube videos of this drive or other drives in Australia to familiarise yourself a little with what to expect. Many road signs are not "International Standard" for example, and are written rather than pictorial. Be prepared and you'll be fine.