When we meet new people in a social setting, we’re likely to be asked two questions. The first is the classic: what is Think Tasmania? We’ve answered that here before, and those following our website and/or social media channels would be well-and-truly across all those details now. The second question, and one we’ve only ever answered personally: why did you move to Tasmania?
Why Did You Move to Tasmania?
A great deal of feedback from our Facebook page revolves around that very issue, from others contemplating a move to Tasmania themselves. Some readers are newbie imports like us. We’re approaching our five-year anniversary as Tasmanians! Others who’ve been here for many, many years (and possibly forever) also graciously share their personal insights, opinions and experience. There’s a range of issues discussed, from mobile phone service to employment; from prime locations to education, health and recreation. We’re so lucky to have such a great network of followers who are willing to answer the forum questions, from obvious concerns to the extremely bizarre and everything in-between. If that’s you, we say a big thank-you for your assistance.
Now before we share our story, we’d invite you to share yours. Why did YOU move to Tasmania? What made you take the leap of faith and join the contingent of new Tasmanians? Maybe you’re just packing up your gear now, about to make an imminent journey. You might be just dreaming of an island relocation. That’s all good. Please leave a reply below for everyone to see.
Our Story: The Tasmanian Journey
Almost five years ago, our little family of four left rural South Australia intending to house-sit around Australia. Home-schooling, working remotely… the whole kit and caboodle. Our first house-sitting assignment was in Tasmania, at a sheep farm near Geeveston in the Huon Valley. From very early morning to noon-ish on week days, we tended to farm, work and school duties. Gavin is a software developer by trade, and he continued his business while we were on the road. And we can tell you, mobile phone reception and access to the Internet at the sheep farm was extremely poor, for anyone wondering!
We spent our spare time in the afternoons, evenings and weekends on a mission to explore the local region. And we absolutely loved it. During one bushwalk to Lake Osborne in the Hartz Mountains National Park, we stopped and acknowledged just how good we felt. It was icy cold, but we were trekking through forests and moors, and it was exhilarating. We discovered so many things to see and do, all accessed so easily from our Geeveston base. And we were just 45 minutes from Hobart. To us (from rural South Australia, remember) Hobart was a beautiful city with practically everything you could ever need.
The owners of the Geeveston farm were touring England on holiday and we stayed onsite for a few weeks. We paddled kayaks in the dam. We walked up the hills and down the lanes looking for wildlife and we hand-fed the ancient goat. In a snap, it was time to wave goodbye to the animals on the farm, including our gorgeous foster dog and one extremely unsociable cat.
Once we left Geeveston, we were due to have a week of holiday time before our next house-sitting assignment in Smiths Gully (north of Melbourne in Victoria). At the very last minute, we were subbed in for a house-sit at Forcett (near Copping). The owners of a small hobby farm were taking their caravan to Port Arthur for a long weekend, and their original plans fell through. They too had a gorgeous dog for us to love and care for, as well as a horse this time!
We stayed on longer than strictly necessary. The homeowners were very welcoming and proved to be great company. We had accommodation in a separate, self-contained cottage, and during the stay our hosts shared much local knowledge about Tasmanian food and wine as well as popular tourist attractions. They themselves had made the move to Tasmania from Far North Queensland, but for them it was a home-coming to be close to elderly relatives.
From Forcett, we dragged our dreadful, badly-packed monstrosity of a trailer up to Swansea for a sleep-over. Then we motored on to Launceston and eventually Devonport, realising we were just driving and missing everything! By the time we boarded the Spirit of Tasmania, we were pining for sights unseen. We continued up the east coast of Australia to fulfill all our pre-arranged house-sitting assignments. By the time we crossed the New South Wales border we’d made the monumental decision to abandon the rest of the trip. We would move to Tasmania to live. Permanently.
Ok, Move to Tasmanian Then. But Why Hobart?
People wonder why we chose Hobart as our base when there’s so many fabulous regions and towns in Tasmania. We were influenced by sporting chances, believe it or not. One of the kids was offered a place in a state squad playing tennis. Accepting that privilege meant hours of coaching, training and playing at the Domain Tennis Centre both before and after school. It was a fabulous opportunity to learn skills for a lifetime of enjoyment.
By the time we’d packed our gear ready for the move to Tasmania, we were already aware of the hectic tennis schedule. So we arranged another house-sit, this time in New Norfolk. We used a broker during the two-pronged shift. Advance Removals collected our belongings from South Australia and arranged for storage in Melbourne, while we stayed in New Norfolk for six weeks to collect our bearings. From there, we searched for an appropriate place to live within 40kms of Queens Domain and we found our first home in South Arm. Our belongings were then delivered to us by Advance Removals.
On the South Arm Peninsula, we were living just 40 minutes from Hobart, in a quiet beachside village, with a primary school and a great community. (We’ve since moved house again, but that’s a whole other story!) We have no regrets about our move to Tasmania. We miss our family and friends, there’s absolutely no question about that. We encourage them to visit Tasmania whenever they can. And we would like to see the rest of Australia one day. That’s unfinished business to go back on the agenda in the future. But for now… we’re here to stay. The stars are aligned, the kids are happy and we’re going to continue to Think Tasmania for a long time to come.
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