As our regular readers know, I am poor! They also know that Tasmania is my passion and I like to visit at least twice a year. Visiting Tassie from country NSW doesn’t come cheap whether it is by sea or air. I usually go by sea on the Spirit of Tasmania with my trusty Holden Jackaroo and the unique Think Tasmania spare wheel cover. On my recent visit I chose to fly as the stay was only ten days. I also chose to travel on Tassielink buses instead of hiring a car. My choice was spot on and throughout my stay Tassielink exceeded my expectations.

Buses - Tassielink Terminal Hobart

Tassielink Hobart Terminal (photo by Roger Findlay)

Tassielink Buses: Budget Conscious Tourist

by Roger Findlay

For the limited time that I had, I planned somewhat short journeys around the lower part of the state. It was only at the end that I ventured north on the longer trip to Launceston.

Out of Hobart you can access Lake St. Clair, Queenstown and Strahan. From Launceston these western outposts are reached via Cradle Mountain making it ideal for those walking the Overland.

I travelled on buses out of Hobart destined for Bicheno, Port Arthur and Geeveston and all places along the way. It made me aware of how essential a comprehensive bus service is to the people of Tasmania. People travelling on the buses included workers, shoppers, tourists, students and lots of school kids.

Benefits of Catching Buses

When I boarded the 6:35am out of Triabunna I was amazed by the sprinkling of bleary-eyed students that were already on the bus. Maybe they travelled from Swansea? I could not imagine travelling at that unearthly hour to attend school.

When in Hobart, I like a nice pint of Guinness or two for brunch along with a slice of pork pie. The Tassielink bus terminal is a 15 minute walk from Knopwood’s Retreat and the Wursthaus Kitchen and easy to waddle to when you’re a fraction over 0.05!

Tassielink Drivers Leading the Way

In wet conditions on a difficult stretch of road up to the wee stop in Buckland, Nicole (the driver) was ensuring my safety and well-being. All I had to do was sit and relax. She told me that all you needed was a medium rigid licence to drive a similar Tassielink bus.

As for my nomination for the Tassielink Driver of the Year Award I had to choose Wally. How popular is this man? From the back of the bus I heard “Come on Wally. Faster. Don’t let them overtake you”. The school kids love him. He’s from Campbell Town and drives buses for something to do. The old bus he was driving needed a good kicking as it missed the gear on several occasions. Maybe it needs some attention in the new workshop.

Showing their commitment to providing an efficient transport network, Tassielink have recently opened a $3.2 million maintenance and administration depot at Derwent Park. In addition, there has been a purchase of two new buses for $0.9 million. Minister, Nick McKim, praised the Usher family for their continuing investment in Tasmania. General Manager, Shane Dewsbury, is aware of changing customer needs and the importance of providing a good service for those in outer urban areas.

Strictly No Eating on the Buses

Before my final trip up to Launceston, I thanked the charming lady (the ex Lotto employee) for looking after me so well. In true airport style, she announced the pending departure and requested that we board. James, the driver, reminded the passengers that eating on buses is a no no.

Half-way into the journey and being the rebel that I am, I sneaked a piece of Tassal smoked salmon out of my bag. Had eagle eye seen me? Then I nibbled on a wedge of Pyengana cloth rind cheddar and a sourdough roll while listening to Dylan. Drink? Am I allowed? No, I won’t take the chance.

Buses - Launceston Tassielink Terminal

Launceston Tassielink terminal (photo by Roger Findlay)

As we approached the Launceston terminal, I tidied my crumbs and prepared to alight. For me it was the end of the journey and my mission to prove that the budget conscious tourist can see many regions of Tasmania using the Tassielink bus network.

Outstanding Customer Service: Tassielink

I wish to thank everyone from the Tassielink bus service for their co-operation, exceptional customer service skills and professional approach throughout.

Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the experience for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.

Map: Catching Buses from Hobart Tasmania

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