Travel & Places Australia

Tasmania Travels

  • Two of Australia's better known children's book writers tell of their Tasmania travels.

They call it the Apple Isle, and that’s mainly because of its shape. But Tasmania is pretty much an eden in itself and offers tourists the apple of travel temptation.

Take a leaf from the Tasmania travels of writing couple Di Bates and Bill Condon, two of Australia’s better known children’s book authors with more than 200 published titles between them, and slice your way through the apple.

With plans to travel the world, if Bill can overcome fully a fear of flying, they decided on a flying visit to Tasmania as a prelude to venturing higher and farther. (And, yes, they've been to Europe since then, and to North America, too.)

'And then they tell you what to do'

"Tasmania is 90 minutes by plane from Sydney," says Bill. "Ninety minutes of terror for a scaredy cat like me. We are always being told how safe planes are, but as soon as you are on board they tell you what to do if the plane crashes... Thanks for the pep talk."

Bill and Di hail from south of Sydney beyond Bulli where the South Coast begins. The start of their Tasmania travels landed them at Launceston, the island’s second largest city which is up north and almost just a swim away from the Big Island, which is how Tasmanians call the continental mainland.

From staying at the Camelot rooms at Alice’s Hideaway in Launceston -- "these were decorated as in days of yore, heraldic emblems... even real swords" -- they started their Tasmania travels -- their 'tastic Tassie tour -- at the Penny Royal, which Bill says is one of the best tourist places in Tasmania.

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