Lyn and Phil (Tassie case study)

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Free campsite at Oatlands, Tasmania.

Lyn & Phil are on a three-month trip to Tassie … their third in 12 years

How much was the crossing?
We boarded the Spirit on December 2, a few days before the peak rate and, at approxi­mately $840 return (pension rate/shoulder season/recliner chairs /night crossing over day, crossing back) for a 9-metre rig, we thought it reasonable enough. Unlike our friends who accompanied us (also pensioners) with 14-metre car & van combined at approxi­mately $1500 return (they had a cabin).

Where do you camp?
We’ve only spent two nights in a caravan park plus 10 nights in the Hobart showground at $21 per night for power. The rest of the time we’ve been in beautiful low cost and mostly free campsites, some in the most beautiful places you could imagine. So far, we have spent less than $350 all up on camping fees in two months.

Any other savings tips?
We purchased a National Parks Pass … $60 for two months which helps considerably as the cost of entry to most parks in Tasmania is $24 a day per vehicle.

Have you been welcomed?
Most councils realise the ben­efit of having us in their towns, spending dollars on food, fuel and other items that come up (like a new fridge for us and a windscreen for our travelling companions). So far, we have had a fantastic time, with very friendly Tasmanians and grey nomads.

Highlights?
We’ve attended the Cygnet Folk Festival, the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, Taste of Tassie on the water­front in Hobart, plus lots of other interesting events and places.

Do nomads make a difference?
Most that we have spoken to while here come for 2-6 months, that’s a lot of dollars being spent in the state. We estimate we would have spent $9,000 over three months and that’s including the cost of a new fridge. We agree if the cost of the Spirit was more reason­able there would be a lot more grey nomads from the main­land over here. We have heard that the numbers are down last year and this season.

Would higher fees put you off?
If we had to pay $30 per night camping fees for 90 days that’s another $2700 and that would take it out of our retirement budget. If the camping was not free or low cost we wouldn’t be able to afford to be in Tassie. Councils take note. If you put up the prices, grey nomads won’t come to your beautiful state.

Is Tassie worth it?
We have enjoyed every minute of our stay.

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