A quick reference to Tasmania - how many, how much, how fast, how often, what time and where.
The population of Tasmania is 494,520 (March 2008). Main centers are Hobart (the capital city with 203,600 people) Launceston (98,500) Burnie (18,000) and Devonport (25,000).
Tasmanians have a capacity for inventiveness that was founded in the early years of settlement, well before today’s convenient air and sea connections. Earlier generations adopted a resourcefulness that thrives today in Tasmania’s traditional industries and particularly in nine industry sectors that have gained a competitive edge through world-breaking developments and fresh ideas.
The sectors are: tourism, gourmet food and wine, the arts, aquaculture, non-food agriculture, marine manufacturing, forestry and timber products, mining technology and minerals, and Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science.
Tasmania’s electricity is hydro-generated and energy is also being harnessed from the wind. Electricity is 230/240 volts, 50 hertz, but you will find many hotels and motels provide 110 volt ac sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.
Please make sure you bring an Australian electrical socket converter.
Retail opening hours are unrestricted in Tasmania. Large supermarkets are generally open from 0700 to 2100 seven days a week. Many smaller convenience stores are open longer.
ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are widely available.
Most banks are open 0930 to 1600, Monday to Friday.
Available 24 hours in major centers. As in most parts of regional Australia petrol prices are slightly higher - but then again you won’t have to travel vast distances. The Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania tracks current petrol prices.
The speed limit in built-up areas is 50 kilometers per hour unless otherwise indicated. The maximum speed possible on roads outside cities and towns is usually 100 kilometers per hour, although there is a limit of 110 kilometers per hour on a small number of high quality roads. On all open roads, however, lower speed limits are frequently indicated and these limits must be adhered to.
Speed cameras and random breath testing units operate throughout Tasmania.
Seat Belts and Safety
Seat belts must be worn in motor vehicles - motorcyclists and bicyclists must wear helmets.
Contact police, fire and ambulance by dialing 000.
Tasmania operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time. For daylight saving, clocks are advanced one hour between October and March.
Tax and the Tourist Refund Scheme
The Australian GST (goods & services tax) of 10% applies to most purchases.
Departing travellers may be able to claim a refund for GST paid on goods purchased in Australia. The refund is applicable to goods, totaling $A300 (GST inclusive) or more that are being taken out of Australia. The goods must have been purchased no earlier than 30 days before leaving Australia. You can purchase several lower-priced items from one store, either at the same time or on several occasions within the 30-day period. These goods will be covered by the one tax invoice. Or you can buy goods from several stores, provided that each store’s tax invoice totals at least $A300 (GST inclusive).
Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) facilities are located at international airports and cruise-liner terminals. To claim, travellers must show their passport, international boarding pass, retailer’s tax invoice and the goods. Other conditions may apply.