When you start to think about moving to Tasmania it is likely that you are unsure about where to live.
Of course, people move to Tasmania for many reasons and being clear on the reason is often a great place to start in determining where best to base yourselves. Some people I talk to have yet to decide on the region to live in, much less narrowing it down to suburbs or towns. Others know the region or city but still have lots of questions about how to then narrow down the choices. Even though Tassie is small, there is still lots of choices of where to live and many different lifestyles you can create for yourself.
Questions to answer to find the best place for you to live in Tasmania
1. Do I want or need to be close to one of the main cities?
If you are intending to find work in Tasmania and don’t already have this in place, then for many occupations it would make sense to live near Hobart, Launceston or Devonport. Of course, there is work in smaller centres and rural areas but the options will be different and harder to find. Aside from employment, it may be that you want to be near a main city for other reasons – shopping, theatre and the arts, restaurants and all the other facilities a larger centre offers. If none of this is important to you and you want a rural lifestyle, then there are many many options of where to live.
2. What type of lifestyle do I want to create in Tasmania?
Tasmania can provide a wonderful lifestyle for many as we have talked about before in the post on Why Choose Tasmania? One of the key advantages is that if you choose you can live close to a main city yet still have a semi-rural or rural lifestyle.
In the Greater Hobart region, you could live in the Huon Valley, the Channel region, the Derwent Valley, around Richmond or in the towns past Sorell like Dodges Ferry – and still be 20 to 45 minutes drive from the centre of Hobart.
In Launceston and Devonport the proximity to the city can be even closer as the country towns spring up more quickly and close to the city. In Launceston, you can live in or around Evandale, Perth, Longford, Cressy, Hadspen or some of the lovely towns on either side of the Tamar River. Or you could work in Devonport but live in Latrobe, Ulverstone, Penguin or any of the small townships along the coast or a little inland.
In Tasmania, you can live in the hills or by the water – or in the hills with a view of the water. Or smack bang in the middle of a city. You will also find most options tend to be cheaper than similar options in most parts of Australia.
3. How long will your commute to work be?
One of the main advantages of moving to a smaller place like Tasmania is that travel distances can be much less than you may be used to. For me, this makes a huge impact on our lifestyle. We previously lived in Melbourne and from the last two places we lived both took 45 minutes to over an hour to get to work in the city, depending on traffic (and similar times on the train). One of these places was a suburb 15 km from the city centre, the other was a town just outside the boundary of the city 55km away – yet the travel times were remarkably similar because most of the drive from the country was on the freeway and the traffic only slowed for the last few kilometres of the journey.
Moving back to Tasmania has taken some adjustment in terms of travel times. I was finding myself always getting to places early due to factoring in traffic to my travel time. Not necessary… It really does take you the same time to get to places every time pretty much. Yes, the traffic is sometimes heavier but nothing like the extremes of larger cities. It is wonderful. We also chose to live in a suburb close to Hobart so that, of course, has an impact too and it takes no time to get anywhere and I use so little fuel in the car compared to Melbourne.
One comment I come across a lot when talking to people who are planning to move to Tasmania is them saying that they are used to commuting up to an hour to work and therefore are willing to do that once they move. From there they have often identified some places based on Google Map travel time estimates. I think it is really important to remember that when Google Maps says 45 minutes, that may be accurate, but it will most likely not be 45 minutes on a dual lane freeway but more commonly a more difficult drive on windy country roads for part of the drive. That drive every day may get tiresome and will be especially difficult in the winter months when fog, ice and rain are added to driving in the dark. The other thing to consider is you may be able to find a place to live that you love in another area with short drive times, allowing you time to do something other than driving to and from work each day.