Tasmania is an awesome place to live. We moved here a little over a year ago and LOVE it! To dispel a few myths, here is some stuff that you would love too:
1. THE WEATHER - contrary to popular myth, Tasmania has beautiful weather. It is on the same latitude south as Madrid is north. We have more sunshine than Melbourne and Hobart is the second driest state capital in Australia. Yes, it would feel cold if you came from Darwin, but coming from the UK it is heavenly. We have four seasons same as the UK, but much more sunshine and we are protected (by the sea) from the temperature extremes you see either in the UK or on the Oz mainland. Winter is where you REALLY notice the difference. Max daytime temperatures in the winter are actually WARMER than Madrid. In the middle of winter 2010 I was sat outside a restaurant by the Derwent with my daughter having lunch in a t-shirt and watching a school of dolphins swim past. Unbelievable!
2. THE LIFESTYLE - we live in open country, but I work in Hobart CBD. The journey takes 20 minutes, 25 if there's 'traffic' (i.e. 30 other cars). I struggle to think where else this would be possible. Certainly not Sydney or Melbourne. Hobartians don't know how lucky they are. Having spent much of my time commuting into either London or Oxford, we don't have real traffic in Hobart!
3. THE PLACE - is epic! Lonely Planet put the east coast of Tassie as its No. 1 place in the world to visit in 2009, and with good reason. White talc sandy beaches and clean blue water. And only 1-2h drive from Hobart. But the beaches are everywhere and empty. We went down to Dodges Ferry about a week ago with friends from the mainland. Their comment (on walking onto a beautiful white beach with clear blue sea that had about 5 people on it) was 'we love Tasmania!'. And don't get me started on Cradle Mountain national park!
4. THE PEOPLE - are fab. We have made some really good friends since moving here, and the sense of community is something that I remember from growing up in the UK 40 years ago. When we arrived there was a neighbourhood barbie organised to welcome us and so that everyone could introduce themselves.
5. THE COFFEE - if you love coffee you'll love Hobart. Tasmanians are infamous for not allowing large franchises to take hold (except McDonald's and KFC) and Starbuck's lasted about 3 months. Instead we have Oomph (which is Tasmanian and far better) and lots of small cafes with really good local coffee.
This should get you started. We love it here, it is a perfect place to raise a child, or to simply enjoy life in a beautiful place that is not polluted and overcrowded.
Hope to see you all here soon,