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fiftyeight

Lifestyle in Hobart vs Cairns

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Hello, I am going to study in Australia for 3 years and might stay longer if it will be possible.

I wanted a place that is outdoorsy as most of the things I like to to do are outdoors such as hiking, picnics, biking, going to the beach if possible.

I have been accepted to Unviersity of Tasmania in Hobart and James Cook University in Cairns.

 

Of course social life is important to me and the lifestyle will determine how much I'll enjoy my social life there.

 

I know both Tasmania and Cairns are good for this kind of outdoorsy lifestyle. But I'd love to hear from someone who has actually lived in these places.

 

I've been in both of them as a tourist before and I loved both, but I've only been in each for about two weeks which makes it hard to know how it is year-round.

 

My impression was that:

 

1. Tasmania can get pretty cold which can make it harder to go out.

2. Cairns can get very rainy which can make it hard to go out.

3. Cairns seems to be closer to rainforest and national parks then Hobart, and probably from Smithfield where the university is you can get to the rainforest even by walk/bike.

 

So far it seems to me that Cairns is a bit more suitable for me but I'd love to hear more opinions.

 

In terms of the weather I like that its hot year round in Cairns, but how bad does it rain? does it actually make it impossible to go out? does it last for days or how is it?

In the two weeks I was there it actually didnt rain almost at all, but I think I was lucky.

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I haven't been to Cairns: however I do live in Hobart so will comment on that.

 

I'm not sure where you are living at the moment (UK?) so don't know what your definition of "pretty cold" is. However, winter in Hobart is not as cold as the UK and people hike and go biking all year round. Not much lying around on the beach in winter - although some people do surf all through the year.

 

If you are interested in hiking/walking/biking, then you can start anywhere in Hobart it's not necessary to go to national parks. In fact you could start at the University itself - there is a walking track from there to the top of Mt. Nelson behind it. I live in the suburb of South Hobart and can walk from my back door to the top of Mt. Wellington (the large one behind Hobart) on public walking tracks. Or, if I had a mountain bike, I could do the same on bike tracks. If I chose, I could continue walking down the other side of the mountain into the south west wilderness. So, accessibility is not a problem.

 

The main difference between the two will be climate and how well you cope with heat and humidity.

Here are the annual climate stats for Cairns and Hobart.

 

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/station.jsp?lt=site&lc=31010

 

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/station.jsp?lt=site&lc=94029

Edited by Skani

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I'm not sure where you are living at the moment (UK?) so don't know what your definition of "pretty cold" is. However, winter in Hobart is not as cold as the UK and people hike and go biking all year round. Not much lying around on the beach in winter - although some people do surf all through the year.

 

Yes I live in Brighton so probably colder than Tasmania, but it really depends on the city's lifestyle I guess and the accessability as you said.

 

I am certain I won't suffer from the cold in Tasmania, and I could probably bike and hike year round without minding the cold, but I am mostly interested in how the lifestyle is for most people in the city, because I wouldn't want to be doing those all by myself :)

 

It's nice to hear there are dedicated walkign tracks from the university. I always like to imagine myself getting up early in the morning and do some good old walking or biking before starting my day

Edited by fiftyeight

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What are you going to study? As ensuring you go to the best place for your course is the number 1 priority. Particularly if you want to stay in Oz later as Oz employers can be very particular on which Uni

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I dont know that course in either i am afraid, so i would research how well the two depts have performed and take it from there.

 

I do know that in my own field - geosceience, Tasmania has an excellent reputation.

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I dont know that course in either i am afraid, so i would research how well the two depts have performed and take it from there.

 

I do know that in my own field - geosceience, Tasmania has an excellent reputation.

 

Thank you for your replies.

From my research they seem to be on about the same level.

Now I'm trying to find more about the lifestyle though and the questions I've asked as this is also a big factor in my decision.

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but I am mostly interested in how the lifestyle is for most people in the city, because I wouldn't want to be doing those all by myself :)

 

It's nice to hear there are dedicated walkign tracks from the university. I always like to imagine myself getting up early in the morning and do some good old walking or biking before starting my day

 

You certainly wouldn't be doing those things by yourself. There are always lots of people walking/jogging around the University and along Sandy Bay Road to the beach. Bushwalking is very big here and the University has its own bushwalking club (in addition to general community ones). Cycling is also very strong here: personally I wouldn't feel too comfortable because the roads are often winding, hilly and fairly narrow....but there are bicycling organisations always supporting the needs of cyclists and the local Council has been very proactive in constructing special bike tracks on the mountain. (I know many use them because they use our driveway to get from the tracks to the road!)

 

One of the (few) retail areas Tasmania does excel in is the outdoor activities market - walking/biking/kayaking/boating/fishing etc. So I don't think you'd have any trouble finding people with similar interests.

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You certainly wouldn't be doing those things by yourself. There are always lots of people walking/jogging around the University and along Sandy Bay Road to the beach. Bushwalking is very big here and the University has its own bushwalking club (in addition to general community ones). Cycling is also very strong here: personally I wouldn't feel too comfortable because the roads are often winding, hilly and fairly narrow....but there are bicycling organisations always supporting the needs of cyclists and the local Council has been very proactive in constructing special bike tracks on the mountain. (I know many use them because they use our driveway to get from the tracks to the road!)

 

One of the (few) retail areas Tasmania does excel in is the outdoor activities market - walking/biking/kayaking/boating/fishing etc. So I don't think you'd have any trouble finding people with similar interests.

 

Thanx a lot Skani.

 

Really glad to hear everything you wrote here.

I also found a website called Greater Hobart Trails and I saw many beautiful walking trails I could walk on every morning which makes me very happy :)

 

b.t.w Do you know if the bike tracks there are dedicated or people just bike along the road?

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b.t.w Do you know if the bike tracks there are dedicated or people just bike along the road?

 

There are not dedicated bike tracks, but the Hobart City Council has created some "bike only" lanes on roads and is trying to create more.

Most tracks are shared with walkers, eg from the Cascade Brewery in South Hobart along the Hobart Rivulet into the city centre, which is used by both cyclists and walkers going to work in the city, and from the Hobart Domain (right next to the city centre) out to the northern suburb of Montrose.

 

I think Hobart is so great for tracks because the steep terrain squeezed between mountains and harbour makes it difficult and expensive to build roads but makes for interesting walking with great views!

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I meant to add, also: it may be an idea to post your question in the Queensland subforum to get some feedback about the situation in Cairns as many people miss posts which are not on their forum of interest.

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Lived in Melbourne, now in Cairns for coming up 3 years and love it. Never been to Tas so I cannot comment.

I think the main thing you need to consider when choosing between them is the weather, I'm presuming Tas will be like the UK, where as Cairns is hot and humid. Most of the year the heat doesn't bother you but over Christmas the humidity gets too much. However. I prefer the heat over the cold. My eldest is at JC and its a great uni. He has a number of friends who are studying IT there as well. They don't have accommodation on campus but there is university accommodation across the road at the student lodge, price is around $220 but then they charge extra for air con, if you want meals they charge $25 for a week of breakfasts and $25 for dinners. I think the air con is around $20.

To be honest there are hundreds of house shares and its cheaper to go for that option which would be around $100 - $160 per week and usually include everything.

If you are at JCU and need a part time job you will have no problem getting one in Smithfield or even in the city at one of the Cafes etc.

If you love the outdoors there is plenty to do up here, a great nightlife.

 

Weather in Cairns, we heard so many horror stories when we were making the move we expected it to be torrential rain every day in wet season and its nothing like that, in fact you tend to find yourself praying for the rain. This last wet season November till May we probably had 10 days of rain. The year before we had a few weeks where things got flooded but that's it. The first Cyclone we had was Yasi and it didn't hit Cairns but we still had damage, it was scary I'm not going to deny that but I don't think Cairns will get a direct hit from a Cat 5. Most of the new houses are built to Cat 4 standards and the Cyclone shelters are Cat 5. The Northern Beach suburbs were evacuated as was the city centre for flood risk, but as long as you know what areas flood and aren't too close to the Barron River you are going to be fine.

 

​Im not sure how old you are but when we moved up from Melbourne I expected my eldest (19) to want to head back but he says he loves Cairns and can't imagine leaving.


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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I agree with M2M that the main consideration will be the difference in weather.

 

I did mean to add, also, that if you want to graduate from walking, there always seem to be fun runs on here. Two last weekend, one the weekend before on Mother's Day.

The "big" one is held mid November each year - the "Point to Pinnacle" from the Casino on the harbour to the top of the mountain (4,000+ ft. high). Two categories - walkers (for the moderately loony) and runners (for the extremely-should-be-certified-loony) :biggrin:

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