Tasmania Regional Overview
Come and breathe the cleanest air in the world, savour fine food including fresh seafood, fruit, berries and gourmet cheeses. Explore mountain and coastal World Heritage listed wilderness, where leisurely strolls and heart-pumping hikes abound. Recharge and re energise in Tasmania.
It's a short drive to anywhere, yet there is a rich diversity in the different regions of Australia's only island state. Enjoy dining on the best beef, lamb, salmon, oysters and crayfish. Stroll a secluded beach or play uncrowded golf courses. Visit farms producing tulips and lavender, even seahorses! Unwind with trout fishing. To feel alive try rafting, giant wave surfing, bushwalking, climbing and abseiling, jetboating, diving and caving. Look out for the Tasmanian Devil.
Tasmania, with a population of around half a million people, is roughly the size of Ireland. It makes up only one percent of Australia's landmass, but it pulls well above its weight with around twenty percent of it World Heritage listed, most in National Parks. Formerly known as Van Diemens' Land, Tasmania has a dark past with transported convicts and indigenous inhabitants both treated as less than human. Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum and Port Arthur Historical site, the best preserved convict settlement in Australia, are informative places to explore and learn more.
Prevailing westerly winds known as the roaring forties blow over thousands of kilometres of ocean before reaching Cape Grim on Tasmania's West coast, resulting in the air being scientifically recognised as the cleanest on Earth. They also contribute to nearby Marrawah being known for its top surfing, though other Tassie spots compete, with the southeast's Shipstern Bluff on the world surfing map with its big wave surf.
The four cities of Tasmania are Hobart, the capital, in the South, Launceston in the North, and Burnie and Devonport in the North west, with the latter being the arrival point for the ropax ferry, the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne, Victoria. Each of the four cities is serviced by an airport. With the uncongested roads, hiring a car is a great way to get around.
Clean air, good farmland and pure water combine to produce fine food in abundance. A land of milk and honey - with Leatherwood honey produced nowhere else, and gourmet cheese in abundance. Not only is cheese made by skilled hands from cow's milk, but also from goat's milk, and sheep's milk. Ewe beaut!
Tasmania used to be called, "The Apple Isle", but now there is a glorious array of mouthwatering, fresh food and produce. You will be tempted off the highway to indulge in handmade chocolate truffles, fresh raspberries with cream, delicious cherries fresh, or as icecream, jam, pickles, chutney, sauces and more. If you are not into sweet stuff try some wasabi mustard - if you dare.
If you overindulge in fine fare, do not despair, walking tracks abound. From gentle strolls to nearby waterfalls, to a week long hike on the world renowned Overland Track, and everything in between. Or if you prefer, you can burn off some calories with a round or two of golf. It can be hard to choose from the eighty courses available. From Barnbougle Dunes, Australia's number one ranked public golf course, to Mountain Vista at Waratah, where more often than not you will find yourself the only one on the course.
Not to be outdone by the accolades received for its fine food, Tassie is fast becoming a wine hotspot, with four distinct wine routes. Microclimates and a range of soil types bring diversity to its wines. Those interested can seek out and find boutique breweries, whisky distilleries, fruit wines, meads and liquors.
Salamanca Place is one of Tasmania's best loved precincts. The old Georgian warehouses now house cafes, restaurants, craft shops, and galleries. On Saturday the area takes on a life of its own, with the Salamanca Market where over three hundred stall holders sell produce and crafts.
With a coastline that extends over 2800 km, it's no surprise that the ocean plays a part in the lives of many Tasmanians. The bountiful array of seafood is served in mouthwatering dishes by many a chef. Fishing is a pastime many locals indulge in. The best fly fishing on offer anywhere is to be found in the Central Highland lakes. While blue water, reef and game fishing adventures occur every day on the East Coast. Scenic coastal cruises include bird watching, spotting dolphins, seal colonies, whale watching in season, spectacular sea cliffs and coastal landforms. River cruises can be had surrounded by pristine wilderness, or on Hobart's Derwent River. The Derwent River is where the blue water classic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race concludes each year. The New Year's Eve celebrations at Constitution Dock following the race are an event in themselves.
Little Penguin colonies are dotted along the shoreline, with parents coming ashore around dusk to feed their chicks in season. Unique animals found here include the Tasmanian Devil, Eastern Quoll, Pademelon, and Bettong. Whilst some animals are shy and elusive some are guaranteed to be sighted in certain areas including wombats, Forester kangaroos and Bennett's wallabies.
With four distinct seasons, keen gardeners and admirers of beautiful gardens have always loved Tasmania. There are plenty of 'bloomin' events, including tours and walks, open gardens and flower shows.
A bit of a secret are the great caving experiences to be had. Some caves are developed and have guided tours, but many are wild and unexplored, where only professional guides can take you.
Can you get further away than Tasmania? Yes you can! There are more than 300 islands off the coast, with the largest three, in King, Flinders and Bruny, all having long term residents.
The variety of accommodation is nearly as great as the variety of wildlife. You can choose to stay in cottages, B&Bs, Wilderness Lodges, luxury hotels, budget motels, or caravan parks. The choice is there for you.
The laid back lifestyle attracts a talented community of artisans who create pottery, paintings, woodwork, jewellery, leatherwork. Come and see and enjoy what Tasmania has to offer.
My Guide Tasmania is thankful to the organizations and individuals for their support, assistance and efforts in promoting Tasmania, Australia. Photo credits: Port Arthur Convict Site, MDT; House of Anvers, cheesecake, MDT; Overland Track, Barn Bluff, Tourism Tasmania and Anne Jordan; Salamanca Market, Tourism Tasmania and Peter Baillie; Tasman Peninsula, Tourism Tasmania and James Emms; Constitution Dock, MDT; Bennetts Wallaby, MDT; Ocean Beach, Tourism Tasmania and Joe Shemesh; Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village, Tourism Tasmania and Stay Tasmania; Tasmanian wood products, Wood Crafts, Tullah, MDT