Tasmania

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Jean-Paul Ferrero / Auscape International

Capital City: Hobart

 

Tasmania is bursting with wonderful surprises. A winding country road can suddenly reveal a colonial village, a boutique vineyard or a breathtaking ocean view like that of Wineglass Bay. From landscapes and history to food and culture, Australia’s island state is a feast for travellers.

Although it is Australia’s smallest state – only 296 kilometres from south to north and 315 kilometres east to west – Tasmania’s territory also includes the Bass Strait islands and subantarctic Macquarie Island. A population of just over 510 000 is eclipsed by over half a million visitors each year, and Tasmania is famous for its friendly, welcoming and relaxed pace of life.

Tasmania’s Indigenous peoples have been here for around 35 000 years, and despite the terrible impact of white settlement, they are a large and increasingly influential community today. Middens are common around the coastline, showing where generations of Aboriginal people cooked shellfish meals.

Abel Tasman sighted and named Van Diemen’s Land in 1642, closely followed by French and British explorers. The British – never keen to be outdone by the French – acted in 1803 to establish a presence on the River Derwent. With the arrival of the British, white settlement got off to a rollicking and violent start as a penal colony for the first 50 years.

In more recent history, Tasmania is the home of the world’s first ‘green’ political party. Local environmental politics captured international attention in the 1980s when the No Dams campaign saved the Franklin River from being flooded for a hydro-electric scheme.

The island’s spirited cultural life includes the renowned Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Walsh's astounding MONA museum of old and new art, and a full diary of festivals.

Although two-thirds of the land is too harsh for farming, Tasmania has a growing reputation for boutique agriculture and aquaculture. A gastronomic circumnavigation of the island offers as much diversity as the landscape and a chance to discover Tasmania’s cool-climate wines, fresh seafood, fruits and fine cheeses.

Some more things to do while you're in Tasmania

  • Cascade Brewery
    Cascade Brewery

    Journey to the source: Cascade is Australia’s oldest brewery, and one of its best.

  • Taranna
    Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

    Drop by to see the state's own little devils at feeding time – even when you can hear bones crunching as they devour their lunch, you cannot deny how cute these devils are.

  • Woolmers Estate
    Woolmers Estate

    Seven well-preserved brick colonial cottages make up this picturesque estate.

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Fishing spots

Fishing rod packed? Right then – you’re ready for a trip to Tasmania! Not only is the island state Australia’s undisputed trout-fishing destination par excellence, but visiting anglers will also encounter Atlantic salmon, bream, trevally, mullet, flathead and more. For gamefishing, the waters off Flinders Island and St Helens are legendary.


Eco-friendly activities

Possibly the Australian state best set up for ecotourism, Tasmania’s astonishing natural beauty and plentiful wildlife will thrill green-minded travellers. Raft the mighty Franklin River, meet white Bennetts wallabies on Bruny Island or paddle a kayak across Great Oyster Bay. Tasmania’s eco-friendly activities run the full gamut from adrenaline-filled activities to peaceful walks among natural surrounds.


Golf courses

When it’s time to tee off, Tasmania has some great courses which need to be played. Be blown away (and not just by the wind) at Barnbougle Dunes – considered the finest example of a links course on this part of the planet – or try to keep your ball out of trouble along the tree-lined fairways of Royal Hobart.


Restaurants & cafes

With its irresistible fresh produce and gourmet eateries, Tasmania is a foodie’s heaven. Treat yourself in Hobart’s acclaimed European and Mod Oz restaurants, or head to the east coast for magnificent seafood. Take a cellar-door tour in northern Tasmania, or hop across to King Island for incomparable dairy delights.


Eco-friendly places to eat

It’s all about delicious, fresh produce in Tasmania. Don’t miss Hobart’s Salamanca Market for an amazing variety of organic temptations, perfect for a relaxed picnic by the Derwent River. Most of the seafood you’ll eat will have come from local waters, while the state’s organic dairy products are simply heaven-sent.

Eco-friendly places to eat by region


Breweries

Despite its modest population, Tasmania is the proud home to two major breweries – J. Boag & Son, based in Launceston, and Cascade, in Hobart. Both are renowned for their quality beers, and operate popular on-site tours for visiting beer tourists. Other craft breweries around the state are also well worth a trip.

Campsites

Tasmania’s pristine national parks and lush landscapes make for superb camping. Trek deep into dense wilderness to pitch your tent amid craggy peaks and thick bush, relax at an idyllic coastal campsite or sleep under the stars in undulating wine country. Just be prepared to share your spot with the resident wildlife!


Caravan parks

Looking for a completely different caravanning experience? Tasmania is just a ferry ride away! Small enough for you to circumnavigate the state in a week, this picturesque island’s made for touring. Enjoy stunning scenery, historic sights and delicious local produce as you go, staying at well equipped, conveniently located caravan parks along the way.


Hotels, motels & B&Bs

Tasmania’s accommodation can be as ritzy or charmingly rustic. After a luxury escape? Choose from a tree-top B&B with panoramic views or a resplendent Federation mansion. Mid-range more your style? How does a lakeside lodge or chic apartment sound? On a budget? Convict-built cottages, country pubs and comfy motels await.


Eco-friendly places to stay

Being such a popular ecotourism destination, it makes sense that Tasmania would offer a healthy range of green lodgings. Stay on a working farm or in an eco-cabin with sweeping wilderness views, or escape civilisation in an old lighthouse keeper’s cottage on a secluded island, with only penguins, geese and dolphins for company.

Eco-friendly places to stay by region

Popular eco-friendly places to stay


Rest areas

Tasmania’s sometimes called the Apple Isle and we can see why, because this state is small and easy to enjoy in bite-size portions. The rest areas that line Tasmania’s highways are often situated in gorgeous locations, so take the opportunity to pick up some food while you’re travelling and make a picnic of it. And once you’ve had something to eat, you can enjoy some of the other amenities these stops offer, from showers to a place to camp for the night.  

Events

A great way to meet Tasmania’s locals is to attend a local festival or sporting event. With several boating regattas and some lively cultural events, Hobart is your first stop for Tasmanian festivities. Launceston’s calendar sparkles with food, wine and maritime festivals, while St Helens celebrates Seafood and Symphony every March.

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