5 Things to Love About Tasmania
This is a guest post by fellow hiking enthusiast, Frank Wall. Frank loves Tasmania and in particular the Cradle Mountain World Heritage area. He shares lots of terrific information with a free Cradle Mountain travel guide at CradleMountain.net
Tucked away to the south of mainland Australia is the island state of Tasmania. What a perfect place to escape the complexities of the world and enjoy pristine wilderness, great beaches, oozing history and wonderful food. Best of all, the Tasmanian folk love visitors and you will be welcomed like an old friend.
Cradle Mountain capped in snow
Although Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, it’s chock-a-block full of breathtaking landscapes, from the mountains to the sea. On the East coast, snow white, powdery sand dunes reach down to the crystal clear waters of Wineglass Bay and the Bay of Fires. In the western wilderness, ancient rainforests swathed in mist house gushing waterfalls around Mount Field, whilst brooding crags and scattered lakes dominate the stark landscape of Cradle Mountain.
The first group of British convicts, who had initially been transported to New South Wales (Australia) arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1803. Tasmania, as it later became, was to become the prison for incorrigible convicts, those who re-offended or broke the very strict rules. Several convict sites were established across the State, five of which are now World heritage listed. Port Arthur Historic site and Sarah Island are two fine reminders of the brutality and deprivation that was imposed upon the hapless convict population.
Port Arthur prison ruins
Come have a taste of Bruny Islands artisan cheese platter or enjoy fresh seafood around the docks in Hobart: Tasmania is most famous for its salmon and abalone, trout and rock lobster. Wash it down with a delicate Pinot Noir from the Richmond wineries, or a refreshing beer from the Boagas and Cascade breweries. Fancy a sweet treat for the family? Don’t forget to visit the Cadbury chocolate factory, or buy a pot full of golden leatherwood honey from the markets.
A brew from the Cascade brewery – Australia’s oldest continually operating brewery
Known as the natural state, Tasmania is one of the country’s best wildlife hotspots. Pademelons, wombats, wallabies and echidnas are all abundant, and quiet streams and tarns shelter shy platypuses. At night, cheeky possums often visit campgrounds, and rarer marsupials such as the spotted-tailed quoll and the eastern barred bandicoot, both on the brink of extinction on the mainland, can still be seen. If your luck is in, you might even catch a glimpse of the Tasmanian devil, unique to the island.
Easy To Get Around
Because Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state, it’s much quicker and a lot easier to drive around than the rest of the country. Launceston to Hobart is a comfortable 2hr 30min trip along the Midland Highway, and good, sealed roads lead into the state’s most celebrated National Parks, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair and Freycinet. Or visit Perth which is only 1hr 07min on the National Highway, where you will find historic churches and inns.
Photo credit: Tasmanian Pademelon, Cradle Mountain, Port Arthur, Cascade beer
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