Tasmania is the only island state of Australia located 240 km away from the mainland separated by Bass Strait. Its remoteness was convenient obstacle for building a penal colony in the past and helps protecting its nature nowadays. Tasmania has an ancient history, wild territories and hospitable people offering excellent food and wine. The tranquil living on the island provides for a great stay for the tourists. The size of the island with Hobart for its capital is around 360 km to 306 km. it is not huge but it is big enough to allow the visitors to disconnect completely from their daily lives while traveling on the roads towards the inland. The journey will take you to marvelous summits, ancient towns and virgin beaches. It is no coincidence that everyone who visited the island says it has the cleanest air in the world.
The first European who reached the island was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642. Many travelers have passed through since then, including James Cook and William Blay, however their arrival didn’t bring much joy for the Aboriginal people of the island. The Europeans killed almost the entire Aboriginal population and the survivals were incarcerated on Flinders Island. The only evidence left from them today are some of their sanctuaries and the unique rock art near Woolnorth.
The uninhabited part of Tasmania Island has been declared Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The region is stunningly beautiful with its pointy summits, valleys carved by glaciers, circuit lakes, steep desert lands and grasslands, fields of wild flowers, pine and beech trees as well as ancient tropical rain forests.
Cradle Mountain and its highest peak rising at 1545 meters is located in the northern part of the park; Lake St Clair which is the deepest fresh water Australian lake is located in the far south part of the park. The six-day hiking route from the peak to the lake is also known as Overland Track and it is the most popular hiking trail in Australia attracting tourists from the entire world. Walking the 80-kilometer trail is enjoyable but it has to be taken into account that even the summers here are pretty cold. There are huts available for overnight stays along the track and the Franklin River offers good rafting conditions which is another exciting experience for the visitors of the park.
Besides the diverse flora, Tasmania Island is the home of one of the Tasmania symbols – the Tasmanian devil, a small carnivorous marsupial species. Another specific local animal is the extinct Thylacine. The last one died in the Hobart zoo in 1936.
The tourist who are not seeking adventures can visit the island capital Hobart with its coast line similar to the one in Sydney and popular Salamanca Place. In the heart of the Tasmanian countryside the tourist can visit the old and peaceful town of Richmond. Some of the most authentic and beautiful examples of Australia’s colonial architecture can be seen here. This charming town has turned into a mecca for craftsmen and artists.
The best time to visit Tasmania is from October to March. It can be reached internationally via Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney airports.
Tasmania is the size of Ireland, friendly and wild at the same time; it is charming and can be full of adventures.