General Information About Tasmania
Tasmania is Australia’s smallest and only island state with a population of roughly 500,000 people. It enjoys a unique lifestyle and beautiful landscapes. It is separated by a body of water called the Bass Strait that has isolated it from the rest of Australia for thousands of years.
Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, with a population of 250,000. The metropolitan area stretches north and south along the Derwent River, crossed by several bridges. It has a mild temperate oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons.
Tasmania promotes itself internationally as Australia’s Natural State and within Australia as the Island of Inspiration. About 40% of the island is protected as national parks, World Heritage Areas, and forest and marine reserves. It is also a state dominated by logging, with vast tracts of old growth forest being destroyed. The catch cry is “see Tasmania before it is gone”.
Tasmania is known world-wide for the Tasmanian tiger, a now extinct striped marsupial dog-like animal, and the nocturnal Tasmanian devil, a small black and white marsupial whose sharp teeth and frightening screams belie the fact that it is shy of humans. Tasmanian devils are currently under threat of extinction due to a widespread facial tumour. The state government is endeavouring to detect the cause of the tumours and preserve disease-free colonies.
Popular places to visit in Tasmania include:
- Bay of Fires
- Bruny Island
- Cradle Mountain
- Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
- Maria Island
- Port Arthur
- Wineglass Bay
Tasmania is served by several national and regional airlines, primarily flying into Hobart and Launceston. Some flights are also available to Burnie and Devonport from Melbourne. There are no direct international flights to Tasmania.
Another way to get to Tasmania is to take the Spirit of Tasmania, which departs from Sydney and Melbourne and arrives in Devonport. You can take you vehicle on this ship, or go as a passenger.
Tasmania is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). During summer Tasmania observes ‘daylight savings’, where clocks are put an hour forward to GMT +11.
Tasmania has a cool, temperate climate with four distinct seasons but the weather can vary greatly even on a day to day basis.
Summer is from December to February, and the average maximum temperature 21 °C. Winter temperatures average 12 °C, which is between June and August.
Rainfall across Tasmania is highly variable – Hobart is Australia’s second driest city, with an average annual rainfall of 626 millimetres, while the western coast of Tasmania averages 2,400 millimetres a year.
Hobart Average Monthly Weather Statistics
Things to do in Tasmania
Tasmania is all about the natural beauty, coupled with the fine food and wine. There are literally hundreds of wineries to visit and many of them have fine restaurants usually serving local produce and wine, as the weather in Tasmania is ideal for growing quality produce.
There are also many active things to do outdoors, including:
- Hiking in the many parks and forests
- Sea kayaking and canoeing
- Rock climbing and abseiling
- Boating, diving and fishing
- White water rafting
Tasmania is steeped in Australian history, with the penal colony Port Arthur a major attraction for many visitors. Located in the south east, Port Arthur has great tourist facilities and guided tours of the historic site, with a museum and trip on the ferry to the surrounding islands.
The other notable penal colonies housed around Macquarie Harbour are Sarah Island (also known as Settlement Island) and Grummet Island which are located on the west coast of Tasmania. You can now sail around the picturesque Macquarie Harbour, which is also called Hell’s Gate, due to the narrow and hazardous entry.
For more information and ideas on what you can see and do in Tasmania, please visit our Tasmania Activities directory.
Things to see in Tasmania
While you’re spending some time in Tasmania, you may want to try some of the following activities:
- Take the cliff top walk to Hope Beach
- Walk parts of the Tangara Trail and Gorringes Beach
- Watch the many birds of the area, particularly those native to Tasmania
- Shop at the Salamanca Markets
- Tour the Cadbury chocolate factory
- Go back in history at Port Arthur
- Visit Coles Bay and Freycinet Peninsula (East Coast) and walk to the famed Wineglass Bay
- Spend a day touring Bruny Island with a lovely return trip on the Bruny Island Ferry
- Visit MONA (David Walsh’s striking Museum of Old and New Art) at Moorilla Winery
- See one of the World’s best views from Mount Wellington
- Tahune Forest Air Walk (Huon Valley near Geeveston)
- Enjoy Richmond and the Coal River Valley Wineries
- Cascade Brewery Tour (South Hobart)
- Sail the Derwent River on the “Lady Nelson”
- Cruise or drive to Peppermint Bay for a wonderful meal and great wines
- Experience the buzz at Australia’s first casino, Wrest Point
- Relax in the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Hobart’s Domain
- A visit to the Tasmanian Museum
For more information and ideas on what you can see and do in Tasmania, please visit our Tasmania Activities directory.gayman.cc
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