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Tasmania

Image courtesy Tourism Australia

Separated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania (or Tassie as the locals call it) is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle.

Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait  Tasmanians breathe the world’s cleanest air and rejoice in pure water and fertile soils. The local wines and food are acclaimed around the world. Seafood  lovers will delight in the fresh harvests from the clear cold ocean waters and wine  aficionados can sample award winning wines. Tassie cheeses are some of the nations best and compliment the excellent cuisine served in stylish and quaint restaurants, pubs and bistros.

This natural island is a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Over a third of the state is reserved in a network of National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana.

Visitors can experience Tasmania's natural beauty on foot, through  over 2,800 km of managed walking tracks and over 880 separate walks throughout national parks, reserves and conservation areas and most with an easy distance from the city centres. Wildlife encounters are quite common and walkers have ample opportunities to spot endemic and endangered species of plants, birds and other wildlife along the way.

If arriving from Melbourne on the Spirit of Tasmania, visitors arrive into and depart from Devonport. Devonport is in the north of the State, about three hours drive from Hobart and one hours drive from Launceston.

If flying into Tasmania, most flights will come into either Hobart or Launceston. Regional flights into Devonport and Wynyard (Burnie) leave from Melbourne.

Accommodation ranges from modern hotels to heritage cottages, motels and bungalows. Rental cars, motorhomes, bicycles are readily available and there are plenty of guided tours half day, full day and extended stays on offer.

Get acquainted with Tassies convict beginnings with a visit to historic Port Arthur or wonder at the sublime beauty of Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsular.

Whatever you choose to do or how long your stay is, Tassie will leave you filled with wonder at the beauty and diversity of this Island State. Photographers revel in Tasmania’s pristine scenery; some specialists photograph little else. Unlike most of Australia, Tasmania’s climate is temperate with four distinct seasons and snow is common in the highlands in winter. Tasmania is about the size of Ireland and in some ways resembles that island more than mainland Australia, with picturesque cottages, hedgerows, old stone walls, Georgian architecture and a thriving art-and-craft tradition.

Tasmania appeals to those who relish natural, largely untouched landscapes. Instead of large resort complexes, holidaymakers can stay at wilderness lodges, guesthouses, colonial cottages, farms and quiet inns.