Tasmania is called The Holiday Isle for its
light-hearted lifestyle. However Australias only island
state takes a serious approach to resource preservation.
Tasmanians have preserved their colonial heritage in interesting
historical sites for visitors to explore. But they also recognise
the great natural heritage of pristine national parks as one
fifth of Tasmania is designated a World Heritage site.
The most renowned wilderness areas are in the west of this
heart-shaped island, and they are all easily accessible by road
from Hobart or Launceston. The largest national parks with
heritage listing are; Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair,
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, and South-West National Park. This
part of Tasmania has been dubbed The land that time almost
forgot, and its true that isolation from mainland
Australia has enabled this wilderness area to survive.
Hobart, an engaging and easy-going capital
city, sits astride the Derwent River under the towering form of
Mt Wellington. Exploring on foot is an easy way to view
attractive streets lined with historic buildings in Battery Point
and other Old Hobart Town areas. Imposing warehouses have been
converted into galleries, restaurants and craft shops, and you
will see the Theatre Royal, Australias oldest continually
operating theatre. Visit the Salamanca Markets and choose a local
seafood dish at one of the fine restaurants in the area. The
Tasmanian Museum, Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens and the quaint
settlement of workers cottages called Arthurs Circus,
should not be missed. A side trip out to the notorious penal
settlement at Port Arthur, will give you an insight into the
islands chequered past.
Driving north from Hobart you will find some beautiful white sand
beaches along the east coast road. You will pass many
settlements, which tempt you to stop and enjoy the comfort and
hospitality of a village inn. The highlights are Wineglass Bay in
Freycinet National Park, the Bay of Fires and Maria Island.
Launceston, two hours north of Hobart, has
interesting design centres, colonial buildings, gardens and
walking trails. From here you follow the northern coast to
Stanley where you can enjoy a chairlift ride to an impressive
lava outcrop called The Nut. Highlights of the western region are
the World Heritage parks, Mt Ossa, Mole Creek caves, Macquarie
Harbour, Ocean Beach and the Overland Track, Australias
most famous bush walk.
Touring Tassie is an exhilarating experience with
extraordinary sights appearing around every bend in the road.
Prepare yourself for countless surprises such as stunning rock
forms, glacial lakes, towering waterfalls, treetop walkways,
booming blowholes, old oast-houses, fearsome Tassie
devils, fun-filled festivals and much more. Tasmania is a
veritable feast of visual and culinary treats that
will forever hold a place in your memory.