Posted on Jan 21, 2012 | Comments 0
As long as you’re comfortable driving on the left hand side of the road you should love visiting the island of Tasmania, which lies in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast south-eastern coast of Australia. Size-wise, it’s close to the American state of West Virginia and is Australia’s smallest state. Most visitors head to this gorgeous paradise for its natural beauty, cuisine, history, and culture.
The landscape in Tasmania is actually pretty similar to the North Island of New Zealand with its rocky and lush countryside. However, when it comes to the wildlife and forests, you’ll quickly realize how Australian it really is.
(photo credit: on_earth)
Depending on how long you’re staying, the best way to explore the island is by car as you’ll be able to see more of it. Renting a car is quite easy. Just make sure you’re properly insured in case one of the local animals decides to hop all over your car. The local roads are quite narrow and winding, so take your time, especially if you’re not used to left-hand driving.
Most travelers to Tasmania start out in the south of the island in the capital city of Hobart, which has a population of about 200,000 people and the island’s main airport. Hobart is home to a bustling harbour and great views of majestic Mount Wellington can be seen from the city. When you’re in Hobart, you might want to check out the vibrant Salamanca Market where you can check out some of the local dishes, buskers and artists while looking for gifts and souvenirs.
If you’d like to explore the countryside from Hobart, one of the most scenic areas to visit is Mount Fields National Park, which is close by. The landscapes are quite diverse and stunning and you’ll get a great close-up look at Mother Nature’s work if you hike through the lush fern forest. You’ll come across some spectacular waterfalls including Russell Falls as well as some magnificent eucalyptus trees.
If you’d like to keep on going, you can head to the Tasman Peninsula, which is about 60 miles to the south of Hobart and is one of the island’s most popular sites. The ocean scenery is breathtaking and there are numerous attractions and historical landmarks to visit, including a wonderful animal park. Some of the best views of the coast can be witnessed by hiking along Waterfall Bay, which is located in Tasman National Park. The jagged cliffs, rocks, and waterfalls make conjure up a magical sight.
There’s a rich history in Tasmania since it was used as a penal colony by Great Britain in the mid-19th century. Some of Britain’s most notorious criminals were sent to serve out their sentences there and you can learn more about this by visiting the Port Arthur Historical Site. It’s easily one of the island’s most famous attractions as it features exhibitions, historic buildings, and several ruins that take you on a trip back in time.
Of course, a trip to Tasmania wouldn’t be complete without getting a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil. You’ll have no problem finding one at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. These crazy creatures sure live up to their names as they move around maniacally, especially at feeding time.
When heading back to Hobart, you can drive up from the east coast of the island where you can visit Coles Bay, which sits in Freycinet National Park. It’s quite a scenic peninsula and it leads down to the warm waters of the picturesque Wineglass Bay and some beautiful sandy beaches.
You can also reach Tasmania by ferry from the Australian city of Melbourne. Because it’s located in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed, making December to February the warmest time to visit with June to August being the coolest.
Melbourne is also a great city to visit. It offers heritage, natural beauty, cosmopolitan flavor and diversity of experiences. You can stay at one of Melbourne hotels, which offers excellent service and friendly hospitality.
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