Tasmania

Tasmania is an ideal holiday destination with many unique and interesting places to explore. The main industry is tourism so most towns have good information centres which can direct you to the local attractions.

Natural Attractions

The Tasmanian landscape varies from craggy mountains to rolling hills and is surrounded by beaches, some of them very remote. Natural attractions include waterfalls, blowholes, caves and the beautiful Cradle Mountain area with its myriad walking tracks and expansive views. The Bay of Fires near St Helens is another beautiful spot worth a visit. Because it is an island state, a cruise would be a good way to explore the coastline.    There are some lovely cruises starting from Strahan or explore the Tasman Peninsular from the Pirates bay area and see the blowhole, arch and the Devils Kitchen.

Manmade Attractions

Sheffield is definitely worth a visit. Many of the buildings are covered in murals and each year they host a competition where you can vote for your favourites from new displays set up in the local park. It is also home to the seashell museum, a glass marble display and a quirky old drapery that still has the flying fox originally used to send customer invoices from one floor to the next. Depending on when you visit it is a good spot to buy some large juicy cherries. Fifteen minutes from Sheffield is Tasmazia. This was the worlds largest maze when it was built and has eight separate mazes. There is one with surprises around every corner and a reproduction of the maze at Hampton Court.

Stanley is built around a large rocky outcrop on the north coast. A ride on the chairlift to the top of the bluff is a great way to see the view. Stanley is also home to seafood so fresh some of it is still swimming in the tanks. As you travel it is worth stopping to sample some of the local produce. As well as fish, Tasmania produces good wine, honey, cheese and chocolate.

Adventure Attractions

For the more adventurous there are several places offering treetops adventures including Tarkine Forest Adventures where you can wander along one of the board walks above or through the lush rainforest or slide from the treetops to the forest floor of Dismal Swamp, 110 metres below, on a 13 second exhilarating ride. For even more speed and thrills there is car racing and a drag strip on the plains near the town of Longford.

Wildlife

Tasmania is home to the Tasmanian Devil. These are not easy to spot in the wild but there are a number of excellent wildlife parks which will get you up close with these and other Australian icons like koalas, wombats and of course kangaroos. There are several places where you can spot penguin colonies including one just out of Leith where volunteers can show you the parent penguins waddling ashore in the early evening to feed their young. The seahorse museum at Beauty Point is also a nice place to visit.

Heritage

Many of Tasmania’s historic stone buildings were built by convicts who were shipped from England for offences ranging from stealing a loaf of bread to murder. You can see some marvellous examples of this on the Hobart seafront or in Port Arthur. Many towns have made a feature of their heritage such as the etched bricks along the foot path in Campbell Town depicting the names and a few details of convicts who were sent to Australia and Norfolk Island. Local museums abound. As well as historic displays there are several quality maritime museums and such unexpected attractions as an apple museum, a seashell museum, a gold museum, a chocolate museum, a golf museum and a mining museum. History buffs will enjoy Port Arthur and Hobart where many of the lovely old buildings were built using convict labour.

Getting there

The best ways to get there are to fly or to take the ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. If you take the ferry you can take your car, bike or campervan with you. This is a good idea so you can discover the islands many features at your own pace. You should plan to spend at least a week here. It is a small island but there is plenty to do and many interesting places to discover. If you are interested in more information discovertasmania.com/au is an excellent website. If you visit Tasmania you will easily see why it is one of Lonely Planets top ten destinations in the world.

 

 

Koala in a wildlife park near Brighton

A koala at the wildlife park near Brighton

The chairlift at Stanley

The chairlift at Stanley

A mural at Sheffield

A mural at Sheffield

A park in Stanley

A park in Stanley