Tasmania - Wild Beauty, history and cuisine.

Tasmania is one of my favourite destinations in Australia. Not everyone makes time to travel this far south, but you should!

Probably most famous across the world for the Tasmanian Devil, this part of Australia has a whole lot more to offer.

You can visit the island either by ferry from Victoria or by air. I chose to fly in from Sydney and Hobart was my first port of call.

It’s certainly a beautiful spot and if you’re arriving by air, this will probably be your introduction to Tasmania. Sitting on the river Derwent and overlooked by Mount Wellington, Hobart is full of places to explore. Mount Wellington itself is full of hiking and cycling trails. On my visit the weather wasn’t great and the windy summit was like being on the moon! In the city, head to Salamanca place where you can visit galleries and cafes, plus nearby you have Battery Point which is a historic area with colonial era cottages and narrow winding lanes.

The 19th century penal settlement of Port Arthur is well worth the visit, and can be arranged as a day trip from Hobart. The historic remains of this huge prison, church and solitary confinement cells are now an open air museum where you’ll see the horrific life that inmates endured. Tragedy also struck this area in 1996 with a modern day catastrophe.

Another popular tour is to Bruny Island and Lighthouse. Here you’ll find abundant wildlife and local purveyors of chocolate, cheese, cider, honey and fresh Oysters. If you are lucky, you may see humpback and southern right Whales. If you’re even luckier, you’ll spot the rare albino wallabies. Make sure you use the local tour company that ‘includes’ the fully guided tour of the lighthouse.

After Hobart, head to Strahan on the world heritage listed west coast of Tasmania at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour. Convicts also had a tough time here at the Penal Colony on Sarah Island. Known locally as Hells Gate as the most dangerous European convicts felled pine here for ship building in terrible conditions. Today, a very quaint and picturesque town surrounded by thick native bush and the National Park of Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers which is World Heritage Listed.

Head inland to Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park. More absolutely incredible scenery full of flora and fauna. There is plenty of hiking available here, plus you can climb Cradle Mountain and your camera will be working overtime trying to show the folks back home just how pretty this place is. Once again this is all world heritage listed.

Once you’re on the east coast, you’ll want to head to Freycinet National Park. Hiking is the theme again as most places are accessed by walking or by boat. Much of the National Park is forested. Take the 40 minute climb to view Wineglass Bay or put together an itinerary of much longer hikes, which can even stretch over a few days. This Park is the highlight for many travellers and you’ll quickly see why.

We’re aware many first time visitors to Tasmania are combining it with other iconic spots in Australia, but if you can make the time, you can have a fantastic experience here with 10 or even 14 days at your disposal. I can assure you that this will be one of the most beautiful places you have visited. Unlike many fly-drives in other parts of the world, you won’t be moving from town to town or city to city. This is all about nature and scenic hot spots. You’ll encounter extremely friendly locals and the local produce is exceptional.

The featured destinations are just some of the delights that await you. There’s plenty more to see or if you have less time, perhaps a shorter stay around Hobart.

All in all, this is a real gem of a holiday destination and shouldn’t be missed!

So why not just AsktheTraveller.....

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