Published On: Fri, Jan 3rd, 2020

Visiting Tasmania, Australia’s Largest Island

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Separated from mainland Australia over 10,000 years ago, Tasmania is a sparsely populated, rugged island roughly the size of Ireland. It has a temperate climate with spectacular wilderness that allows frequent encounters with animals in the wild. The island also enjoys a colorful past, having briefly served as a British penal colony. Visitors will enjoy its many attractions.

Visiting Tasmanian Wilderness

Over 40% of Tasmania is dedicated to national park and conservation land; one fifth of the island has been designated a World Heritage Area for its natural and cultural significance. Visitors have countless opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking (bushwalking), camping, biking, boating, fishing, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, hunting, and caving.

Tasmanian national parks (such as Narawntapu and Cradle Mountain) are great places to see many animals exclusive to Australia such as kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, wallabies, and, occasionally, a platypus or Tasmanian devil (a small carnivorous marsupial that devours it prey whole while making spine-chilling screeching sounds).

The Tasmanian Trail is a 480 km recreational trail in the middle of the country for walkers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders that goes from Devonport in the north to Dover in the south. Linking forest and farmland with small towns, this trail allows the option of a softer outdoor experience (with more varied trip lengths and upscale accommodations) than is typically offered by national parks and wilderness areas.

Warm weather may result in fires that temporarily close part of the Tasmania Trail – check current conditions.

Colorful History as Colonial Penal Colony

Visiting Tasmania, Australia's Largest Island

Tasmania was originally named Van Diemen’s Land by European explorer Abel Tasman. In 1822, Britain began sending convicts to this small Australian island. By the 1850s, almost half of Tasmania’s population was made up of convicts. 1853 saw the end of this practice, and, in 1856, the island’s name was changed to Tasmania for a fresh start.

Tourists can visit the site of the original penal colony at Port Arthur (located about 100 km southeast of Hobart). Attractions include prison buildings, gardens, places to eat, guided tours (including boat tours and a ghost tour), and a gift shop.

Other Tasmanian Attractions

The only two egg-laying mammals in existence can be seen in a private indoor facility 40 minutes from Launceston. Platypus House allows visitors to get up close and personal with the platypus (a strange looking animal with webbed feet, flattened tail, front bill like a duck, and a body streamlined for swimming) and the echidna (a small animal with a bird-like beak and spine covered body). It includes a platypus pond, a walk-through echidna garden, interpretative center, theater and café.

The world’s largest maze complex, Tasmazia, is located 90 minutes from Launceston and 40 minutes from Cradle Mountain. This 8-maze attraction includes a replica of the maze at Hampton Court Palace in England as well as a Yellow Brick Road Maze for toddlers and small children, and a low wall Balance Maze. There is also a pancake (crepe) restaurant, gift shop, lavender farm, and more.

Traveling to Tasmania

Located approximately 240 km (150 mi) south of mainland Australia, Tasmania is easily reached by sea or by air, usually through Melbourne. The Spirit of Tasmania ferry goes between Melbourne and Devonport. Major airlines that fly to both Launceston in the north and Hobart (the capital) in the south include Quantas, JetStar, and Virgin Blue.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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