About the size of West Virginia, and with a population of just over a half million, the island of Tasmania offers geographical diversity in stunning, easily navigable scenery. Surrounded by sea, the climate is of course maritime, with the west coast the wettest thanks to the roaring forties winds. On the other hand, the island's capital of Hobart, a proud port city that is Australia's second-oldest settlement, is Australia's second-driest city. The beautiful east coast is nearly always warmer and milder than the rest of the isle. This diversity has contributed to an amazing variety of vegetation, from eucalypt forest and alpine heathlands to large areas of cool temperate rain forests and moorlands.
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