Tasmania

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Wild and dramatic landscapes, empty white beaches, heavenly food and wine—Tasmania's charms have been overlooked for too long by international travelers. Hikers have always known about the island's wilderness trails, which lead you through deserted forests and national parks, but now gourmands are discovering Tassie's superb local produce, making it a world-class gourmet destination, too.

Tasmania's attractions encompass the historic, the healthy, and the hedonistic. Although Tasmania now is an unspoiled reminder of a simpler, slower lifestyle away from the rat race, its bloody history is never far from the surface. Today, walking through the lovely grounds in Port Arthur, the notorious penal colony, or the unhurried streets of Australia’s smallest capital city, Hobart, with its profusion of Georgian buildings, it's difficult to picture Tasmania as a land of turmoil and tragedy. But the destruction of the Aboriginal population, who are thought to have crossed into Tasmania approximately 36,000 years ago, is a dark stain on the island's memory.

In many ways Tasmania is still untamed, making it a hiker's delight. The island's 19 national parks encompass impenetrable rain forests and deep river gorges that cut through the massive mountain valleys. The coastlines are scalloped with endless desolate beaches—some pristine white, fronting serene turquoise bays, and some rugged and rocky, facing churning, choppy seas.

These beautiful surrounds have led to Tasmania's newest claim to fame as a gourmet haven. Thanks to the island's many microclimates, you can grow or harvest virtually anything from superb dairy produce to wonderful meat, and its clear seas abound in wonderful seafood. Oenophiles have also discovered the island's wines, and the island's wine routes are worth a slow meander.

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Cradle Mountain–Lake St. Clair National Park

This expansive, remote park contains some of the most spectacular alpine scenery and mountain trails in Australia. Popular with hikers of all...

Devonport and Nearby

In the middle of the North Coast, Devonport is the Tasmanian port where ferries from Melbourne dock. Visitors often dash off to other parts...

Freycinet National Park

The road onto the Freycinet Peninsula ends just past the township of Coles Bay; from that point the Freycinet National Park begins and covers...

Hobart

Straddling the Derwent River at the foot of Mt. Wellington's forested slopes, Hobart was founded as a penal settlement in 1803. It's the second...

Launceston

Nestled in a fertile agricultural basin where the South Esk and North Esk rivers join to form the Tamar, the city of Launceston (pronounced...

Richmond

Twenty minutes' drive from Hobart and a century behind the big city, this colonial village in the Coal River valley is a major tourist magnet...

Stanley

Stanley is one of the prettiest villages in Tasmania, and a must for anyone traveling in the northwest. A gathering of historic cottages at...

Strahan

This lovely, lazy fishing port, once a major stop for mining companies, has one of the deepest harbors in the world. The brown color that sometimes...

East-Coast Resorts

From Hobart, the east-coast Tasman Highway travels cross country to Orford, then passes through beautiful coastal scenery with spectacular white...

Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula

When Governor George Arthur, lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), was looking for a site to dump his worst convict offenders...

The Huon Valley

En route to the vast wilderness of South West National Park is the tranquil Huon Valley. Sheltered coasts and sandy beaches are pocketed with...

The West Coast

The wildest and least explored countryside in Australia lies on Tasmania's west coast. Due to the region's remoteness from the major centers...

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