Off the southern coast of Australia is an island that remains mostly untouched by the hurried movement of the modern world. A place where the hunger of unhindered progress has yet to mar its forests, mountains, and beaches. Nicknamed Tassie, the Australian island state of Tasmania is a destination of natural beauty, a complicated history, and a cultural depth sure to pull the traveler in to its allure.
Turned into a penal colony in 1804 by the British, the area around Hobart has been a place of aboriginal culture (Mouheneener tribe) for an estimated 35,000 years. Now it is the capital and most populous city in Tasmania.
Located in the southeast of the island, Hobart is a modern city. It sits on a harbor where yachts and other boats line the docks. The backdrop of this city full of so much culture is Kunanyi (Mt. Wellington), which rises 4,170 feet above sea level. Hobart features a host of quality restaurants, cafes, and pubs—many using fresh, seasonal produce. This ex-penal colony has come a long way from its roots, and (pre-COVID) has become one of the fastest growing tourist scenes in the world.
Another city in Tasmania worth notice is Launceston. Located in the north of Tasmania, the city lies at the termination of the River Tamar. There is a friendly rivalry with Hobart, and the traveler can see why from first glance. Launceston is smaller, yet it contains many of the charms that Hobart has—with enough differences to make it worth a stop as well.
With the River Tamar connecting Launceston to the coast, there are boats along a harbor as well. The hills that accentuate the background roll into the horizon, while perfectly manicured parks dot the city and are ready to be lazed about in on a sunny day. Restaurants and cafes serving up excellent gastronomy are plentiful, while coffee culture permeates the city. Though located in the Tamar Valley, just outside of Launceston are more wonderful views of the valley that the traveler can take in.
In the northwest of Tasmania is Cradle Mountain, a mountain that reaches 5,069 ft above sea level. The mountain is located in the World Heritage dubbed Tasmanian wilderness of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, which covers 784-sq-mi of land. This national park hosts seven of the tallest mountains in Tasmania.
The towering pines and glacial lakes will renew the traveler from the wear and tear of modern life. One of the premier walks in the park is the Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair walk, where the traveler can take in the pristine surroundings and catch a few native animals that are going about their daily business.
Freycinet National Park
On the east coast of Tasmania, however, is another national park but in a different vein. It’s located on the Freycinet Peninsula and was founded in 1916. Here blue waters meet white sand, creating a magic of surrounding to enchant the traveler.
A common draw is Wineglass Bay, where the clear waters and sand meet with the diverse landscape. Within the park as well are granite peaks that allow for panoramic views of this untouched land. There are also many types of mammals to run across: dolphins, wombats, echidnas, and multiple types of possums.
Like mainland Australia, Tasmania is known for its wilderness—perhaps even more so. But the island state offers up far more than that for the traveler. The zest of local gastronomy appeases the senses, while the festivals and arts add a spice to the culture at large. Tasmania is a way to have your cake and experience immaculate natural views as well—which the traveler will appreciate in memories for years to come. That’s why the sponsor of this article, AAT Kings, wants to help get the traveler see this lovely land with guided tours that follow strict COVID-19 guidelines.
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