One of the main industries that is strongly
opposed by many is the logging industry. The conservationists
have gained support from people from all over the world who come
to visit, protest and to tour these untouched pristine areas that
are targeted for logging. At one point, there was even a plan
to damn and flood part of Tasmania's south west, which led to
protests as far away as Paris, France. To learn more about conservation
issues in Tasmania, please log on to the Sustainable
Forestry in Tasmania forum.
Tasmania has something for everyone. In the Central Plateau region
there are hundreds of lakes stocked with trout. This is a fly
fisherman's paradise and there are tours
available to take you on a highland-fishing trek. There is also
a rapidly growing wine industry and the boutique vineyards are
plentiful. Please see our Tasmanian
Wine Country Page to get a feel for the wine industry in Tasmania.
Many of these wines are very good but they are not produced in
large enough quantities to ship to Europe and the United States.
You will find them in other Australian cities however.
Whether it's trout fishing,
cycling tours, hiking,
scuba diving, exploring
historic buildings, or just visiting the friendly local
restaurants and pubs to try
the popular local wines, Tasmania has a lot to offer, especially
if you are looking for a more relaxing vacation. The Tasmanian
climate can fluctuate wildy. The best time to go is during
the Tasmanian summer and the best months are January and February.
The winters can be wet and overcast.
Getting to Tasmania is quickest by air. Domestic carriers such
as Qantas fly regularly throughout the day but you may have to
change planes in Melbourne. Hobart Airport is only 17 km (11 miles)
from the city and the trip should take 20 minutes to get into
Hobart. There is also a ferry service from Melbourne to Devonport
in the north of Tasmania. This is the best way to get to Hobart
if you are driving but Devonport is a 3 hour drive from Hobart.
Top of Page
Hobart is the picturesque capital city of Tasmania with
a greater city area population of approximately 195,000. Hobart
is steeped in it's convict history because, like the Sydney area,
it was originally settled as a penal colony in a nearby settlement,
Port Arthur. Hobart is situated on a natural deep water harbour
surrounded by mountains such as Mount Wellington. Mount Wellington
rises steeply from sea level to over 4,000 feet. For a great view
of Hobart and the surrounding area it is possible to drive to
the summit but beware that the roads may be closed in winter due
to snow fall. Another good way to see Hobart is by water. Try
one of the local river cruises that will take you up and down
the River Derwent.
If you are interested in history, you will enjoy Hobart. Battery
Point is one of the earliest areas to be settled and many of the
original buildings are still standing. In fact, most are private
homes. Battery Point can be reached on foot or by taxi depending
on where you are staying.
Very close to Battery Point, you will find Salamanca Place, which
is home to many of the old port warehouses. These old buildings
have been converted into shops, art galleries, restaurants
and pubs and this is often the
best area to eat and socialize. Every Saturday morning there is
a large market held in Salamanca Place where hundreds of vendors
peddle the local wares such as art
work, wood products, wool products, lavender, local foods
plus much more. To get a real feel for the culture in Hobart,
the market is a must.
A good time to go to Hobart is the Christmas-New Year period.
This is when the Taste of Tasmania takes place where you can sample
the local food, beers and wines. It is also the time when the
famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race finishes. There are sometimes
more than 100 ocean racing yachts in the harbour and there is
The Tasman Peninsula
is approximately a 2 hour drive from Hobart. It is home to a rugged
coastline and many spectacular geographic features such as Devil's
Kitchen, Tasman Arch, The Blow Hole and Remarkable Caves. These
are definite sites to be seen.
If you go further you will come to the historic settlement of
Port Arthur which was an English convict settlement in the 1800's.
Many of the ruins are somewhat in tact and you can walk around
them at your leisure and get a good feel as to how convict life
was in the colonies. In Port Arthur you can also get an excellent
view of the surrounding landscape by taking a tour
in one of the seaplanes.
A little further on from Port Arthur you will arrive at the Remarkable
Cave. Here you will see some of the best coastline in the state
of Tasmania. This is a popular site for some of the young surfers.
To get to the Tasman Peninsula, you can drive or take a tour bus.
A day trip may be long enough for some but there are hotels
and bed and breakfasts
to stay at if you would like to stay longer.
Richmond is the oldest historic town in Tasmania. It is
about 20 minutes from Hobart and therefore is a good day trip
from Hobart. You can walk around at leisure and see the old buildings
such as the Richmond Jail. The Richmond Bridge is the oldest in
Australia and the Church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in
Australia. This village may be of interest to history buffs.
The East Coast of Tasmania is a ruggedly beautiful area.
It is a mix of thick eucalypt forests, deserted beaches, sleepy
seaside towns such as Swansea and Coles Bay, boutique vineyards
and rugged rocky peaks such as the Hazards. The real highlight
is the 3 national parks, which are Maria Island, Douglas-Apsley
The Freycinet National Park is a highlight of the Tasmanian wilderness.
It is located very close to the sleepy seaside village of Coles
Bay. The Park is a rugged rocky peninsula that is full of excellent
hiking trails for all levels of fitness. These hikes typically
take from 1 hour to 8 hours but there are some overnight hikes
for the more serious hikers. Before embarking on the overnight
hikes, you should check with the local ranger for advice about
the condition of the track and what equipment and supplies are
needed. Some of the shorter hikes can be demanding also as you
have to hike up and over the Hazards which are Granite Peaks that
separate the 2 sides of the peninsula. The key sites to see in
the Freycinet Region are Wineglass Bay (a must see), the Hazards,
Hazards Beach, Sleepy Bay, and Honeymoon Bay.
The best way to get to Freycinet is to drive or take a tour
by bus. If you plan to hike, you may want to stay a night or two
at the lodge to give you enough time to fully enjoy this beautiful
region of Tasmania. The drive from Hobart should take 90 minutes
to 2 hours depending on how many stops you make along the way.
Keep your eyes open for logging trucks. They move quickly and
take up a lot of space.
Top of Page
Huon Valley and Bruny Island:
South of Hobart, you will find the lush green valleys and mountains
of the Huon Valley. This area was once one of the major apple
producers in the world but the apple industry gradually died,
unable to compete with some of the apple producers in the Northern
Hemisphere. However, you will still find some apple orchards and
berry farms where you can stop and buy fresh fruit that has just
All through the Huon Valley there are small galleries and workshops
where the local craftsmen work with the rare and expensive wood
called Huon Pine. Huon Pine is very old (up to 2,000 years old)
and only grows in Tasmania. It is dredged from the bottom of rivers
where it has lain for many years. Woodworkers use it for sculpture,
decorative bowls, salad bowls, salt and peppershakers, furniture
plus many more items.
Further south you will find the rugged country around the towns
of Southport and Dover. These towns are the home of many of the
local fishing boats. In this area, you will come upon Hastings
Caves and Thermal Pool. You can bathe in the hot pools and also
take a tour of the caves. If you go too far south the roads become
tracks and you may need a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Bruny Island is an unspoiled island off the south east coast of
Tasmania. You can get there by driving and catching the car ferry
at a town called Kettering. The ferry takes about 15 minutes to
cross the channel. Once you are on Bruny Island, you are treated
to a spectacular selection of beaches and bays. Adventure Bay,
Cloudy Bay and Cape Bruny are three of the popular sites to see.
The Huon Valley can be seen by driving or taking a tour bus. You
can see the Huon Valley as a day trip but it can be nice to stop
a night and really enjoy the area.
Mount Field National Park is approximately a 90 minute
drive from Hobart. There are several walks that you can take.
The shortest is around 15 minutes round trip and will take you
to the Russell Falls, which are stunning waterfalls surrounded
by large Man Ferns which are often taller than the hikers. If
you want to take the longer hike, it will probably take you about
2 or 2 and half hours to complete. On this hike you will see some
of the tallest trees in the world and several other waterfalls
such as Horsehoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls.
On you return to Hobart you may want to consider stopping for
a short visit at Salmon Ponds. This is an interesting venue to
learn about the salmon and trout industry in Tasmania. You can
actually feed the fish and there are some different breeds such
as an albino salmon. If you look very hard around the ponds you
may be lucky enough to see a Platypus.
Cradle Mountain guarding over Dove Lake maybe one of Tasmania's
best-known images. Cradle Mountain is at the northern end of the
Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair National Park and is a jutting
dolerite peak. This area is a rugged mountainous area with cold
streams, button grass and deciduous beech trees. There are excellent
walks in the area of varying lengths. Before setting off on one
of the longer hikes, it is strongly recommended that you contact
the local Parks and Wildlife Service. The weather can change quickly
and begin to snow, even in summer. You will be informed as to
whether or not you are well enough equipped for the longer hikes.
Deaths of hikers have occurred at times in Tasmania because of
rapidly changing inclement weather. Recently, at Christmas, during
the Australian summer, there was a snowstorm in this area that
led to a fatality.
The West Coast of Tasmania
has a rugged beauty that you may not see anywhere else in the
world. It has been battered by the winds called The Roaring Forties
for thousands of years. Much of this area is uninhabited and there
is impenetrable forest.
Strahan is a nice play to stay for an evening if you are driving.
It is a small seaside village that has dramatically improved its
amenities over the years to attract tourists. Many years ago,
it was a small town with a pub and a lot of fishing boats. Strahan
is a good place to base yourself to see some of the west coast
such as the Gordon River and Sarah Island. You can take a cruise
down the Gordon River and it is a good way to see the thick untouched
forests and all of the natural beauty that the West Coast of Tasmania
has to offer. Sarah Island is the location of an old convict prison
and is of interest to history buffs.
The South West National Park is a hikers dream with walks
of all duration and experience level. Hikers come from all over
the world to hike through this pristine wilderness. Some of the
trails include the Eliza Plateau (5 to 6 hours return), Lake Judd
(8 hours return) and some will take you several days to complete.
It is strongly recommended that you contact the local Parks and
Wildlife Service before taking on one of the longer hikes. The
weather can change quickly and begin to snow, even in summer.
You will be informed as to whether or not you are well enough
equipped for the longer hikes. Deaths of hikers have occurred
at times in Tasmania because of rapidly changing inclement weather.
Want to learn more about what to see and do in Tasmania? Learn
more about Tasmania from people who have been there or live there
@ Tasmanian Experiences.
A Yank's Guide
to Life in Tassie: A Yank's Guide to Life in Tassie
is an interesting account of what life is like in Tasmania (Tassie)
written by an American living in Tasmania. It explains many of
the differences between these 2 countries and many of the similarities.
Much of this commentary about life in Tasmania is also applicable
to life in other areas of Australia. Enjoyable reading! (Requires
Top of Page