Tasmania, Australia

Separated from mainland Australia, Tasmania is a land apart, a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle. More than anywhere else in Australia, Tasmania enjoys four distinctly different seasons, each with its own special pleasures. Tasmanians and visitors alike enjoy the State's temperate maritime climate. The island state of Tasmania is located some 200 kilometres south of the mainland of Australia and is Australia's smallest state (68,000 sq. km.), measuring only some 250 kilometres from north to south and east to west at its broadest points. Rich in Australia's young history, it was the second settlement in Australia after Sydney and the first settlers arrived in 1803 to what is now Hobart. It was primarily established as a penal settlement to house prisoners from the United Kingdom and much of this early penal history can be seen around the state.

More than anywhere else in Australia, Tasmania enjoys four distinctly different seasons, each with its own special pleasures. Tasmanians and visitors alike enjoy the State’s temperate maritime climate. Summer is the season of fun and festivities at the Launceston Festivale, the Hobart Summer Festival, where the Taste of Tasmania is a must, and the North-West’s athletic carnivals. Autumn is a mellow season with calm, sunny days. It’s the time when the native deciduous beech blazes with colour. Not to be outdone, the European trees are also a riot of red, orange and gold. Winter is a dusting of snow on highland peaks and toasting your toes by an open fire. Winter days are often crisp, clear and bracing. Spring is cool and fresh. Gardens around the State come to life and Tasmania celebrates with the Blooming Tasmania festival. According to experienced travellers who’ve criss-crossed the globe in search of excellence, Tasmania has one of the world’s 10 best beaches (Wineglass Bay, US-based Outside magazine), the world’s best little town (Strahan, Chicago Tribune) and was rated equal third, in the world, for wise land stewardship by National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Sustainable Tourism Initiative. Now, discover why....

Scenic Highlights:

Port Arthur: Port Arthur is one of Australia's great tourism destinations. Every building, every feature of Port Arthur Historic Site has a story to tell. Created with convict labour, the impressive architecture, delightful gardens and chilling prison facilities survive today for you to explore.

Heritage Highway: It's tempting to travel quickly between Launceston to Hobart Town, but why rush? Tasmania is a place full of history best experienced at a more leisurely pace. From Evandale in the north to Pontville in the south, the road you travel on is steeped in history and tells many a tale of early settlers, bushrangers and convicts. The road follows a route originally carved out by convicts in the early 1800s. Along this route, the townships are filled with beautifully crafted sandstone buildings and bridges as well as places to visit, eat and stay.

Macquarie Island: Macquarie Island, far off in the Southern Ocean, is a Tasmanian dependency. It lies 1300km (808 miles) south-east of Tasmania and is about 2000km (1243 miles) from Antarctica. The island’s southerly position in this cold and turbulent ocean gives it a climate attractive only to hardy travellers. The island is buffeted by winds – the ‘roaring forties’ and ‘furious fifties’ – with typical speeds of 20 to 30 knots, rising to 70-knot cyclonic winds.

Activities:

- Experience a guided or independent bushwalk
- Bird watching in Tasmania a fantastic way to spend a day
- Enjoy a day or half day of fishing in Tasmania’s hot fishing spots with your own private guide
- Learn about Tasmania’s history at Port Arthur
- Enjoy a scenic drive on the Heritage Highway
- Discover Tasmania’s marine life by spending the day diving
- Take a tour of the great wineries and distilleries in Tasmania
- Indulge in Tasmania’s fine dining at their gourmet restaurants
- Enjoy art galleries and museums Tasmania has to offer
- Stop and smell the roses at the great Botanical Gardens
- Play a round of golf
- Enjoy a guided or independent heritage walk