Expect anything but ordinary
A visit to Tasmania is about disconnecting from the stresses of modern life and reconnecting with what is important. This small island on the edge of the world is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes, friendly people, wonderful food and wine, and a haunting convict history.
Lose yourself in spectacular scenery – snow-capped alpine mountains, tranquil waterways, deep lakes, windswept empty beaches and lush temperate rainforest. Watch eagles soar over dramatic sea cliffs and pristine bays while white wallabies hopping through bushland – this is the land where Tasmanian Devils roam.
A visit to Tasmania is not just any holiday. There’s so much to explore. Every road leads to somewhere special. This is your chance to experience life on the edge.
Credit: Photo by Nick Osborne
Being an island, geographic isolation has created unique biodiversity. About 40% of Tasmania is protected in national parks and reserves with a large proportion being included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage. There are rare plant species that only grow here, such as the pandani and deciduous beech. Tasmania has one of the slowest-growing and longest-living plants in the world – the magnificent Huon pine can grow for 3000 years!
Tasmania is a natural haven for wildlife and the island is home to some animals not found anywhere else in the world. Tasmanian devils, spotted quolls, white wallabies, little penguins, pademelons, there’s an abundance of cute creatures for a small island. Get up close and personal with our fluffy creatures at one of the many wildlife parks or spot the animals as you tour around.
Credit: Photo by Stu Gibson
Step back in time
Tasmania is the place to unravel a fascinating, yet haunting, history of the convict days. Many sites, like Port Arthur Historic Site, have been world heritage listed. Discover the stories behind the 70,000 men, women and children who were transported to this small isle deep in the Southern Ocean. Port Arthur Historic Site is a remarkably intact and evocative convict penitentiary.
On the west coast, discover Sarah Island on a journey across Macquarie Harbour through the turbulent channel named by the convicts as Hells Gates. Feel the sense of history as you wander through our historic villages, such as Richmond, Battery Point and Oatlands, with perfectly intact quaint Georgian cottages and striking sandstone warehouses.
Credit: Photo by Brian Dullaghan
Meet our people
Island life has fostered a community of creative, friendly and resourceful locals. This is a place of fiery winter festivals, quirky museums and clever artisans. Food and drink lovers, rejoice! Whisky and gin distilleries, award-winning cool climate wines, famous sparkling and crisp cider have placed Tasmania on the map. Fresh produce plucked straight from the ground and just-caught seafood has attracted chefs from around the world. Here you can meet the makers at farm gates, cellar doors or at local markets and find out the story behind the produce.
We love our small island, perched on the edge of the world. We want to share with you the best of Tasmania while you sit back, relax and soak it all in.
Credit: Photo by Rob Burnett
Getting here & around
Tasmania is a small island state of Australia. It lies about 240 km south of the mainland and is separated by the Bass Strait. Being Australia’s only island state, access is by sea or air only. There is a ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. You can fly to Hobart, Launceston and Burnie from most capital cities in Australia and direct from Auckland to Hobart.
There are no train services in Tasmania. Bus or car hire are the most popular ways to explore. While our island is small, travel times are long. This is because many of our roads are steep and winding. For example, while the distance between Derwent Bridge and Queenstown is only about 85km, it can take sometimes two hours to drive as there are up to 100 hairpin bends on that stretch of road. Care needs to be taken in winter when roads can be icy and there can be black ice on sections of road that don’t get direct sun. Our wildlife unfortunately doesn’t understand the road rules. It is best to avoid driving at dawn and dusk when they are most active.
Why not let the experienced guides do the driving for you? They know how to navigate those bends and where to keep an eye out for wildlife. That way you can breathe deep, truly relax and take in the spectacular scenery.
Credit: Photo by Stu Gibson
Tasmania has four distinct seasons. With its mountainous terrain plus the Roaring Forties (a westerly airstream), weather conditions can vary greatly across the island. The west coast is often wet with an average rainfall of 2400mm, perfect for the cool temperate rainforests, while the east coast is mainly dry, and Hobart is the second driest capital in Australia.
Average maximum temperatures in summer are 17-23 degrees Celsius. Average winter temperatures are 3-11 degrees Celsius.
What do I wear?
In Tasmania you can experience four seasons in one day. Wear layers. Our sun can get hot, but once it goes down, the cool can set in fast. We recommend you bring a sunhat, beanie, quick-drying tops, gloves, scarf, comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket. That way you’re prepared for it all.
Credit: Photo by Ollie Khedun