"Tasmania - Australia's best kept secret" Top 5 Page for this destination State of Tasmania by al2401
State of Tasmania Travel Guide: 1,706 reviews and 4,540 photos
Tasmania was once joined to mainland Australia. Its history as an island begins about 10,000 years ago.
Tasmania was discovered in 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who named the island Van Diemen's Land after his sponsor, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. In 1772, a French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne landed on the island. Captain James Cook who discovered the east coast of Australia in 1770, sighted the island during a further voyage in 1777.
The first British convicts arrived in the colony of New South Wales on the First Fleet in 1788. By the end of that century Governor Phillip Gidley King needed somewhere to send incorrigible convicts - those who re-offended.
The first officially recorded settlement in Tasmania was established on 1803. Of the 49 new arrivals there were 21 male and three female convicts. They initally settled at Risdon on the banks of the Derwent River but eventually moved downstream to start again in the place that would become Hobart.
Convicts came from all walks of life commonly having little or no education and being forced into crime to survive in a rapidly industrialising Britain. History records the sentence of Transportation for petty crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread or clothing. However many were educated with skills as clerks or draughtsmen, or with professions such as medicine and architecture. The young colony used all these skills to grow.
Van Diemen's Land was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales, with its own legal system and Parliament, on 3 December 1825. Parliament changed the name to Tasmania in 1856.
Tasmania is a photographer's paradise - around every corner is a picture just waiting to be taken. There are mountains and beaches, forests and plains, waterfalls and meandering rivers, abundant unique wild life .... The towns are quaint and have avoided highways being built through them.
The distances are small but take time to travel as the roads, while good, are very winding. The weather can be a bit unpredictable - snow in November on the mountians. It has been known to snow on Mt Wellington in Hobart on Christmas Day.
The most famous activity linked to Tasmania is the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. This international race leaves from Sydney on December 26th each year and ends in Hobart some days later crossing some of the most treacherous water in the world. The distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170km) and the record finishing time is 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds. The first race took place in 1945. In the 1998 race, a storm the strength of a hurricane hit the fleet of 115 boats. Five boats sank with the loss of 6 lives. Only 44 made it to Hobart
For the less adventurous there is plenty to see and do in Tasmania. There is the famous Overland Trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair, a hike through Freycinet National Park to beautiful wine Glass Bay and a walk through Mt Field National Park to Russell Falls and beyond.
If hiking is not your thing there are visits to historical sites like Port Arthur; boat and train rides through World Heritage listed forests; Tasmanian Devil habitats.
If all of that is still too active you can sample the local fare - lamb, cheese, deep cold water seafood, ocean trout, locally bred Atlantic salmon and some of the best cold climate wines you will find (just to name a few).
- Pros:something for every-one except maybe the dedicated party animal
- In a nutshell:You beauty - Mate!
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