Tasmania

TasmaniaTasmaniaSeparated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, 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.

Tasmania is an island roughly the size of West Virginia, located 240 km off the south-east corner of mainland Australia. Next stop south is Antarctica, 2000 km away.

Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait, Tasmanien people breathe the world’s cleanest air and rejoice in pure water and fertile soils – it's wine and food are acclaimed around the world.

Tasmania is a natural island – a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Over a third of the state is reserved in a network of National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals.

The Tasmanian DevilThe Tasmanian DevilTasmania is well known for the Tasmanian Devil. Tasmanian devil is one of this country's native animal icons.

Tasmanian devils are wholly protected. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease, which is now having a devastating effect on the Tasmanian devil population was first noticed in the north-east of Tasmania in the mid-1990s but has become more prevalent in recent times in other areas of the State. The Tasmanian devil is now listed as vulnerable in Tasmania. Most people think they are dangerous and vicious animals but in reality they are very shy. We came across a number of the Devils on our tour and they are really a beautiful animal.

Climate

More than anywhere else in Australia, Tasmania enjoys four distinctly different seasons, 

Summer

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

Autumn is a mellow season with calm, sunny. 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

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.

Sunrise In SpringSunrise In SpringSpring

Spring is cool and fresh. Gardens around the State come to life and Tasmania celebrates with the Blooming Tasmania festival.

You will find if you visit Hobart that Hobart boasts the most daylight hours of any capital city in Australia during summer. That's why we always love traveling Tasmania you seem to fit more into one day.

Of course in winter Tasmania has less daylight than the mainland states and territories. Hobart has just over nine hours, an hour less than Sydney and two hours and 20 minutes less than Darwin.

But that’s no reason not visit Tassie in winter. Visitors are often surprised to find that winter is characterised by crisp blue skies and sparkling sunshine. Take a jumper and enjoy the freshest air in the world. I find Winter a great season to travel Tasmania.

Tasmania in WinterTasmania in WinterHow to get to Tasmania by Air

Tasmania has several airports that have regular commercial arrivals and departures: Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie. The terminals house Car Rental companies, café and bar facilities as well as the airline service and baggage counters.

Hobart is serviced by regular flights of both Qantas Link, Jetstar and Virgin Blue airlines. Hobart airport is about 15 km from the city centre. To reach the city you can travel by taxi (approx. $30) by Redline shuttle bus (approx $12) or by private transport. The trip takes around 15 minutes.

Launceston Airport is about 20 km from the city centre. It has regular jet services to mainland capitals by both Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue. There is a regular shuttle bus and a taxi to the city costs around $23.

Devonport and Burnie offer smaller airports with regular turboprop services to the mainland. A shuttle bus operates and taxis are available at both airports.
A good option that we use for anyone planning to visit a number of attractions, from galleries and museums to heritage areas and wildlife parks, is to purchase a See Tasmania Smartvisit Card. For one all-inclusive price, you receive free admission to more than 60 attractions, special offers and a comprehensive guide.The See Tasmania Smartvisit Card gives free admission to many of Tasmania’s best attractions.

There are three, seven and 10-day Smartvisit Cards. All come with a Tasmania Smartvisit Guide showing everything covered by the card.

When you buy the card you become eligible for special offers at restaurants and shops, as well as on adventures and tours around the State.

The See Tasmania Smartvisit Card is a convenient and cost-effective way to see some of the Island's best galleries, museums, wilderness, wildlife and heritage sites.
http://www.seetasmaniacard.com/pages_menuitems/prices.html

Things to See and Do

A great way to see the best of the state,is to follow the Touring Routes like we did. This is the TouringRoute we followed on our last trip to Tasmania:

Great Nature Trail

Experience Tasmania’s fascinating North-West, including Narawntapu National Park. There’s platypuses, penguins, seals, the cleanest air in the world (official!) and delightful scenery.Narawntapu National Park at SunsetNarawntapu National Park at Sunset

Cradle Country Touring Route

You’ll be on top of the world with the variety of this route. From the heights of Cradle Mountain to the lush pastures of the lowlands. Lovely towns such as Sheffield and Latrobe offer all the services as well as a gateway to enjoying unique wildlife, including the platypus.

West Coast Wilderness Way

Dramatic landscapes and fast changing weather adds some excitement to this route. You can enjoy the West Coast Wilderness Railway to Strahan and see temperate rainforest on your way to discover the convict past of Macquarie Harbour with a tranquil cruise.

Rivers Run

Follow the majestic Derwent River from the city of Hobart, through the outlying to the pastures of New Norfolk. Mt Field National Park leads to the deepest lake in Australia, Lake St Clair. There is a huge diversity of natural wonders on this popular touring route.

Huon Trail

So close to Hobart but a million miles from care. The Huon Trail offers history and natural wonders galore. Discover the Tahune Forest Airwalk, the natural delights of Bruny Island and the dozens of coves and inlets in this beautiful area. There are Thermal Pools at Hastings Caves.

Convict Trail

The convict past contrasts with gorgeous scenery and wild windswept beaches in this inspiring journey.

Highlights include the Port Arthur Historic Site, the historic town of Richmond, the natural beauty of Eaglehawk Neck and the ever-changing sea views.

Heritage Highway

For those who love history in the form of architecture this route is a must. There are a large number of well preserved buildings in towns and as homesteads. The history is also detailed in numerous small towns and villages such as Oatlands,Bothwell, Evandale, Nile, Ross and Tunbridge.

Great Western Tiers Tourist Route

The grandeur of the Great Western Tiers is a must-see experience. There are more than 3000 lakes in the area and plenty of limestone caves to explore. The small towns and villages will delight those who want a break from the city life and remember a slower pace.

Tamar Valley Touring Route

Launceston is the gateway to this lovely region, with some of the most important architecture in the state. Highlights include the vineyards, Seahorse World, the parks and gardens and the scenery of the Tamar River, an unspoilt treasure.

North East Trail

For those who want to pamper themselves with things of beauty – beautiful scenery, the scents of a lavender farm, superb food and wine and a journey through a mix of old mining towns, ancient forest and ocean views. It’s something special!

East Coast Escape

They call it the Suncoast and this route will let you see why this area is world famous. See the Freycinet Peninsula, the Bay of Fires, the Bicheno blow hole, the pure beauty of Coles Bay and the history of Maria Island.

Port ArthurPort Arthur

Port Arthur

One of the highlights of our trip was visiting 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.

The Port Arthur Historic Site has over thirty buildings, ruins and restored period furnished homes set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds. The Port Arthur penal settlement began life as a small timber station in 1830. Originally designed as a replacement for the recently closed timber camp at Birches Bay, Port Arthur quickly grew in importance within the penal system of the colonies.

Things to do at Port Arthur

This was on the top of my list to do at Port Arthur. Start your visit to Port Arthur Historic Site with an Introductory Historical Walking Tour. Face to face with an expert guide - there's no better way to learn about the Site and its history. This guided tour is included in the Site Entry Pass.Tours leave from the Visitor Centre throughout the day.

Convict Water Supply Trail

Discover the wonders of Port Arthur's convict engineering works on this 600 walking trail that takes you beyond the manicured lawns and flower bordered paths and water wheels offer a glimpse of great dreams and greater disappointments.The trail also documents the growth of a free community amidst the ruins of the penal system, looks at the impacts on the land of 200 years of white occupation and the regenerative powers of Tasmania's endemic flora, and explores changing attitutdes to the Australian landscape.The Convict Water Supply Trail begins behind the Hospital and finishes at the Commandant's House.

These are just a couple of attractions that we saw and did while at Port Arthur you will find a lot more interesting things to suit every individual who visits..

Port Arthur is also famous for what happened on the morning of 26th April, 1996. A relative of mine was actually killed at Port Arthur on this day.

On the morning of Sunday 28 April 1996, a young Hobart man armed himself with three high-powered automatic firearms and a large quantity of ammunition, then drove to Port Arthur.Just north of the township he entered the home of a local couple he knew. Inside,
he shot and killed them both. He drove to the Historic Site and ate a meal on the deck of the Broad Arrow Café. He re-entered the café, which was crowded with lunchtime customers, took a rifle from his bag and began shooting. In the first 90 seconds, 20 people
died and 12 were injured.

The man then moved into the adjacent carpark, where he shot and killed four more people and wounded a number of others.

After shooting indiscriminately at people in the grounds of the Historic Site, he got into his car and drove up the former main entrance road to the original toll booth. In this area, seven more people were killed in two separate incidents, during which he stole a victim's car and abandoned his own.

The man then drove north. Outside the General Store he killed one person and took another hostage. He drove back to the house where the first killings had taken place, firing random shots at vehicles along the route and injuring a number of people.

At the house, the man set fire to the stolen car, then took his hostage inside. Through the afternoon and night, shots were fired at police officers on the scene. At some point during this time, the gunman killed the hostage. In the morning, he set fire to the house and was captured by police as he fled from the burning building.

After initially pleading "Not Guilty" to all 72 charges, some days later the man changed his plea to "Guilty" to all charges. He was therefore sentenced to life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole on all 72 charges, including 35 charges of murder.This was one of the reason why I wanted to visit Port Arthur, to see where my sister was killed by this person who really was not human. It was hard but helped a lot to visit and put a closure to a lot of questions we had been asking.

Tasmania is also home of the Beaconsfiled Mine Rescue that happened on Anzac Day this year. Two miners, Todd Russell and Brant Webb Where rescued alive after being buried in the mine for almost two weeks.

Accommodation In Tasmania

There are a lot of different accommodations in Tasmania both budget and costly depending on your needs. Here are some accommodation sites by towns:

http://www.tasmaniavisitorsguide.com.au/accomm.htm

We stayed at the Oldwoolstore Apartments on our last visit. Mainly as they are self contained. So we could eat in if we wanted to, cook our own meals when we wanted. They are not to costly and are really family friendly which is a plus.