Tasmania (population 500,000) 

Tasmania is a small island state south of Melbourne. From a tourist perspective the state is best known for its lush wet, cool temperate forests and the quiet old world charm of many of its towns that have retained their colonial buildings, some dating back to the early 1800's when Tasmania was a penal colony. 
Page Index
Lake Saint Claire and Cradle Mountain
The Southwest
The Nut
East Coast
Where to go next

Liffey Falls
Picture: Liffey Falls
In Hobart, the island's small capital city with a population of 130,000, the best preserved colonial buildings are on Macquarie and Davey Streets.  Just east of the city is the old Princes Wharf and preserved sandstone warehouses on Salamanca Place, now used as restaurants and art galeries and frequented by tourists.  The warehouses originally serviced the whaling industry. Hobart city centre is small and easy to walk around. On the outskirts of town, Mount Wellington provides views over Hobart.  View over Hobart City 
Picture: View over Hobart City
South-east of Hobart are the well visited and austere convict ruins at Port Arthur Convict Ruins, Port Arthur
Picture: Convict ruins, Port Arthur
Launceston (population 70,000) is the next biggest town and is on the Tamar River near thenorth coast and just two hours drive away from Hobart. The highlights in Launceston are the Cataract Gorge and the beautiful and histroric Penny Royal sandstone mill buidings. 

Accommodation in Launceston includes: 

Launceston Backpackers, 103 Canning St, Launceston, Tasmania. Phone 03 6334 2327. Fax 03 6394 7574. The hostel is set in a one hundred year old federation home that has been tastefully renovated. It has an information and tour office and is located in the centre of the town with everything the backpacker needs nearby. Dorms $15.50 per person,   twin 17.50 per person,  doubles 18.50 per person,  singles $35.00 in summer and  $22.00 in winter. 

Picture: Launceston shopping district
Devonport is a town on the north coast west of Launceston.  A ferry runs between Devonport and Melbourne. The ferry is operated by TT-Lines and leaves for Devonport from Station Pier in Port Melbourne. 

Alternative transport to Tasmania is by air from Melbourne Airport to either Hobart of Launceston on either Qantas http://www.qantas.com.au  or Ansett http://www.ansett.com.au 
Light planes also fly to Tasmania from Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport, including to Devonport and the Bass Strait islands of King Island and Flinders Island. 

Lake Saint Claire and Cradle Mountain National Park

The beautiful Lake Saint Claire and Cradle Mountain National Park are in central Tasmania south of Devonport. 

Lake Saint Claire
Picture: Lake Saint Claire
The Southwest

The southwest of Tasmania is rugged, wet, unihabited and inaccessable.  Massive hydro-electric dams have been built and the hydro-electric town of Strathgordon established west of Hobart. 

On the mid-west coast is the peaceful and beautiful fishing town of Strahan. From Strahan many visitors get a glimpse of the World Heriatge Listed forests of the wild southwest by taking a day cruise (around $50) up the Gordon or lower Franklin Rivers. 

The drive to Strahan from Hobert takes you along the Derwent River valley through the small historic towns of New Norfolk and Hamilton.  When approaching Strahan you will pass through the former copper and gold moning town of Queenstown. The desolate hills surrounding Queenstown are an example of the lasting devastation poor mining practices can cause. Most trees were cut down to fuel the mining smelters, the rest died from pollution from the smelters and the heavy rains in the region washed away the topsoil leaving eroded grey muddy hillsides. Revegetation is impossible. The grey heavily sedimented river through Queenstown is polluted with mercury. The contrast with the tranquility of the Gordon and Lower Franklin Rivers could not be more marked.

Zeehan on the other hand is an attrative historic mining town a little way north of Strahan.
The Nut

On the far northwest coast is The Nut at Stanley. Stanley is a small town and the massive rock headland known as The Nut dominates the town.  The Nut can be climbed and their is a chairlift. 

East Coast

The drive along Tasmania's east coast is scenic.  The main town in the area is the pretty fishing town of Bicheno

Wineglass Bay
Picture: Wineglass Bay, near Bicheno


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