TASMANIA: The Water Wonderland Down Under
Author: Jace Sinclair
Tasmania is an archipelago of 334 islands at the bottom-most part of Australia and North Antarctica. It is bounded by and covered in crystal clear water. It is wrapped in the world’s purest air.
If you love water, you will definitely love Tasmania!
High-pitched Beaches and Epic Coasts
The one thing you will notice about Tasmania’s beaches is their beauty. Picturesque white sand and bright blue crystal-clear water reach out to the horizon as far as the eye can see.
If you were to stand on the edge of Cape Grim and stare out into the Southern Ocean, take a deep breath and savor the air.
This wind carried from Chile skimming the Southern Ocean for thousands and thousands of kilometres by the infamous Roaring 40s is the cleanest air in the world. I bet you’re wishing now to take some air as a souvenir.
The area’s weather-beaten and secluded wilderness is home to some of the world’s most magnificent rivers, lakes, and waterfalls.
Let’s explore the rest of the island!
King Island is anchored in the middle of the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania’s North West coast. There is a rugged coastline with fresh seafood, famously good produce and cleanest air in the world. It’s accessible by air from Melbourne, Launceston, and Burnie–Wynyard.
It’s peaceful and placid in King Island, but there’s something interesting at every turn. There are lighthouse and offshore shipwrecks. The island’s great nature walks and unique wildlife is something you cannot miss. That includes the elusive platypus and rare orange-bellied parrots.
Surrounded by some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, King Island has two new golf courses. One in Ocean Dunes and the other in Cape Wickham. Both are ranked among the best in the world.
King Island is also famous for food exports with a range of products being sought by the world’s top chefs. Taste the juicy beef, rich gourmet cheese, and crayfish plucked from the Island’s clear waters. They are but three of the delicacies you can enjoy on your visit.
Uncover the island’s stories at the museum and Cultural Centre in the town of Currie.
This Cultural Centre has a truly amazing collection of arts and crafts. It also has workshops where you can either see works in progress, such as felting or paintings, etc. All works are for sale at reasonable prices. Or take a guided or DIY trail of the island’s produce, culture, history, flora, and fauna.
Catch dinner on a charter boat or pick up a picnic hamper for an alfresco feast, King Island-style. Food is king here. The island’s annual Long Table Festival puts the island’s fresh produce front and centre.
Accommodation includes everything from campsites to cute B&Bs and friendly hotels.
Flinders Island is located off mainland Tasmania’s North East Coast. It offers the ultimate escape with peaceful natural beauty and plenty of local attractions. Regular flights to Flinders Island leave from Launceston, Tasmania or Essendon, Victoria. The island is also accessible by ferry from Bridport in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria.
Flinders Island is an extraordinary place that offers a refreshing escape from the real world.
Beyond the green rolling hills of farmland, there’s also a world of natural wonders to explore. See the primaeval coastline and the rough pink and grey granite mountain ranges of the Strzelecki National Park. That’s not to mention plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
There’s plenty of good quality produce to enjoy with locally grown meats and freshly caught seafood. There are fresh fruits, vegetables, and wines. Plus you’ll see art and crafts made from locally-sourced materials.
Visitors to the island can camp in the wilderness. If you’re not into camping relax extravagantly at a seaside resort. You could also stay at a local farm or friendly B&B for a more homely feel.
Flinders is a bona fide treasure chest filled with exotic marine life. You’ll find everything from migratory seabirds, dolphins, seals, and gannets to shearwaters, abalone, and crayfish.
For the adventurous souls, there’s scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, and boat charters. Also, there is surfing and just about anything else you can do in, on or under the water.
Relax and unwind amid the tranquillity of one of Australia’s idyllic natural settings. It’s fanned by intoxicatingly fresh breezes, direct from the sparkling waters of Bass Strait.
Everywhere you look there are stunning views. From the sea boiling over the reefs to the scattering of islands in the tidal stream and the ancient peaks. Then there are the jaw-dropping sunrises that will stay imprinted in your mind for the rest of your life.
North West Tasmania
Go where the world’s still wild, in a region that’s home to spectacular scenery. There are unbelievable history, gourmet produce, and the world’s cleanest air.
Full of colour and flavour, Tasmania’s North West is the gateway to some of Tasmania’s most beautiful natural places. Exploring the North West, you’ll find classic coastal drives and food trails. Be sure to visit some of the stunning national parks and beautiful nature reserves.
It is a great place for touring and offers spectacular views at every turn. There is Mt Roland near Devonport, Table Cape near Wynyard and the famous Nut at Stanley. And some of Tasmania’s prettiest cities and towns sit right on the water’s edge. That’s on the scenic North West coast. Each city or town has their own unique attractions and relaxed seaside atmosphere.
Tasmania’s North West is also home to the Tarkine, one of the world’s last great wilderness experiences. It has Australia’s greatest expanse of cool temperate rainforest and the largest in the world.
There’s an ongoing tradition of agriculture here. It is evident in the rich red soils and patchwork fields found throughout the countryside. The ideal growing conditions have inspired growers and makers committed to producing the very best in fresh crisp vegetables. Also find dairy products, wines, whiskey and sweet treats for the hungry traveler. It is the ultimate corral to plate experience.
With great museums and noteworthy aboriginal heritage sites, they’re wealthy in stories too. While the region’s creative spirit is showcased in the many art galleries and public artworks. There are artisan shops and markets found along the North West coast.
Tasmania’s North West is also home to Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania’s most visited icons. It offers amazing nature experiences including forest adventures and great walks. Some are easy, some hard. You can also enjoy some of the best scenery in the world.
Whichever way you explore the region, there’s no shortage of great places to stay. There are also great places to eat and enjoy in Tasmania’s North West.
Tasmania’s West Coast
On Tasmania’s West Coast, you’ll find world famous wilderness rich in convict heritage, stunning national parks, and historic mining towns.
Gateway to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area, its rough mountains, ancient rainforests, and heath make Tasmania’s west one of Australia’s last true wilderness frontiers. Yet, despite its remoteness, it’s easy and safe to visit and travelers can still enjoy the best of Tasmania’s quality accommodation and fine dining.
The largest coastal town is Strahan, situated on Macquarie Harbour and close to Sarah Island – beaches, fantastic fishing, river cruises, waterfalls, forests, fresh seafood, fascinating history and entertaining theatre to boot: If you want it all, Strahan is the destination for you.
The inland population centres of Queenstown and the smaller towns of Zeehan, Tullah, and Rosebery are rich in mining history and are all within a short distance of magnificent lakes, rivers, rainforests, giant sand dunes, and historic sites.
LAUNCESTON AND NORTH
Tasmania’s north is a feast of historic streetscapes and heritage estates, rich farmland, premier cool-climate wines. There are fresh produce and a haven for designers and craft makers eager to talk about their work.
The largest city in the region and second largest in the state and the heart of Tasmania is Launceston. It is a vibrant hub for food and wine and culture. There’s also a touch of wilderness with Cataract Gorge just a few minutes’ walks from the city centre.
The city is located on the banks of the Tamar River and is the gateway to the Tamar Valley. That’s a region where English conservatism sits happily alongside the unconventional and offbeat.
Out of Launceston, the surrounding green fields and country lanes are lined with 150-year-old Trees. They are hawthorn, poplar, and elm trees. While in the rich farmland of the Tamar Valley you’ll find lavender plantations, vineyards, strawberry farms, and orchards.
This blissful setting will satisfy other interests too, from those of history enthusiasts to nature lovers.
The nearby town of Longford with its grand old-World Heritage listed estates of Woolmers and Brickendon. They offer visitors the chance to enjoy the architecture and community spirit of 19th-century English villages. They are made relevant for today. Many are now luxury retreats that offer a uniquely Tasmanian experience. They combine old world elegance with a relaxed, new world style.
And for those interested in wildlife, nearby Narawntapu National Park is a peaceful coastal refuge, with inlets, small islands, wetlands, sand dunes, lagoons and an amazing variety of plants and animals.
HOBART AND SOUTH
Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city, offers a blend of heritage and lifestyle with world-class activities and attractions nearby.
In Hobart, explore the converted colonial warehouses of Salamanca and on Saturdays, there’s Salamanca Market, Tasmania’s most visited attraction. Soak up the atmosphere in Salamanca Place, where Hobart’s historic, creative and cultural heartbeats.
From here it’s a short walk to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery or a short ferry ride takes you to Mona, one of the world’s largest private collections of art and antiquities.
South of Hobart are the crystal waters and splendid coastline of Bruny Island and the beauty of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. An alternative route passes through the Huon Valley alongside the calm Huon River and on to the rugged Hartz Mountains National Park.
To the east are the wineries of the Coal River Valley and further on is Tasman National Park, with its spectacular coastline and historic convict sites.
Heading west, the road follows the beautiful River Derwent through the Derwent Valley and on to the glory of Lake St Clair in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
And if you’re travelling north to Launceston, the Midland Highway, dubbed the Heritage Highway, offers many opportunities to learn of Tasmania’s heritage past, with homesteads and country cottages revealing the state’s early colonial history along the way.
The East Coast of Tasmania
Here you’ll discover the beaches of the beautiful Bay of Fires, one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions in the world, along with historic townships, fresh seafood and friendly locals – all on one of the best scenic coastal drives in the country.
Five national parks spread along the coast including the stunning Freycinet National Park with its pink granite mountains, white beaches, and crystal-clear sea.
The two largest towns on the East Coast are Bicheno and St Helens – both busy fishing ports, so expect some of the freshest seafood around. There’s also some of the best game fishing in Australia.
And for those interested in diving, there are sheer rock walls, deep fissures, caves, sponges and sea whips, not to mention world-famous kelp forests.
Inland from the coast you’ll find temperate rainforests, freshly grown produce and the rich heritage of the boom days of tin mining as well as fruits and berries from orchards and gardens and full-flavored beef and lamb raised on seaside pastures.
With this range of activities and adventures to choose from, it’s no wonder the East Coast attracts visitors from around the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Explore and be seduced by the beauty of Tasmania.