Tasmania was ‘founded,’ in the European sense of the word, 350 years ago by the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. Ever since, the inhabitants of Tassie be it English settlers and outcasts, Aboriginals or a slew of wild and interesting creatures have spent their lives exploring, charting, and generally trying to tame the island. But taming an island filled with hundreds of miles of steep dolerite cliffs, cool-drenched rain forest, and glacial valleys proved to be as difficult as hand feeding a Tasmanian devil.
Luckily for travelers worldwide, they failed to tame the entire island, leaving an unrivaled outpost of wilderness and adventure. Yet travel agents know that Tasmania has more to offer than simply whitewater rafting and extraordinary hiking trails. The mountainous landscape and unbridled forests create a land so beautiful and air so pure, it rejuvenates your soul like no other destination in the world.
Hobart’s heritage, culture, and vibrant scenery blend best along with its 19th-century waterfront warehouses, which once bustled with whalers but now houses trendy boutiques, outdoor cafes, and art studios. Each Saturday, the Salamanca Market takes over this area, where you can buy every souvenir you promised friends back home, including hand-knit wool sweaters, huon pine carvings, and intriguing fashions.
The Tasman Peninsula to experience Port Arthur, one of the most visited and haunting locations in all of Australia. Port Arthur is the site of a sandstone prison on the shore of a beautiful bay, where nearly 12,500 convicts were shipped from 1830-1877. Guided tours, both in the safe light of day and the lurking darkness of night, take you inside the ruins of the isolation cells, the flogging yards, and the asylum, where the details of convict life echo like rusted ankle chains.
About Wineglass Bay
Some visitors are surprised to discover that there are no roads leading to Wineglass Bay. Access is granted only to those who can handle the vigorous, three-hour hike up and over the Hazards, which makes the beach a blissfully deserted getaway for those who successfully navigate the trail. While some may find this trek inconvenient, Aussies simply find it a delightful little hike. Regardless of how you view the journey, the unsurpassed beauty of the Bay is well worth any blisters you get en route.
The same can be said for all of Tasmania. The island itself, along with many of the attractions within, is not the easiest to get to. But once you arrive, once you behold the awe-inspiring beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness, then it immediately becomes worth it. Whether you cross the Overland Track to Cradle Mountain, a spectacular peek inside a World Heritage site; tour the lush Tamar Valley, the country’s premier wine-growing region; or take a ferry to Flinders Island, where cozy cabins dot the dramatic remains of the land-bridge that once connected Tasmania to the mainland, it’s worth it.