If your only reference point for Tasmania is the Looney Tunes character, allow us to introduce you to the wonders of this heart-shaped island in the South Pacific.
Once infamous for its name — Van Dieman’s Land — and its inescapable prisons, it’s now a fun-filled destination for outdoor adventurers. If a good glass of wine and farm-to-table cuisine are your thing, Tasmania’s got you covered there, too.
Here are some Tasmania highlights to inspire your visit, including places to splash around, rest your head, explore history, and make friends with amazing animals.
1. Bruny Island is found just off the coast of Tasmania, near the capital of Hobart. Hop on a ferry, and boom! In about 20 minutes, you’ll be strolling on the beach, kayaking among majestic rock formations, and eating world-class cuisine.
2. It’s a hiker’s paradise with walks for all levels of hikers — in the rain forests, along hills overlooking the sea, or via the fabled South Coast Track.
3. Tasmania is often called the Apple Isle. Way back in 1788, William Bligh anchored in Bruny Bay and planted three apple seedlings, the first apple trees in Australia. Now, you can spend a leisurely day picking apples from trees in sunny orchards. (Or simply relax and enjoy a cider or apple pie; we won’t judge.)
4. Spend the night — and enjoy a glorious skies like this one — at Australia’s first storytelling hotel. The MACq01 Hotel celebrates the stories of the muwinina people who fished nearby, the early Europeans who settled Van Diemen’s Land, Tasmanian warriors, charming rogues, and more.
5. Wombats. That’s it. That’s the selling point.
6. There are 1617 beaches in Tasmania and its surrounding islands, so you’ll surely find the one that’s perfect for you. Maybe this one at Wineglass Bay?
7. Go whale watching in Great Oyster Bay along the Freycinet Peninsula to enjoy the majesty of Humpback and Southern right whales.
8. Speaking of oysters… Tasmania’s east coast is dotted with them. What’s better than briny goodness under sunny skies?
9. The coasts are pretty irresistible, but Tasmania’s rivers are another soothing way to enjoy the water. This is the Pieman River at the Corinna Wilderness Village.
10. Explore the darker side of history at the Port Arthur Historic Site. It’s now a beautiful, fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site.
12. Brave the elements on the rugged and breathtaking Maatsuyker Island — or at least follow along on the adventures of the current volunteer caretakers.
13. Marvel at the otherworldly beauty of The Bay of Fires.
14. Visit Devils@Cradle, a Tasmanian devil sanctuary, to get up close and personal with these angry cuties.
Top image courtesy of Manuel Meurisse/Unsplash.
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