This might be a bit too cheesy, but we’re going to say it anyway: This small-ish, heart-shaped island in the Southern Hemisphere has stolen our hearts. There’s so much to love.
Sure, Tasmania may have started with the sinister-sounding name Van Diemen’s Land. And yes, it was founded as an inescapable penal colony for the most hardened criminals in Britain.
But now, Tasmania is an epic playground for anyone who loves outdoor adventures. There are soft sand beaches for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and lazing around in the sun — perhaps at the poetically-named Bay of Fires or Wineglass Bay. The island’s network of rivers means lots (and lots) of waterfalls, along with kayaking and rafting. Foodies can enjoy a leisurely drive along the Tamar Valley Wine Route dotted with inviting wineries and an exciting food scene.
But if (when!) we visit Tasmania, it will be for the animals. It’s home to ridiculously cute animals like wombats, wallabies, and, yes, the Tasmanian Devil. If we’re being honest, these adorable creatures might also kill you — or at least cause grave bodily harm. But truly: Cuddling up to a furry, tank-like wombat or seeing a Tasmanian Devil IRL might be worth it.
In this episode, we briefly dip into Tasmania’s dark history, learn about a truly unusual museum, talk about the Roaring Forties, and mourn the loss of the Tasmanian Tiger. Then we recommend five great books that took us there on the page, including true accounts of a rip-roaring sea adventure and the search for the lost Thylacine, a murder mystery set on the craggy coast, a family story set in a lonely lighthouse, and a coming-of-age novel that’s also a magical realism road trip. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of Ken Cheung/Unsplash.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.