On this small island you'll find cosy villages and riveting history, temperate weather - perfect for growing gourmet produce, dramatic coastlines and vast wilderness areas. Tasmania is the perfect escape from the mainland.
Self driveGetting around Tassie is easiest by car.
If this sounds implausible when you see some of the countryside, especially in the south-west, we're here to tell you otherwise. There are roads to places so remote they have to be experienced (with some degree of adventurous spirit) to be believed. Visit some of the states natural attractions on the Rivers Run or East Coast Escape.
Apple isle eatingTasmania isn't nicknamed the ‘Apple Isle' for nothing.
It's famous for produce, including fruit, wine, local beer, first class fishing and gourmet treats of all sorts. Devonport, located in the Mersey Forth Valley, is a lush area often described as Australia's market garden. It contributes more than 40% of Tasmania's vegies. King Island, north-west of the mainland, is famous for its premium produce. King Island Dairy is renowned for its luxurious handmade cheeses and dairy products. Specialties include double brie, cheddar and camembert and the impossibly rich King Island triple cream. Other island produce includes prime King Island beef and crayfish.
Au naturaleA network of 17 national parks covers most of the state, stretching from the mountains to the coast.
These showcase some of the planet's most spectacular scenery and offer an opportunity to enjoy plenty of outdoor experiences including bushwalking, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, fishing, cruising, camping, riding and rafting.
Visit Ben Lomond National Park for some great downhill skiing spots. With the second highest point in Tasmania, the park is one of the best skiing destinations in the state. Mole Creek Karst National Park contains the most visited cave system in Tasmania with over 300 known caves in the area. Marakoopa and King Solomons caves are both open to the public and contain underground streams and springs, as well as unique animals which have adapted to the lightless environment. In Marakoopa Cave you'll also be privy to the largest publicly accessible glowworm display in Australia.
One of the best spots to see Tasmanian wildlife is Narawntapu National Park. It hasn't been dubbed the ‘Serengeti of Tasmania' for nothing. During the evening, animals including Forester Kangaroos, Bennetts Wallabies, wombats and sometimes Tasmanian Devils graze on the grasslands, in clear view for the public.
Harbour city with heartWith a population the size of a big regional centre on the mainland, Hobart can't help but be friendly.
Tasmania's capital has the best of both worlds; cosmopolitan arts, culture, dining and entertainment of a city presented with the friendly vibe of a country town. There's so little traffic in the city at peak hour you can hear birds singing. Dine al fresco in Hobart and breathe fresh air at the same time. Adding to the atmosphere is a palpable sense of the past thanks to so many gorgeous heritage buildings along city streets.
Hobart © Tourism Australia
LauncestonLaunceston is kept on its toes by a perpetual rivalry with Hobart.
This is great news for visitors; it means this charming city plays right into your hands. As well as gracious colonial buildings and natural beauty there's heaps to do, like spending a day at Cataract Gorge Reserve.
Divine DevonportThe Devonport region has all the hallmarks of a great Tasmanian destination; fine dining, art and craft and historic attractions.
Trawl through craft shops, wander along the waterfront and check out the city's green spaces and heritage buildings.
Perilous Port ArthurThe Port Arthur Historic Site is the best known of Tasmania's penal settlements and the most significant of seven spots on the Tasman Peninsula Convict Trail.
Beyond history, the Tasman National Park, also in the Port Arthur region, is a beautiful repository of natural attractions. Particularly good as a bushwalking base, there are dozens of walks that can be taken through the park, ranging from easy strolls, to 5 day hikes. A local guide can help out with alternative activities involving sea kayaking, abseiling, fishing, diving, horse riding and seaplane flights.
Richmond once removedThis quiet, isolated village is special indeed, and seems hardly to have changed since being founded during the 19th century as a military post and convict station.
Picture cute cottage-lined streets shaded by the dappled light of established trees. The cause of this time warp was the Sorell Causeway, built in 1872, which bypassed the town.
Sheepish SorellDespite being right on the outskirts of Hobart, Sorell is all country.
Sheep, dairy and other farming are the raison d'être of this pleasant place which also serves as a gateway to some of the most beautiful areas of the state.
Editor's PickOverland Track – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Listed as a World Heritage Wilderness area, Cradle Mountain is the northern gateway to the Overland Track linking Cradle Valley to Lake St Clair. Regarded as Australia's most famous walk, The Overland Track runs for 73km!
Lake St Clair © Tourism Australia