Question:

What can I see in Tasmania?

History

Ancient Aboriginal handprints stencilled on the rocks of a cave, colonial convicts' chisel marks in the stones of a cottage wall - Tasmanians treasure their heritage and wherever you go you'll find evidence of times past but not forgotten.

Walk along a beach and come upon a midden of shells left by Aborigines thousands of years ago....Get the full Chronological history of Tasmania: Tasmania's Chronological History

Fairy penguins

Fairy penguins
Also called the little penguin, adults grow to about 40cm. They are black with grey markings and silver bellies. They are wonderful swimmers and live in burrows near the shore - they come and go when it is dark. They live and breed at various places on the coast and on King Island, Flinders Island and Bruny Island.

Tasmanian devils

Tasmanian devils
This nocturnal mammal was named for the demonic sound that it makes at night, especially when it is feeding or fighting, but it is really quite shy. It resembles a small, squat dog and has black fur with white on its neck, shoulders and rump. Devils live throughout Tasmania in forests and farmlands, sleeping during the day in logs, caves or burrows and coming out at night. They occasionally hunt for young or wounded animals but usually eat carrion, fur and all, and so help to clean up the countryside of dead animals and rubbish. These hard-working animals have exceptionally strong jaws - nine times as strong as dogs' - and can crunch through bones with ease. A devil can eat almost 40% of its own weight in 30 minutes. The devil is a protected animal.

Truganini

Truganini (1803-76)

Truganini was born into an Aboriginal band on Bruny Island. Her mother and, later, her husband were murdered by white men and her sisters were abducted by sealers. She accompanied George Augustus Robinson on his mission to conciliate and protect Aborigines, acting as interpreter and peacemaker. When the Flinders Island settlement was founded she lived there and later accompanied Robinson to Port Phillip in Victoria. Later still she returned to Tasmania and was moved with other Aborigines to Oyster Cove. When it seemed that all the other full-blood Aborigines had died she went to live in Hobart with a Mrs Dandridge. When she died her skeleton was placed in the Hobart Museum. In 1976 her bones were cremated and her ashes were scattered on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

Ben Lomond National Park

Ben Lomond National Park: situated 60km south-east of Launceston, an easy one hour drive along the picturesque North Esk River Valley. The park lies more than 1 300 metres above sea level on a large plateau above Tasmania's northern midlands, and is the country's major ski field offering excellent downhill and cross country skiing in the winter. Spectacular wildflowers and wildlife may be seen on the many beautiful alpine walks.

Mount Roland

Inland, Mount Roland overlooks fertile pastures around Sheffield, the 'town of murals' where local artists have painted stories of the Kentish district on the old buildings. The road winds towards Cradle Mountain and the Wilderness World Heritage Area. Whether you're here for one day or for an expedition along the Overland Track you'll see a wonderland of mountains, streams, forests, wildflowers and wildlife.

W. C. Piguenit

W. C. Piguenit (1836-1914)
Piguenit was born in Hobart Town and eventually became a noted painter of Tasmanian landscapes. In 1867 he published six lithographic views as plates in 'The Salmon Ponds and Vicinity, New Norfolk'. Then, after visiting the south-west highlands of Tasmania, he became interested in painting. In 1871 he travelled overland with James Reid Scott from Hobart to Port Davey, painting many pictures along the way. He later resigned from his job to devote his life to painting. He travelled widely, in Tasmania, England and Europe, painting all the time. In 1887 the Tasmanian Government bought six of his paintings of the Tasmanian western highlands and presented them to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Piguenit was a founding member of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales and held various offices until the society granted membership to impressionist painters such as Tom Roberts. Piguenit resigned from the society in protest.

Art and Craft

Tasmanian Arts and Crafts: Tasmania is blessed with a talented community of artists and craftspeople, who find inspiration in the island's sea-washed light and wild landscapes, and who cherish Tasmania's superb raw materials - rare and beautiful specialty timbers, fine fibres and delicate ceramic glazes. Stroll down Salamanca Place in Hobart, through Launceston or along the streets of Richmond, Evandale, Hamilton, Stanley or Strahan to find quality art and craft on display. Or call in to the roadside studios of potters, wood carvers, glassmakers, painters and sculptors - often you can meet the artists themselves and see them at work.

Convict transportation

The British system of convict transportation sent sailing ships crowded with settlers, soldiers and convicts to this unknown land. The settlers struggled to live off the land, the military ruled the tiny settlements, convicts in chains laboured in quarries and shipyards. Many settlers and convicts - printers, artists, stonemasons, architects, carpenters, clerks, medical assistants - contributed their skills to the community. They built cottages and courthouses, bridges and roads, which you'll see in the cities, towns and villages. They left a heritage of books, pictures, historic documents, carvings that tell us so much about the eventful birth of a new society.

Devonport

From the busy city of Devonport, home of the Bass Strait passenger and vehicle ship 'Spirit of Tasmania', to the rugged country towards Cradle Mountain and World Heritage Area wilderness, this is a region of interest and variety .

Tasmania's Heritage journey

Travel in time through Tasmania's rich colonial past, following highways and country roads that once echoed to the clop of hooves and the rattle of carriage wheels....Read On: Tasmania's Heritage journey

John Glover

John Glover (1767-1849)
Glover was one of Australia's earliest renowned landscape painters. He was born in England and exhibited his work in London before leaving in 1830 for Hobart Town. His first Tasmanian paintings, which portrayed the distinctive Tasmanian bush in accurate detail, were exhibited in London in 1832 and attracted much attention. What made him unique among Australian landscape painters at the time, who painted from their imaginations, was that he painted from direct experience of the bush. His pictures were perhaps the first to portray the eucalypt in its bushland setting as a national symbol. In his old age his sight deteriorated; few of his works are dated later than 1840. When he died he was buried in the grounds of the Nonconformist Chapel that he had renovated at Deddington, about 30km (19 miles) south-east of Launceston. The chapel still exists.

Midlands

Midlands
Today's 'Heritage Highway' follows the route pioneered in 1807. Stay in a charming colonial cottage. Enjoy a meal at a country pub. Relax on a sunny riverbank by a 19th century bridge. Search for treasures in an antique shop. All along Tasmania's 'Heritage Highway' time moves slowly - and so should you.

Orange bellied parrot

orange bellied parrot
This is one of the rarest birds on earth and is endangered. About 50 breeding pairs are thought to exist. In spring they migrate from South Australia and Victoria to breed in Tasmania. They are about 20cm long, have bright green backs and yellow fronts with a bright orange patch in the middle. They eat seeds and nest in hollows in eucalypt trees - couples mate for life. They can be identified by their distinctive zit-zit-zit call. In autumn the parents with their young migrate back across Bass Strait to Victoria and South Australia.

Mathinna

Mathinna
Mathinna was a child in the Flinders Island Aboriginal community when Sir John Franklin became governor in 1837. His wife, Lady Jane Franklin, became fond of Mathinna, decided to bring her up as a daughter and took her to their home in Hobart. When the Franklins returned to England, however, Lady Franklin's motherly inclinations evaporated and Mathinna was taken to the Hobart Orphan School where she was extremely unhappy. She later moved to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart, to even more unhappiness. She was found drowned in a creek and was believed to have fallen in when drunk.

Matthew Brady

Matthew Brady (1799-1826)
Brady was born in Ireland and transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1820 for forgery. During his first four years he received 350 lashes for trying to escape and other crimes. He was sent to the infamous Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast but in 1824 escaped to Hobart by boat. He formed a gang of bushrangers who lived in the wild by stealing farm stock, robbing travellers and other criminal activities but whose code of behaviour forbade molesting women or injuring the helpless. In 1824 the gang occupied the town of Sorell, east of Hobart, for a whole night, locking soldiers and the local police in the town gaol. Brady was arrested in 1826 and charged with stealing, arson and murder. The gang's ethics stood him in good stead - the public petitioned for clemency, testified to his gentle treatment of women and brought presents to him in gaol. He was hanged in May 1826 and was reported to have died 'in the manner of an educated gentleman'.

Launceston

Launceston is a city of contrasts The scenic Cataract Gorge Reserve, with its tree rhododendrons and peacocks, fern glades and spacious lawns, where you can try rock-climbing, hang-gliding or whitewater rafting. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and Macquarie House, house the work of today's artists and craftspeople. Fine food is served in the city's bistros and restaurants - enhanced with a fine Tamar Valley wine or James Boag beer.

Mutton birds

mutton birds
These birds get their name from their flavour. Their Aboriginal name is 'yolla' and their other common name is the short-tailed shearwater. They grow to about 40cm long, with wingspans of about 90cm. They are dark brown with pale underwings, shiny bills and short tails. They live and breed in burrows in the ground, to which they return year after year after an amazing migration through southern Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the west coast of America.

Whales

Whales
Whales are mammals that live in the ocean. Southern right, blue and humpback whales are most often seen off Tasmania's east coast in June, when they are on their way from Antarctica to warm tropical waters, and between September and December, when they are returning to Antarctica. During the 19th century whales were hunted for meat, oil and cartilage, but they are now protected.

Seals

Seals
Tasmania has several species of seal, which breed on rocky islands and reefs around the island, especially on the north coast. They eat cuttlefish, squid, octopus and fish. During the 19th century sealing was a busy industry, for meat, oil and skins - seals are now protected.

Tasmania/Antarctica Link

The Tasmania - Antarctica Link
About 50 million years ago Australia and Antarctica were joined together and formed part of the supercontinent called Gondwana. At the time Antarctica was not glaciated and the continent was fully vegetated. As Australia moved north from Antarctica, separating at about 7cm per year, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current evolved and Antarctica became glaciated - resulting in the extinction of plants and animals. Only mosses, lichens, liverworts, and some small invertebrates remained....Read On: The Tasmania - Antarctica Link

Antarctic/Southern Ocean Experience

History books suggest Tasmania's Antarctic experience began with the arrival of Captain James Cook at Bruny Island in 1773, however the first real human contact with Antarctica came from the exploits of the sealer Captain John Briscoe. Briscoe arrived in Hobart on 10 May 1831 on the Brig Tula after travelling in Antarctic waters and naming the area east of Mawson Station, Enderby Land. Since that time most of the explorers of the heroic age including, Dumont d'Urville, Scott, Borchgrevink, Amunsden and Mawson have used Hobart as a base for their quests.........Read on: Tasmanian FAQ's

Olegas Truchanas

Olegas Truchanas (1923-1972)

Truchanas was one of the first Europeans to realise the value of the primal beauty of Tasmania's south-west wilderness. He was born in Lithuania and fought in the Lithuanian Resistance Movement. In 1945, after Lithuania was handed over to the USSR, he fled to Munich. He enrolled at university to study law but was sent with other students to a camp for displaced people. He migrated to Tasmania in 1948. Under an Australian law of that time he had to work for two years in industry or public works. He worked at the Electrolytic Zinc Company at Risdon, Hobart, pushing old trucks loaded with metal along worn and rusty rails. He relieved this drudgery by photographing the Tasmanian wilderness, first in monochrome and later in colour. In 1958 Truchanas sailed in a kayak into Strahan, at the top of the vast Macquarie Harbour on the west coast. When he appeared from the southern end of the harbour the people were stunned - they knew that the only road in the area came into Strahan, and that he had not left from there. He had kayaked down the Serpentine and Gordon Rivers, a feat never before accomplished in the years of European settlement. He had no paddle, but had rigged a foot-controlled groundsheet as a sail so that he could read as he sailed along. Truchanas had negotiated the narrow gorges, rapids, rocks and whirlpools of the Gordon River, reputed to carry more water than any other river in Australia. Truchanas devoted his life to exploring and photographing the wilderness, bringing it to the notice of thousands of people who might otherwise not have been aware of its beauty. During the bushfires of 1967 he lost his house and many of his photographs. He drowned in 1972, trapped in a kayak on the Gordon River.

Haughton Forrest

Haughton Forrest (1826-1925)
A painter best known for his fine Tasmanian landscapes. He migrated to Tasmania with his family in 1876, was granted 100 acres (40 hectares) of land in the north-east of the island and was appointed superintendent of police at Sorell in 1877. He became associated with John Watt Beattie, who photographed the wilderness areas of Tasmania in which Forrest painted. Forrest's work was frequently exhibited during his lifetime, both in Australia and abroad, and his pictures can be seen in larger art galleries.

Possums

Possums
Tasmania has several species of possum, which are marsupials - mammals with pouches. Depending on the species their thick fur varies from gold to black. Their tail is usually bushy and as long as the body, which varies from nine to 40cm long. They are nocturnal, sleeping during the day in trees, between rocks or in house roofs. They eat food such as fruit, vegetables, leaves and insects.

Forty-spotted pardalotes

Forty-spotted pardalotes
This is one of the smallest and rarest birds in Australia, and is classified as endangered. It is pale green, with yellow around the eyes and on the rump. Its wings are black with white spots, from which the bird gets its name. They are found only in eastern Tasmania - on Flinders Island, Maria Island and Bruny Island and near Tinderbox, Lime Bay and Conningham in the Huon Valley. They are most likely to be seen in the foliage of the white gum, a eucalypt tree in which the pardalotes eat insects and a sugary secretion from the tree

Flora

Widely varying rainfall and altitudes in Tasmania have resulted in a wide variation of vegetations, categorised as: montane, rainforest, wet sclerophyll, widespread, riverbanks and wet places, dry sclerophyll and coastal heath. More than 2,000 species of native flowering plants grow in Tasmania, and more than 200 of them have not been recorded anywhere else on earth.
Read all about the flora of Tasmania:
Tasmanian Flora

Tamar Valley

The quiet Tamar is a haven for waterbirds. Walk through Notley Gorge's dense fern glades and rainforest to crashing waterfalls. Further north at Low Head, fairy penguins return each evening to their burrows in the coastal scrub. Offshore, at Tenth Island, Australian fur seals bask on the rocks. Australia's oldest pilot station still guides ships into the river at Low Head, and the historic buildings of Beaconsfield recall the early gold rushes. Discover the boutique wineries, taste their pinots, chardonnays and rieslings, and reflect on the bounty of nature and the skill of the winemakers.

King Island

King Island: It's an island of empty beaches, clean air, offshore reefs, rocky coasts and shipwrecks - when the 'Cataraqui' grounded here in 1845 it was Australia's worst maritime disaster. This was before Wickham lighthouse, the tallest in the southern hemisphere, was built to guide travellers into Bass Strait. Beef and dairy cattle, Kelp are the major industries. Wallabies and peacocks are common on the island, Shearwater rookeries pepper coastal hillsides, albatrosses and sea eagles at Reid Rocks, a short boat trip away, Australian fur seals breed.

About Tasmania

Shops in main centres are generally open from 9 am to 5 or 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. Convenience stores are open for longer hours, 7 days a week. ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are widely available. Most banks are open 9.30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. Petrol is available 24 hours in major centres. Petrol prices vary between $0.95 and $1.20 per litre. Speed limits are 60 km/h in built up areas with a maximum of 100 km/hr outside cities and towns, unless otherwise indicated. Speed cameras and random breath testing units operate throughout Tasmania. Seat belts must be worn in motor vehicles - motorcyclists and bicyclists must wear helmets. Contact police, fire and ambulance by dialling 000. The Australian GST (goods & services tax) of 10% applies to most purchases. Tasmania operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time. For daylight saving, clocks are advanced one hour between October and March. Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts (50 hertz)

West Coast

West Coast Tasmania: Follow the dark Gordon River into the rainforest. Taste a west-coast crayfish or Macquarie Harbour salmon, fresh from the sea. Cross the waters of Macquarie Harbour to Sarah Island. Feel the cold stones dressed by convicts. In the jaunty old streets of Zeehan you'll feel the west coast's rich mining heritage - deep below nearby Rosebery the drilling goes on. In Tullah the work is over and fishers and boaters enjoy the scenic hydro-storage lakes. In Waratah pioneers once mined a mountain of tin - now they bottle pure west-coast rainwater.

Convicts transportation

Convict transportation was the system by which governments of some countries in Europe got rid of unwanted convicts. They shipped them overseas to colonies - lands overseas that countries such as Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal had long been exploring and taking as their own. By the late 1700s British colonies included New South Wales in Australia and this is where Britain sent its convicts......Read On: Tasmanian Convict transportation

Snakes

Snakes
There are three species of snake in Tasmania - the tiger snake, the copperhead and the white-lipped whip snake. They are most likely to be seen in February and March (the mating season) and although they are venomous they will not bite unless they are provoked or frightened.

Weather

Tasmania's climate: Autumn is calm, sunny and cool. Deciduous trees add a blaze of colour to the landscape – farms, vineyards and orchards are busy with the harvest. Winter is brisk and bracing – snow dusts the high peaks and the air is crisp and clear. It's the season to enjoy a crackling log fire.Spring is cool, fresh and green – daffodils and apple blossom brighten the countryside
For up to date weather reports go to: Tasmanian and Antarctic Weather and Warnings

National Trust

The National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) was formed in 1961 identifying, registering and caring for buildings that preserve our history and exemplify architecture that's unusual, interesting and beautiful. Buy a Tasmanian Heritage: visit all of these historic properties during a three month period for $25.00 for adults. The Trust also co-ordinates the annual Tasmanian Heritage Festival, held over the month of April, and includes a number of festivals, events, tours, walks, exhibitions and activities around the State. For further information please e-mail: nat_trust@vision.net.au.

Neil Davis

Neil Davis (1934-85)
Davis was a photojournalist. He was born in Nala, east of Oatlands in the Tasmanian midlands. From 1964 to 1975 he covered the Vietnam War - one of his most illustrious achievements was to film North Vietnamese tanks crashing through the walls of the presidential palace in Saigon. In 1975 he joined the American NBC and continued his work in south-east Asia, becoming the most respected war photojournalist of his time. In September 1985, while filming an attempted military coup in Bangkok, Thailand, he and William Latch (USA) were shot. Davis continued filming until he lost consciousness - he and Latch both died.

Galleries/Museums

Once a far-flung colonial outpost, Tasmania is rich in history and cultural diversity. You can sense it in the 10,000 year old stone carvings at Tiagarra, Devonport; view it on the outdoor walls of Sheffield's murals; touch it in a Huon Valley wood turner's studio; hear it in Australia's largest collection of steam-driven relics at Pearn's Steam World, Westbury and experience every aspect of our culture and heritage in the fine exhibitions at Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum or the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.

Peter Dombrovskis

Peter Dombrovskis (1945-96)
For 25 years Dombrovskis specialised in photographing the Tasmanian wilderness. He was born in Germany of Latvian parents and came to Tasmania in 1950 as a refugee. Most of his photographs were published as collections in books, sometimes with accompanying essays. He also produced hundreds of calendars and greetings cards. His work shows the beauty and uniqueness of the Tasmanian wilderness. In 1983, during the campaign to prevent the damming of the Gordon River, he and Bob Brown published 'Wild Rivers'. He died while taking photographs near Mount Hayes in the western Arthur Range.

Echidnas

Echidnas
The echidna is a monotreme - a mammal that lays eggs. It has a long snout, dark brown fur and its back is covered in strong spines. The males have a venomous spur on their hind legs. They live throughout drier areas of Tasmania and eat ants, termites and other small invertebrates. Travellers often see them near the side of the road.

Maritime museums

Maritime museums tell the story of the founding of modern Tasmania, the coasts are rocky - on stormy nights before lighthouses were built many a sailing ship came to grief on treacherous uncharted rocks. Present day divers, especially around King Island and Flinders Island, find hulls, cargo and fittings lying sadly on the seabed. But there is a happy heritage of the sailing ships. The international Tall Ships Race has now visited Tasmania twice. The fleet of more than 80 barques, clippers, brigantines and many more classes docks in Hobart at the end of January for a few days, their masts and colours transforming the waterfront. The ships leave to continue the race with a spectacular Parade of Sail down the River Derwent.

North East

North East Tasmania: Nature paints with a bright brush in Tasmania's north-east. Red soil nourishes acres of vegetables. In summer, poppy fields colour the landscape, and rows of lavender glow purple. In old tin-mining towns, slopes of grey gravel nudge dark forest, where springtime growth sprouts red on myrtles and eucalypts. Beaches glitter on the coast, pink and grey rocks, splashed with orange lichen, soar straight out of the water. Tended farmlands give way to natural habitats, waterfalls roar in rainforest and sunshine pours onto beaches, mountains rise to craggy summits and dairy pastures roll away to the distance.

Wombats

Wombats
Wombats are marsupial mammals - they have a pouch in which to carry their newborn young. They have a rather square, stocky shape and their tiny tail is hidden in their dark brown fur. Wombats live throughout Tasmania, eat grass, shoots and roots and live in labyrinthine burrows. Their presence is often spotted in the form of distinctive square droppings. They have a cartilage plate in their rump that that they use in times of danger to block the entrance to their burrow. The plate is strong enough to crush an interfering hand. In spite of their unstreamlined appearance, wombats can run at up to 40km an hour.

Mount William National Park

Tasmania, Mount William National Park: serves as a refuge for the Forester kangaroo, the only large kangaroo left in Tasmania. The main road through the park, called Forester Kangaroo Drive, was specially built for viewing animals. A total area of 13 812ha includes beaches, heathland and dry scleropyll forests. There is an abundance of wildlife and a number of plant communities found nowhere else in Australia.

Errol Flynn

Errol Flynn (1909-59)
Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was born in Hobart, the son of a professor of biology. As a young man he spent some years in New Guinea as an island trader, patrol officer and tobacco planter. In 1936 he signed a contract with Warner Brothers in Hollywood and embarked on a film career and notorious personal life - marriages, divorces and scandals conducted in a blaze of publicity. Among his best films were 'Captain Blood', 'Robin Hood' and 'Elizabeth and Essex'. He was an accomplished writer, publishing two autobiographies, 'Beam Ends' and 'My Wicked, Wicked Ways'. He died in Vancouver of a heart attack.

Huon, Channel, Bruny

Huon, Channel, Bruny
In the waterways and wilderness of the Huon Valley and D'Entrecasteaux Channel south of Hobart there's art and heritage; apple blossom and vineyards; farmers, foresters and fishers. The town of Huonville bustles on the willow-clad banks of the Huon River, which flows quietly past Franklin, where boat-builders learn traditional skills with timber. Further south the towns of Geeveston, Southport and Dover shelter in their bays, and dolomite caves guard their secrets at Hastings and Lune River. The road ends at the tiny settlement of Cockle Creek.

Joseph Lyons

Joseph Lyons (1879-1939)

Joseph Lyons was born in a tiny cottage in the village of Stanley on the north coast of Tasmania. In 1909 he was elected Labor member for the state seat of Wilmot and became premier of Tasmania in 1916. In 1929, after two terms in office, he switched to federal politics. In 1932, as leader of the new United Australia Party, he became prime minister of Australia. He was a devout Catholic, a pacifist and was against conscription. While prime minister he cracked down on communism, introduced harsh censorship laws, retained firm imperial ties and placed little importance on social welfare.

Robert Knopwood

Robert Knopwood (1763-1838)
Knopwood was born in England where, as a young man, he squandered an inheritance in what would become a lifelong inability to manage his business affairs. At the age of 40 he was again short of cash; to make ends meet he became a naval chaplain. In that position he arrived in Hobart Town in 1804, acquired land grants, ran up huge liquor bills, entertained grandly and became known as the 'sporting parson of Van Diemen's Land'. He was an avid recorder of contemporary events, writing journals that later provided historians with invaluable information. However, by 1821 Governor Macquarie felt that Knopwood was doing more harm than good and retired him on a pension. He was pursued by people to whom he owed money and died in poverty. The Knopwood Pub in Salamanca Place, Hobart, is named after him.

Research and Education

Research and Education - A reason to visit Tasmania
Hobart's rich polar history and privileged position as a support base for Antarctic expeditions attracts a large number of research personnel involved with Antarctica and the Southern Ocean environment. As a result Hobart now contains one of the worlds most fertile and diverse cultures in Antarctic research and education......Read On: Research and Education - A reason to visit Tasmania

The Meander Valley

The Meander Valley is a creative valley - Deloraine is home to the southern hemisphere's largest working craft festival. Here, artists take inspiration from the environment, shaping metals and clay into beautiful jewellery and ceramics, capturing the light in oils and watercolours. In the historic towns of Westbury, Deloraine, and Latrobe, there are well-preserved reminders of earlier days. In the antique shops you can search Huon Pine or the shine of silver. Latrobe's Axeman's Hall of Fame commemorates the timber industry heritage, while on the land, farms harvest the bounty of rich soils. This is a land of milk and honey - and of sweet berries and fresh vegetables, grass-fed beef and superb farm cheeses.

Martin Cash

Martin Cash (1810-77)
Cash was born in Ireland. At the age of 17 he wounded a rival in a love affair, was convicted of attempted murder and transported to New South Wales for seven years. Good behaviour earned him his freedom; in 1837 he came to Van Diemen's Land with his de facto wife Bessie Clifford and settled in Campbell Town. Three years later he was convicted of larceny and sentenced to seven years in Richmond Gaol. He escaped and worked in the Huon district until he was recognised, arrested and sent to Port Arthur Prison. He escaped again, this time into the bush around New Norfolk (north-west of Hobart). He lived by bushranging (bushrangers lived in the bush and supported themselves by stealing and other crimes). In 1843 he killed a constable who was trying to arrest him and was sentenced to life imprisonment on Norfolk Island. Ten years later he was released, married a convict servant, was appointed caretaker of Government House gardens in Hobart and later bought an orchard at Glenorchy. In 1870 he published 'Martin Cash, the Bushranger of Van Diemen's Land' and became one of Australia's best known romantic robbers. He was buried at Cornelian Bay cemetery in Hobart.

Thylacine (tasmanian tigers)

Thylacine (tasmanian tigers)
The last thylacine died in captivity in 1936. Since then they have been classified as extinct but many people claim to have seen them in remote bush areas. Just in case any have survived they have been declared protected animals. The thylacine is a marsupial - a mammal that bears young that are very small and only partly formed. The young crawl through the mother's fur to her pouch, and live there until they have grown and developed limbs and can follow their mother. The thylacine is light brown with dark brown stripes across its back and is about as big as a medium-sized dog. During the late 1800s and early 1900s farmers and bounty hunters protected sheep by killing hundreds of thylacines. Nowadays this probably extinct animal is part of the logo of Tourism Tasmania and often appears in other government logos.

Port Arthur history

Convict chain gangs: In 1830 Port Arthur was a timber station, but hardly three years later, because it was hemmed in by the sea and access by land was solely through a tiny isthmus at Eaglehawk Nest, it became a prison settlement where the worst of the convicts were thrown, sentenced to work in chain gangs. Flogging became a way of life -- 100 lashes being the normal punishment for, for instance, attempts to escape the penal settlement. The prison closed in 1877, and in the next two decades the penitentiary and the church were gutted by fire.

Wallabies

Wallabies
The Bennetts, or red-necked, wallaby grows to about 80cm high. Its fur is brown with a reddish neck and shoulders. Their young, called joeys, stay in the pouch for about nine months. Wallabies live in scrubby areas and eucalypt forests and eat grass and other plants. They are inquisitive, and are notorious for raiding backpacks and picnic baskets.

Diving

Encounter another Tasmania – with clear waters and great visibility, this is temperate diving at its best. Experience the mystery of a wooden sea-skeleton – the waters of King and Flinders Island abound with shipwrecks. Dive through kelp beds, explore sea caves, ebb and flow with tangled underwater forests moving with the tides. Go with an expert – professional dive operators on King and Flinders Islands, the East Coast and Tasman Peninsula have all the gear, skills and local knowledge you need.

South East

South East Tasmania: Past and present mingle on the magnificent Tasman Peninsula, almost an island apart. When you turn right at the historic town of Sorell, you're heading south for scenery, wildlife, heritage and adventure. You may see a majestic sea eagle soaring from the cliffs. Further south, Port Arthur has overlooked the dark waters of a quiet bay for more than 150 years. On your return journey, turn off through the magnificent forests of Wielangta, where rare parrots flash through the blue gums. Beyond the trees are the gentle landscapes of the east coast.

George Town

George Town Tasmania: Near the mouth of the River Tamar on the north coast. The town was established in 1804 and is well endowed with historic houses and other buildings. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside, white beaches, many vineyards. The historic Low Head Lighthouse and Pilot Station are nearby.

Gustav and Kate Weindorfer

Gustav Weindorfer (1874-1932) and Kate Weindorfer (1864-1916) Gustav Weindorfer was born in Austria and arrived in Australia in 1900. Kate Cowle was born in Tasmania's Fingal Valley, between the east coast and Ben Lomond. Kate and Gustav were keen bushwalkers and were also interested in botany, music and singing. They married in 1906 and worked on Kate's brother's farm at Kindred, about 21km (12 miles) south of Ulverstone until they could afford their own farm. In 1909 Gustav and a friend camped and walked in the area of Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain and were spellbound by the beauty of the terrain, the lakes and the vegetation. In January 1910 both the Weindorfers and some friends returned to Cradle Mountain to climb it. The Weindorfers fell in love with Cradle Mountain and began to lobby the government to improve road access and protect the area as a park. They built 'Waldheim' ('forest home') and opened it as a tourist resort in 1912. When Kate died Gustav lived on the mountain for another 16 years, becoming something of a legend. In 1922 the area from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair was proclaimed a scenic reserve. A replica of Waldheim chalet was built in 1976 using similar techniques and materials as the original.

North West

North West Tasmania: From Burnie the highway follows the coast westward, between Bass Strait and green, fertile farmland, massive bluffs - Table Cape, Rocky Cape and Circular Head. The sturdy stone cottages of Stanley, established around 1826, and the graceful facade of Highfield homestead, reflect the town's fishing and farming history. The highway passes through remote farmlands and forests towards Marrawah. The historic property of Woolnorth covers Tasmania's north-west tip, Cape Grim, where air from the Southern Ocean is tested as the world's cleanest.

Enid Lyons

Enid Lyons (1897-1981)
A teacher and politician, Enid Muriel Lyons (nee Burnell) was born at Duck River (now Smithton) in the far north-west of Tasmania. In 1915 she married future prime minister Joseph Lyons and bore 12 children. In 1943, four years after her husband's death, Enid Lyons contested the seat of Darwin (western Tasmania) and became the first woman member of the Federal House of Representatives. In 1949 she became vice-president of the Executive Council - the first woman appointed to Federal Cabinet. Illness forced her to retire in 1951, but she remained active, promoting family and women's issues and working as a newspaper columnist and a commissioner of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. She also published three books: 'So We Take Comfort', 'The Old Haggis' and 'Among the Carrion Crows'. Dame Enid died in 1981, remembered as 'a sort of matriarch among politicians'

Merle Oberon

Merle Oberon (1911-79)
The film actress Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson was born in St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania. When she was seven her family moved to India. Merle was educated in Bombay and Calcutta and did her first work in drama with the Calcutta Amateur Theatrical Society. At the age of 17 she went to England and worked for London Film Productions for five years. She starred as Anne Boleyn in 'The Private Lives of Henry VIII' and in many other films including 'A Song to Remember', 'Wuthering Heights', 'Love and Desire'. She also starred in the television series 'Assignment Foreign Legion'. She married four times. When she retired she moved to California.

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