What do the British think of Tasmania?
Compared to the mainland it offersTasmania a completely different, independent picture for the visitor. The landscape is varied and reminiscent of the British Isles, Scotland or New Zealand. The sparsely populated island offers rugged mountains, cool temperate rainforests, picturesque lakes, rivers and waterfalls, breathtaking coastal scenarios and many unexplored regions. In contrast, although not predominantly, are green pastures, fragrant lavender fields and large orchards.
Flora and fauna have some surprises in store: the Tasmanian Devil is a black and very lively opossum that resembles a small dog. It is the only carnivorous marsupial in Australia. The Tasmanian tiger is considered to be extinct, but mysterious sightings are reported again and again. The pouch wolves are / were about the size of sheepdogs and had striped fur. Many waterfowl are native to the coasts of Tasmania. Huon trees (Huon Pines), which grow very slowly and are over a thousand years old, are unique. In the valleys of the southwest and northeast, California redwoods and swamp gums (species of eucalyptus) grow up to 95 m high.
"Tassie" is characterized by two centers:Hobart on the southeast coast andLaunceston to the northeast at the mouth of the Tamar River. Bigger cities are also still thereDevonport andBurnie on the north coast. Otherwise you will find scattered settlements and vast, unpopulated areas. Primeval landscapes such as the “South West National Park” have hardly ever been entered by humans and are protected as UNESCO World Heritage.
To the history of the state
Tasmania was still connected to the mainland around 13,000 years ago. Aboriginal people have lived here for 35,000 years. The rising water level made Tasmania an isolated island on which flora, fauna and indigenous people could develop according to completely independent standards. As a result, there are more endemic plants and animals on the island than anywhere else in Australia.
Tasmania was first sighted by Europeans in the 17th century: The Dutch Abel Janszon Tasman passed the island in 1642 on his voyage of discovery. He named the country Van Diemen Land in honor of the then governor of the Dutch East India Colony. The name was retained until 1803 and the island was practically untouched. Only James Cook (1777), William Bligh (1788) and the French Bruni D’Entrecasteaux (1792) and Nicholas Baudin (1802) set foot on the island before it was officially annexed by Great Britain.
To forestall the French in colonizing new lands, the British founded Hobart in 1803 and Launceston in 1824. Until 1853 the "Devil's Island of the South Seas" was a pure convict colony. The Aborigines living there had no chance: They were herded together and massacred in regular hunts until 1876, until the Tasmanian race was considered extinct. Tasmania was the last Australian state to which convicts were deported, it was not until 1877 that the Port Arthur convict colony was dissolved. In the meantime, free settlers had set about clearing the fertile land and taking it over for themselves - with success, as the yields from agriculture and forestry show.
“Four Seasons in one Day” - the Crowded House song fits perfectly to describe Tasmania's climate. The sea has a balancing effect on the temperatures - in summer it is rarely hot, just as winters rarely bring extreme cold. Tasmania is at the same latitude as Rome and Barcelona, but the comparison is lagging. The island's climate is more comparable to that of the French Atlantic coast. The westerly winds feared by seafarers, the “Roaring Forties” (thundering forties, named after the region's Breitengard), ensure that Tasmania has very clean air in addition to pure water.
The average temperature is 21ºC in summer (December to February) and 12ºC in winter (June to August). Annual rainfall varies from 5000mm on the west coast to 600mm in Hobart, just 120km to the east and the second driest Australian capital. Strahan has an average of 2500 mm, Heritage Landing on the Gordon River 3500 mm. This precipitation is a prerequisite for the extraordinary, temperate rainforest in the west with its many endemic plants.
GMT +10, Eastern Standard Time
Australian Summer: GMT +11, Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Arrival / transport
Hobart is only served directly from New Zealand internationally. Most of the domestic connections to the mainland exist to Melbourne.
There is a passenger and car ferry service to the mainland. Ferry terminal is Devonport. Note: A number of vehicle rental companies do not allow vehicles that have been rented on the mainland to be brought into Tasmania.
Many of the larger towns in the state also have an airport and are served - mostly via Adelaide - by the Australian airline Qantas. Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Tiger Airways also fly to individual destinations. The flight from Launceston to Melbourne takes around an hour and from Hobart half an hour longer.
The road network in Tasmania is well developed. The main routes are paved and very well developed. In the mountain regions there are also many gravel roads. Note that there is usually no insurance cover for two-wheel-drive rental cars on unpaved roads.
According to our research, there is no current road traffic report for the entire state of Tasmania (yet). The road operators - e.g. the councils - are responsible for information on road conditions. The Ministry of Transport reveals who is now operating which road.
A supraregional bus system exists, but with a partly low frequency.
Ferries operate to offshore islands such as Bruny Island - details in the descriptions of the places / regions.
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