Your complete guide to Tasmania

Are you thinking of visiting Tasmania? Do you have questions or need some answers? Then come and discover all you need to know right now!

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A cool weather rain forest stream in Tasmania
Tasmania is full of gorgeous hiking tracks,
scenery, cool weather rain forests, and more!

Tasmania (formally known as Van Diemen's Land), also known by the shortened version TAS or Tas (and is also sometimes referred as Tassie or the Apple Isle or Island), is the smallest state or territory in Australia, with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory. It is home to 512,000 people, known as Tasmanians, and its capital city is Hobart.

Tasmanians are also referred to as Taswegians or Apple Eaters (in reference to the fact the there are many apples grown on the island), and sometimes as a Two Headers (making fun of the fact that it is an isolated island and that everyone is related to everyone else as a result of inbreeding. Which is complete rubbish. I wouldn't recommend you go calling a Tasmanian a Two Header to their face, they will take great offence to it!)

Location

As you can see on the map above, it is an island state, and it is located south of mainland Australia. As such, it doesn't border with any other states, but the closest state to the north is Victoria. It is approximately 240 kms from coast to coast, depending on where you measure the distance to and from.

Population

By population, it is the second smallest populated state or territory, bigger than only the Northern Territory. However, if measured by people per km² it is third most populated, ranking behind Victoria and New South Wales (for the purpose of this I have excluded the Australian Capital Territory, which is similar to a city territory like the Vatican, thus having an exceptionally high people per km² ratio).

However, this does not mean that you should expect a mass of people, don't forget that this is Australia, and Tasmania still only has on average 7.48 people per km²! To put this into perspective, the United Kingdom has 256 per km², Germany has 229 per km², and France has 117 per km².

Ranking of the largest cities (by population): ¹
1. Hobart
(212,000)
2. Launceston(106,000)
3. Devonport(26,000)
4. Burnie(19,000)
5. Ulverstone(10,000)
6. New Norfolk(5,200)
7. Wynyard(4,800)
¹ Sourced from www.tasmaniatopten.com


About 41% of all Tasmanians live in Hobart, and you can see that the next biggest cities quickly get very small in population sizes. If you excluded all the people from the cities listed above, the average population density drops from 7.48 people per km² to a tiny 1.8 people per km².

National Parks

Tasmanians are very proud of the natural beauty of the state. This is evident by the fact that almost 37% of the state lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites, with a total of 19 National Parks and 53 Nature Reserves. And this doesn't include the many marine parks or marine reserves around the island.

Because of these parks and reserves, Tasmania has some of the cleanest air, waterways and marine/ocean areas anywhere in the world. Due to its isolation from mainland Australia it is home to many unique and wonderful plants and animals. It truly is a paradise of nature.

What else?

For a long time it has slipped under the radar of both Australian and international tourists. In recent years it has become a more popular tourist destination through word of mouth and advertising campaigns.

A waterfall in Tasmania
If you like nature, you
will love Tasmania!

The state is blessed with many natural wonders, two of the best known are Wineglass Bay and Cradle Mountain. It also has spectacular beaches, mountains (for hiking, camping, etc), beautiful rivers, caves, lakes, islands, thermal pools, and much more. During winter there is a ski season for snow enthusiasts.

Tasmania has a rich history. It was first colonised as a penal colony, used to house the worst of the convicts who came from England. There are the remains and ruins of numerous prisons across the island. The most famous, and one of the best preserved, is located at Port Arthur. Part of its history now includes the tragic massacre of 35 people in 1996 by a crazed lone gunman called Martin Bryant, which ultimately resulted in very strict gun ownership laws being passed across the country.

In January 2011 the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) was opened in Hobart to international acclaim. It has became the state's top tourism attraction, but there is still so much more to see and do on the Apple Isle!

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