Australia’s tourism routes were the first to close and the last to reopen during the dark times of 2020 and 2021. Now that travel is firmly back on the agenda, tourists are flocking to traditional Australian hotspots like Melbourne, Sydney, and the Gold Coast. Yet other parts of Australia tend to fly relatively below the radar.
The island of Tasmania is a case in point. There is something for everyone on its 26,000 square miles including every imaginable outdoor activity, stunning wildlife, a rich history, and entertaining nightlife.
The Australian love of outdoor activities counts double in Tasmania. Being an island, it will come as no surprise that watersports are at the top of the agenda. Kayaking, water skiing, canoeing, surfing, diving – if it happens on or near the water, it happens in Tasmania!
If you prefer dry land, don’t despair. Tasmania is larger than most people think – about the same size as Switzerland – so there is plenty to explore. Hiking, mountain biking or simply touring the National Parks by car or motorcycle are all popular activities.
Have some fun
After all that activity on land or water, you’ll want to let your hair down in the evening. Hobart has a fabulous selection of bars, pubs, and nightclubs. From traditional watering holes like Knopwoods Retreat to trendy new bars such as Jack Greene, there is something for all ages and tastes.
If you’d like to try your luck at another great Australian institution, Wrest Point at Sandy Bay is Australia’s oldest casino. There’s a massive choice of table games and hundreds of slots – or pokies as they are known locally. Ordinarily, Australian players would have to visit an Australian online casino to find such a wide range of real money casino games, so make the most of it and try out something new while you are there.
Tasmania is world famous for its unique flora and fauna. National Parks cover most of the island, so nature lovers have plenty of ground to cover. Of all the birds and beasts that live here, the Tasmanian Devil is, of course, the one that everybody wants to see.
You might just sight one on your hiking adventures, but if not, there are several animal parks and sanctuaries where you can meet “Tassies” at close quarters.
A rich history
Aboriginal people have lived on the island for 40,000 years, so there is far more to Tasmania’s history than the penal colonies for which it became famous after the first European settlers arrived in the early 1800s. Tasmania has a wealth of World Heritage Sites dotted across the island, from Hobart to Port Arthur.
Those interested in Tasmania’s more recent history should take a day trip to Maria Island, home to the Darlington Probation Station. It is the most complete relic from the convict era, with 14 buildings still intact. Passenger ferries depart regularly from Triabuna on the east coast and the crossing takes about 30-40 minutes.