Places to visit when in Tasmania

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One Day In Tasmania

No matter where you begin your journey in Tasmania, you will not be far from wonderful places to visit.

Take your pick from among these superb destinations, depending on where you are in Tasmania:

Hobart and the south
East coast
Launceston and the north
North-west coast
The west

Hobart and the south

Flying in from the mainland? Then chances are your first stop will be Hobart, Tasmania's charming capital city.

Other amazing places await you:

Port Arthur is renowned for its historic penal settlement, the best preserved in Australia. At the site you will find intact buildings as well as ruins.

The nation's largest and most important convict site is an essential heritage experience. It represents a fundamental part of the story of Australia. Based on my own very special visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site, I recommend it as a definite must-do when in Tasmania.

Richmond is a delightful Georgian village not far from Hobart. It has Australia's oldest bridge (built in 1823) and Roman Catholic church (established in the 1830s). Both are actually still in use.

When it was first built, the bridge linked Hobart and Port Arthur. After the Sorell Causeway was opened in 1872, traffic ceased to pass through Richmond. As a result Richmond looks much the same as it did then.

Bruny Island boasts some of the highest sea cliffs in the world. I got to see some of these myself on a wonderful eco-cruise. Not only that, I found out what makes Bruny Island a very special place.

On the island itself, the walks are outstanding, offering breathtaking views. Truganini, an inspirational Aborigine, was born here and I can certainly understand how much she would have loved this special place.

Eaglehawk Neck is where the infamous "dogline" once kept watch for runaway convicts. It is also where "The Officers Quarters", Australia's oldest timber military building, is located.

Tessellated Pavement, Blowhole, Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen and Pirates Bay are just some of the marvellous natural wonders in the area, as you may be able to tell from the names. And let us not forget fascinating Doo Town, which has been described as "an amazing testament to shock culture".

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean lie south of Tasmania. Almost twice the size of Australia, Antarctica is a huge dome of ice under which is buried the landmass itself. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, one of the world's most fertile and productive environments.

Tasmania has strong links with Antarctica - the headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division is located at Hobart.

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East coast

Flinders Island was once part of the ancient land bridge to the mainland. Located off the north-east tip of the Tasmanian mainland, there are about 50 other mostly uninhabited islands nearby.

The history of the island is rich with stories of Aboriginal heritage, shipwrecks and sealers. If you love nature you will enjoy this island with its astonishing wildlife and walks. Bicheno is a pretty seaside town with lovely beaches. It started off as a whaling centre back in 1803 but today offers the best penguin tours around. I highly recommend the Bicheno Penguin tour - it was an enchanting experience that I will never forget...

Other natural attractions include a blowhole, a marine reserve and a wildlife park.

Fresh tasty seafood take your fancy? That's also available in Bicheno.

Freycinet National Park with its lichen specked granite rocks and its white sandy beaches is also the location of a certain very famous place in Tasmania. I am of course referring to Wineglass Bay, listed in the book "1000 places to see before you die". Not only did Wineglass Bay live up to the hype, it exceeded all my expectations.

Coles Bay was the first town in the world to ban plastic bags. It is situated at the foot of the Hazards and right on the edge of Freycinet National Park.

There are many uncrowded beaches and secluded bays to explore in the area. Fishing and/or water sport enthusiasts will love Coles Bay.

Maria Island has a colourful history. In the past it has been a convict station as well as a base for a cement company. Now it is a very tranquil place where you can enjoy splendid bush walks and admire natural wonders. These include birds, marine life, the magnificent Fossil cliffs and the attractive Painted Cliffs.

Prefer something challenging? You will like the uphill walk to the peaks of Bishop and Clerk.

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Launceston and the north

Launceston is Australia's third oldest city and the second largest city in Tasmania. Located at the head of the beautiful Tamar river, it has Australia's largest intact collection of 18th century buildings.

And I loved the magical Cataract Gorge, described as a Tasmanian icon.

Longford is a historic town serving the surrounding agricultural area. I was struck by the beauty of the lovely pastoral scenes.

Close by are two of the finest historic country estates in Tasmania, and both are World Heritage nominated.

Do you like antique shops? You will find these at Longford.

Deloraine is one of the most important regional art and craft centres in Tasmania. It is no surprise then, that the Tasmanian Craft Fair is held here every November. Over 4 days around 30,000 visitors flock to Australia's largest working craft fair.

Deloraine is also an ideal base for exploring the beauty of the Great Western Tiers, which form the northern edge of the World Heritage Central Plateau region.

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North-west coast

Devonport is a vibrant coastal city, home port to the Spirit of Tasmania vessels. Situated on the banks of the Mersey river, it has much to offer tourists. Tasty Tasmanian produce, great shopping, lovely walks can all be found here.

After a cultural experience? Try the Devonport Regional Art Gallery. Interested in Tasmanian Aboriginal history? Visit the Tiagarra Aboriginal Centre. What about some fun for kids of all ages? The Imaginarium Science Centre is the place for you.

Burnie is the fourth largest city in Tasmania and best known for its busy container port and major industries. It has modern cafes and a strong arts community.

At the Ferndale platypus trail, you get the best chance of viewing a platypus in the wild.

Burnie once had a name for mass-producing paper. Nowadays, while paper still plays an important role, Burnie has discovered other strengths. Skilled people in Burnie make whisky and cheese from local produce. Even paper is still made, by hand, from recycled paper.

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The west

Cradle Mountain National Park is a place of awe-inspiring natural beauty as I discovered for myself. Tasmania's premier walking destination is a World Heritage area and will astound you with its ancient forests, glacial lakes and captivating wildlife.

Cradle Mountain itself is undoubtedly one of the highlights of natural Tasmania.

Strahan delivers comfort and convenience on Tasmania's wild west coast. It is both a major harbour town and a working fishing port. As you would expect, there is an abundance of fresh seafood available.

Strahan is famous for its cruise boat journeys up the Gordon river and having experienced it for myself, I can understand why.

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One Day In Tasmania

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