Today, Tasmania is a haven for wildlife lovers, hikers and fly-fishermen, who come to experience the island’s many national parks and forests. The towns scattered throughout the state, such as Richmond and Launceston, with their rich colonial histories, are well worth a visit, and make excellent bases from which to explore the surrounding wilderness.
Part, and yet not a part, of Australia, Tasmania‘s distinctive landscape, climate and culture are largely due to its 300-km (185-mile) distance from the mainland. The isolation has left a legacy of unique flora and fauna, fresh air, an abundance of water and a relaxed lifestyle. More than 27 percent of Tasmania’s land surface is given over to agriculture, with the emphasis on wine and fine foods. The state also benefits from vast expanses of open space, since approximately 40 percent of Tasmanians live in the capital, Hobart. Tasmania, therefore, offers the perfect opportunity for a relaxing holiday in tranquil surroundings.
There are places and natural features in Tasmania as familiar and evocative as any in the country. Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay and the Franklin River are names that conjure up purity or hardship, or both. Squeezed into an area the size of Ireland, Tasmania is the proverbial good thing in a small package.