AREA: 64,519 sq. km.,
POPULATION: 470,272 (2001)
CAPITAL: Hobart (300,000)
The island state of Tasmania is located some 130 miles south of the mainland of Australia and measures only about 130 miles from north to south and east to west at its broadest points. The beautiful city of Hobart is the states capital with Launceston in the north the States second city.
Tasmania is often compared to England in miniature and has spectacular scenery, is quiet and very affordable, and is very much a “little britain”. (No - NOT the TV show version - and apologies to all small villages in Tasmania and any Welsh descendants in those villages...!)
The place names in Tasmania are a roll call of England town and villages such as beautiful Richmond just outside Launceston. Tasmania (‘Tassie’ to us locals (!) really is a spectacular state - beautiful scenery, snuggly cabins and roaring log fires, superb fishing, suprisingly hot (but short) summers,(I had some of the worst sunburn in my life in Hobart one summer!) and heaps of great “outdoorsey” things to do..
Rich in Australia's history, it was the second settlement in Australia after Sydney and the first settlers arrived in 1803 to what is now Hobart. It was primarily established as a penal settlement to house prisoners from the United Kingdom and much of this early penal history can be seen around the state. It takes its name from Abel Tasman who first charted the island in 1642 and originally named it Van Diemens Land.
Like those who visit it today he was struck by its intense and varied beauty. As Australia's most southern land mass, it is snow capped throughout much of the year, and the mountainous terrain (world heritage Cradle Mountain National Park ) and many lakes provide a tranquil and beautiful island which is a popular destination for holiday makers from all over the world. In a nutshell - A gem - and my favourite (shhh!) state in Australia!