Top Destination for 2009
Backpacking in Tasmania
Tasmania is well and truly on the world's backpacking circuit. The island state is also within easy reach of the Australian mainland and can make a welcome change from the sweltering heat, vast distances and desert. You will find plenty of hostel accommodation throughout the island and a lively backpacker culture. If you need to supplement your income you should be aware that seasonal employment is sometimes scarce, but that there are opportunities picking fruit on the islands many fruit farms. However, the sheer drama of the scenery and opportunities for adventure and socialising more than make up for the lack of work. There is a wealth backpacker-style accommodation and hostels in Tasmania's major towns and near national parks. Tasmania is the easiest place to explore if you are travelling with a pack on your back. Compared with the rest of Australia, it is a compact island and you can buy a bus pass that will take you to most locations without spending too much. Tasmanian backpacker lodges and youth hostels are the best places to meet other backpackers and are a wonderful place to share stories, travel ideas and to make new friends. Tasmania is a wonderful place for a backpacking holiday.
Beach in Tasmania
Surrounded by water, Tasmania provides plenty of opportunities for a holiday on the beach. Like the rest of the state, the capital city of Hobart is home to some magnificent sandy beaches, many of which are close to the city centre. If you fancy a day at the beach when in Hobart try some places close to the Derwent River, on Hobart's east coast and around Sandy Bay, such as Cornelian Bay Beach, Lords Beach, Nutgrove Beach, Red Chapel Beach and Short Beach. These places are popular with the locals and visitors alike. Even though they are close to the city they are and secluded, providing perfect places to relax, sunbathe, swim, surf, scuba dive or snorkel. Hobart's impressive beaches are home to excellent beach facilities, and these include beach-side restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars, water sports, beach games, outdoor picnic tables, gas barbecues and playground areas. There are beach inspectors. Who regularly patrol during the summer months, as well as volunteer lifesavers. If you travel further afield in Tasmania, then try some of the beaches on the east coast. A good place is between Chain of Lagoons and St Marys, where you can also sample one of the legendary pancakes at the top of Elephant’s Pass. Why not explore the spectacular sand dunes at St Helens, or charter a yacht or fishing boat? If you travel to the north of St Helen’s, the Bay of Fires and The Gardens Coastal Reserves (near Binalong Bay) are both worth visiting and the Mount William National Park also has long and deserted beaches. Swansea, where there are two main beaches, is another good location for a beach holiday. Each has a caravan park and there is plenty of other accommodation nearby, including holiday apartments. Nearby is Schouten Beach, which overlooks Schouten Island and has magnificent views across Great Oyster Bay to Freycinet Peninsula. Schouten Beach is ideal for children and is adjacent to the Swansea Golf Club. Jubilee Beach, at the northern end of Swansea, is ideal for swimming and all kinds of waterspouts. Swansea is a great base for exploring all the wonders of the Freycinet National Park and all the delights of Eastern Tasmania's coastline and beaches. These are just a few of the locations in Tasmania where you are bound to have a wonderful beach holiday.
Camping in Tasmania
Tasmania offers many opportunities for camping in some of the most spectacular countryside; carry your own tent through the Land of a Thousand Lakes, spend the night in the habitats of wombats and wallabies, or camp in a Gondwanan forest – the choice is yours. Tasmania is one of the easiest and most unspoiled places to camp in the whole of Australia. About 40 per cent of the Island is protected as national parks and reserves, but there are plenty of opportunities to camp in these areas. In Tasmania, you have a choice of formal and informal camp sites. Formal camp sites are located inside national parks and forest reserves. They are managed by Forestry Tasmania or Hydro Tasmania. Informal camp sites are marked as such on maps and road signs and you need to be aware of local usage requirements before you set up camp. If you are visiting either type of camp-site, you should check for local fire lighting conditions. Sometimes a total fire ban may be in force so ask the local rangers. Typical prices for staying in a minimal impact campsite in a Tasmanian National Park are: £7.50 per night for a site without power and £8 with power. There is an additional charge from £2.50 to £3.50 for each adult and £1.25 to £1.75 for children between 5 and 17. Families (consisting of 2 adults and 3 children can make block bookings that will cost between £8 and £11. Tasmania is an excellent destination for a camping holiday.
Cruises in Tasmania
Whether you are thinking of ocean going liners, or a trip along the many Tasmanian Rivers and spectacular coastline, Tasmania will provide wonderful opportunities for a cruise holiday. Colonial heritage, wilderness adventure, wildlife tours, gourmet food and wine are all part of a Tasmanian cruise. Why not take a cruise to dock at Hobart? The Tasmanian capital has a beautiful deep-water port, where vessels berth in the heart of the historic Salamanca district. From here you are within easy reach of the Port Arthur Historic Site on the dramatic Tasman Peninsula. You can cruise to a vineyard, or to Cadbury's chocolate factory. You could even decide to stretch your legs with a round of golf at one of Australia’s top courses nearby. Hobart is not the only place where cruise ships dock; most major cruise companies visit Tasmanian ports throughout the season. In the north-west you can cruise to the coastal ports of Burnie and Devonport, whilst in the north of the State, the Tamar River winds its way through rolling farmlands to Launceston, a perfect base for exploring Tasmania’s premier wine-growing region. While on the east coast you can experience the tranquillity of Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula. Tasmania also has ample opportunities for coastal and river cruising. This will give you an entirely new perspective on Tasmania's landscape and wildlife and you will find that the island state looks even more beautiful from the water. You may want to glide along the forested banks of World Heritage Rivers, or past picturesque fishing towns. Why not sail around one of Tasmania's many offshore islands, or pass beside fluted cliffs that tower 900 feet (300 metres) above the sea? Alternatively, you could take a thrilling ride to seal haul-outs amongst the sculpted rock formations of Bruny Island. You can navigate into the heart of the world's largest temperate rainforest, on the mirror-still Gordon River, or into the remote and ancient Tarkine wilderness. In the Southern Ocean, you can go spotting dolphins, seals and albatross. In fact, the possibilities for river and sea cruising in Tasmania are almost as boundless as your imagination!
Culture and Arts in Tasmania
Tasmanian culture lives and breathes in its historic sites, arts and towns. The people and events that left their mark on Tasmanian history and life are still there today and you can see their imprint wherever you travel. Tasmania has a strong and vibrant cultural life. Tasmania's pace of living is more relaxed than the rest of Australia and its overall lack of pretension, has attracted writers, artists and performers. Even though Tasmania has less than three per cent of Australia's population, it is home to nine per cent of its artists. Moreover, the Island State's culture has been enriched by its Aboriginal heritage, as well as the subsequent overlays of European, Asian and African influences. You will find a rich cultural heritage and living culture almost everywhere you go in Tasmania, but one of the places where the cultural life is most manifest in this most cultural of islands is Hobart. Hobart is the home of Tasmania's own Symphony Orchestra, which is nationally and internationally renowned for interpretation of baroque and classical works. The Orchestra performs regularly in the capital, as well as throughout the state. The Tasmanian Museum and Art gallery has wonderful exhibits of work by colonial artists, and the natural dioramas will definitely leave an impression. You should also see the work of local artists at the many art galleries that line Salamanca Place, and definitely take a Saturday morning to visit the market there. It is also worth checking the local guides for music and theatre events, and take an evening to visit the waterfront taverns and clubs. All in all, Tasmania is a wonderful location for a culture and arts holiday.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Tasmania
The wide varieties of terrain in Tasmania make the island state a great location for cycling. You will find ever-changing scenery as you cycle at your own pace across a sparsely populated island. Many Tasmanian roads generally have low levels of traffic, so they are ideal for a cycling adventure. What is more, Tasmania's compact geography means that most cycle routes include varied landscapes. However, remember that Tasmania's undulating terrain will challenge your pedal power, but should improve physical fitness. You can cycle through quaint historic villages at leisurely a leisurely pace. There is no shortage of cycle tours available in Tasmania, from exhilarating mountain descents to relaxing wine, food and heritage experiences where all you need to do is roll up to the gate. You can take one of many coastal routes and cycle past some of the island’s most popular beaches, and be sure to keep an eye out for its unique wildlife! In fact, Tasmania offers everything you may want as a cyclist, from one-hour scenic routes along the waterfront to three-week cycling holidays around the island. Get on your bike in Hobart and discover the historic homes of Battery Point, or test yourself with a 3,900 foot (1270 metre) climb up Mount Wellington, the city’s impressive backdrop. If you have several days, make your way up Tasmania’s east coast, passing the coastal towns of Swansea, Bicheno and St Helens. You can stop off and sample cool-climate wine at one of the east coast wineries, walk along sparkling beaches and if time allows, take a ferry trip from Triabunna across to Maria Island. If you have three weeks or more to spare in Tasmania, why not continue up the east coast towards the north east? You could then cycle across to the north west of the island, where you will find Mole Creek. Here you can see Tasmanian devils at Trowunna Wildlife Park before continuing through to spectacular Cradle Mountain. Then, to complete a full tour of Tasmania, head towards the west coast town of Strahan and back to Hobart through the central highlands. In Tasmania's major towns there are plenty of places where you can hire bikes, helmets and other equipment at reasonable prices. You can usually book cycling tours there too. The typical costs for hiring a cycle or mountain bike in Tasmania are from about £5 for half a day, and £7.50 for a full day. At the other end of the price scale, you can take a fully -guided tour, which is pre-booked. For example, a thirteen day tour round-trip across the island to and from Launceston would cost you between £1,219 and £2,259, with an additional £177 for the hire of the cycle. The price includes: 12 nights' accommodation in 3.5 star motels and hotels, breakfasts and lunches, 2 Airport transfers, a driving guide, use of a 2 seater van with luggage trailer and Maps and trip notes. You would have to pay extra for: flights, travel Insurance, evening meals and additional events. Whatever your budget, Tasmania is a wonderful island for a cycling holiday.
Disabled Needs in Tasmania
It is a mixed picture for disabled people going on holiday to Tasmania. Most public areas, shopping centres, accommodation, attractions and restaurants have disabled facilities and services. As far as transport is concerned, the Tasmanian Government initiated a wheelchair access scheme for taxis in 2004, which has been making some progress in improving taxi services. In the metropolitan areas of Launceston, Hobart and Burnie 25% buses are wheelchair accessible. However elsewhere, Tasmanian buses provide very limited access for travellers in wheelchairs. Tassielink, one of the Island's two principal bus companies, has pledged to improve its services for all disabled passengers, but only on the most popular routes. If you are thinking of hiring a car, several Tasmanian car hire car firms offer hand-controlled vehicles. The situation with regard to water transport is equally mixed. For instance, the Spirit of Tasmania website contains no substantial information about the wheelchair accessible facilities, or services, stating only that it has wheelchair access. However, the customer service operators (telephone 1800 634 906) are much more helpful in this respect, being able to provide information on the dimensions of bathrooms, doors etc. On a more positive note, there is a fully accessible catamaran service that operates a sightseeing trip between Hobart and Peppermint Bay, through the sheltered waterways of the Derwent River and D'entrecasteaux Channel. Other Tasmanian facilities are generally better prepared for disabled customers. For example, some locations with wheelchair standard tracks include Mount Field, Cradle Valley and Hastings Thermal Springs. Also, the Launceston shopping and business centre has good wheelchair access as the streets are fairly level with good curb ramps. There are also some resorts that offer accommodation that is fully adapted for disabled travellers. One of these is Craggy Peaks, which offers self-contained contemporary accommodation on the edge of Ben Lomond National Park. Some useful sources of information on travel for people with disabilites in Tasmania are: NICAN (National Information Communication Awareness Network), which has a database of current services and facilities (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), and the website Pleasetakemeto.com, which lists accommodation for disabled travellers in northern Tasmania. In general however, both information and facilities for disabled travellers in Tasmania are less developed from what you might expect.
Family Holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania may seem to be an unlikely place to go on a family holiday, but this tiny island state of Australia holds many treasures for all ages. Tasmania has plenty of beaches, where all of the family can unwind and relax. It has numerous National Parks and nature reserves, where children will thrill at the sight of a host of exotic animals, from platypus to wallabies and even Tasmanian devils! Tasmania's compact geography and temperate climate mean that families can travel quickly and comfortably between different destinations. There, of course, an abundance of history waiting to be discovered in out-of-the-way towns, ranging from a few minutes to a couple of hours drive from the big towns too! There is also an abundance of fairs and events throughout the year, many of which have activities and events that children will love. When it comes to accommodation, Tasmania has plenty of holiday apartments which are suitable for families and some even have children's play areas and other facilities. If you fancy a rural holiday in Tasmania why not try a farm-stay? On a farm-stay you will share the home with a family, including the bathroom, and meals too. Alternatively, you may be able to hire a self-contained apartment on the farm. Homestead and farm-stay hosts are naturally friendly and open, giving you a chance to get to understand its Island and its people. Typical costs for a farm-stay are between £60 and £70 per night, for 2 adults, depending on the season. Children under 12 are usually allowed to stay free, or at a reduced rate. Children over 12 count as adults and are charged between £45 and £60 extra. Tasmania is a wonderful location for a family holiday.
Gay and Lesbian in Tasmania
Tasmania is a popular destination for gay and lesbian travellers. The State is well known for its friendliness, and you’ll find an open welcome extended wherever you choose to stay, dine or visit. In fact, Tasmania has had a long association with homosexuality. In the first half of the nineteenth century, Tasmania was the final destination for prisoners from across the British Empire, some of whom, both men and women, were sentenced for ‘crimes against nature’. Many of them engaged in same-sex sexual activity in Tasmania and some even formed committed same-sex relationships. However, this did not meet with universal approval at the time. By the 1920s there was a lively gay community in Hobart. At about the same time, there was a circle of lesbian writers and performers in the city. Homosexuality was still against the law and remained so until campaigners took to the streets of Hobart in the 1980s to protest against the archaic legislation. As a result of a prolonged and eventually effective campaign, Tasmania now some of the most effective same sex laws in Australia. As a gay traveller in Tasmania, you will find great selection of quality gay friendly self-catering houses. Above all, Tasmania is a place where you can come as you are and be warmly welcomed with a smile, it's why many Gay Men and Lesbians now call this place home. The Gay and Lesbian Travel Association of Tasmania has a website (www.galtat.com) that lists gay-owned and gay friendly accommodation, as well as providing advice for gay travellers in Tasmania. There are also many tour packages that are gay-friendly, or that are specifically aimed at the gay market. A typical gay-friendly package in Tasmania might be to Peppers Seaport in Launceston. The price per person for 2 nights, based on a city view weekend room rate, is £100. Tasmania is a great place for the gay or lesbian traveller.
Honeymoon in Tasmania
If you have your honeymoon in Tasmania you will not be short of romantic places to visit. In fact, Tasmania's beautiful landscapes attract newly-wed couples from all around the world, who enjoy the romance and variety of the spectacular countryside. Tasmania is popular too because it is within easy reach of mainland Australia. Tasmania provides wonderful opportunities for a honeymoon. Colonial heritage, wilderness adventure, wildlife tours, gourmet food and wine are all part of the Tasmanian experience. If you are thinking of taking your honeymoon in Tasmania, you will have an exciting time, with lots of varied activities available for both of you to do. You might like to go on leisurely river cruise, or perhaps sail around the Tasmanian coast taking in the exquisite scenery. Alternatively, you may simply want to relax on one of its many unspoilt beaches after the stressful and busy time leading up to the wedding, or perhaps wander through the historic towns of Port Arthur, or Sheffield. What could be more romantic than a honeymoon in Tasmania?
Naturism in Tasmania
Tasmania, unlike most Australian states, does not have any legal and free naturist beaches. This is indicative of the limited opportunities available for a naturist holiday in Tasmania, as much as it is of the attitude on the island state towards naturism in general. Tasmania does have however several unofficially condoned nude bathing areas. Naturists in Tasmania, and in Australia more widely, are hoping for the situation to improve in the near future. If you would like further information on a naturist holiday in Tasmania, the best organisation to contact is Southern Tasmanian Association of Nudists, which is based in Fossil Creek (Telephone: 0428 931237). Tasmania has limited opportunities for a naturist holiday.
Party Holiday - Singles Life in Tasmania
Ten years ago, dedicated singles holidays were taken mainly by women who were content to spend a week on the beach. Nowadays activity-based, adventure holidays attract more men. These holidays also draw a mix of ages, from thirties to seventies. Most singles specialists offer half-board packages, while social activities such as welcome cocktail parties and farewell parties are often built into the itinerary. You will find many opportunities for singles holidays in Tasmania, whether you want to visit as an independent traveller, or perhaps join one of the increasing number of package tours aimed at the singles market. Tasmania is a relatively safe travelling environment, so travelling alone should not be a problem. For the budget traveller, Tasmania's ample provision of youth hostels provides excellent accommodation for the single traveller, as well as opportunities to meet other travellers and to make new friends. There are increasing numbers of organised tours that cater for single people, some of which are targeted at particular age groups, whilst others cater for all ages. Many of these include trekking, adventure and activity based elements, of which Tasmania has much to offer. A typical 7 day tour in Western Tasmania, trekking from Launceston through the Cradle Mountain National Park, to Stahan, Lake St Clair and back to Launceston would cost Ã¯Â¿Â¡1,222 (Ã¯Â¿Â¡1,297 with a single supplement). The price includes full-board accommodation, guides, bus fares, transfers and National Park fees. If all of the outdoor activity doesn't tire you out, Tasmania dose have some night life and places to party, although you will not find that much. Your best bet is probably in Hobart, where there are several nightclubs and the city has a reputation for having good DJs. Launceston also has several nightclubs. Tasmania is a good location for a singles holiday, but don't expect a 24 hour party.
Couples Holiday in Tasmania
If you have a couple’s holiday in Tasmania, you will not be short of romantic places to visit. In fact, Tasmania's beautiful landscapes attract newly-wed couples from all around the world, who enjoy the romance and variety of the spectacular countryside. Tasmania is popular too because it is within easy reach of mainland Australia. However, it is too far away from the UK for a short romantic break. Tasmania provides wonderful opportunities for a couple’s holiday. Colonial heritage, wilderness adventure, wildlife tours, gourmet food and wine are all part of the Tasmanian experience. If you are thinking of a couples holiday in Tasmania, you will have an exciting time, with lots of varied activities available for both of you to do. You might like to go on leisurely river cruise, or perhaps sail around the Tasmanian coast taking in the exquisite scenery. Alternatively, you may simply want to relax on one of its many unspoilt beaches away from the stresses of day-to-day living, or perhaps wander through the historic towns of Port Arthur, or Sheffield. What could be more romantic than a couples holiday in Tasmania?
Safari Activity Holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania's outstanding 19 national parks encompass a diversity of unspoiled habitats and ecosystems which offer refuge to unique and often ancient plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. There is a park for every season in Tasmania and a Park for every person. In the National Parks you can discover spectacular landscapes, from highlands carved by glaciers to quiet, solitary beaches; from cool, silent rainforests to colourful, alpine wilderness wild flowers. If the National Parks are not enough for you, then you can also visit the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which protects one of the last true wilderness regions on Earth. This covers about 3.46 million acres (1.38 million hectares) and represents about 20% of the area of the island state of Tasmania. It protects huge tracts of wilderness, which harbours breathtaking landscapes and wonderful fauna and flora. Whether you visit a National Park or the World Heritage Area, you will find that Tasmania has much that is unique. Tasmania's isolation from mainland Australia has ensured the survival of many plants and animals that are rare, or even extinct, elsewhere in the world. Tasmanian animals are mostly nocturnal, so you will see them at night, in the early morning and at dusk. If you are watchful, there is every chance you will come upon them as you walk a forest path or sit quietly by a stream. Be quiet and look out and you may come upon a wombat family dining or a shy platypus. Some animals, like the Tasmanian devil, are well-known, whilst others such as the eastern quoll, pandemelon and bettong will equally fascinate you. You can discover some of Tasmania's fascinating bird life too, which includes twelve species unique to Tasmania. There are specialist tour operators who can take you animal spotting if you want to have an expert along and Tasmanian wildlife parks provide excellent information too. Entry fees for Tasmania's national parks are about £11 per day for a car and up to eight passengers, or £5.50 per person travelling by bike or public transport. You may find National Parks Holiday Pass good value. This allows you to visit national parks throughout Tasmania for up to two months. It costs £28 for a car and up to eight passengers, or £14 per person travelling by bike or public transport. National Park Passes can be bought at park entry booths, tourist information centres and National Park visitor centres. Tasmania is a wonderful place for a safari holiday.
Golf Activity Holiday in Tasmania
With more than 80 golf courses, some of which are rated amongst the best in the world, Tasmania can be considered the home of golf in Australia. Tasmania offers you a golfing experience that is crowd free, in a temperate climate, amongst rolling valleys and sweeping empty beaches. You will discover emerald fairways and velvet greens of championship 18-hole courses along with spectacular cliff-top holes with wide ocean views. In fact, Tasmania can be said literally to be the home of golf in Australia, because it is home to the country's oldest course, Ratho, at Bothwell. It was created by homesick Scots in the 1830s and the popularity of the game has kept growing ever since. In Tasmania, you can take your pick of courses, from acclaimed Barnbougle, in the north-east, created in the pure Scottish style, with undulating links overlooking Bass Strait, to those that offer pure spectacle: the amazing par 3 eighth hole at the Tasman Club near Port Arthur. Here, your tee shot has to reach a pocket-handkerchief green on the far side of a deep chasm, where vertical sea cliffs plummet to surging ocean swells and tossing bull kelp, far below. There is no point in looking for lost balls here! Some of the top courses include Royal Hobart, Tasmania Golf Club, Kingston Beach and Claremont in the south, and Launceston Country Club, Devonport and Ulverstone in the north. It’s a good idea to call ahead, book your round and enquire about facilities and services. Tasmania has relatively few public courses and most are run by the clubs. Wherever you play, you’ll find a warm Tasmanian welcome the club courses in cities, towns and country areas. Tasmania is an excellent destination for a golf holiday.
Skiing - Snow Boarding in Tasmania
Despite its mountainous terrain and southern latitude, Tasmania does not have much snowfall, largely because of its small land-mass surrounded by ocean. The length of Tasmanian ski runs may be a little short, but they can be really steep. You will enjoy skiing in Tasmania if you prefer ski slopes and ski fields not to be overcrowded and if don't mind the scarcity of ski resorts. If you are thinking of skiing in Tasmania, then you might like to try Nordic, or cross-country skiing. In practical terms, this means heading out into the wilderness and camping in the snow. Depending on your level of skill, you could regard this as a winter hiking trip, or a way of looking for those extra steep chutes away from the resorts. Take a day or weekend to try some of the back-country trails and explore Tasmania's beautiful plateaux. One of the most spectacular is in the Mount Field National Park, which is the ski field for the south, where the method of getting up the hill is still rope tows. On the Rodway Range you will find more than enough that is vertical to satisfy your desire for excitement. Other good skiing spots are Cradle Mountain in the Central Highlands and Lake St Clair. Another important location for skiing is Ben Lomond 60 kilometres southeast of Launceston, which is Tasmania's major downhill ski resort. It offers a full range of facilities for downhill skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. On-snow accommodation is available at the Ben Lomond Creek Inn. The Alpine Village is located at the base of the lift system. Typical prices for skiing package at Ben Lomond, including lessons are: £55 for adults and less for children, depending on age. The equivalent package for snowboarding is £60. Tasmania is a good location for a skiing holiday.
Sailing Activity Holiday in Tasmania
There are a host of opportunities available for a sailing holiday in Tasmania, which is a temperate paradise for sailors. Tasmania has plenty of events and attractions to appeal to yacht enthusiasts, including the biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival, the Royal Hobart Regatta, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and the Australian Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, south of the capital. A holiday sailing around the coast of Tasmania will give you an entirely new perspective on its landscape and wildlife and you will find that the island state looks even more beautiful from the water. You may want to glide past picturesque fishing towns, sail around one of Tasmania's many offshore islands, or pass beside fluted cliffs that tower 900 feet (300 metres) above the sea. Alternatively, you could sail out to seal haul-outs amongst the sculpted rock formations of Bruny Island. In Tasmania you will find many protected anchorages and a spectacular coastline of towering sea cliffs, turquoise ocean and white sand. Mid-way up the coast, on the Freycinet Peninsula, lichen encrusted rocks add tinges of red and orange to the palette. You will also find many convenient berths in Tasmania, such as at Hobart’s central docks. Here, you are only two minutes’ walk from Customs and Immigration and only a short stroll from pubs, restaurants, nightspots and internet cafes. Port Davey in the south-west is an absolute must wild, remote and beautiful, it is a destination the likes of which you may never have the opportunity to experience again. Why not choose a safe picture-perfect anchorage farther north to while away a day or two until weather conditions are favourable for crossing Bass Strait? The Bass Strait is revered by sailors throughout the world as one of the toughest stretches of water on the planet, a result of shallow depths and strong westerly winds causing high, confused, steep seas. Whichever direction you sail in, treat it with respect. Tasmania is a great destination for a sailing holiday, especially for experienced sailors.
Shopping Holiday in Tasmania
Shopping can be one of the more enjoyable things to do in Tasmania. There are numerous opportunities for great shopping in Tasmania, but with the recent fall in value of the pound against the Australian Dollar, you are unlikely to find the Tasmanian shopping experience all that cheap these days. There are lots of great shopping locations from Launceston in the north to Hobart and further south and you will enjoy exploring the different areas and finding new shops to explore. Shopping for arts and crafts is particularly rewarding in Tasmania and a good idea is to visit some of the more out-of-the-way rural places, where great crafts and fresh gourmet produce are to be found. The centre of Hobart has a good mixture of speciality shops, including fashion outlets, souvenir shops and art and craft galleries, as well as national department stores. Salamanca Place is a good place to start, especially at weekends when there is a market. Hobart's central business district has chains of shops and department stores. The Bank Arcade, off Liverpool Street, is one of Hobart's best kept secrets. Built in the 1950s, it has been home to many businesses over the decades including a doll's hospital, a boxing ring, and a gymnasium. Today the Arcade is a bustling, cosmopolitan showcase of local innovation and great places to eat. There are two shopping centres in Launceston: Brisbane Street Mall and the Quadrant Mall. Brisbane Street Mall is great for the larger department stores and mainstream shops, however if you are looking for brand-name boutiques and lots of locally produced arts and crafts, then the Quadrant Mall is the place to go. For fabulous homeware and Australian designer labels, Homebody in Charles Street is perhaps the best place. Just to the north west of Launceston is Devonport, where Mason & Mason in Steele Street is the place to shop if you are interested in interior decor and fine coffee. This delightful department store is well worth a special trip. Tasmania is a great place for a shopping holiday.
Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania provides many excellent opportunities for the scuba diving. You will find hundreds of sites along its 5,400 kilometres (2,796 miles) of coastline, and experiences for both beginners and advanced divers. Tasmania is home to some of the best temperate diving in the whole world and has a diverse and easily accessible underwater wilderness that will enthral divers of all levels of ability and experience. Tasmania's spectacular coastline and clear waters, where visibility ranges from 13 yards (12 metres) in the summer to 43.5 yards (40 metres) or more in the winter, make for superb diving . The island state's waters are home to a host of unique marine animals and plants; you can explore the giant kelp forests, sponge gardens and caves, or find sea dragons and amazing invertebrates. Search out handfish and rare species such as the weedy sea dragon. At Tinderbox in the south, you can follow underwater trails which are ideal for first-time divers. The Tasman Peninsula offers spectacular dive sites, ranging from vast kelp forests through to brilliant caves and canyons at Waterfall Bay. More experienced divers will enjoy the Hippolyte Rock site where you can dive amongst a colony of Australian Fur Seals. (Its depth and strong currents limit this area to divers with extensive experience). One of Tasmania's prime sites is the Troy D, a 181 foot (55 metre) former Hopper Barge that has become an artificial reef, off the north-west tip of Maria Island on Tasmania's east coast. This coastline also boasts the highly popular dive sites off Bicheno including Paradise Reef with its plentiful sea whips and finger sponges as well as the Golden Bommies, a most rewarding deeper dive. Tasmania is well known for its many shipwreck sites, which provide fascinating insight into Australia's maritime history. Flinders Island is a good location for these. If you’re not a diver already, Tasmania is a great place to take the plunge and learn. Diving courses are available as well as guided charters, gear hire and diving packages. A one day introductory course for scuba diving, for example at the Eaglehawk Dive Centre near Sorell, Tasmania will cost about £100. Tasmania is a wonderful place for a scuba diving holiday.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania is famed for its wilderness trails and tracks throughout the world. With over a third of Tasmania's land mass protected as National Parks and World Heritage Areas, there is no shortage of wonderful scenery in which to walk. At the same time, Tasmania's diverse and ancient landscape offers a true wilderness that is accessible in this compact island state, which is home to plants and wildlife that are unique. Tasmania offers spectacular scenery for walking enthusiasts, which is made all the more accommodating by its temperate maritime climate. Tasmania has walks for every level of fitness and experience. There are more than 60 short walks that will take you into rainforests, along ancient sea cliffs, beside turquoise seas and over jagged mountain peaks. There are also multi-day treks for walkers who like their independence, or want to stretch themselves but prefer the comfort of a cabin, a shower and a meal waiting for you at the end of each day. A hiking holiday in Tasmania will take you along well-maintained tracks and you will have the support of knowledgeable park rangers and top quality guides too – if you want them. Perhaps most importantly, you will be far away from any crowds. You can walk the coastal beaches of the Bay of Fires or head deep into the wilderness of the south west and it will seem as if you are the only person on earth. Tasmania's most famous trek, The Overland Track, takes you on a six day scenic adventure from Cradle Mountain to Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair. You will hike through everything from majestic dolerite peaks and alpine lakes to rocky gorges and button grass plains. Most walkers prefer hiking from the north to the south, and you might want to branch of at some point along the well-marked track, to visit spectacular sites such as Mount Ossa, which Tasmania’s highest mountain. There are plenty of other hiking trails in Tasmania too. Why not fly to Melaleuca and challenge yourself on the South Coast Track? Alternatively, the Tasmanian Trail covers over 300 miles (480 kilometres) from Bass Strait to the Southern Ocean, beginning in Devonport and finishing in Dover. These are just a few of the many wonderful experiences you could have on a hiking holiday in Tasmania.
Well-being and Spa in Tasmania
Not only has Tasmania’s location in the Southern Ocean preserved its rare unspoiled beauty, but much of its ancient glaciation formed mountains and lakes that are pristine to this day. The rains that fall on Tasmania, the rivers that tumble through its valleys and the oceans that brush its shores are still pure and are exactly as nature intended. In the Tasmanian environment therefore, it is not surprising that recent years have seen the growth of a small, but vibrant, spa and wellness industry. Spas and wellness centres started in Tasmania when natural treatments, using native plants such as myrtle, boronia, lavender, leatherwood honey and seaweed became popular. Nowadays there are a growing number of specialist spa retreats and day spas opening for business that offer genuine Tasmanian treatments. Some Tasmanian luxury hotels and resorts have begun to add spa treatments to their standard packages. One such is the Cradle Mountain Lodge, on the northern edge of the St Clair National Park, where for an additional £130 you can book a spa package in addition to your accommodation. This includes a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, an initial spa consultation to determine the best treatment for you and two spa treatments (combined up to a maximum of 2 hours). Tasmania has wonderful, if limited, opportunities for a spa holiday.
Touring - Driving holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania is easy to explore by road, whatever your choice of vehicle. The Island is compact, its roads hardly ever crowded and its scenery offers a variety of beauty you will rarely see elsewhere in the world. Moreover, Tasmania's network of highways will enable you to travel around the Island discovering an ever-changing landscape. You won't need to spend hours and hours at the wheel to have a wonderful touring holiday in Tasmania, but to make the most of Tasmania to take time to stop and explore on foot. You can take a vehicle from the Australian mainland, on the Spirit of Tasmania, but finding one to rent on the island may be cheaper. You will find offices for all of the multi-national, national and local vehicle hire companies in Tasmania, as well as a wide choice of different vehicles. You may want to think about the type of vehicle you rent in advance and this may depend upon where you are visiting. Many Tasmanian roads are “unsealed” (i.e. unmade), so a standard family saloon is probably not the best choice if you are thinking about travelling through the wilderness, or to some of the more remote destinations. (There are also insurance restrictions on some hired cars using unsealed roads). On the other hand, a fun way to explore the wilderness is to hire a 4 wheel drive vehicle. This is a great way to explore forest tracks, remote beaches or rolling sand dunes. Camper vans are a another popular option for touring holidays in Tasmania and you can hire motorcycles on the island too. To hire a basic 2 to 3 berth camper van in Tasmania for 12 nights, picking it up in Hobart and dropping it of in Launceston would cost about £325. Tasmania is a great place for a touring holiday.
Wine Tasting Holiday in Tasmania
Tasmania boasts a number of quality wines that are made from grapes grown in a climate which is cooler than mainland Australia. Tasmanian wines therefore have a quality similar to those of some of the more famous European wines. The first vineyard was planted in Tasmania at New Town, a Hobart suburb, as long ago as 1823. Tasmanian wine did not take long to establish a good reputation however, and by 1848 a Tasmanian white wine won an award at the Paris Exhibition. Tasmania now produces elegant cool climate wines including pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and sparkling wines. Today, Tasmania enjoys a national and international reputation as a leading producer of some of Australia’s premium cool-climate wines, winning high praise and an array of medals, from wine judges and critics alike. Tasmania has four distinct wine regions – the north, the south, the east coast and the north-west. Each of the four regions is within easy reach of major population centres or en route to some of Tasmania’s other attractions. Moreover, each region has its own diverse and sophisticated range of wine styles. Each Tasmanian vineyard has its own special charm and character, and as we know, wine never tastes better than when you sample it direct from the vineyard! Most tasting rooms (called cellar doors in Tasmania) are open all year round, but the mild Tasmanian summers are an ideal time to visit. On a wine tasting holiday in Tasmania, you will have the opportunity to meet the producers first-hand. They have a passion for their grapes and finished wines and they strive for excellence in their vineyards. In practical terms, if you are thinking of a wine tour of Tasmania, one of the best ways is to take either the northern or the southern wine route. In taking the northern route, you would normally start in Launceston. This would allow you to explore the vineyards of the Tamar Valley, located north of Launceston along both sides of the Tamar River and north-east to Pipers River. You could also explore the explore the Derwent, Coal River and Huon Valleys, which are an easy drive from Hobart and provide an interesting variety of vineyards for tastings. Another popular route is around Cradle Mountain, where you can visit the north-west vineyards or sample wines en route to Freycinet and Wineglass Bay on the sunny east coast. In fact, you can combine routes both in the north and the south, depending upon your length of stay and how much you want to explore and you can tour the entire Tasmanian Wine Route easily by car or on a guided tour. There are a number of tour companies that offer half or full-day visits. A guided tour of the Coal River wine route would cost about £130. Tasmania is an excellent destination for a wine tasting holiday.
Winter Sun in Tasmania
If you want to relax and bask in winter sunshine, then Tasmania is a good location for you. Tasmania is located in the southern hemisphere, which means that its summer is between December and February, or March, when temperatures are around 21 degrees Celsius. However, the temperature can be cooler inland. Surrounded by water, Tasmania provides plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun on the beach. It has a plethora of unspoilt, and often barely populated, sandy beaches around the island and there is a wealth of conveniently placed holiday flats and other accommodation. There are also plenty of things you can do, if you enjoy the water, such as scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing and surfing. A winter sun holiday in Tasmania however, is not going to be your cheapest option. Between December and February are the busiest times for the Tasmanian tourist industry, so prices will be at their highest. Moreover, you would need to think about the distance you would need to travel – to the Australian mainland and then on to Tasmania. This is likely to be expensive and would almost certainly rule out a short winter break from the UK. Tasmania is a good location for a winter sun holiday.