Tasmania, Australia is a place of wild landscapes, friendly people with a relaxed island lifestyle, delicious food and wine, and a rich history evoked by local stories and convict ruins. It’s small, yet geographically and culturally it’s the most diverse and curious place you’ll ever discover. Here are the top 5 experiences you must have at the world’s edge:
Drive the Great Eastern Drive to discover the pink granite mountains and faultless curve of Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park; hop mighty boulders covered in bright orange lichen at the Bay of Fires; dine on generous servings of just-caught seafood; sip wine with local winemakers; kayak with dolphins; or ferry to Maria Island – a national park and wildlife haven set amongst convict ruins.
2–Meet cute and cuddly locals
See penguins come to shore at dusk; watch wallabies, wombats and kangaroos graze in their natural habitat; sit quietly by a river to spot platypus; and cruise offshore to see Australian fur seals lounging in the sun – while you’re at sea, watch for dolphins and whales. Tasmania is also the only place you’ll see the Tasmanian devil, Eastern quoll, spotted-tail quoll and the Tasmanian bettong in the wild.
3–Explore alpine peaks and lakes
Cradle Mountain safeguards ancient alpine landscapes and many a waddling wombat. Part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area, the surrounding landscape is diverse and includes grassland, rainforest and ancient plants. Embark on a helicopter ride over Cradle Mountain with views that are hard to match or journey on the Dove Lake Circuit track that hugs the lake shoreline for a pleasant, relatively flat walk beneath the towering spires of Cradle Mountain.
4–Walk fields of flowers and devour fresh, local food
Tasmania is home to one of the world’s largest lavender farms with forty-eight hectares of rolling purple hills and dedicated tasting areas. Sample lavender and fresh locally grown and raised produce straight from local farmers and artisans. The produce is so fresh it’s likely to be unearthed, plucked or caught that day. Wineries, breweries and distilleries sell their drops at cellar doors and dedicated foodies can learn how to prepare plates at a cooking school and pick fresh food from the source.
5–Tee off by the water
Tee off to the sound of crashing waves on Tasmania’s coastal golf courses where sweeping beaches, farmland and manicured greens mix effortlessly. Barnbougle Dunes has been rated Australia’s number one public course more than once. It now represents two iconic courses – Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm. You can also tee off at King Island. Along with its two fancy golf courses, Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes, you can sample King Island beef and locally made cheeses.
More information: qantasvacations.com