Tasmania - more than a breath of fresh air!
Formally known as Van Diemen’s Land and more commonly known as Tassie, Tasmania is a small island state located 240km south of mainland Australia. 334 islands make up the state with the mainland accounting for 95% of the total landmass. Notable islands in Tasmania are Flinders, Bruny, King, Maria and Macquarie Island. Macquarie, a World Heritage site home to millions of sea birds, seals and penguins, is an environmental researcher’s paradise, but is considered an outlier as it’s some 1,500km south of the Tasmania mainland!
On the main island, the largest and most accessible to the everyday traveller and adventurer, you’ll find all manner of experiences to keep you occupied. For a start, there is an abundance of hikes and mountain bike trails throughout the islands that traverse you through beautiful landscapes, rugged mountain ranges, perfect white beaches and natural heritage sites.
Tasmania is a food and drinks lover's paradise
With an expansive ecosystem, you’ll also be sure to come across all sorts of wildlife. There’s also sailing, rafting, kayaking and fishing excursions for the water lovers among us.
On the flip side, you can relax and enjoy the local towns and cities, soaking up all the history and culture Tassie has to offer. One place that should be on everyone’s list is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Deemed a “subversive adult Disneyland” by its owner, MONA is an eclectic mix of ancient artifacts and modern contemporary art. It also boasts a cinema, library, vineyard (complete with cellar door) and several other bars and restaurants.
In January MONA hosts its own summer festival, ‘Mona Foma’ (oft shortened to Mofo), with art, music and food on the bill, and in midwinter, Dark Mofo, a festival celebrating the weird and wonderful (as well as the winter solstice).
Tasmania is also a food and drinks lover’s paradise. With some of the purest air, cleanest water and richest soil globally, there’s plenty of fresh local produce to be picked and enjoyed from farm to table. With farmer’s markets, fresh seafood markets, friendly pubs and high-end restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Hobart - a cultural haven!
Tassie has cooler and more varied weather conditions than other Australian states. That being said, Tasmania’s uniqueness with its expansive wilderness and mountain ranges have helped create some of the finest distilleries in the country. The clean and fresh mountain air with its cooler climate enables the growth of a wide array of local botanicals. Combined with Tasmania’s pure water, it is perfect for distilling spirits like whisky, vodka, and of course, gin.
And with a landmass that’s 30% of VIC, 9% of NSW, and a mere fraction of the other states, it boasts more distilleries per square km than any other. That’s not to mention the ample number of breweries, wineries and cideries based there too. So whatever the reason for visiting this island state and whatever your tipple of choice, you’ll be sure to come across a few favourites on your travels - in my humble opinion, they are all well worth a visit!
Happy adventure and happy tasting!