The Island State of Australia is a famous tourist destination for visitors from all over the World. It was first discovered by a Dutch explorer “Abel Tasman” and originally named as Van Diemen’s Land.
Tasmania is also called “Tassie” for short, by many Australians. The other names are “Apple Island”, “Treasure Island”, because of its delicious apples and historical and natural heritage.
Location and Connection:
Tasmania is 240 km south of the Australian mainland. It is located between 40 and 43.3 meridians of the southern hemisphare surrounded by the Southern Ocean (to the south and west), Tasman Sea (to the east) and Bass Strait (to the north). Bass Strait is approximately 30-90 metre deep.
It takes 55 minutes to fly from Melbourne (most southern city) to Launceston (second largest city after Hobart) and 80 minutes to Hobart (capital of the State). So the shortest and the cheapest flight connection (usually) from the mainland to Tassie is Melbourne – Launceston.
Size and Landscape:
Tasmania is comparable in size with the Republic of Ireland, West Virginia (USA) and Hokkaido (Japan). Despite being a small island, Tasmania boasts eight mountains that are greater than 1,500 m in heights and 28 mountains that are more than 1,220 high. Tasmania has more variation in landscape over short distances than any other part of Australia and New Zealand due to topographical variations such as mountains, hills and valleys. It has its own unique flora and wildlife different than the Australian mainland and the bright blue sky that you might not have seen before as well as the cleanest air in the World. Hobart has the longest daylight in Australia.
The topography of Tasmania affects the wind intensity, rainfall and other aspects of Tasmania’s climate. The prevailing westerly winds are laden with moisture as they are forced to rise over the western, southern and central highlands. The winds cool and release much of their moisture before reaching eastern Tasmania. This pattern occurs most of the year, producing various amounts of rain, mostly during winter and early spring. It also results in often cloudy and wet conditions in the south and the west. The north and east of Tasmania are much drier.
Despite its size, Tasmania has different landscapes in different regions-Eastern and Western regions are quite different, Midland plateau, Huon Region (south), Tasman Peninsula, North are all different this also affect the climate.
In general, Tasmania’s climate is a temperate maritime climate results from the absorption and storage of heat by the surrounding ocean and sea, causing mild winters and cool summer. Snow can occur in highland areas above 900 meters at any time of the year. The heaviest falls tend to be between July and August.
Seasons in Tasmania:
Summer: December to February
Autumn: March to May
Spring: September to November
Tassie is a gifted island with many rivers, lakes, wildlife and World Heritage listed National Parks www.parks.tas.gov.au/natparks/index.html and Historical Sites such as Port Arthur Penitentiary Centre and Woolmers-Brickendon Historical Farms.
Tassie is also well known for its fine food, locally grown produce, cherries, orchards, crops, deliciously baked breads, salmon, trout, oysters, mussels, cheese and award winning cool climate wine.
It is estimated that there were between 5,000 and 10,000 aboriginal people before the arrival of Europeans. European settlement began in 1803 . Today the population of Tasmania is roughly 500,000 of which 215,000 living in greater Hobart, 106,000 in Launceston, 27,000 in Devonport and 23,000 in Burnie. The rest of the population spread out in small towns and villages.
Taswegians are friendly and easy going people and Tasmania is one of the safest place in Australia or maybe in the World?
Did you know?: The World’s first Green political movement/party was born in Tasmania in 1972-The United Tasmania Group.
How To Get To Tasmania
Tasmania is only 240 km or 55 minutes flight from Melbourne. Daily direct flights run between Tasmanian cities (Hobart and Launceston) and Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by Jetstar and Virgin Blue Airlines. Ferry Boat named Spirit of Tasmania runs daily between Melbourne and Devonport (bus connection to Launceston takes 1 hour).
There are average 3-4 flights daily from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane (also connected to other cities) to Hobart and Launceston by low cost airlines- Virgin Blue Airlines www.virginblue.com.au and Jetstar www.jetstar.com.au .
Qantas also has some flights mostly code sharing with Jetstar; www.qantas.com.au. Jetstar has international flights direct from Bangkok Tokyo, Osaka and Honolulu as well as from New Zealand.
Melbourne – Singapore direct flights will commence on 16 Dec 2010.Virgin Blue has flights to several destinations in New Zealand, also has direct flights to Melbourne and Sydney from some international destinations.
Tiger airways is also flies to/ from major Australian cities and links Australia to Asia with cheap fares. www.tigerair.com/au/en
The Island is also connected by the Sea on a ferry boat called Spirit of Tasmania, a luxury vessel which runs daily between Melbourne and Devonport (Northern City of Tasmania).