Australia’s solitary island state Tasmania is often considered a world of its own, but it seems the island’s exclusive location and unique flora and fauna are encouraging more and more travellers, both domestic and international, to cross the Bass Strait and venture into unknown territory.
Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, was recently rated one of the world’s top ten destinations on the rise and also came in at number seven in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013 book.
It may be genetically and geographically isolated, but over 855,000 visitors flocked to Tasmania throughout the year ending June 2012 – an impressive figure when you consider the island has more visitors per year than its entire population.
Tourism Tasmania’s Acting CEO Adam Sproule says, “It appears the rest of the world is indeed becoming wise to the energy and excitement that Hobart offers as a top-class travel destination.”
“Hobart has something for all travellers and with the warmer months clearly in sight, visitors from Australia and abroad are encouraged to visit Tasmania now and discover our capital city for themselves.”
Tasmania is a wildlife haven with platypus, wallabies and the Tasmanian devil, ancient plants (remnants of Gondwana), over 1.38 million hectares of World Heritage listed land and the cleanest air in the world (measured at Cape Grim on the north-west coast).
In Hobart, a trip to Mount Wellington is a favourite among nature-lovers. Just a short drive from the city centre, the top of the mountain provides breathtaking views and the guided bike ride makes for a speedy way to come back down.
However history buffs have rated the World Heritage listed Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, in South Hobart, as the top attraction. The site sits in the shadow of Mount Wellington and once served as a prison for female convicts.
For those who prefer all things contemporary, the city’s über cool arts scene is just as unique as the local wildlife, with David Walsh’s highly acclaimed and controversial MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) at the forefront of the Hobart’s edgy arts precinct.
Upcoming events in Hobart:
Taste Festival (28 December 2012 – 3 January 2013)
A celebration of Tasmanian fresh produce, boutique beer and wine.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (26 December 2012 – 1 January 2013)
An iconic event widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.
MONA FOMA (16 – 20 January, 2013)
Tasmania’s largest contemporary music festival.
Ten Days on the Island (15 – 24 March 2013)
Tasmania’s premier cultural event, an international arts festival.