Tasmania, the Apple Isle.
Tasmania, Australia's smallest and most southerly State, 240 km off the south-eastern corner, separated from the mainland by Bass Strait. It is an island about the size of Scotland. Tasmania has a dramatically different landscape than the mainland, there is no arid Outback here.
It is an island of contrasts: from rugged mountainous wilderness, with lakes, waterfalls and steeply falling rivers to rolling hills and deserted beaches and unspoiled, natural beauty of national parks and world heritage areas and with some of the cleanest waterways and air on earth. Hop fields with rows of tall poplars, apple and pear orchards, rich pastoral plains, great mining complexes, wonderful trout fishing.
Reminding us of the convict days are stone bridges built by chain gangs, gaols that held desperate convicts and bushrangers. At the southern end of the East Coast, on the Tasman Peninsula, is Eaglehawk Neck, noted for its bizarre rock formations. Further south is the massive historic ruins of the haunting penal settlement of Port Arthur, easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tasmania, with chief interest being in the ruins of the infamous convict establishment, built in 1830.
Despite tremendous development and industrial expansion, the island still retains much of the beauty and charm of its original colonial architecture, charming villages, old coach houses and roadside inns. Many of the early buildings constructed of solid freestone still stand today, blending with more modern structures of steel and concrete, but the old world atmosphere still pervades the cities.
Much of the West Coast is unexplored wilderness, with dense rainforests, valleys of strange horizontal scrub, wild rivers with spectacular rapids and ravines. In the highland Lake country, rivers have been harnessed, new lakes created with huge hydro-electric schemes.
The population of just over 470,000 is found mainly on the northern and eastern coasts.
Tasmania's capital is Hobart, Australia's second oldest capital city and most southerly city, with a population of about 195,000.
Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre:
ClimateTasmania's climate is temperate, with four distinct seasons. Snow is common in the highlands in winter. The temperature rarely goes above 25 degrees Celsius in summer.
Daylight SavingDaylight Saving in Tasmania begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the last Sunday in March. In October, clocks should be turned forward from 2am to 3am. In March, clocks should be turned back from 3am to 2am.
Daylight Saving in 2005 begins on Sunday 2 October and finishes on Sunday 26 March 2006.
Credit CardsMajor cards are accepted but in some country areas card access is limited.
DrivingGenerally 50km/h in cities and towns, 80km/h approaching major centres, 100/110km/h on open roads.
Speed cameras and radar guns, both fixed and mobile, are widely used.
Random breath testing units operate throughout Tasmania.
Blood alcohol level, it is an offence to drive with a level higher than 0.05 percent.
Wearing seat belts is compulsory.
Motor cyclists and bicycle riders must wear a helmet.
Banking hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm.
ATM and EFTPOS facilities are available widely.
Shopping hours in Hobart and Launceston are generally Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm.
AIR:Hobart Airport is 22km (35 minutes drive) from Hobart city centre. Tasmania has flights to major mainland cities. For detailed information visit Virgin Blue, Qantas, Jetstar.
SEA:Direct ferry from Sydney/Davenport, or across Bass Strait between Melbourne/Devonport via the "Spirit of Tasmania".
RAIL:No passenger services.
ROAD:All areas on the island are linked by a road system.
COACH:Tasmania has its own coach services, Tasmania's Redline Coaches
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS for 20061st Term: Feb 16 - Jun 2
2nd Term: Jun 19 - Sep 8
3rd Term: Sep 25 - Dec 20
(resumes Feb 16, 2007) ...for more information visit Tasmania.