Australia: Tasmania

Tasmania is an island state of Australia, located 240 km to the south of the Australian mainland. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts – the following blog post reveals more details.

Ann-Kathrin
Ann-Kathrin
Travel Guide
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Tasmania is so far away for many people that they don't even know exactly where it is or what eventful history it has. From time to time, even the Australians forget that the green island which is also called "Tassie" is a federal state of the Australian territory. In 2015, the Lonely Planet ranked Tasmania 4th among the most beautiful regions in the world – which is, last but not least, due to the untouched nature and the many endemic species.

About 12,000 years ago, Tasmania separated from the Australian continent due to the flooding of the 240 km Bass Strait. Due to its isolated location, Tasmania, which consists of 300 individual islands, has developed a unique endemic flora and fauna with rich diversity. Nevertheless, the close geological relationship between many species of Tasmania and the Australian continent is still visible.

Tasmania is generally cooler, wetter and more wooded than the mainland Australia. Moreover, there are many different climate zones in a small space, so that one can experience all four seasons within one day. The west of the island is marked by strong storms that whip against the rugged coast. In the centre there are wild rivers, glaciers, hills and rainforests. The east is exactly the opposite: Here mild temperatures and sandy beaches prevail, an ideal place to relax on the beach.

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Since more than one third of Tasmania is under nature protection, the island is preferred by hikers, biologists and bird lovers. Especially the Freycinet Peninsula, which is about 200 km north of the main town Hobart, captivates with its harmonious hilly landscape and its white sandy beaches. The waters of Great Oyster Bay and the Tasman Sea are crystal clear and turquoise. The Freycinet Peninsula is a national park founded in 1916. It is the oldest national park in Tasmania.

Tasmania's wildlife is considered an ecological jewel, as it is home to many species found nowhere else in the world. One of the most famous animals is the Tasmanian devil, a species from the family of marsupial devils that has died out on the Australian mainland. Characteristic are his ears, which turn red with excitement. In addition to the Tasmanian devil, there are wallabies, a small type of kangaroo, wombats, platypus, ant-hedgehogs and various types of bat.

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In contrast to Australia, Tasmania is no longer inhabited by indigenous people. The Europeans who arrived on the island at the beginning of the 19th century began to deport and kill the Aborigines in an unprecedented genocide. Truganini (1812-1876) and Fanny Cochrane Smith (1834-1905) are considered the last survivors of the Tasmanian natives.
If you would like to learn more about the multi-faceted history of the Australian continent and Tasmania, you have the opportunity to do so as part of a voluntary work in the Natucate Australia project.

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