For now, the largest stretch of water we can cross is Bass Strait.
Greater Sydney’s ban from Tasmania will be lifted this Sunday 31 January thanks to NSW recording twelve consecutive days of no community transmission. (Featured image: @timlippis)
Hooray for us because we’ve been keeping our eye on the little island state for some time now, especially since we found out that the Spirit of Tasmania would be slashing the costs of taking our car across and that widespread international travel would be unlikely before 2022. We’ve also been keeping our eye on New Zealand, but we’re still waiting on the trans-Tasman travel-bubble to commence.
So, for now, Tassie is the only place ”over seas” we can go. And honestly, we’re not mad about that because the apple isle is one beautiful place to visit. If you haven’t made the trip across Bass Strait before, then consider 2021 your chance to explore the state with the place that has the cleanest air in the world.
1. The Wilderness – Australia’s Final Frontier
Almost 20% of Tasmania is a World Heritage Site. That’s 15,800 km². That’s a huge amount of wilderness to explore and there’s probably quite a fair bit that you won’t be able to reach with some areas over 50kms from the nearest road. Six national parks, and a tonne of other areas, make up the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which also includes one of only three remaining temperate wilderness areas in the southern hemisphere and the best example of a temperate rainforest anywhere in Australia.
Tasmania is also home to the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest trees with the tallest, Centurion, reaching a height of 100.5m. Freaking incredible.
2. Go for all the walks
One way to experience all the beauty and wilderness that Tasmania has to offer is to tackle the Overland Track—Australia’s premier alpine walk. You will probably need some bushwalking experience to take on the 65km (one way), six-day trek and you will need to book in advance. But it will be totally worth it once you set your eyes on the landscape of ”glacially carved valleys, ancient rainforests, fragrant eucalypt forests, golden buttongrass moorlands and beautiful alpine meadows.”
However, if such a challenge is still not on your radar, then Tasmania has plenty of more offerings with plenty of stunning destinations where you’ll be taking out your camera to capture the beauty. One such place is Wineglass Bay, but there’s 60-odd day walks you can take once you’re in Tasmania. It’s almost as if the options are endless.
3. Visit Mona
Mona, Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art, is one of the world’s great museums and it is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere. From ancient, modern and contemporary art to the physical building itself, which is built largely underground and forces visitors to descend an almost everlasting staircase before they view the art, Mona has been described by its owner David Walsh as a “subversive adult Disneyland”.
Then again, this might no longer be true as what Mona is, constantly changes yet remains incredible all the same.
A must-see at Mona right now is James Turrel’s Amarna, which isn’t actually inside the museum but rather outside and seen outside opening hours because of how it plays with the colours of the day at sunrise and sunset. The large-scale installation has been described by MONA staff as ”kind of like what God would do if He decided to build a gazebo.” Unfortunately, you can only experience the sunset sequence if you have a Faro dinner booking or you’re staying at Mona in the Pavilions.
For visiting info, see here.
4. And then there’s the whisky, wine and the food
The only time a country outside of Scotland and Japan has won the best single-malt whisky in the world was in 2014 and that was by Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask—a Tasmanian distillery. Old news, we know, but it’s still something to celebrate and a visit to Sullivans Cove, or any of the other distilleries on the island, is a must.
But if whisky isn’t your go-to drink, then Tasmania has you covered with four wine trails showcasing Tassie’s cool-climate terroir. And where there is wine, you know there is food. And good food too with so much of it grown on the island or around it. Whether sitting down in a classy city restaurant or sitting somewhere in the country, you just know that your food came from somewhere nearby, like the oysters on Bruny Island or the Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon.
Must have something to do with the extrememly clean air and water they’ve got done there.
And just one little extra reason to go to Tasmania…
Whether you see the aurora australis, or southern lights, has a lot to do with chance, there’s no better place than Tasmania to see them.
To find out more about them, and to help you cacth the lights, check out the Aurora Australis Tasmania Facebook page—an Australian based group that love the aurora australis and who help, encourage and celebrate the natural phenomenon.