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The highlights of Tasmania

Tasmania

Rugged and extraordinary

Tasmania is full of wild landscapes and extraordinary animals. The capital Hobart has surprising attractions for culture lovers. We have selected five highlights of Australia's maverick destination.

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Even after Abel Tasman discovered this region four centuries ago, Tasmania's wilderness is still abundant and pristine. The area's compact landmass has numerous natural highlights that would take many days to travel on Australia's mainland. The once reclusive Tasmanians now welcome outsiders with open arms, making this a new and intriguing dream destination for world travellers.

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Jason Edwards

Lake St. Clair National Park

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is the most eye-catching of the nineteen wilderness parks on Tasmania. One of the reasons is the jagged spire rock formations of Cradle Mountain. Rising up to 1500 metres, the mountain is also the literal highpoint for adventurous travellers not afraid of a good workout.

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From the sloping hiking trails, the mountain is never far away. This area is best suited for more experienced hikers. A popular local attraction is the Overland Track: 65 kilometres of sheer hiking pleasure through dense jungle and across vast alpine meadows.

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Debbie Reno

Maria Island

Devil's island

There is no better spot for a close encounter with Tasmania's unique wildlife than Maria Island. Since the 1960s, this small island on the east coast, only a stone's throw from Hobart, has been a refuge for endangered animals. The notorious Tasmanian Devil was relocated here to protect it from a contagious type of cancer that was decimating the animals on the Australian mainland. Visitors who take the four-day Maria Island Walk will also likely spot rare wombats, wallabies and giant kangaroos. You will also come across fascinating Darlington Probation Station, the best preserved penal colony in Australia.

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Conner Bowe / Unsplash

Ben Lomond

Stairway to heaven

The Ben Lomond mountain plateau stands 1572 metres high, making it an eye-catching natural landmark. The photogenic road with hairpin curves winds its way through a forest of prehistoric stone pillars. Locals also refer to this stretch as Jacob’s Ladder. The area is a magnet for mountain bikers who work up a sweat tackling the grade. In winter there is usually a few weeks of snow, enough to strap on some skis and get in a few runs. The views are spectacular any time of year.

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Hobart

Charming town

Ready to get back to civilisation? The capital Hobart offers all the conveniences of a modern metropolis with the laidback vibe you would expect from this historic port town, and is easily to explore on foot. The 19th century warehouses that frame Salamanca Square embody the new Hobart. After the rundown sandstone buildings underwent a major restoration, the area has regained its pizzazz. Where whalers once divvied up the spoils of their catch, you can now peruse contemporary galleries, boutiques, theatres and restaurants. On Saturdays, the square hosts the Salamanca Market with many colourful food stalls. Many believe this is the best outdoor market in all of Australia.

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Museum of Old and New Art

Controversial art

As the name indicates, visitors to the Museum of Old and New Art will find themselves exploring the past and the present. Since its inauguration eight years ago, the MONA has made a name for itself as the most avantgarde art institution in Australia. The vast private collection donated by wealthy businessman David Walsh features everything from ancient sarcophagi to modern and sometimes controversial art, such as a suicide bomber made of chocolate. The building itself may be its biggest masterpiece.

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