Today, writers the world over have been applauding Australia’s island state. There’s a lot packed into this heart-shaped island: from the adventure-ready ancient wilderness and pulse-stopping coastline, to the rich living history and vibrant communities, not to mention the palate-pleasing food and drink.
But there’s something else – something almost intangible about the place that’s affectionately known as ‘Tassie’. You see, Tasmania gets under your skin. A Tasmanian experience stays with you forever.
Ever since the intrepid European explorers set out to discover the Great South Land in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, people have been writing about the beguiling and beautiful island of Tasmania.
More recent praise has come from the pens of no less than Mark Twain, Charles Darwin and Anthony Trollope, who each visited the island in the nineteenth century when it was still known as Van Diemen’s Land.
Western Tasmania's World Heritage Area is one of the last great unspoilt temperate wilderness areas in the world.
Tasmania possesses the finest brown trout angling in the southern hemisphere and is the source of all brown trout stocks in Australia and New Zealand.
Tasmania has the longest and deepest caves and the deepest natural freshwater lake in Australia.
Launceston's Cataract Gorge Chairlift is the longest single-span chairlift in the world.
Tasmania has the largest lavender farm in the world and it is the only commercial lavender producer in the southern hemisphere.
The dominant rainforest species are eucalypts, including the tallest stands of hardwood in the southern Hemisphere and the biggest white gum (89 metres tall and 10 metres around) in the world.
The forests also include a unique range of minor species, including myrtle, blackwood, sassafras, leatherwood, celery top pine, Huon pine and King Billy pine. These timbers are used extensively in the craft and quality furniture industries.
A Huon pine tree in the south-west wilderness is estimated to be 4,000 years old, making it the oldest living thing on earth.
Tasmania has 68 golf courses - more per capita than any other state in Australia.
Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world and its rainwater is so pure that quantities have been shipped to Australian Olympic Athletes competing overseas.
Tasmania is the southern-most State and lies 240km south of the Australian mainland, on a latitude of 40 degrees south.
Its territory includes Macquarie Island, halfway between the Australian mainland and the Antarctic continent, but the capital, Hobart is no further from the equator than New York or Madrid. Tasmania is closer to the equator than Rome, Chicago or the Azores.