The Top 10 Places to See in Tasmania
With Tasmania's 3.4-million acres of protected wilderness, this alluring isle feels close to heaven—Tasmanian devils included
- By Tony Perrottet
- Smithsonian.com, April 17, 2012
Sunrise at Cape Tourville. (© DanieleC / Alamy)
The outside world has always regarded Tasmania as something of a mystery. In the 18th century, Jonathan Swift situated Lilliput off its coast in Gulliver’s Travels; soon afterward, some of the first British convicts that were transported here tried to escape by walking to China, only to get lost in the rugged hinterland and resort to cannibalism. An aura of mystery persists today, perhaps because Tasmania, an island slightly larger than Nova Scotia, is one step farther removed than the rest of the Australian continent, hidden under its southern shore and cut off by the violent seas of the Bass Strait. Nature is on a dramatic scale here: over 3.4-million acres of its area is protected wilderness, including ancient rainforests, jagged peaks and powerful rivers. In recent years, Tasmania has become easier to reach with Qantas flights from Sydney and Melbourne, luring more travelers to discover its surprising range of attractions. A wave of plush new eco-lodges, wineries and gourmet food producers has recast the travel landscape in the last decade, and with the addition of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in 2011, Tasmania has quickly been transformed from mysterious to downright alluring.
Contributing writer Tony Perrottet, who was born in Australia and now lives in New York, has been visiting Tasmania since the 1980s; www.tonyperrottet.com.