Oct
23
2011

Tasmania’s east coast islands offer many attractions

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Tasmania's east coast islands are widely marvelled at for their beauty, diversity and fascinating histories.

Dotted along the picturesque coastline, these groups of unique destinations offer visitors a chance to discover various attractions that can't be found on the mainland.

The islands fall into groups, known as Schouten, Maria, Tasman, Sloping, Betsey, Partridge and Actaeon.

Schouten Island was a whaling and sealing centre during the 1800s, while in 1905 the peninsula became Freycinet National Park.

It is mostly made of sand and is hugely popular with camping enthusiasts and kayakers.

At Ille des Phoques, the flowstone and submarine caves and tunnels are thought of as possessing vast geological significance.

In some ways Maria Island is representative of Tasmania's dramatic history – by 1825 it was a convict prison – while today you can stay in the former penitentiary.

Maria is one of the best places in Australia to observe wildlife in its natural habitat, such as Forester kangaroos, pademelons, Bennetts wallabies and Cape Barren geese.

With no cars or shops, it is a serene environment ideal for exploring by foot.

The Tasman Island Group is renowned Hippolyte Rocks – a popular site for charters to take tourists to spot birds and seals. It is accessible by boat from Fortescue Bay camp ground and other nearby fishing wharves.

Actaeon Island Group is home to The Friars – four steep dolerite rocks formations off South Bruny Island which form part of the national park.

You can often be lucky enough to enjoy spectacular views of Australian fur seals hauling themselves up the rocks.

Visitors to this side of Tasmania often leave wishing they had dedicated more of their time to this wonderful corner of the world.

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