Sep
07
2013

There's nothing like the feeling of looking out at a truly beautiful coastline and horizon, and that's what you get if you head to Strahan and other areas of Tasmania's West Coast.

Strahan is your perfect entryway to other parts of the west, located by the Macquarie Harbour. Nearby, there's even the perfect mini getaway in the form of a gorgeous island where you can see Little Penguins move around the beach as the night falls – an unforgettable and touching sight. 

Overall, Strahan is your link into the stunning World Heritage Wilderness Area.

Strahan explained

With beautiful sea views and a lovely waterfront to stroll along, it's the perfect relaxation destination. However, don't expect calm seas for paddling around in – this is truly an untamed area with rugged waves, and the power of nature is more than evident. 

It's also a town with a long and illustrious history. Once upon a time it acted as a bustling port for a nearby prosperous copper mine and is also close to the old convict settlement of Sarah Island.

Piners, miners, railway workers and fishermen occupied the town, no doubt meeting raucously at the pub nightly to let loose. Men worked in the bush to garner timber from Huon pine trees and the logs were even floated down the river back to the Strahan sawmill. There is still a sawmill in operation today, however only logs that have naturally fallen are processed as to preserve the forests.

Of course, the history of those who made their livelihoods on the seas must be mentioned, as they braved the rugged Southern Ocean waters from the harbour to make their catch.

What can you do?

Strahan has plenty of accommodation and facilities if you choose to stay there. Good food and wine are found wherever you turn, and considering the town's seaside location there is particularly fantastic seafood if you're that way inclined. Salmon and trout are particular highlights of the region, and don't leave town without trying some of the local lobster!

Not far from Strahan is also the beautiful Gordon River, so if you want to see the region's surroundings then it's worth jumping aboard a cruise here. The scenery on a cruise is magical as you will pass by ancient trees and rainforest, with bird and animal life thriving in the remoteness of it all.

Nearby Strahan there are a host of other beautiful little towns to visit. For instance, you might want to visit the old mining town of Roseberry, which has generated billions of dollars in copper, gold, zinc, silver and lead! Now you can see how these mines operated back in the day and gain an insight into Tasmania's mining and resources related history.

Not only this, but Roseberry is home to Montezuma Falls, Tasmania's highest and incredibly impressive waterfall.

The town of Tullah is also worth a visit. This is another former prosperous mining town, and is even worth a stay at its beautiful lakeside lodge that awaits you with views of Mount Farrell and Mount Murchison.

There are a number of great walks, hikes and trails for you to complete here – or if you're more adventurous you can even head off on a mountain bike.

Guides can also help you to explore the Henty River in canoes and sea kayaks for an especially unique experience.

Furthermore, jump aboard the adorably named Wee George Wood steam train, which travels for 1.6km around the town for a quick overview at what's there.

Beautiful Strahan from the Tassie Journey Instameet

Lighthouse at the entrance to Hells Gate

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Sep
05
2013

It's undeniable that Tasmania is full of wonderful things to do, with endless amounts of adventures to be had.

The travel guide and informational company Lonely Planet has now acknowledged this, in its latest 1,000 Ultimate Adventures guide book.

The book, published this August, includes 58 adventures from Australia. Six of these take place in Tasmania!

The top Tasmanian adventures that made the cut were: The Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge (best races), Franklin River (best rafting rivers), Cradle Mountain Run (best ultra runs), Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey (epic sea-kayak paddles), The Totem Pole (most spectacular rock climbs) and Tasmanian National Park and the Abels (mountain quests).

Whether you're an adventurer who wants to complete a race or ultra run, or simply want to experience everything that Tasmania has to offer, these are all fantastic areas that are fantastic to visit even just for a bit of observation. It's great to see Tasmania being recognised worldwide as having some truly fantastic activities and locations.

The Totem Pole is one lesser-known attraction in Tasmania that may garner some new attention thanks to this list. The Totem Pole is, quite literally, a giant vertical slab of rock at Cape Hauy that provides a challenging task for climbers and abseilers, as they must make their way straight upwards towards the sky! The view from the top, however, is unrivaled with panoramas of the wide open horizon, sea and land.
It is not however for beginners!

Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey are also lesser known but spectacularly beautiful areas, with some of the most gorgeous landscape on the planet alongside an extremely unique marine environment.

Head to Tasmania yourself to see some of these sights and experience some of these adventures yourself, for the trip of a lifetime.

Cover of the LP Guidebook with its six Tasmanian inclusions

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Sep
05
2013

Tasmania is a beautiful place to experience and explore, with an adventure waiting around each and every corner.

Filled with natural beauty, sightseeing locations, friendly locals and some great cities and towns, you're bound to enjoy your time in Tas.

However, like with any holiday destination, there are some things you should be aware of once you decide to head to the state.

Now that spring is finally here, you might be tempted to jump into the water. Remember that the conditions in Tasmania might not be as placid as they are where you're coming from.

You'll want to be careful on Tasmanian roads,especially at dawn and dusk when animals may appear and give you a nasty surprise – keep those eyes open and alert! Some areas will have dirt roads that you may not be used to, so drive especially carefully on these.  Make sure to always take note of speed limits, as you would anywhere.

It's also important to remember that, unlike in some countries, it's illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Australia – so keep both hands on the wheel!

It's always a good idea to research your driving routes beforehand, with a map and satellite phone on hand. A GPS system is always a good safety net as well.

Because you may be driving to some remote areas, be sure to pack some extra water and food with you in case of emergency and tell someone, such as your hotel receptionist, where you're going and when you expect to be back.

When you head out into the wild

Of course, one of Tasmania's biggest drawing cards is its spectacular natural features. That means there are a number of trails, walks and hikes for you to enjoy with varying degrees of strenuousness. Some may be a couple of hours, while some may be a day trip. Others will take you multiple days and nights.

Before you head out into Tasmania's wonderful wilderness, it's essential that you are prepared as you never know when conditions or circumstances may change.

Many of Tasmania's walks are in remote areas that may not have cell phone coverage. This means that in an emergency it can be hard to get in touch with help. You may choose to carry a personal locator beacon that can be activated in a severe emergency situation so that rescuers can find you easily. However, the best way to avoid such a situation is to be prepared.

You need to know the conditions of the area before you set out and you'll need to have all the right survival supplies.

Choose a walk that you know suits your level of experience and fitness and plan it thoroughly beforehand – always bring a map and never walk alone. Three or more people are ideal for a bushwalking trip. Take clothing suitable for extremely cold and wet conditions, as well as hats and sunscreen for the sun. You'll need a tent and plenty of food of water and a first aid kit. As always, let someone know your plans and where you're headed.

Leave your pride at the start of the track. If you think conditions are dangerous and you might need to turn around, do. It's better safe than sorry!

Once you've covered these essential safety precautions then you'll be in the best position to enjoy all the wonders that Tasmania has to offer.

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Sep
04
2013

For those who want a truly unique and special experience of Tasmania on their holiday, why not head into the skies and see what the view is like from up there?

There are a number of small planes, helicopter and tour operators across Tasmania who will be happy to show you what all the fuss about Tasmania is from up in the clouds. Seeing Tasmania's hills and mountains from above is an extremely stunning experience.

One of your options is to see Cradle Mountain from the air. Take off in your comfortable copter and look down on Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake, Waterfall Valley, Crater Lake, Barn Bluff and Australia's deepest gorge, aptly named the Fury Gorge, which is arguably even more impressive from above.

You may also want to head out with Tasmanian Air Adventures, who provide an awe-inspiring seaplane experience. This tour leaves from Hobart, so you get to see the city and its surrounding natural wilderness from above – certainly not your usual tourist experience, but one that many will envy.

You can also see Port Arthur, the Freycinet Peninsula, Bruny Island, Gordon River and Port Davey from the air.

With a Tall Timbers Adventure Tour you get the best vantage point for viewing the Tarkine rainforest, which is located in the north-west of the state. It also happens to be the southern hemisphere's largest cool climate rain forest, so you're flying over a truly significant natural landmark.

Is there anywhere else that you would like to fly in Tasmania – and do you prefer travelling via plane or helicopter? Cross your preference off your Bucket List and look down upon some of Australia's wonders.

Adventure Flights Tasmanian also leave from Strahan for Seaplane flights into the Gordon River

Flying above Tasmania with Tasmanian Air Adventures

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Sep
03
2013

Cradle Mountain is one of Tasmania's most famous and iconic destinations and it's no surprise why.

A stunning natural feature, you can find it at the northern end of the Cradle Mt – Lake St Clair National Park. The mountain evokes true feelings of wilderness with a variety of different scenery from rock, to rainforest, to shrubbery and more.

When it comes to accommodation, if you love a touch of luxury then you may want to check out Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. This will give you access to the stunning views you're after, considering that it's the closest accommodation to National Park which is home to the mighty mountain.

This lodge is perfect for a variety of situations, with its range of cabins available to cater for families, couples, groups of friends – anyone! Your cabin will be nestled in the wilderness and if you want to treat yourself you can go for one of the all-out luxury suites. If you want a further nudge in the direction of relaxation, consider indulging in a massage or even a sauna – you deserve it.

You won't need to be scrounging around for food with both formal and casual options available for your meals. Alternatively, perhaps you'll want to head out on one of the surrounding walking trails for your own personal picnic, taking in all that nature has to offer.

Around the lodge you can even make yourself at home with various activities such as mountain biking, fly fishing, cheese and wine tasting, night time animal viewings, horse riding, helicopter flights, and more.

With all this to do and more, it's the perfect location whether you want to completely relax and unwind, or if you'd rather remain busy and active. Waking up every morning adjacent to Cradle Mountain is sure to rejuvenate you.

Cradle Mountain Lodge Exterior

Luxury Spa Suites Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge

Cradle Mountain one of Australia's most recognisable landmarks

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Sep
02
2013

When many people think of Tasmania, one of the first – or maybe even the only – thing that comes to mind is the cartoon character the Tasmanian Devil.

Fair enough too, because this fierce little carnivorous creatures is an incredibly treasured part of the island's heritage, and locals and visitors alike love to come across them. However, there are many other intriguing creatures located in Tasmania that are worth your time as well.

There are many ways you can see the wildlife for yourself in Tassie. Many tourists like to join tours that can show them all the best animals that the state has to offer, while others love to indulge in self-directed exploration initiatives. Whatever your preferred method of wildlife watching, you are sure to have a ball.

The darling devils themselves

Tassie Devils actually have a cute and innocent appearance, which is only challenged if they bare their teeth and reveal the power behind their adorable faces.

See a Tassie Devil for yourself in person at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park located near the historic area of Port Arthur.

You can also get a close-up glimpse of these creatures at Devils @ Cradle which, with the stunning backdrop of Cradle Mountain, allows you to see this animal up close either in a day or night time setting.

However, you don't always need to go to a guided centre to catch a glimpse of a Devil. If you are hiking or camping in one of the many national parks in the state, you may come across one, most commonly at dusk or dawn when these animals are at their most active. Check out Mount William National Park or the forested areas of the South West National Park as these are locations known for Tassie Devil sightings. Fingers crossed!

The wonderful wombats

Wombats are one of Australia's treasures, and these are found freely throughout Tasmania. If you are wandering near Cradle Mountain, the Overlamd Track or the Walls of Jerusalem National Park and Narawntapu among a few others, it's likely you'll stumble upon one of these cute critters.

A playful platypus

Have you ever seen a platypus in the flesh? Well, it might be high time for you to get a look at one, and this can take place at a number of locations. Perhaps you might want to head out to the Gunns Plains Cave, an underground world filled with glow worms, lobsters and the odd platypus.

Mount Field National Park is also home to some platypi, as is the Franklin-Gordon Rivers National Park and the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

Meet some kool kangaroos

Kangaroos are an Aussie classic and no wildlife-themed excursion is complete without a sighting of one. These can be found at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, Maria Island National Park, Mount William National Park and Narawntapu National Park. Don't leave Tasmania until you have seen one of these hopping creatures up close.

Wandering wallabies

Yet another Australian classic, wallabies can definitely be spotted around the state. Maria Island National Park, Freycinet National Park, Mt William National Park and Walls of Jerusalem National Park are home to this leisurely cute critter.

Bountiful birds in Tas

Tasmania also has an abundance of beautiful birds, so you'll always hear sweet tweeting coming from overhead. Ornithologists love grabbing their binoculars and checking out the amazing bird life found on the island.

Are there any other amazing Australian animals in Tasmania that you think we have missed? Which unique creature would you like to see the most? List your favourites!

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Aug
29
2013

The Freycinet Peninsula is another one of Tasmania's stunning areas. Part of Freycinet National Park, the peninsula is on Tassie's east coast. The scenery is varied with impressive looming mountains contrasted by beautiful bays and beaches.

Because there is so much to see on the peninsula it's great to get out amongst nature and see the best of it on foot.

Head out on the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit, which is a 30 km walk. This can take two days or more depending on how much time you want to spend making relaxing stop offs at the plentiful gorgeous beaches and other natural spectacles.

On the circuit, you'll pass the famous Wineglass Bay, the Hazard Mountains and Beach, Cooks Beach and Bryans Beach. As you traverse across the peninsula you will also get great views of Mount Freycinet.

Make sure that you pack plenty of water, food, a first aid kit and warm and wet weather clothing. You will also need to bring your own tent as there are not any huts on the walk. There are designated areas for you to camp in at specific locations.

You should pack at least two litres of water per person per day. Along the walk there are some drinking water stops, but these are scarce so make sure you take plenty with you. You may want to boil or treat your water with iodine or a filter if you get it from the track, as the water that is available is untreated.

Be aware that there is plenty of wildlife around, so you will need to keep your food secure and any rubbish packed away, as these animals should not be fed human food.

It is essential that you leave the track as it was, so that means taking all rubbish you generate out of the park with you. Last of all – enjoy!

The spectacular Hazards on the Freycinet Peninsula

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Aug
26
2013

Can you see yourself relaxing on a beautiful property, miles away from the realities of everyday life and all its worries?

Well you can do this in many places in Tasmania. There's nothing like getting to know a place by meeting its locals, and through a homestead or farm stay you can experience the warm hospitality Tasmania have to offer. And unlike the rest of Australia, our farm stays are not ‘outback’ experiences – you will be in a rural location mostly close to all amenities.

A farm stay experience means that you share the home with the family, taking part in their daily activities and getting a real slice of a real life experience.

For example at some farm stays you might help to feed animals such as chickens and cows, and perhaps even an alpaca or two. Some farm stays will invite you to share meals with the family, while others may operate in a more self-contained style. Either way, this is definitely a social and personal experience where many people meet friends they will keep in touch with for life.

Enjoy sharing some new experiences with the locals by making the choice to go country on a farm stay. … we like the line “Meet real, down-to-earth Tasmanians, living ordinary lives in extraordinary places.”
There are two options: one in hosted commercial accommodation, or two in facilities offered by the worldwide Helpx network which lists over 190 opportunities to stay in exchange for work.

Farm animals - Ben acting the goat - Image Credit: Heimat Chalets Farm Stay

Helpx.net listing screenshot - organic and wellness, conventional, large and small - the experience is for you to choose

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Aug
25
2013

Tasmania's position to the south of Australia, means that the state is chock-a-block full of lighthouses. In days before modern advanced navigational equipment, many ships ended up in strife sailing to or from Tasmania – and many of these maritime disasters were tragically fatal. Ships were predominantly made of wood and you cannot envisage a plight more distressing than rocks and bad weather.
Tasmanian waters therefore lay claim to a disproportionate number of shipwrecks in the Australian register.

To prevent such losses of resources and life, lighthouses were built around the island and many of these remain to this day.

The Cape Bruny lighthouse is one of the more popular destinations for visitors as it is one of the oldest still operational lighthouses in Tasmania; it is also steeped in convict history as convicts were often used to assist keepers around our coastlines.

Many of Tasmania's lighthouses are extra striking due to their physical appearance. The Mersey Bluff Lighthouse near Devonport is one particularly standout lighthouse, known for looking a little like a candy cane as it is white with distinctive vertical red stripes.

A more harrowing location at the entrance to Macquarie Harbour led to one set being named the Hells Gate Lighthouses. Conditions couldn’t be any more dangerous with rough seas and rushing tides, making sailing in the area treacherous for mariners – but nowadays the location is a must-see destination for sightseeing enthusiasts.

There are lighthouses on all coasts – east, south, west and north. In fact you can use their locations as the basis for a holiday!

Bruny Island Lighthouse - Image Credit: Don Sherman Flickr

Lighthouse at the entrance to Hobart's Derwent River - The Iron pot - Image Credit: Lighthouse-dot-net-au

After large storm waves broke over the keepers' houses in early 1900's the structures seen here were removed.

Mersey Bluff Lighthouse near Devonport - image credit: Tasmaniaforeveryone-dot-com-au

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Aug
23
2013

The Franklin-Gordon River is one of the arteries of Tasmania and there are plenty of activities that you can undertake in on it or around it, so the region is well worth a visit.

The river is part of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, which is also a part of the world renowned Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Rafting trips are a popular option in this area with the river’s wild waters offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, as well as a fun time on the water.

The Western Wilderness gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1982 after a long battle to stop the majestic Gordon/Franklin Rivers being dammed. This movement eventually led to the project’s cancellation became one of most significant environmental campaigns in Australian history. Today, it is one of the last true wildernesses on earth and the tiny town of Strahan acts as a hub for anyone wanting to explore the region.

If you have an adventurous spirit you can challenge yourself with a white-knuckle white water rafting experience on the Franklin River. Even if you think you’ve done it all before, these rapids will have you twisting and turning and will get your heart beating like nothing else!  Don’t worry though – you’ll be in the experienced hands of your local and skilled guides. The river has been voted best rafting journey in the world.

The Franklin-Gordon area isn’t far from Hobart (by road it is around 5 hours to base yourself in Strahan) so you can easily integrate it into your travels around Tasmania, and it is sure to offer you a unique and unforgettably hair-raising experience. It sure is a different way of experiencing the vast and varied wilderness around you.

Strahan to The Franklin-Gordon Wild River - Image Credit: DownTheRoad-dot-org

Franklin River Rafting

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