The pristine rainforest of Tasmania's Tarkine | Peter Walton
Here are some interesting facts about Tasmania that you probably didn't know about. Tasmania is widely known for having the cleanest air in the world, and the best scenery and the richest history compared to other states in Australia. Combined with its beautiful landscapes, warm people, delicious food and wine, Tasmania is a wonderful travelling destination, both to explore the stunning wilderness or the charming cities and towns on the island. Though, for being one of the smallest states of Australia, it’s not short of fascinating facts!
Tasmania is the world's 26th largest island
Tasmania has an area of 90,758km2 located 240km off southeast of Australia. There are 334 other islands that lie just off Tasmania, ranging from rocky outcrops to three sizeable, inhabited islands. Want to visit one? Join on the Flinders Island Walking Adventure and explore the island’s rolling green pastures, abundant wildlife and bird life.
Tasmania has the world's cleanest air
Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world, monitored by the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station. The lack of pollution is due to the position of Tasmania in the Southern Ocean, far from other land masses. The Cape Grim station is located in the path of the Roaring Forties, which are strong westerly winds that carry pollution-free air thousands of kilometres across the Southern Ocean.
Tasmania was first “discovered” on November 24, 1642, by Abel Tasman
Although Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for at least 35,000 years, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to “discover” Tasmania. He named it Anthoonij Van Diesmenslandt or “Anthony Van Diemen's Land” after the sponsor of the exploration, Anthony Van Diemen (who also the governor-general of Dutch East Indies currently known as Indonesia). Despite the official name of Van Diemen's Land, usage of the alternative 'Tasmania' gradually grew, and on January 1, 1856, it was officially renamed Tasmania. Tasmania is known to the Aboriginal people as 'Trowunna', 'Trowenna' or 'Loetrouwitter'
Over 20% of Tasmania is Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
At least one fifth of Tasmania is world heritage area. The area which covers 1.58 million hectares includes national parks, marine, and forests reserves. This means that 20% of the land is World Heritage Area, which extends far south of Tasmania to the Cradle Mountain in North West, and many of the remote destinations that are untouched and unspoilt are only accessible by foot!
Hobart is the second driest capital city in Australia
Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania, located in the south of the Island. And while Tasmania is known to be one of the wettest states in Australia, it may surprise some to know that Hobart is actually the second driest capital city in Australia, second to Adelaide. Most people think that Tasmania is a wet and damp place, yet in Hobart it's not the case. Hobart receives an average rainfall of 614mm of rain every year, unlike Brisbane which gets 1021mm per year.
Tasmania has the oldest trees in the world
Huon pine trees located in Western Tasmania some of the oldest living things on earth. The Huon Pine tree grows very slowly; a 20-meter tree could be thousands of years old. While the oldest individual tree or stem on the site now may be 1000 to 2000 years old, the organism itself has been living there continuously for 10,500 years.
Tasmania has dense rainforests
Tasmania has a lot of thick vegetation. Some of the species found in the rainforest include eucalypts which are the tallest trees in the Southern Hemisphere and the biggest in their world. They are 89 meters tall and 10 meters wide. Other unique species include the myrtle, blackwood, sassafras, leatherwood, celery top pine, Huon pine and King Billy pine.
The Tasmanian devil is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world
The “Tasmanian devil” is only found in Tasmania, and is the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. Officially listed as an endangered species, new research shows that Tasmanian Devils are developing a resistance to the facial tumour disease that has heavily influenced the decline of the species by more than 80% since first found 20 years ago.
Tasmania has over 2000km of walking tracks and 18 national parks
With over 2000 km of walking trails you can experience world heritage, beautiful coastline, and amazing scenery of ancient rainforests on a variety of walking tracks that range from 9 hours to 9 days. Whether you explore the south of Tasmania’s South Coast Track, the iconic Overland Track in the centre of the state, or visit the lush rainforest region of the Tarkine, or the stunningly rugged coastline of the East along the Three Capes Walk, there are a number of ways to explore Tasmania by boot.
Mount Ossa is the highest mountain in Tasmania
Mount Ossa is located in the heart of Cradle Mountain and Lake St Claire national park, and stands tall at 1617 meters. Trekkers can summit Mount Ossa while on the Overland Track, and be rewarded with 360-degree views of Tasmania’s north-west, (with visibility of nearly 30km on a clear day!). Tasmania has a never ending display of wonderful nature; from beautiful islands to spectacular wildness and stunning coastlines. Start planning your next adventure to experience some of the most spectacular and remote locations today. View our full range of trips here.