Highlights of Tasmania

A rewarding if low key place, Tasmania is worth the trip over from the mainland (there are no direct international flights) to explore, particularly if you like heritage and escaping the crowds (though it is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination).

I’ve covered my eight days there in a bunch of posts, here were the highlights.

Port Arthur
Tasmania’s most popular attraction, the extensive remains of a British penal colony that was notorious in it’s relative short period of operation (44 years). There is a huge amount of fascinating history in this well managed place, you could easily spend a day here exploring.
dsc02065 dsc01938dsc01906MONA
Tasmania’s second most popular attraction, despite only being open since 2011. The Museum of Old and New Art is unlike any other art gallery I’ve been to. In mostly a good way, though it does depends on your tastes, MONA is infamous for focusing on sex, death and bodily functions. It’s a must see but perhaps leave the children behind.dsc02177 dsc02207 dsc02245 dsc02265

Henty Dunes
Close to Strahan, on the wild west coast of Tasmania, these are impressive inland sand dunes. The sand is blown by roaring west coast southerlies, enveloping and gradually killing the forest. They’re great fun to run down, really hard work to walk back up.dsc02625 dsc02631

Waratah
It’s pretty far off the usual tourist trail, at the northern end of The Tarkine, and nothing spectacular, but probably the most pleasant place we visited. There’s a lovely waterfall, some heritage buildings (including the hotel we stayed in), a funky playground feature, a full local museum, bodies of water, and an abandoned mine.dsc02870 dsc02873 dsc02889

Mawson’s Hut
A must visit for anyone interested in the exploration of Antarctica, an evocative replica of the still standing hut maintained by ticket money.dsc01286-mawsons-hutsdsc01292Tasman Peninsula
Home to an impressive coastline, with some of the highest sea cliffs in the world, best explored by boat.dsc01736 dsc01712 dsc01738

Lakes Highlands
I probably didn’t appreciate them fully at the time, but in retrospect they were a highlight of the trip, quite different from the rest of Tasmania, an open and evocative landscape.dsc02433 dsc02449

Heritage
Finally for anyone interested in heritage buildings or architecture Tasmania is the place to come, filled with colonial and federation (post 1901) architecture. Hobart and Launceston are filled with beautiful buildings, but so are many of the small towns including Strahan, Queenstown and Waratah on the west coast, and Richmond near Hobart. The grandest buildings as expected tend to be town halls, post offices and customs buildings.dsc02526 dsc02362 dsc03182 dsc03136 dsc03078

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