Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is a place of mellow sandstone, dockside fishmongers, al fresco coffee shops, art, craft, music and theatre. Hobart is shaped by water, take a river cruise, or drive to the summit of Mount Wellington. 25 kilometres away the historic town of Richmond, with its fine Georgian architecture, remembers days gone by. Galleries and boutiques sell a wide range of quality arts and crafts - other attractions are a maze, a large and detailed model of old Hobart Town, and an amusement park specially for young children.
Along the Tasman Peninsula turn right at the historic town of Sorell , you're heading south for scenery, wildlife, heritage and adventure. You'll discover fine heritage buildings, sample delicate wines from a vineyard overlooking the sea, and savour some of local specialties. You may encounter dolphins or our unique Tasmanian devil. Further south, Port Arthur has overlooked the dark waters of a quiet bay for more than 150 years.
Launceston is a city of contrasts - a short walk from the graceful Victorian-era facades is the scenic Cataract Gorge Reserve, with its tree rhododendrons and peacocks, fern glades and spacious lawns. And it's a place of the unexpected, where you can try rock-climbing, hang-gliding or whitewater rafting. Fine food is served in the city's bistros and restaurants. Stroll the boardwalks onto Tamar Island and see birds in their natural habitat. Walk through Notley Gorge's dense fern glades and rainforest to crashing waterfalls. Further north at Low Head, fairy penguins return each evening to their burrows in the coastal scrub.
Tasmania 's East Coast is a coast sunshine and sea life, wine and wildlife, crags, beaches, history and adventure. Tasmania accommodation on this coast is close to national parks, Douglas-Apsley with its quiet rivers, eucalyptus and Oyster Bay Pines, Freycinet a bushwalkers paradise and Maria Island with its history, walks and native birds and animals. Along the East Coast Gourmet Trail you'll discover the delicious flavours of the area's fresh natural produce.
Nature paints with a bright brush in Tasmania's north-east. In summer, poppy fields colour the landscape, and rows of lavender glow purple. Beaches glitter on the coast, where the sea surges blue and green. The East Coast is a coast of contrasts with many beautiful, white sandy beaches, clear turquoise seas, rugged crags, a dramatic history and plenty of wildlife. The place names go some way to telling the story of the region's heritage - Freycinet (French), Schouten and Maria (Dutch), Swansea (Welsh), Ben Lomond (Scottish) and Triabunna and Weilangta (Aboriginal).
Tasmanias most recognisable landmark is the craggy profile of Cradle Mountain, at the northern gateway to the Overland Track linking Cradle Valley to Lake St Clair, 4-5 days walk south. On the park boundary is the visitor centre with its interpretive display, ranger station, park information, walker registration and up-to-date weather reports. Alpine weather changes rapidly always carry waterproof gear, even on summer day walks. There are many superb short walks from the centre and the Dove Lake car park, 14 km further on. You'll find a range of Tasmania accommodation in the Cradle Valley area, including a luxury wilderness lodge.
Deloraine is home to the southern hemisphere's largest working craft festival. Whether you're here for one day or for an expedition along the Overland Track you'll see a wonderland of mountains, streams, forests, wildflowers and wildlife. Devonport is home of the Bass Strait passenger and vehicle ship 'Spirit of Tasmania'. From Burnie the highway follows the coast westward, between Bass Strait and green, fertile farmland. Butting out to sea there are massive bluffs - Table Cape , Rocky Cape and Circular Head. The sturdy stone cottages of Stanley, established around 1826, and the graceful facade of Highfield homestead, reflect the town's fishing and farming history.
In the West Coast's mountains and Wilderness World Heritage Area, you'll see millions of years captured in ancient rocks. Follow the dark Gordon River into the rainforest to see trees up to 2,000 years old and discover how modern piners conserve the Huon pine. Taste a west-coast crayfish or Macquarie Harbour salmon, fresh from the sea. In the jaunty old streets of Zeehan you'll feel the west coast's rich mining heritage.