Tasmania is the Australia’s largest island and the only island-state. It is separated from the mainland by The Bass Strait, which is approximately 210 kilometers wide at its narrowest part. The Bass Strait is known for its variable weather conditions. Often strong storms popping up right from scratch, as this is the place to meet the hot air masses coming from the north and the cool air masses coming from the south. The island is located near the state of Victoria, with which is connected by regular ferry link from Melbourne to Devonport. Since the boat is not moving between the two closest points, but the two largest urban centers in the area, the distance is increased to 441 kilometers.
History. Tasmania was discovered by Abel Tasman in 1642. The sea-farer from the Irish origin gets the privilege to give the name of this land. He called the Land Van Diemen. Later, however, Van Diemen Land was renamed to its inventor – Tasmania. In fact, during those times to reach from Europe to Tasmania has been unbearable exploit for the most people. The journey have taken months, and often the ultimate goal of the expedition had reached only a part of the crew, since only a part of the sailors have survived. An interesting fact about Tasmania is that during the arrival of Europeans, when in Tasmania and Australia lived only aborigines, the population of Tasmania, which has an area of just over 90 000 sq. km was greater than the population of whole Australia. This could be explained with the cool, mild and bearable climate, as well as the presence of very large water resources.
Climate. Tasmania is the only place in Australia, which has a temperate climate. There are four seasons, but because of the closeness of the Pacific Ocean the climate is mild, without extremes of the temperatures. However, in the northern parts of the island the temperatures are 2-3 degrees higher than in the south. The summer is nice and warm, but not very hot. The openness of Tasmania in the south does not allow to the temperatures to become too high. In January and February in Davenport reaches about 24°C. In comparison, on the south coast in Hobart rarely exceed 22°C. The ocean waters do not allow the winter become too cold. Even during the coldest month – July – the daytime temperature in the Davenport reaches around 12°C. In the spring and autumn, the temperatures are usually in the range of 15 to 20 degrees. Snow fall is extremely rare with the exception of the mountains. In the lower coastal areas the precipitations are mainly of rain. The precipitation falling over Tasmania are moderate and evenly distributed throughout the year. Fall between 30 and 50 millimeters rain per month. Overall, there is a slight increasing in rainfall during the second half of the year, when are the winter and the spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
Nature. The nature of Tasmania is unique. The island is mainly covered with evergreen forests, which are dominated by fern plant species. They have no equivalent elsewhere. The visitors that have had the chance to glimpse a real Tasmanian forest say that the vegetation creates a sense of a prehistoric forest. The local residents are responsible to the preservation of this unesteemable treasure. In the 80-ies of the 20th century loggers were stopped by the local residents just before starting the destruction of the incredible forests. The locals embraced the trees or formed a live chains and thus save the unique forests. In consequence the Tasman forests were declared as a protected area and so the island will be preserved for the next generations in its full glory. The charm of the island is endless. Tasmania, in contrast to Australia, is very rich in water resources. Here you will find many wonderful lakes with crystal clear cold water. The Tasman dense forests are intersected by numerous streams that descend quickly to the shore of the ocean. In some places, have formed beautiful waterfalls. One of the most beautiful waterfall is Liffey Falls, which descends through the thick forests of northern Tasmania. The island has also many beautiful beaches. The most attractive of them are located on the east coast. Especially attractive is the area of Great Oyster Bay. In addition to the mirror-like calm ocean waters, here you can find beautiful woods next to the ocean beach.
Wildlife. The wildlife of Tasmania consists of a large number of endemic species – these are animal and plant species that could not be found elsewhere except here. One of the most emblematic representatives is the Tasman devil. Today, this unique small predator with extremely strong bite can walk unmolested through the wild island’s forests. However, another specie was not so lucky. This is the Thylacine. It unfortunately has not proved as adaptable and the specie has extinct in the early 20th century. In the zoo in Tasmania’s capital – Hobart – in 1936 has died the last representative of this specie.
Cities and population of Tasmania. Tasmania has a population of approximately 500 000 people. That means there is no large cities here, or at least not by the European standards. The largest city is Hobart, which is the capital of the island. There live about 250 000 inhabitants or approximately 50% of the total population. The city is very beautiful, quiet and calm. Situated on the both banks of deeply incised into the shore gulf. The island posses those specific coastal charm that Australia has inherited from Europe. Other major cities are Launceston and Devonport, which are located in the northern part of the island. Devonport is located on the shore of The Bass Strait and is connected by regular ferry link with Melbourne, Victoria.
Best time for holiday in Tasmania. If you are planning to spend some time in Tasmania, it is best to do it from November to April, because then the daytime temperatures are higher than 18°C. Then you can enjoy the local scenery in its full beauty. In January and February is a good time for sunbathing on the beach and swimming, but do not expect to become so hot as in Greece, Spain or Cyprus. In July and August in the mountains are possible snowfalls.