Hobart, Freycinet Peninsula, Port Arthur, Maria Island. National parks include: Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, Mount Field, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Hartz Mountains , Southwest, Walls of Jerusalem.
The Island State of Tasmania is separated from mainland near Victoria by the Bass Strait. The state is famous for its wilderness areas and scenery and is the one of the world'slast temperate wildernesses with over a quarter of the state preserved as National Parks and reserves. The island is comparible in size to Ireland or Sri Lanka.
The landscape is mountainous and hilly with a rugged western coast and more gentle eastern coastline. Lush temperate rainforest carpets much of the landscape even to the coast in many places.
Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is the jewel of Tasmania's wilderness. This park has many bush walks with some of these walks (treks) rivalling those found in nearby New Zealand. Generally speaking the best walks in Tasmania are situated on the more rugged western side of the island.
The eastern side of the island is drier and coupled with some great beaches, it offers a different travelling experience from the west. One particularly beautiful area on the east coast is the Freycenet National Park. Wineglass Bay one of the beaches here is often voted as one of the top 10 best beaches in the world.
Australia's southernmost capital city is Hobart which is the biggest city in Tasmania and the country's second oldest city after Sydney. It is a riverside city with a busy harbour and a mountainous backdrop offering fine views over the compact suburbs below. In the centre of Hobart lies a thriving arts-and-crafts scene. Hobart and the state of Tasmania has a real sense of history, and is unlike anywhere else in Australia.
When Abel Janszoon Tasman, the Dutch explorer who discovered Australia sailed passed the west coast of Tasmania, he named it Van Diemen's Land after the governor of Batavia. In 1856 the name was changed to Tasmania. Evidence of Tasmania's notorious past due to it's status as a penal colony of Britain (for the worst criminals), can be seen around the Port Arthur area near Hobart.
Tasmania has unique wildlife, the most notable is the Tasmanian Devil, a small black ferocious marcupial. The now extinct Tasmanian Tiger is reportedly seen by some people who have trekked through very remote areas, but to date these sightings have not been confirmed. Tasmania also has its fair share of other Australian animals such as Kangaroos and Possums but are often unique due to the differing environment this mountainous temperate island offers.
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