8 Very Good Reasons Why Everyone Loves Tasmania
Bunker down and cosy up this winter.
Those in the know have seen Tasmania‘s rise in recent years, luring young and old across the Bass Strait with its ever-impressive mix of cutting edge culture, sensational food and drink, and postcard perfect natural splendour. Yesterday’s prison isle is today’s garden of freedom: millennial or not, here’s a few key pointers for why you ought to make lil’ ol’ Tassie your next great getaway.
Not just the elephant in the room, but the elephant itself, there’s no getting past MONA as one of the major drawcards to the Great Southern Land’s little southern land. If you haven’t yet indulged the untold glories of millionaire-cum-professional gambler David Walsh’s innovative, controversial and downright lurid Museum of Old and New Art, you have not lived.
Go here; you will see things. From an engorged Porsche to the infamously odorous Cloaca poop machine, there are countless reasons why MONA is regarded as one of the best galleries, if not places, on the planet. Take the ferry ride down the Derwent from Salamanca Place to and fro, and enjoy this mind-changing cultural experience in style.
#2 The pace
Let’s face it: fast city life is rarely a recipe for long term holistic health (at least not without regular stints in mother nature’s hold). One of the best things about Tasmania is the laid back shift in pace it offers from other Australian hubs, without giving up too much of the city buzz. Here, you’ve got access to the best of both: well-paced city life without the traffic or the intensity, coddled by stunning natural splendour at every turn.
#3 The food
One of Australia’s biggest tourism boons is its fresh produce and culinary mores, and of anywhere in the nation Tasmania heads the list when it comes to the freshest, tastiest and most innovative. The rich soil, pure water and clean air might have something to do with it – so too, access to an incredible array of fresh-caught seafood, a relaxed atmosphere in which to dine, and a burgeoning restaurant industry buzz that’s got its eyes more and more fixated down south.
#4 The festivals
A mere decade or three ago, when Hobart was “Slowbart”, and the only bands to set foot in proximity were Dire Straits (1986) and Faith No More (1993), you’d have a hard time getting your festival buzz on. These days, Tassie is nothing if not chockers with a calendar of exciting year-round things to see and do.
For art and culture aficionados, January’s MONA FOMA is a rite of passage, if not winter counterpart Dark Mofo; Ten Days On The Island and Festival of Voices makes for splendid times also. Further north, but still firmly on the southern isle, is Junction Arts Festival in Launceston. Foodies can rejoice in today’s beefed-up action, with a host of gastronomy-driven events on the Tasmanian tourism schedule: Devonport Food & Wine Festival, Taste of the Huon Festival, and everyone’s favourite, the Tasmanian International Beerfest. Oh Tassie, how you’ve changed.
#5 The devils
Tasmanian ones, people. What better place to hang out with the carnivorous marsupials of the Dasyuridae family than their native home? While they once frolicked freely around the whole continent, Tassie devils are a rare breed these days, and the Tassie wild is the place to find them. Just don’t get too close (they have a wee reputation for grouchiness).
#6 The great outdoors
As well as being rife with some of the most jaw dropping natural landscapes on earth, a whole bunch of Tasmania’s outdoor icons also have pretty sweet names. Take Wineglass Bay, with its stunning curl of sand and azure water; The Bay of Fires, with its impressive orange lichen-covered granite boulders; or the Hazards, Freycinet National Park’s surreal pink-tinted mountains.
There’s also a town called Penguin.
#7 The whisky
Dram lovers unite! When a costly and time-heavy venture to the northern isles of Scotland won’t work for your back pocket or calendar, Tassie is the logical proximate alternative. You won’t find too many scots here, but you’ll find Scotch in abundance (well, ‘whisky’ to be accurate).
Tasmania’s single malt scene has been smashing headlines in recent years, with many critics labelling it the new home of some of the best and peatiest in the world. Sullivans Cove’s French Oak Cask took global honours in 2014, and the local elixir is only getting better. Hire a car and take a spin around the island’s burgeoning world class Whisky Trail and sample (sensibly) a few delicious drams of the good stuff.
#8 Young Einstein
Yahoo Serious anyone? Anyone?
(Lead image: Lake St Claire by Simon Rae / Unsplash)