Of Australia’s seven states, Tasmania is the only one which is an island. Situated just off the Aussie mainland’s southeastern coast, it is also the smallest by a long way – four times smaller than the second smallest. However, Tasmania – Tassie to the Aussies – is a mass of natural wonders, protected forests and parkland, making it ripe for all manner of adventure travel.
Its center dates back hundreds of millions of years to Gondwanaland, when ferocious dinosaurs roamed the earth. Over 3,300 miles (5,400 km) of coastline ring the island, alternating between pristine white sand and craggy rocks, both washed by shimmering blue sea. Together, these elements create a wonderland of challenging terrain, exotic flora and unique fauna.
One of Tasmania’s most difficult natural features to navigate is the Franklin River, which is only successfully overcome by less than 500 people every year. It runs for over 78 miles (125 km), changing from whitewater rapids to serene streams along the course, but always with unforgettable views on every side.
Water babies can try the saline option, too – kayaking along Tasmania’s coast can become an addictive pastime for the amazing vistas of land, sea and air the activity affords. Trips range from a few hours to a few days and each one is worth every moment.
If quirky adventures are more your thing, the annual National Penny Farthing Championships riles up the small town of Evandale every February. Yes, that’s those bikes with one gigantic and one tiny wheel. Adventure written all over it.
The Tahune Airwalk caters to those who like to mix education and adventure. It takes you on a journey through the canopy of Tasmania’s native forests on a series of raised walkways with guides explaining how the ecosystem works so well as one complete whole. There is no shortage of hiking tracks on Tasmania with the Overland Track being the island’s (and perhaps the nation’s) most famous.
Tasmania offers a mix of adventures and possibilities that will appeal to every adventure enthusiast; choosing the best time to visit is more a question of which ones you want to indulge in than anything else.
Summer (December to February) is festival season and also peak tourist season – the warm weather makes for a great outdoors. Autumn follows and lasts till May; the beautiful play of color in the trees and lower prices are fantastic. Winter is from June to August and Ben Lomond’s six lifts will serve the ski adventurer well. The three months of Spring are a lull unless your version of adventure is very staid.