Tasmania cops a lot of flack from the rest of Oz. We turn down our noses at it, assuming that it’s just full of apples, Tasmanian devils and Ricky Ponting. This is totally unfair because this island state is actually an underrated gem. And with cheap air fares from most major Australian airports, now is the time to visit this beautiful corner of Australia (so start your flight search on Cheapflights.com.au). It’s an island that will surprise you, and we’re pretty confident you’ll find yourself thinking these seven things the first time you visit…Search flights
1. “Wow, it’s not as backwards as I imagined.”
Most people seem to think that Tasmania hasn’t caught up with the rest of Australia. That the houses are built from straw, that they’re still waiting to see if Ross and Rachel will end up together and that they’re still eagerly awaiting the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony. But in reality, it’s much like every other Australian state you’ve ever been to. Same shops, same chain stores, slightly different accent – even the same currency. Talk about a time saver.
2. “There’s a lot of nature here.”
Shock! Horror! It is true. Tasmania has more nature than an Al Gore documentary, and all of it is absolutely glorious. The national parks are in a world of their own, with phenomenal hikes, thick mountains, endless countryside, and even some lovely white beaches and crystal clear waters. We don’t want to turn this into a wish list, but there’s Mount Wellington, Bruny Island, Wine Glass Bay (which is just as beautiful as its name implies) and Ben Lomond (which is actually a mountain and not a great looking guy). All in all, it’s some of the most untapped beauty you’ll find in Australia and you’ll be eyes wide with how much nature they can cram into such a small little island. The whole state is like something from a Steve Parish calendar.
3. “Hobart’s actually not bad.”
A lot of people dismiss Hobart out of hand, but it’s easily Australia’s most adorable capital. Filled with little streets and cute houses and buildings, it’s chock full of character. The people there are not so much cut-off as they are happily-withdrawn. They love the peacefulness of the place, the sedateness. The energy is still there, but it’s expelled outwards into things like food and drink, arts and crafts, culture and sport rather than wasted on traffic jams and trying to get reservations for brunch.
4. “MONA is unbelievable.”
By far one of the biggest draws to Tasmania in recent years has been the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). With good reason. Started by eccentric and fantastic philanthropist David Walsh, MONA is an underground adult playground. Crazy, sexy, provocative, titillating, disturbing; pick whatever verb you want out of the insane bag and enjoy the three underground levels of bonkers antiquities and contemporary art. Complete with a slick iPhone-style companion guide, MONA’s become an institution, with an established music and art festival and a winter festival that draws A-listers. It’s helped put Hobart – and Tasmania – on the map.
5. “It’s so quiet here.”
Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll be surprised at how peaceful Tasmania is. The lack of cars is blissful and the people per square metre ratio is perfect. Ironically, the small island has a lot of space to get away and find yourself. It’s so placid, the air so clean, without all that smog and pollution, which goes part and parcel with the endless environmental gooeyness that surrounds you. Even when you do have to interact with people, they’re not shouting at you all the time or pushing past you to get the last California sushi roll. They’re lovely and generous people, always up for a chat. Basically, Tasmania is the embodiment of the first free yoga class they use to sucker you into joining the gym.
6. “I couldn’t eat another thing!…ok maybe everything else.”
Tasmania’s slowly garnered an enviable reputation as being a food and drink lover’s paradise. As you’d expect for an island, it’s got stellar seafood, but all their products, from cheese to meat to honey and sausages, will leave your belt straining. Perhaps wanting to lose that “Apple Isle” moniker, they’ve also turned to grapes; carving out a nice wine sector as well. Anything local is going to be good. And, although they haven’t paid us to say so, Lark Hill whisky is one of the best. Every year they also hold The Taste, which is a food festival that’s best attended in loose-fitting track pants.
7. “I’ve left myself a lot to do here…”
The size of Tasmania is deceptive. You might think, Oh, I can probably knock this over in a weekend. But I guarantee you won’t. You’ll get suckered into Salamanca Market – there’s a day gone – then you’ll venture up to Wine Glass Bay or Launceston – there’s another day. Then you’ll want to go to MONA. Get up early, and spend the day there, and wham bam, you’ve just lost your weekend to the sumptuous goddess that is the state of Tasmania. It’s small, sure, but it unpacks into a wondrous surprise. Give yourself the time it deserves and it’ll reward you.
Tasmania’s got a cheery cult like quality to it – people expect to hate it and return having drunk the Kool-Aid, raving about the place. Peaceful, picturesque and some of the best food and drink you’ll digest, seriously, you’ll love it. So why not get searching for flights to Tassie with Cheapflights.com.au now?Search for flights