Where would you experience breathing the purest air in the world? Or living for a day in the unspoiled environment of a vast parkland?
Nowhere else but in Tasmania, known as the “island of inspiration”.
Tasmania, named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, is an Australian island state, a fascinating place of history and natural beauty to explore.
With the “Diamond Princess” sailing into the deep-water harbour of the colourful waterfront of Australia’s southernmost city, Hobart, we began to experience Tasmania’s history from the Constitution Dock to the wild side of the island on a narrated tour of the places of interest.
Driving to Rosny Point Lookout allowed us to enjoy the panoramic view of Hobart, the Derwent River and Mt. Wellington towering in the background.
We travelled to Richmond, a beautifully preserved Georgian village of historic charms and had free time exploring a few of the historic buildings that are now shops, arts and crafts galleries, tearooms, and inns.
A must-see in Richmond is the Richmond Gaol historic site, a jail built by convicts and the oldest intact gaol in Australia. Also featuring historic relics and documents, the gaol buildings include chain gang rooms, a flogging yard, cook house, and holding rooms.
Richmond is home to the Australia’s oldest known stone arch bridge also built by convict labour reminding us of the “forced migration that contributed to the development of Australia”. Richmond Bridge is a lasting symbol of Tasmania’s convict heritage.
The oldest Roman Catholic church in Australia built in 1837, St. John the Evangelist Church, is also in Richmond. The small church with three spires stands on a hill.
At the Bonorong Wildlife Coservation Centre, animal sanctuaries dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing injured and orphaned natives, we oberved some of Australia’s most famous natives, such as kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils and wombats along with the koalas and wallabies. The animals roam free in their natural habitats and we had a chance to interact with many of them especially the kangaroos and the koalas. It was an excellent opportunity to click our cameras to capture these unforgettable moments.
Tasmania is the only place on earth where you’ll find the Tasmanian Devils. Also the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world, a Tasmanian Devil, the size of a small dog, has a stocky and mascular build with black fur. The short-legged wombats are also Australian marsupials approximately a meter long with short stubby tails. (Marsupial is a mammal that has its babies in a pouch.)
Besides its colonial buildings, monuments and cottages, Hobart is also famous for its Saturday’s Farmers’ Market (a popular street fair) at the Salamanca Place, which is originally a warehouse area and now a lively hotspot of restaurants, galleries and boutiques as well as an arts community.
Hobart also claims one of the newest additions to this continent down under its first legal casino, the Wrest Point Hotel Casino, opened in 1973.
Lastly, we had a guided walking tour of historic Port Arthur, Australia’s infamous penal colony, a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.