Interested in Tasmania?
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OK, you've got limited time, but want to see the best Tasmania has to offer. Where do you go?
Port Arthur was Tasmania's main prison for the worst criminals deported from Britain in the 19th Century. It's a huge, haunting and beautiful ghost town, situated on the Tasman Peninsula about 1 hour 45 minutes drive south=east of Hobart.
Port Arthur is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is worth a day's visit. Take a guided tour, cruise to the Isle of the Dead and maybe stay for the ghost tour in the evening.
The scenic grandeur of Cradle Mountain, looming above Dove Lake, is the iconic photo of Tasmania's wilderness. Among Tasmania's many national parks, it's the foremost "must see".
Cradle Mountain is situated in the north of the state, about 2.5 hours drive from Launceston through Mole Creek or Sheffield. However, the best road to Cradle Mountain is from the Murchison Highway which runs from Burnie to Queenstown.
Spend a day or two at Cradle: see the wildlife, admire the scenery and take a few leisurely - or strenuous - walks.
Salamanca Markets - held every Saturday beside the picturesque docklands of Hobart - is Australia's foremost tourist market. A visit to Hobart isn't complete without a walk through Salamanca.
Salamanca is also the main tourist centre of Hobart city and is the location of many art and craft galleries, restaurants and cafes. It's always worth a visit, but try to be there on a Saturday, if you can.
Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park is the picture-perfect ocean beach. Climb the 600 steps to the lookout to see this treasure. Take a look at the link page for other walks in the park, and you can also cruise the area with Freycinet Sea Charters.
The closest town to Freycinet National Park is Coles Bay, but Bicheno and Swansea are larger and only half an hour's drive away.
The Wall in the Wilderness is one man's tribute to the early Tasmania pioneers' struggle. This huge, hand-carved wall is made entirely of rare Huon Pine - found only in the remote wet temperate rainforest wilderness of south-west Tasmania. Make sure you go to Derwent Bridge - half way between Hobart and Strahan - to see it.
See Launceston's Cataract Gorge, whose tumbling waters are the reason for this city's existence. Cross the gorge on the southern hemisphere's longest single-span chairlift, walk the suspension bridge, promenade along the 19th century footway, take a boat ride up the gorge and dine with peacocks.
Take a trip on a windy day to see the 170 year old windmill at Oatlands in Tasmania's midlands. Take a guided tour of the extraordinary wind-driven grinding works and stay to taste fresh bread made from its flour.
Take a day cruise on the mighty Macquarie Harbour and up the Gordon River to see Huon Pine trees, salmon ponds and the convict prison at Sarah Island, all on Tasmania's remote west coast - truly the edge of the world.
Stanley is a remote and picturesque fishing village, once the main port for the Van Diemen's Land Company - established by royal charter in 1825. The Nut is a dramatic headland formed as part of a volcanic caldera in ancient times. Take the chairlift to the top of this windswept icon.
A trip to Tasmania wouldn't be complete if you missed seeing this ferocious little critter.
The Museum of Old and New Art defies description. Just see it.