Australia state or territory
Name = Tasmania
Fullname = State of Tasmania
Motto = "Ubertas et Fidelitas" (Fertility and Faithfulness)
Nickname = Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle
Emblems = Flora -
Tasmanian Blue Gum; Mineral - Crocoite
Emblem_title1 = Flora
Tasmanian Blue Gum
Emblem_title2 = Mineral
ChiefType = Premier
ChiefParty = ALP
ViceroyType = Governor
PostalAbbreviation = TAS
AreaRank = 7th
TotalArea = 90758
LandArea = 68401
WaterArea = 22357
EntityAdjective = State
GSP = $19,239 [ [http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/5220.0 Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2006-07] ]
GSPYear = 2006-07
GSPRank = 7th
GSPPerCapita = $39,160
GSPPerCapitaRank = 8th
PercentWater = 24.63
PopulationRank = 6th
Population = 497,312 [cite news|url=http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,24399940-3462,00.html|publisher=Mercury|title=Tasmania's population closing in on 500,000|date=2008-09-26|accessdate=2008-09-26]
PopulationYear = March 2008
DensityRank = 4th
Density = 7.21
HighestElev = +1,614 m AHDcite web
title = LISTmap (Mount Ossa)
publisher = Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries and Water
url = http://www.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap/listmap.jsp?llx=419200&lly=5363700&urx=420100&ury=5364300&layers=17
accessdate = 2007-10-06 ]
HighestElev_ft = 5,295
HouseSeats = 5
SenateSeats = 12
ISOCode = AU-TAS
Website = www.tas.gov.au
Tasmania is an
Australian island and state of the same name. It is located convert|240|km|mi south of the eastern side of the continent, being separated from it by Bass Strait. The state of Tasmania includes the island of Tasmania and other surrounding islands. Tasmania has an estimated population of 494,520 (March 2008) [ [http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0/ Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2007] , ABS] and an area of convert|68401|km2|sqmi.
Tasmania is promoted as the "Natural State" and the "Island of Inspiration" [cite web|url=http://www.tourismtasmania.com.au/vismktg/2007/island_of_inspiration/phase12/index.html|title=Tasmania - Island of Inspiration|accessdate=2007-12-31] owing to its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Formally, almost 37% of Tasmania is in reserves,
National Parksand World Heritage Sites. [cite web|url=http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/manage/parksres/reserves.html|title=Complete National Parks and Reserves Listings|publisher= Parks and Wildlife Service|date= 2006-11-10|accessdate=2006-11-30] The island is convert|364|km|mi long from the northernmost point to the southernmost point and convert|306|km|mi from west to east.
The state capital and largest city is
Hobart, which encompasses the local government areas of City of Hobart, City of Glenorchyand City of Clarence. Other major population centres include Launceston in the north and Devonport and Burnie in the northwest.
Macquarie Islandis also under the administration of the state, as part of the Huon Valley Councillocal government area.
The state is named after Dutch explorer
Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642. He named the island Anthony van Diemen's Land after his sponsor Anthony van Diemen, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Landby the British. It was officially renamed in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856. [ [http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/php/BecomingTasmania/BTAppend2.htm Appendix 2 - Select chronology of renaming] . Parliament of Tasmania.]
It is believed that the island was joined to the mainland until the end of the
last glacial periodapproximately 10,000 years ago.
Much of the island is composed of
Jurassic doleriteintrusions (upwellings of magma) through other rock types, sometimes forming large columnar joints. Tasmania has the world's largest areas of dolerite, with many distinctive mountains and cliffs formed from this rock type. The central plateau and the southeast portions of the island are mostly dolerite. Mount Wellington above Hobart is a good example, showing distinct columns known as the Organ Pipes. In the southwest, Precambrian quartzites are formed from very ancient sea sediments and form strikingly sharp ridges and ranges, such as Federation Peak or Frenchman's Cap. In the northeast and east, continental granites can be seen, such as at Freycinet, similar to coastal granites on mainland Australia. In the northwest and west, mineral rich volcanic rockcan be seen at Mt. Read near Rosebery, or at Mt. Lyell near Queenstown. Also present in the south and northwest is limestonewith some magnificent caves.
The quartzite and dolerite areas in the higher mountains show evidence of
glaciation, and much of Australia's glaciated landscape is found on the Central Plateau and the Southwest. Cradle Mountain, another dolerite peak, for example, was a Nunatak. The combination of these different rock types offers incredible scenery, much of it distinct from any other region of the world.
Tasmania was first inhabited by the Tasmanian Aborigines, and evidence indicates their presence in the region, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago (rising sea levels cut Tasmania off from mainland Australia about 10,000 years ago). The Aboriginal people in Tasmania were divided into nine main ethnic groups. The indigenous population at the time of British settlement in 1803 has been estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 people, but through war, persecution and
disease, the population had dwindled to 300 in 1833. The entire indigenous population was moved to Flinders Island by George Augustus Robinson. Truganini(1812-1876) is generally recognised as the last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine, although there is strong evidence that it was in fact Fanny Cochrane Smith, who was born at Wybalena and died in 1905.
The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642, by the Dutch explorer
Abel Tasman. Captain James Cookalso sighted the island in 1777, and numerous other European seafarers made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features.
The first settlement was by the British at
Risdon Coveon the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803, by a small party sent from Sydney, under Lt. John Bowen for the purpose of preventing the French from claiming the island. An alternative settlement was established by Captain David Collins convert|5|km|mi to the south in 1804 in Sullivan's Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.
The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing
agricultureand other industries. Numerous other convict-based settlements were made in Van Diemen's Land, including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the southeast and Macquarie Harbouron the West Coast.
Van Diemen's Land was proclaimed a separate colony from
New South Wales, with its own judicial establishment and Legislative Council, on 3 December 1825.
Tasmania was badly affected by the
1967 Tasmanian firesin which there was major loss of life and property.
In the 1970s, the state government announced plans to flood environmentally significant
The collapse of the
Tasman Bridgewhen struck by the bulk ore carrier " MV Lake Illawarra" in 1975 made crossing the River Derwentat Hobart almost impossible.
National and international attention surrounded the campaign against the
Franklin Damin the early 1980s. This contributed to the start of the Green movement.
On 28 April 1996 in the incident now known as the Port Arthur massacre, lone gunman
Martin Bryantshot and killed 35 people (including tourists and residents) and injured 37 others. The use of firearms was immediately reviewed, and new gun ownership laws were adopted nationwide, with Tasmania's law one of the strictest in the nation.
In April 2006, a mine collapse was triggered by a small
earthquakenear Beaconsfield. One person was killed and two others were trapped underground for fourteen days.
Tasmania is a rugged island of temperate climate, and was considered so similar in some ways to pre-industrial
Englandthat it was referred to by some English colonists as 'a southern England'.
Tasmania has been volcanically inactive in recent geological times and has rugged mountain ranges over much of its land area.
The most mountainous regions are the Central Highlands and southwestern areas, which cover most of the central, west and southwest parts of the state. The Midlands in central east Tasmania is fairly flat by comparison and is predominantly used for agriculture, although various types of farming activity can be seen all around the state.
The West Coast has a high rainfall which powers most of the hydroelectric projects, and its earnings from mineral activities are significant. The West Coast Range has some of the better known West Coast mines on its slopes – notably the Mount Lyell mine.
The Southwest region, in particular, is densely forested, the National Park holding some of the last
temperate rainforests in the world. Management of such an isolated and inaccessible area has been made easier and more reliable with the advent of satellite imaging.
Most of the population live near the coastal rivers – the Derwent and the Tamar and Mersey Rivers in the north.
Tasmania is separated from the Australian mainland by Bass Strait, which is typically rough, primarily a result of its shallow depth (typically around 60 m) and its susceptibility to
Southern Oceancurrents and swells.
Tasmania is located at coord|42|S|147|E|region:AU_type:isle|display=inline,title, right in the pathway of the notorious "
Roaring Forties" windthat encircles the globe. The Tasmanian climate is extremely variable with high fluctuations in temperature and wind speed during the average week.
Summer lasts from December to February when the average maximum temperature at sea level is convert|21|°C|°F. Winter is from June to August with an average maximum temperature at sea level of convert|12|°C|°F. Inland, temperatures are much cooler. Liawenee on the Central Plateau is one of the coldest places in Australia with temperatures even in February ranging between convert|4|°C|°F to convert|17|°C|°F. In winter the Central Plateau ranges from around convert|-2|°C|°F to convert|3|°C|°F.
The highest maximum temperature recorded was convert|40.8|°C|°F, in Hobart on 4 January 1976. The lowest minimum temperature was convert|-13|°C|°F at Butlers Gorge and Shannon on 30 June 1983. [Blair Trewin, [http://www.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/~blair/extremes/tas.html State Records - Tasmania] , accessed 17 July 2007.]
Rainfall in Tasmania follows a complicated pattern rather analogous to that found on large continents at the same latitude in the northern hemisphere. On the western side rainfall increases from around convert|160|cm|in at Strahan on the coast up to convert|270|cm|in at Cradle Valley in the highlands. There is a strong winter maximum in rainfall: January and February typically averages between 30-40% the rainfall of July and August, though even in the driest months rain usually falls on every second day and the number of rainy days per year is much greater than on any part of the Australian mainland. Further east in the Lake Country, annual rainfall declines to around convert|90|cm|in, whilst in the Midlands, annual rainfall is as low as convert|45|cm|in at Ross and generally below convert|60|cm|in. Here the rainfall is more evenly distributed than in the west, and most months receive very similar averages.
The densely populated northern coast is much drier than the western side, with annual rainfall ranging from convert|71|cm|in at Launceston to convert|105|cm|in at Burnie in the west and Scottsdale in the east. Most rain falls in winter, and in summer the average can be as low as convert|35|mm|in per month in the Lower Tamar. The east coast is wetter than the Midlands, with an average annual rainfall ranging from convert|100|cm|in at St. Helens to around convert|64|cm|in at Swansea. Here the rainfall is evenly distributed over the year but can be very erratic as heavy rainfalls from the warm Tasman Sea are quite frequent. Whereas a three-day fall of convert|125|mm|in occurs only once every fifty years the north coast, it occurs on average once every four or five years around Swansea and Bicheno, and on 7 June-8 June 1954, there were many falls as large as convert|230|mm|in in two days in that area. The east coast is sometime called the "sun coast" because of its sunny climate; there is a rain shadow caused by the prevailing westerly winds and mountain ranges lying to the west.
Several sections of inland Tasmania, together with
Flinders Island, were declared drought-affected areas by the state government in 2007.
Despite the presence of some Quaternary
glaciation, Tasmania's soils are no more fertile than those of mainland Australia, largely because most are severely leached and the areas with driest climate (thus least leaching) were unaffected by glaciation or alluvia derived therefrom. Most soils on the Bass Strait Islands, the east coast and western Tasmania are very infertile Spodosolsor Psamments, with some even less fertile "lateritic podzolic soils" in the latter region. Most of these lands are thus not used for agriculture, but there is much productive forestry - which remains the economic mainstay of the state.
On the north coast, apart from some relatively fertile alluvial soils used for fruit growing, there are also deep red, easily workable soils known as "krasnozems" ("red land"). These soils are highly acidic and fix phosphate very effectively, but their extremely favourable physical properties make them extensively used for dairying, beef cattle and fodder crops.
The Midlands and the Lower Derwent present a different story from the rest of the state. Owing to a relatively dry climate and alkaline (mostly
dolerite) parent material, these soils are relatively unleached and contain lime in the deeper subsoil. They are mostly classified as "prairie soils" or "brown earths" and bear some resemblance to the chernozems of Russiaand North America, although they are much lower in available phosphorusand somewhat acidic in the surface levels. Their higher nutrient levels, however, allow them to support productive pasture, and large numbers of sheepare grazed in these regions. Some grain crops are also grown in the driest areas. In the alluvial areas of southeastern Tasmania, rich alluvial soils permit apples to be grown.
Tasmania has extremely diverse vegetation, from the heavily grazed grassland of the dry Midlands to the tall evergreen
eucalyptforest, alpine heathlands and large areas of cool temperate rainforests and moorlands in the rest of the state. Many flora species are unique to Tasmania, and some are related to species in South Americaand New Zealandthrough ancestors which grew on the super continent of Gondwana, 50 million years ago.
Tasmania is also home to some of the tallest and oldest trees of the world. While individual Huon Pines are believed to be more than 2,000 years old, which is impressive by itself, a stand of male Huon Pines at Mount Read has maintained itself by
vegetative reproductionand is estimated to be more than 10,000 years old.cite web
url = http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/BHAN-5494LA?open
title = Native Conifers of Western Tasmania
publisher = Department of Primary Industries and Water
date = 2007-09-20 | accessdate = 2008-01-11] The tallest trees in Australia are found in the Styx Valley and Mountain Ashes on the island are more than convert|90|m|ft tall. As these are still growing, there is hope they will surpass the tallest tree ever measured in the country, a Mountain Ash growing at
Thorpdale, Victoriameasuring more than convert|112|m|ft before it was felled in 1884.cite web
url = http://isaac.org.au/info/bigtrees.htm
title = Australia's Biggest, Tallest and Oldest Trees
publisher = International Society of Arboriculture Australia Chapter
date = 2004 | accessdate = 2008-01-11]
The island of Tasmania was home to the
Thylacine, a marsupialwhich resembled a wild dog. Known colloquially as the "Tasmanian Tiger" for the distinctive striping across its back, it became extinct in mainland Australia much earlier because of competition by the dingo, introduced in prehistoric times. Owing to persecution by farmers, government-funded bounty hunters and, in the final years, collectors for overseas museums, it appears to have been exterminated in Tasmania. The last known animal died in captivityin 1936. Many alleged sightings have been recorded, none of them confirmed.
Tasmanian Devilis a carnivorous marsupialfound exclusively on the island of Tasmania. The size of a small dog but stocky and muscular, the Tasmanian Devil is characterised by black fur with white patches. It has a loud and disturbing screech-like growl, possesses a vicious temperament and is predominantly a scavenger. The Devil survived European settlement and was considered widespread and common throughout Tasmania until recently.
Like a lot of wildlife, fast vehicles on roads are a problem for Tasmanian Devils, which are often killed while feeding on other road-killed animals such as wallabies.
As of 2005, the Tasmanian Devil population has been reduced by up to 80% in parts of Tasmania by the devil facial tumour disease, which is gradually spreading throughout the island. It is believed the majority starved when the tumours spread to their mouths, and that the tumours are spread by fighting between devils over carcasses they feed on – typically, fighting devils will bite one another's faces.
There is no known cure for the disease, and intensive research is underway to determine its cause. There is also a captive breeding program being undertaken by the Tasmanian government to establish a disease-free, genetically-diverse population of Tasmanian Devils outside Tasmania. This has been relatively successful so far.
Many birds of the Australian mainland and surrounding oceans are also found in Tasmania. Tasmania has 12 endemic bird
honeyeaters (family Meliphagidae) - the Yellow Wattlebird(world's largest honeyeater) and the Yellow-throated, Black-headed and Strong-billed Honeyeaters
*3 Australo-Papuan warblers (family
Acanthizidae) - the Tasmanian Thornbill, the Scrubtitand the Tasmanian Scrubwren
*1 pardalote (family
Pardalotidae) - the endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote
*1 old-world flycatcher (family
Muscicapidae) - the Dusky Robin
*1 corvid (family
Artamidae) - the Black Currawong
*1 parrot (family
Psittacidae) - the Green Rosella
*1 rail (family
Rallidae) - the Tasmanian Native-hen, Australia's only flightless land bird other than the giant ratites ( Emuand Southern Cassowary).The endemic Tasmanian Emuwas exterminated in the mid-19th century. The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagleis a threatened endemic subspecies.
Tasmania is home to 11 species of
frog. Three of these are found only in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Tree Frog("Litoria burrowsae"), the Tasmanian Froglet("Crinia tasmaniensis") and the recently discovered Moss Froglet("Bryobatrachus nimbus"). Of the 11 species that inhabit Tasmania all are native to Australia. Tasmania is home to the largest breeding population of Growling Grass Frogs ("Litoria raniformis"), a vulnerable species, which has declined over much of its range.
European Red Fox
On 20 June 2001, Tasmania formed a
fox task forceto eliminate the European red fox. Officials planned to spend up to AU$50 million (US$48 million) on an eradication campaign. No foxes have been captured, shot, poisoned or photographed in the Island state in the past six years causing sceptics to claim the fox is an elaborate hoax. Authorities claim foxes (between 50 and 400) could devastate ground-nesting birds and native rodents. Experts estimate there are 30 million foxes on mainland Australia, having been introduced by European settlers. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7009798.stm BBC NEWS, Fox invasion fear grips Tasmania] ] The member of the Upper house, the Legislative Council member for Windermere Ivan Dean MLC has been publicly critical of the fox evidence used to obtain funding for a taxpayer funded Fox Eradication Branch of the Tasmanian D.P.I.W. Ivan Dean MLC was the Tasmanian Police Commander that led the Police investigation into the alleged importation and release of foxes into Tasmania. The investigation did not uncover any evidence of illegal importation. [ [http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21582109-921,00.html The Mercury newspaper] ] Ivan Dean MLC raised the Tasmanian Fox issue in the Tasmanian Parliament on the 17th April 2007. [ Tasmanian Parliament Legislative Council Hansard APril17th 2007 Part 1- Pages 1-61 [pdf] ]
The form of the government of Tasmania is prescribed in its
Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901, Tasmania has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitutionregulates its relationship with the Commonwealth and prescribes which powers each level of government enjoys.
In the Commonwealth Parliament, Tasmania is well represented in the Senate, where seats are not proportional to population. Between 1975 and 2005, Tasmanian independent senator
Brian Harradineoften held the balance of power. As a result he was able to gain the passage of legislation that, although often matching his conservative religious views, was also very financially rewarding for the state. Harradine successfully defended his seat in six consecutive senate elections and did not stand for re-election at the 2004 federal election. His term ended in June 2005.
Tasmania's House of Assembly and local government elections use a system of multi-seat
proportional representationknown as Hare-Clark.
In the 2002 state election, the Labor Party held 14 of the 25 available seats. The Liberal Party saw their percentage of the vote decrease dramatically, claiming only 7 seats. The Greens won four seats, with over 18% of the vote, the highest proportion of any Green party in any parliament in the world.
On 23 February 2004, the Premier
Jim Baconannounced his retirement, after being diagnosed with lung cancerfrom smoking. In his last months he opened a vigorous anti-smoking campaign which included many restrictions of where individuals could smoke, such as pubs. He died four months later.
Bacon was succeeded by
Paul Lennon, who, after leading the state for two years, went on to win the 2006 state election in his own right. Lennon resigned in 2008 and was succeeded by David Bartlett.
Tasmania has numerous relatively unspoilt, ecologically valuable regions. Proposals for local economic development have therefore been faced with strong requirements for environmental sensitivity, or outright opposition. In particular, proposals for hydroelectric power generation proved controversial in the late 20th century. In the 1970s, opposition to the construction of the
Lake Pedderimpoundment led to the formation of the world's first green party, the United Tasmania Group.
In the early 1980s the state was again plunged into often bitter debate over the proposed Franklin River Dam. The anti-dam sentiment was shared by many Australians outside Tasmania and proved a factor in the election of the Hawke Labor government in 1983, which halted construction of the dam. Since the 1980s the environmental focus has shifted to
old growth logging, which has proved a highly divisive issue. The Tasmania Togetherprocess recommended an end to clear felling in high conservation old growth forests by January 2003.
Tasmania's erratic economy was first experienced by colonists in the early 1800s.Fact|date=May 2008 The reasons have been many and varied over the years. More recently the reasons have been attributed to: lack of federal infrastructure
highway, lack of a gold rush, lack of open immigrationinitiatives, lack of population, decline in the wooland mineral economies, lack of early colonial initiatives, or lack of foreign investment. For the length of the history of Tasmania there has been a continuing exodus of youth to mainland Australia in order to seek employment opportunities.
Traditionally Tasmania's main industries have been:
mining, including copper, zinc, tin, and iron; agriculture; forestry; and tourism. Significantly in the 1940s and 1950s there had been a notion of 'Hydro-Industrialisation' embodied in the state by Hydro Tasmania. These all have had varying fortunes over the last century and more, involved in ebbs and flows of population moving in and away dependent upon the specific requirements of the dominant industries of the time.
There had been a decline in
manufacturingduring the 1990s, leading to a drain of some of the island's trained and experienced working population to mainland Australia. The major urban centres such as Melbourneand Sydneyare popular destinations.
The state has a large number of food exporting sectors, including but not limited to
seafood(for example, Atlantic salmon, abaloneand crayfish).
Since 2001, Tasmania has experienced a positive turnaround. Favourable economic conditions throughout Australia, cheaper air fares and two new "
Spirit of Tasmania" ferries have all contributed to what is now a booming tourism industry.
Today, a significant number of employed Tasmanians work for the government. Other major employers include the
Federal Group, owner of several hotels and Tasmania's two casinos, and Gunns Limited, the state's biggest forestry company. In the late 1990s, many national companies based their call centres in the state after obtaining cheap access to broad-band fibre-optic connections.Fact|date=April 2007
Apparently the state's housing market was undervalued in the early part of 2000, and a large boom in the national housing market finally made Tasmanian housing prices rise dramatically. This has in part been attributed to increased levels of interstate [ABC Television News (Tasmania), 7 p.m. Friday, 27/1/06] and overseas migration. A shortage of rental accommodation has caused problems for many of Tasmania's low income earners.
Small businessis a large part of the community life and it is believed by many that the business environment in Tasmania is not an easy one to survive in. However there have been many success stories, such as International Catamarans, Moorilla Estateand Tassal.
The main carriers are
Qantasand its subsidiary Jetstar, and Virgin Blue, which fly direct routes to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide. Low cost airline Tiger Airways commenced services between Melbourne and Launceston in November 2007 and Hobart in January 2008. Major airports include Hobart International Airportand Launceston Airport; the smaller airports, Burnie (Wynyard), serviced by Regional Express and Devonport, serviced by QantasLinkhave services to Melbourne.
The domestic sea route is serviced by Bass Strait passenger/vehicle ferries operated by the Tasmanian Government-owned TT-Line (Tasmania).
From 1986 the "Abel Tasman" made six weekly overnight crossings between Devonport and Melbourne. It was replaced by the "Spirit of Tasmania" in 1993, which performed the same route and schedule. The most recent change was the 2002 replacement of the Spirit by two Superfast ferries - "
Spirit of TasmaniaI" and "Spirit of Tasmania II" — which brought the number of weekly overnight crossings up to fourteen, plus additional daylight crossings in peak times. In January 2004 a third ship, the slightly smaller "Spirit of Tasmania III", started the Devonport to Sydney route. This service was axed by the Tasmanian Government in June 2006 quoting low passenger numbers. Two container ships owned by Toll Shippingalso make daily crossings between Burnie and Melbourne. The port of Hobart also serves as a host to visiting cruise ships.
The state is also home to International Catamarans, a manufacturer of very high-speed aluminium vessels (commonly known as "
SeaCat") that regularly broke records when they were first launched. The state government tried using them on the Bass Strait run but eventually decided to discontinue the run because of concerns over viability and the suitability of the vessels for the extreme weather conditions sometimes experienced in the strait.
Tasmania, Hobart in particular, serves as Australia's chief sea link to
Antarctica, with the Australian Antarctic Divisionlocated in Kingston. Hobart is also the home port of the French ship "l'Astrolabe", which makes regular supply runs to the French Southern Territories near and in Antarctica.
Hobart has the second deepest natural port in the world, second to only
Rio de Janeiroin Brazil.
Within the state, the primary form of transport is by road. Since the 1980s, many of the state's highways have undergone regular upgrades. These include the Hobart Southern Outlet, Launceston Southern Outlet, Bass Highway reconstruction, and the
Rail transport in Tasmaniaconsists of narrow gauge lines to all four major population centres and to mining and forestry operations on the west coast and in the northwest. Services are operated by TasRail, a Pacific Nationalsubsidiary. Regular passenger trainservices in the state ceased in 1977; the only trains are for freight, and there are tourist trains in specific areas, for example the West Coast Wilderness Railway. In 2005 there were concerns that the rail service was in so much trouble that it might stop for everything but cement haulage.
During colonial times typical English
cuisinewould have been standard in most areas of Tasmania. The arrival of immigrants and changing cultural patterns has meant Tasmania now has a wide range of restaurants. Scattered across Tasmania are many vineyards, and Tasmanian beer brands such as Boagsand Cascade are known and sold on the mainland. King Island off the northwestern coast of Tasmania has a reputation for boutique cheeses and dairy products.
In order to foster tourism, the state government encourages or supports several different annual events in and around the island. The best known of these would be the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, starting on
Boxing Dayin Sydney and usually arriving at Constitution Dockin Hobart around three to four days later, during the Taste of Tasmania, an annual food and wine festival.
Other events include the road rally
Targa Tasmaniawhich attracts world-class rally drivers and is staged all over the state, over five days. Rural or regional events include Agfest, a three-day agricultural show held at Carrick (just west of Launceston) in early May; and the Royal Hobart Showand Royal Launceston Show, both held in October annually. Music events held in Tasmania include the Falls Festivalat Marion Bay (a Victoria event now held in both Victoria and Tasmania on New Year's Eve), and the Southern Roots Festivalheld in Hobart each Easter. A recent addition to the state has been the 10 Days on the Islandarts festival.
Tasmania has a relatively small but growing literary culture. Notable titles include "
For the Term of His Natural Life" by Marcus Clarke, " The Sound of One Hand Clapping", " Gould's Book of Fish" by Richard Flanaganand " Out of Ireland" by Christopher Koch. The ‘Tasmanian genre’ of fiction includes children's books such as " Tiger Tale" by Marion and Steve Isham.
Tasmania has a varied musical scene, ranging from the
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestrawhose home is the Federation Concert Hall, to a substantial number of small bands, orchestras, string quintets, saxophone ensembles and individual artists who perform at a variety of venues around the state. Tasmania is also home to a vibrant community of composers including Constantine Koukias, Maria Grenfelland Don Kay, who is the patron of the Tasmanian Composers Collective[cite web|url=http://www.tasmanianmusic.com/composer.php?composerid=donkay|title=Don Kay Biography|publisher= Tasmanian Composers Collective|accessdate=2007-12-31] which is the representative body for composers in Tasmania. Tasmania is also home to one of Ausralia's leading new music institutions, IHOS Music Theatre and Operaand gospel choirs, the Southern Gospel Choir. Death Metal band Psycroptichail from Tasmania and are one of the most prominent Australian metal bands. Apart from the Classical musical season and regular gigs across the state by a number of local and interstate groups two of the highlights of the musical year would be the Falls Festivalheld during the summer holidays and the Carols by Candlelightheld in the weeks prior to Christmas.
The dominant sports in Tasmania are
cricketand Australian rules football. Tasmania has produced two prominent international cricket stars, David Boonand current Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The Tasmanian Tigerscricket team, which plays home games at Bellerive Ovalon the eastern shore, represents the state in limited overs and first-class cricket competitions. In the last few years they have had significant success, winning the ING One Day Cup in 2004-05 for the first time in 10 years (then again in 2007-08), and the Sheffield Shieldfor the first time in 2006-07.
Despite Australian rules football's huge popularity in the state, Tasmania does not have a team in the
Australian Football League(AFL). They do have a team (the Tasmanian Devils) in the Victorian Football League, and a team in the national league is a popular topic among supporters as well as the state government (one of the potential sponsors of such a team). In 2008, the Tasmanian Government submitted a bid to the AFL for a Tasmanian team, although it is unlikely to be accepted in the near future. From the 2001 season onwards, some AFL teams have played scheduled games at Aurora Stadium(at York Park in Launceston). Since 2007, the Hawthorn Football Clubhas been in a sponsorship agreement with the Tasmanian government to play four home games per year in Launceston. One of the notable matches to be played at York Park was an infamous match between St Kilda and Fremantle which was controversially drawn after the umpires failed to hear the siren.
basketball, the state has not been represented in the National Basketball League since the demise of the Hobart Devilsin 1996; however, strong representation from the state can be found in the South East Australian Basketball League. Two men's teams—the Oasis Hobart Chargers, and the Northwest Tasmania Thunder—are joined in the women's SEABL by the Launceston Tornadoes and the Women's NW Tasmania Thunder.
Tasmania is not being represented in national association football and
In Tasmania, there is a motor racing circuit in Launceston called
Symmons Plains Raceway. It holds rounds of the V8 Supercars, the YMF Loans Australian Superbike Championship, Australian Formula 3Championship and the CAMS Nationals.
The town of Bridport in the northeast is home to
Barnbougle Dunes, a public golfcourse designed by architect Tom Doakwhich opened in 2004 and is ranked among the top 100 courses in the world. [ [http://www.ausgolf.com.au/worlds-top-100-golf-courses-us-golf-magazine AusGolf - World’s Top 100 Golf Courses] ]
Significant peopleof Tasmania include: the Prime Minister
Joseph Lyons; author Richard Flanaganthe actor Errol Flynn; Baywatchactor Jaason Simmons; drummer Adam Davison; Dancer and Choreographer Graeme Murphy; Composer Peter Sculthorpe; AnglicanArchbishop of Brisbane and Primate of Australia Phillip Aspinall; Crown Princess Mary of Denmark(Mary Donaldson); World Champion WoodchopperDavid Foster, Australian cricket personalities Ricky Pontingand David Boon; Motor Racing Australian Touring car/V8 Supercar; John Bowe (1995 champion) Marcos Ambrose(2003-2004 champion; Ambrose now races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series).
Places in Tasmania
"See also:" List of Australian islands, lakes, bridges, highways, rivers, mountains and regions.
Grand Duchy of Avram
Protected areas of Tasmania
University of Tasmania
List of schools in Tasmania
Domestic partnership in Tasmania
*Alexander, Alison (editor) (2005)"The
Companion to Tasmanian History" Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart. ISBN 186295223X.
*Robson, L.L. (1983) "A History of Tasmania. Volume I. Van Diemen's Land From the Earliest Times to 1855" Melbourne, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195543645.
*Robson, L.L. (1991) "A History of Tasmania. Volume II. Colony and State From 1856 to the 1980s" Melbourne, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195530314.
* [http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/where/where.html Where is Tasmania? web page]
* [http://tas.gov.au/ Tasmania Online - the main State Government website]
* [http://www.discovertasmania.com/ Discover Tasmania] - official tourism website
* [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17105 NASA Satellite image of Tasmania]
* [http://www.tas.gov.au/tasmaniaonline/about/maplarge.asp Another detailed map]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.