The Info List - Tasmania

(/tæzˈmeɪniə/;[11] abbreviated as Tas and known colloquially as Tassie) is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by the Bass Strait. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands.[12] The state has a population of around 519,100[13] as of June 2016[update], just over forty percent of which resides in the Greater Hobart
precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart. Tasmania's area is 68,401 km2 (26,410 sq mi), of which the main island covers 64,519 km2 (24,911 sq mi).[14] Promoted as a natural state, protected areas of Tasmania
cover about 42% of the land area of the state, which includes national parks and World Heritage Sites.[15] Tasmania
was the founding place of the first environmental party in the world.[16] Though an island state, due to a mapping error the state shares a land border with Victoria at its northernmost terrestrial point, Boundary Islet, a nature reserve in the Bass Strait. The Bishop and Clerk Islets, about 37 km south of Macquarie Island, are the southernmost terrestrial point of the state of Tasmania, and the southernmost internationally recognised land in Australia. The island is believed to have been occupied by indigenous peoples for 40,000 years before British colonisation. It is thought Aboriginal Tasmanians were separated from the mainland Aboriginal groups about 10,000 years ago when the sea rose to form the Bass Strait.[17] The Aboriginal population was estimated to have been between 3,000 and 7,000 at the time of colonisation, but was almost wiped out within 30 years by a combination of violent guerrilla conflict with settlers known as the "Black War", inter tribal conflict, and from the late 1820s, the spread of infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. The conflict, which peaked between 1825 and 1831 and led to more than three years of martial law, cost the lives of almost 1100 Aboriginals and settlers. The near-destruction of Tasmania's Aboriginal population has been described by some historians as an act of genocide by the British. The island was permanently settled in 1803 as a penal settlement of the British Empire
British Empire
to prevent claims to the land by the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars; around 75,000 convicts were sent to Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
before transportation ceased in 1853.[18] The island was initially part of the Colony of New South Wales, but became a separate, self-governing colony under the name Van Diemen's Land (named after Anthony van Diemen) in 1825. In 1854 the present Constitution of Tasmania
was passed and the following year the colony received permission to change its name to Tasmania. In 1901 it became a state through the process of the Federation of Australia.


1 Toponymy 2 History

2.1 Physical history 2.2 Indigenous people 2.3 European arrival and governance

2.3.1 Black War 2.3.2 Removal of Aborigines 2.3.3 Proclamation as a separate colony

2.4 Recent history

3 Government

3.1 Politics 3.2 Local government

4 Geography

4.1 Climate 4.2 Soils

5 Ecology 6 Demography 7 Economy 8 Culture

8.1 Cuisine 8.2 Events 8.3 Literature 8.4 Media 8.5 Music and performing arts 8.6 Tasmanian cinema 8.7 Visual arts

9 Transport

9.1 Air 9.2 Antarctica
base 9.3 Road 9.4 Rail 9.5 Shipping

10 Sport 11 Notable people

11.1 Politicians 11.2 Actors 11.3 Authors 11.4 Sports persons 11.5 Musicians and composers

12 Gallery 13 See also 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

Toponymy[edit] The state is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642. Tasman 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 Land
Van Diemen's Land
by the British. It was officially renamed Tasmania
in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856.[19] Tasmania
was sometimes referred to as "Dervon", as mentioned in the Jerilderie Letter
Jerilderie Letter
written by the notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in 1879. The colloquial expression for the state is "Tassie". Tasmania
is also colloquially shortened to "Tas", especially when used in business names and website addresses. TAS is also the Australia Post abbreviation for the state. The reconstructed Palawa kani
Palawa kani
language name for Tasmania
is Lutriwita.[20] History[edit] Main article: History of Tasmania Physical history[edit] Main article: Geology of Tasmania

Tessellated pavement, a rare rock formation on the Tasman Peninsula

on the Derwent River in Tasmania

The island was adjoined to the mainland of Australia
until the end of the last glacial period about 10,000 years ago. Much of the island is composed of Jurassic
dolerite intrusions (up welling 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 southern midlands as far south as Hobart, the dolerite is under laid by sandstone and similar sedimentary stones. In the southwest, Precambrian
quartzites were formed from very ancient sea sediments and form strikingly sharp ridges and ranges, such as Federation Peak or Frenchmans 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 rock can be seen at Mount Read near Rosebery, or at Mount Lyell near Queenstown. Also present in the south and northwest is limestone with 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. In the far southwest corner of the state, the geology is almost completely quartzite, which gives the mountains the false impression of having snow-capped peaks year round. Indigenous people[edit] Main article: Tasmanian Aborigines Evidence indicates the presence of Aborigines in Tasmania
about 40,000 years ago. Rising sea levels cut Tasmania
off from mainland Australia
about 10,000 years ago and by the time of European contact, the Aboriginal people in Tasmania
had nine major nations, or ethnic groups.[17] At the time of the British occupation and colonisation in 1803 the indigenous population was estimated at between 3,000 and 10,000. Historian Lyndall Ryan's analysis of population studies led her to conclude that there were about 7,000 spread throughout the island's nine nations;[21] Nicholas Clements, citing research by N.J.B. Plomley and Rhys Jones, settled on a figure of 3,000 to 4,000.[22] They engaged in fire-stick farming, hunted game including kangaroo and wallabies, caught seals, mutton-birds, shellfish and fish and lived as nine separate "nations" on the island, which they knew as "Trouwunna". European arrival and governance[edit]

Melchisedech Thevenot (1620?-1692): Map of New Holland 1644, based on a map by the Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu.

The first reported sighting of Tasmania
by a European was on 24 November 1642 by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who landed at today's Blackmans Bay. More than a century later, in 1772, a French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne
also landed at Blackmans Bay, and the following year Tobias Furneaux
Tobias Furneaux
became the first Englishman to land in Tasmania
when he arrived at Adventure Bay. Captain James Cook landed at Adventure Bay in 1777. Matthew Flinders and George Bass sailed through Bass Strait
Bass Strait
in 1798–99, determining for the first time that Tasmania
was an island.[23]

Mount Wellington and Hobart
from Kangaroo Point, c. 1834

Sealers and whalers based themselves on Tasmania's islands from 1798,[24] and in August 1803 New South Wales
New South Wales
Governor Philip King sent Lieutenant John Bowen to establish a small military outpost on the eastern shore of the Derwent River in order to forestall any claims to the island by French explorers who had been exploring the southern Australian coastline. Bowen, who led a party of 49, including 21 male and three female convicts, named the camp Risdon.[23][25] Several months later a second settlement was established by Captain David Collins, with 308 convicts, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the south in Sullivans Cove
Sullivans 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. Left on their own without further supplies, the Sullivans Cove settlement suffered severe food shortages and by 1806 its inhabitants were starving, with many resorting to scraping seaweed off rocks and scavenging washed-up whale blubber from the shore to survive.[23] A smaller colony was established at Port Dalrymple on the Tamar River in the island's north in October 1804 and several other convict-based settlements were established, including the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the southeast and Macquarie Harbour
Macquarie Harbour
on the West Coast. Tasmania
was eventually sent 65,000 convicts—four out of every ten people transported to Australia.[23] By 1819 the Aboriginal and British population reached parity with about 5000 of each, although among the colonists men outnumbered women four to one.[26] Wealthy middle-class free settlers began arriving in large numbers from 1820, lured by the promise of land grants and free convict labour. Settlement in the island's northwest corner was monopolised by the Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
Company, which sent its first surveyors to the district in 1826. By 1830 one-third of Australia's non-Indigenous population lived in Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
and the island accounted for about half of all land under cultivation and exports.[27] Black War[edit] Main article: Black War Tensions between Tasmania's black and white inhabitants rose, partly driven by increasing competition for kangaroo and other game.[28][29] Explorer
and naval officer John Oxley
John Oxley
in 1810 noted the "many atrocious cruelties" inflicted on Aboriginals by convict bushrangers in the north, which in turn led to black attacks on solitary white hunters.[30] Hostilities increased further with the arrival of 600 colonists from Norfolk Island
between 1807 and 1813. They established farms along the River Derwent and east and west of Launceston, occupying 10 percent of Van Diemen's Land. By 1824 the colonial population had swelled to 12,600, while the island's sheep population had reached 200,000. The rapid colonisation transformed traditional kangaroo hunting grounds into farms with grazing livestock as well as fences, hedges and stone walls, while police and military patrols were increased to control the convict farm labourers.[31] Violence began to spiral rapidly from the mid-1820s in what became known as the "Black War". While black inhabitants were driven to desperation by dwindling food supplies as well as anger at the prevalence of abductions of women and girls, whites carried out attacks as a means of exacting revenge and suppressing the native threat. Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
had an enormous gender imbalance, with male colonists outnumbering females six to one in 1822—and 16 to one among the convict population. Historian Nicholas Clements has suggested the "voracious appetite" for native women was the most important trigger for the explosion of violence from the late 1820s.[32]

Four elderly full-blood Tasmanian Aborigines
Tasmanian Aborigines
c. 1860s. Truganini, for many years claimed to be the last full-blood Aboriginal to survive, is seated at far right.

From 1825 to 1828 the number of native attacks more than doubled each year, raising panic among settlers. Over the summer of 1826–7 clans from the Big River, Oyster
Bay and North Midlands nations speared stock-keepers on farms and made it clear that they wanted the settlers and their sheep and cattle to move from their kangaroo hunting grounds. Settlers responded vigorously, resulting in many mass-killings. In November 1826 Governor George Arthur issued a government notice declaring that colonists were free to kill Aborigines when they attacked settlers or their property and in the following eight months more than 200 Aborigines were killed in the Settled Districts in reprisal for the deaths of 15 colonists. After another eight months the death toll had risen to 43 colonists and probably 350 Aboriginals.[33] Almost 300 British troops were sent into the Settled Districts, and in November 1828 Arthur declared martial law, giving soldiers the right to shoot on sight any Aboriginal in the Settled Districts. Martial law would remain in force for more than three years, the longest period of martial law in Australian history.[34][35] In November 1830 Arthur organised the so-called "Black Line", ordering every able-bodied male colonist to assemble at one of seven designated places in the Settled Districts to join a massive drive to sweep Aboriginals out of the region and on to the Tasman Peninsula. The campaign failed and was abandoned seven weeks later, but by then Tasmania's Aboriginal population had fallen to about 300. Removal of Aborigines[edit] After hostilities between settlers and Aboriginals ceased in 1832, almost all of the remnants of the indigenous population were persuaded or forced by government agent George Augustus Robinson
George Augustus Robinson
to move to Flinders Island. Many quickly succumbed to infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, reducing the population further.[36][37] Of those removed from Tasmania, the last to die was Truganini, in 1876. The near-destruction of Tasmania's Aboriginal population has been described as an act of genocide by historians including Robert Hughes, James Boyce, Lyndall Ryan and Tom Lawson.[23][38][39] Boyce has claimed that the April 1828 "Proclamation Separating the Aborigines from the White Inhabitants" sanctioned force against Aboriginals "for no other reason than that they were Aboriginal" and described the decision to remove all Tasmanian Aborigines
Tasmanian Aborigines
after 1832—by which time they had given up their fight against white colonists—as an extreme policy position. He concluded: "The colonial government from 1832 to 1838 ethnically cleansed the western half of Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
and then callously left the exiled people to their fate."[40] Proclamation as a separate colony[edit] Van Diemen's Land—which thus far had existed as a territory within the colony of New South Wales—was proclaimed a separate colony, with its own judicial establishment and Legislative Council, on 3 December 1825. Transportation to the island ceased in 1853 and the colony was renamed Tasmania
in 1856, partly to differentiate the burgeoning society of free settlers from the island's convict past.[41]

A convict ploughing team breaking up new ground at the farm at Port Arthur.

The Legislative Council of Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
drafted a new constitution which it passed in 1854. The following year the Privy Council approved the colony changing its name from "Van Diemen's Land" to "Tasmania", and in 1856 the newly elected bicameral parliament sat for the first time, establishing Tasmania
as a self-governing colony of the British Empire. The colony suffered from economic fluctuations, but for the most part was prosperous, experiencing steady growth. With few external threats and strong trade links with the Empire, Tasmania
enjoyed many fruitful periods in the late 19th century, becoming a world-centre of shipbuilding. It raised a local defence force that eventually played a significant role in the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
in South Africa, and Tasmanian soldiers in that conflict won the first two Victoria Crosses awarded to Australians. In 1901 the Colony of Tasmania
Colony of Tasmania
united with the five other Australian colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Tasmanians voted in favour of federation with the largest majority of all the Australian colonies. Further information: Colony of Tasmania Recent history[edit] The state was badly affected by the 1967 Tasmanian fires, in which there was major loss of life and property. In the 1970s the state government announced plans to flood environmentally significant Lake Pedder. As a result of the eventual flooding of Lake Pedder, the world's first greens party was established; the United Tasmania
Group. In 1975 the Tasman Bridge collapsed when the bridge was struck by the bulk ore carrier MV Lake Illawarra. It was the only bridge in Hobart, and made crossing the Derwent River by road at the city impossible. The nearest bridge was approximately 20 km to the north, at Bridgewater. National and international attention surrounded the campaign against the Franklin Dam
Franklin Dam
in the early 1980s. On 28 April 1996, in the incident now known as the Port Arthur massacre, lone gunman Martin Bryant
Martin Bryant
shot and killed 35 people (including tourists and residents) and injured 21 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 Australia. In April 2006 the Beaconsfield Mine collapse
Beaconsfield Mine collapse
was triggered by a small earthquake. One person was killed and two others were trapped underground for 14 days. The Tasmanian community has for some time been divided over the issue of the proposed Bell Bay Pulp Mill
Bell Bay Pulp Mill
to be built in the Tamar Valley. Proponents argue that jobs will be created, while opponents argue that pollution will damage both the Bass Strait
Bass Strait
fishing industry and local tourism. In January 2011 wealthy philanthropist David Walsh opened the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart
to international acclaim. Within 12 months, MONA became Tasmania's top tourism attraction.[42]

Port Arthur

Government[edit] Main article: Government of Tasmania

Parliament House, Hobart

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 Constitution
Australian Constitution
regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth and prescribes which powers each level of government enjoys. Politics[edit] Main articles: Governors of Tasmania
and Parliament of Tasmania Tasmania
is a State in the Australian federation. Its relationship with the Federal Government and Parliament are regulated by the Australian Constitution. Tasmania
is represented in the Senate by 12 senators, on an equal basis with all other states. In the House of Representatives, Tasmania
is entitled to five seats, which is the minimum allocation for a state guaranteed by the Constitution—the number of House of Representatives seats for each state is otherwise decided on the basis of their relative populations, and Tasmania
has never qualified for five seats on that basis alone. Tasmania's House of Assembly use a system of multi-seat proportional representation known as Hare-Clark. At the 2002 state election, the Labor Party won 14 of the 25 House seats. The Liberal Party saw their percentage of the vote decrease dramatically, and their representation in the Parliament fell to seven seats. The Greens won four seats, with over 18% of the popular vote, the highest proportion of any Green party
Green party
in any parliament in the world at that time.

Composition of the Parliament of Tasmania

Political Party House of Assembly Legislative Council

ALP 10 4

Liberal 13 1

Greens 2 0

Independent 0 10

Source: Tasmanian Electoral Commission

On 23 February 2004 the Premier Jim Bacon announced his retirement, after being diagnosed with lung cancer. 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, who formed a coalition government with the Greens after the 2010 state election resulted in a hung parliament. Bartlett resigned as Premier in January 2011 and was replaced by Lara Giddings, who became Tasmania's first female Premier. In March 2014 Will Hodgman's Liberal Party won government, ending sixteen years of Labor governance, and ending an eight-year period for Hodgman himself as Leader of the Opposition.[43] Hodgman then won a second term of government in the recent 2018 state election. Tasmania
has numerous relatively unspoiled, 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 Pedder
Lake Pedder
reservoir impoundment led to the formation of the world's first green party, the United Tasmania
Group.[44][44] 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 and mining in the Tarkine
region, which have both proved highly divisive. The Tasmania
Together process recommended an end to clear felling in high conservation old growth forests by January 2003, but was unsuccessful. Local government[edit] Tasmania
has 29 local government areas. Local councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Tasmanian parliament, such as urban planning, road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants. As with the House of Assembly, Tasmania's local government elections use a system of multi-seat proportional representation known as Hare–Clark. Local government elections take place every four years and are conducted by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission
Tasmanian Electoral Commission
by full postal ballot. The next local government elections will be held during September and October 2018. Geography[edit]

Topography of Tasmania

A lavender farm in Nabowla

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain, Central Tasmanian Highlands

North Coast of Tasmania

Tasmania's landmass of 68,401 km2 (26,410 sq mi) is located directly in the pathway of the notorious "Roaring Forties" wind that encircles the globe. To its north, it is separated from mainland Australia
by Bass Strait. Tasmania
is the only Australian state that is not located on the Australian mainland. Depending on which borders of the oceans are used, the island can be said to be either surrounded by the Southern Ocean, or to have the Pacific on its east and the Indian to its west. Still other definitions of the ocean boundaries would have Tasmania
with the Great Australian Bight
Great Australian Bight
to the west, and the Tasman Sea
Tasman Sea
to the east. Tasmania
has been volcanically inactive in recent geological times but has many jagged peaks resulting from recent glaciation. Tasmania
is the most mountainous state in Australia. The most mountainous region is the Central Highlands area, which covers most of the central western parts of the state. The Midlands located in the central east, is fairly flat, and is predominantly used for agriculture, although farming activity is scattered throughout the state. Tasmania's tallest mountain is Mount Ossa at 1,617 m (5,305 ft). The mountain lies in the heart of the world-famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.[2][45] Much of Tasmania
is still densely forested, with the Southwest National Park
Southwest National Park
and neighbouring areas holding some of the last temperate rain forests in the Southern Hemisphere. The Tarkine, containing Savage River National Park
Savage River National Park
located in the island's far north west, is the largest temperate rainforest area in Australia
covering about 3,800 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).[46] With its rugged topography, Tasmania
has a great number of rivers. Several of Tasmania's largest rivers have been dammed at some point to provide hydroelectricity. Many rivers begin in the Central Highlands and flow out to the coast. Tasmania's major population centres are mainly situated around estuaries (some of which are named rivers). The Derwent River flows south east and reaches the coast at Hobart; the Tamar River
Tamar River
flows north from Launceston; the Mersey River also flows north to the North West Coast at Devonport; the Franklin and Gordon Rivers flow west and meet the coast at Strahan. The South Esk River is the longest river in Tasmania. It starts in the mountains at Fingal
and flows through Avoca, Evandale, Longford, Hadspen
and finally Launceston. The river is dammed at Launceston's Trevallyn Dam and used for the city's hydroelectricity. Although most of the water is dammed at Lake Trevallyn, some flows on into the Cataract Gorge, where it becomes a tributary to the Tamar Estuary, and the outflow from the power station also joins the Tamar River
Tamar River
downstream of Launceston.[47] The state of Tasmania
shares a land border with Victoria at its northernmost terrestrial point, Boundary Islet, a nature reserve in Bass Strait.[48] Tasmania
(the state) also includes Macquarie Island, situated 1,500 km south of the state, and approximately halfway between New Zealand
New Zealand
and the Antarctic mainland, along with neighbouring island groups Judge and Clerk Islets
Judge and Clerk Islets
11 km north and Bishop and Clerk Islets
Bishop and Clerk Islets
about 37 km south of Macquarie Island. The latter include the southernmost terrestrial point of the state of Tasmania, and the southernmost internationally recognised land in Australia.[citation needed]

Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay
seen from Mount Amos at Freycinet National Park

Climate[edit] See also: Climate of Tasmania

Knyvet Falls near Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Moulting Lagoon and Great Oyster Bay
Great Oyster Bay
with the Freycinet Peninsula
Freycinet Peninsula
in the distance

has a relatively cool temperate climate compared to the rest of Australia
with four distinct seasons.[49] Summer is from December to February when the average maximum sea temperature is 21 °C (70 °F) and inland areas around Launceston reach 24 °C (75 °F). Other inland areas are much cooler, with Liawenee, located on the Central Plateau, one of the coldest places in Australia, ranging between 4 °C (39 °F) and 17 °C (63 °F) in February. Autumn
is from March to May, with mostly settled weather, as summer patterns gradually take on the shape of winter patterns.[50] The winter months are from June to August, and are generally the wettest and coolest months in the state, with most high lying areas receiving considerable snowfall. Winter maximums are 12 °C (54 °F) on average along coastal areas and 3 °C (37 °F) on the central plateau, as a result of a series of cold fronts from the Southern Ocean. Inland areas receive regular freezes throughout the winter months.[51] Spring is from September to November, and is an unsettled season of transition, where winter weather patterns begin to take the shape of summer patterns, although snowfall is still common up until October. Spring is generally the windiest time of the year with afternoon sea breezes starting to take effect on the coast.

City Mean Min. Temp °C Mean Max. Temp °C No. Clear days Rainfall (mm)

Hobart 8.3 16.9 41 616[52]

Launceston 7.2 18.4 50 666[53]

Devonport 8.1 16.8 61 778[54]

Strahan 7.9 16.5 41 1,458[55]


An apple orchard in the "Apple Isle".

Despite the presence of some Quaternary
glaciation, Tasmania's soils are not more fertile than those of mainland Australia, largely because most are severely leached and the areas with driest climates (least leaching) were unaffected by glaciation or alluvia derived therefrom. Most soils on the Bass Strait
Bass Strait
Islands, the east coast and western Tasmania
are very infertile spodosols or 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 one of the state's major industries. 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 Russia and North America, although they are much lower in available phosphorus and somewhat acidic in the surface levels. Their higher nutrient levels, however, allow them to support productive pasture, and large numbers of sheep are 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
became known as the "Apple Isle" because for many years it was one of the world's major apple producers. Apples are still grown in large numbers, particularly in southern Tasmania, and have the distinction of being the first approved by the Japanese government for import, due to their verifiable pest-free status.[56] Ecology[edit] Main article: Flora and fauna of Tasmania Geographically and genetically isolated, Tasmania
is known for its unique flora and fauna. Tasmania
has extremely diverse vegetation, from the heavily grazed grassland of the dry Midlands to the tall evergreen eucalypt forest, 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 America and New Zealand
New Zealand
through ancestors which grew on the super continent of Gondwana, 50 million years ago. The island of Tasmania
was home to the thylacine, a marsupial which resembled a fossa or some say 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 Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian devil
became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936, and is now found in the wild only in Tasmania. Tasmania
was one of the last regions of Australia
to be introduced to domesticated dogs. Dogs were brought from Britain in 1803 for hunting kangaroos and emus. This introduction completely transformed Aboriginal society, as it helped them to successfully compete with European hunters, and was more important than the introduction of guns for the Aboriginals.[57]

Ferns in Hellyer Gorge, to the northeast of Savage River National Park.

Although Tasmanian devils are nocturnal, they like to rest in the sun. Scarring from fighting is visible next to this devil's left eye.


The city of Hobart, seen here from Mount Wellington, is Tasmania's most populous city and comprises a large portion of the state's population.

Estimated resident population since 1981

Tasmania's population is more homogeneous than that of other states of Australia, with many of British descent.[58] Approximately 65% of its residents are descendants of an estimated 10,000 "founding families" from the mid-19th century. As of 1996[update], more than 80% of Tasmanians were born in the state and almost 90% were born in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or Ireland. The ethnic homogeneity makes it an attractive location to study population genetics.[59] Until 2012, Tasmania
was the only state in Australia
with an above-replacement total fertility rate; Tasmanian women had an average of 2.24 children each.[60] By 2012 the birth rate had slipped to 2.1 children per woman, bringing the state to the replacement threshold, but it continues to have the second-highest birth rate of any state or territory (behind the Northern Territory).[61] Major population centres include Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, and Ulverstone. Kingston is often defined as a separate city but is generally regarded as part of the Greater Hobart
Area.[citation needed]

Name Population

Greater Hobart 221,000[62]

Launceston 86,633[63]

Devonport 30,497[63]

Burnie 27,699[63]

Ulverstone 14,726[63]

Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of Tasmania

Western Tasmania
and South West Tasmania with natural resources on 1865 map

Smoked Tasmanian salmon. Tasmania
is a large exporter of seafood, particularly salmon.

Traditionally, Tasmania's main industries have been mining (including copper, zinc, tin, and iron), agriculture, forestry, and tourism. In the 1940s and 1950s, a hydro-industrialisation initiative was 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. The state also has a large number of food exporting sectors, including but not limited to seafood (such as Atlantic salmon, abalone and crayfish). In the 1960s and 1970s there was a rapid decline in traditional crops such as apples and pears,[64] with other crops and industries eventually rising in their place. During the 15 years until 2010, new agricultural products such as wine, saffron, pyrethrum and cherries have been fostered by the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research. 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. About 1.7% of the Tasmanian population are employed by local government.[65] Other major employers include Nyrstar, Norske Skog, Grange Resources, Rio Tinto,[66] the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart, and Federal Group. Small business is a large part of the community life, including such success stories as Incat, Moorilla Estate and Tassal. In the late 1990s, many national companies based their call centres in the state after obtaining cheap access to broad-band fibre optic connections.[citation needed] 34% of Tasmanians are reliant on welfare payments as their primary source of income.[67] This number is in part due to the large number of older residents and retirees in Tasmania
receiving Age Pensions. Due to its natural beauty and clean air, Tasmania
is a popular location for Australians to retire to.[68] Culture[edit] Cuisine[edit] See also: Tasmanian wine During colonial times the cuisines of the British Isles were the standard in most areas of Tasmania. Tasmania
now has a wide range of restaurants, in part due to the arrival of immigrants and changing cultural patterns. Scattered across Tasmania
are many vineyards,[69] and Tasmanian beer brands such as Boags
and Cascade are known and sold in Mainland Australia. King Island
off the northwestern coast of Tasmania
has a reputation for boutique cheeses[69] and dairy products. Tasmanians are also consumers of seafood,[69] such as crayfish, orange roughy, salmon[69] and oysters,[69] both farmed and wild. Events[edit] Main article: List of events in Tasmania To foster tourism, the state government encourages or supports several annual events in and around the island. The best known of these is the Sydney to Hobart
Yacht Race, starting on Boxing Day
Boxing Day
in Sydney and usually arriving at Constitution Dock
Constitution Dock
in 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 Tasmania
Targa Tasmania
which attracts rally drivers from around the world 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
Show and Royal Launceston Show, both held in October annually. Music events held in Tasmania
include the Falls Festival at Marion Bay (a Victorian event now held in both Victoria and Tasmania
on New Year's Eve), MS Fest
MS Fest
is a charity music event held in Launceston, to raise money for those with multiple sclerosis, the Cygnet Folk Festival is one Australia's most iconic folk music festivals and is held every year in January, the Tasmanian Lute Festival is an early music event held in different locations in Tasmania
every two years and directed by Susan King. Recent additions to the state arts events calendar include the 10 Days on the Island arts festival, and MONA FOMA, run by David Walsh and curated by Brian Ritchie. Literature[edit] Main article: Tasmanian literature Tasmania
has an extraordinary literary culture of nationally and internationally acclaimed authors. Notable titles include For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke, The Museum of Modern Love[70][71] by Heather Rose, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, The Alphabet of Light and Dark by Danielle Wood, The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson and The Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher Koch, The Rain Queen[72] by Katherine Scholes, Bridget Crack[73] by Rachel Leary, and The Blue Day Book
by Bradley Trevor Greive. Children's books include They Found a Cave by Nan Chauncy, The Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner, Finding Serendipity, A Week Without Tuesday and Blueberry Pancakes Forever[74] by Angelica Banks, Tiger Tale by Marion and Steve Isham. Tasmania
also has a literary magazine that was formed in 1979, called Island
magazine and a biennial festival, the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival hosted by the Tasmanian Writers Centre. Media[edit] See also: Tasmanian Media Tasmania
has five broadcast television stations which produce local content including ABC Tasmania, Southern Cross Television
Southern Cross Television
– an affiliate of Seven Network, WIN Television
WIN Television
– an affiliate of Ten Network, Nine Tas – an affiliate of the Nine Network (joint owned by WIN and Southern Cross), and SBS. Music and performing arts[edit]

The Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre, Launceston

has a varied musical scene, ranging from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra whose 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 Grenfell and Don Kay, who is the patron of the Tasmanian Composers Collective,[75] the representative body for composers in Tasmania. Tasmania
is also home to one of Australia's leading new music institutions, IHOS Music Theatre and Opera and gospel choirs, the Southern Gospel Choir. Prominent Australian metal bands Psycroptic and Striborg hail from Tasmania.[76] Noir-rock band The Paradise Motel
The Paradise Motel
and 1980s power-pop band The Innocents[77] are also citizens. The first season of the television series The Mole was filmed and based mainly in Tasmania, with the final elimination taking place in Port Arthur gaol.[citation needed] Tasmanian cinema[edit] Films set in Tasmania
include Young Einstein, The Tale of Ruby Rose, The Hunter, The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce, Arctic Blast, Manganinnie, Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
and Lion. Common within Australian cinema, the Tasmanian landscape is a focal point in most of their feature film productions. The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce
The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce
and Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land
are both set during an episode of Tasmania's convict history. Tasmanian film production goes as far back as the silent era, with the epic For The Term of His Natural Life in 1927 being the most expensive feature film made on Australian shores. Visual arts[edit] The biennial Tasmanian Living Artists' Week is a ten-day statewide festival for Tasmania's visual artists. The fourth festival in 2007 involved more than 1000 artists. Tasmania
is home to two winners of the prestigious Archibald Prize— Jack Carington Smith in 1963 for a portrait of Professor James McAuley, and Geoffrey Dyer in 2003 for his portrait of Richard Flanagan. Photographers Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis are known for works that became iconic in the Lake Pedder and Franklin Dam
Franklin Dam
conservation movements. English-born painter John Glover (1767–1849) is known for his paintings of Tasmanian landscapes. The Museum of Old and New Art
Museum of Old and New Art
(MONA) opened in January 2011 at the Moorilla Estate
Moorilla Estate
in Berriedale,[78] and is the largest privately owned museum complex in Australia.[79] Transport[edit]

International Airport.

Air[edit] Tasmania's main air carriers are Jetstar Airways
Jetstar Airways
and Virgin Australia; Qantas, QantasLink
and Regional Express Airlines
Regional Express Airlines
have services from Tasmania. These airlines fly direct routes to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. Major airports include Hobart International Airport (which has not had a regular scheduled international passenger service since the 1990s) and Launceston Airport; the smaller airports, Burnie (Wynyard) and King Island, serviced by Regional Express; and Devonport, serviced by QantasLink; have services to Melbourne. Intra-Tasmanian air services are offered by Airlines of Tasmania. Until 2001 Ansett Australia
operated majorly out of Tasmania
to 12 destinations nationwide. Antarctica
base[edit] Tasmania
in particular — serves as Australia's chief sea link to Antarctica, with the Australian Antarctic Division
Australian Antarctic Division
located 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. Road[edit]

Bridgewater Bridge

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 Huon Highway. Public transport is provided by Metro Tasmania
Metro Tasmania
bus services, regular taxis and UBER ( Hobart
only) ride-share services within urban areas, with Redline Coaches, Tassielink Transit
Tassielink Transit
and Callows Coaches providing bus service between population centres. Rail[edit] Rail transport in Tasmania
Rail transport in Tasmania
consists 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. Regular passenger train services in the state ceased in 1977; the only scheduled trains are for freight, but there are tourist trains in specific areas, for example the West Coast Wilderness Railway
West Coast Wilderness Railway
and the Ida Bay Railway. There is an ongoing proposal to reinstate commuter trains to Hobart. This idea however lacks political motivation. Shipping[edit] See also: Bass Strait
Bass Strait

The Spirit of Tasmania
links the island with mainland Australia.

The port of Hobart
is the second deepest natural port in the world, second to only Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
in Brazil.[citation needed] There is a substantial amount of commercial and recreational shipping within the harbour and the port regularly hosts Cruise ships and occasionally military vessels. Burnie and Devonport on the northwest coast host ports and several other coastal towns host either small fishing ports or substantial marinas. The domestic sea route between Tasmanian and the mainland is serviced by Bass Strait
Bass Strait
passenger/vehicle ferries operated by the Tasmanian government-owned TT-Line (Tasmania). The state is also home to Incat, a manufacturer of very high-speed aluminium catamarans that regularly broke records when they were first launched. The state government tried using them on the Bass Strait
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.[citation needed] Sport[edit] Main article: Sport in Tasmania

Bellerive Oval
Bellerive Oval
at night, during the one-day cricket Australia
vs England.

Sport is an important pastime in Tasmania, and the state has produced several famous sportsmen and women and also hosted several major sporting events. The Tasmanian Tigers
Tasmanian Tigers
cricket team represents the state successfully (for example the Sheffield Shield
Sheffield Shield
in 2007, 2011 and 2013) and plays its home games at the Bellerive Oval
Bellerive Oval
in Hobart; which is also the home ground for the Hobart
Hurricanes in the Big Bash League. In addition, Bellerive Oval
Bellerive Oval
regularly hosts international cricket matches. Famous Tasmanian cricketers include David Boon
David Boon
and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Australian Rules Football
Australian Rules Football
is also popularly followed, with occasional discussion of a proposed Tasmanian team in the Australian Football League (AFL). Several AFL games have been played at Aurora Stadium, Launceston, including the Hawthorn Football Club
Hawthorn Football Club
and as of 2012[update], at the Bellerive Oval
Bellerive Oval
with the North Melbourne Football Club playing 3 home games there. The stadium was the site of an infamous match between St Kilda and Fremantle which was controversially drawn after the umpires failed to hear the final siren. Rugby League Football
Rugby League Football
is also played in the area, with the highest level of football played is in the Tasmanian Rugby League
Tasmanian Rugby League
competition. The most successful team is the Hobart
Tigers winning the title three times. Rugby Union
Rugby Union
is also played in Tasmania
and is governed by the Tasmanian Rugby Union. Ten clubs take part in the statewide Tasmanian Rugby Competition. Association football
Association football
(soccer) is played throughout the state, including a proposed Tasmanian A-League Club and an existing statewide league called the NPL Tasmania. Tasmania
hosts the professional Moorilla International tennis tournament as part of the lead up to the Australian Open and is played at the Hobart
International Tennis Centre, Hobart. The Sydney to Hobart
Yacht Race is an annual event starting in Sydney, NSW, on Boxing Day
Boxing Day
and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.[80] While some of the other sports played and barracked for have grown in popularity, others have declined. For example, in basketball Tasmania has not been represented in the National Basketball League since the demise of the Hobart
Devils in 1996. Notable people[edit] Main article: List of Tasmanians Notable people from Tasmania

Oliver Heyward, 6th Bishop of Bendigo Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
(née Mary Donaldson) David Walsh—Owner and founder of MONA Bob Clifford, owner and founder of Incat Truganini, full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine F. Matthias Alexander
F. Matthias Alexander
(1869–1955), originator of the Alexander Technique Anglican
Archbishop of Brisbane
and Primate of Australia
Phillip Aspinall Elizabeth Blackburn, first woman from Australia
to win a Nobel Prize John Gellibrand, founder of Legacy dancer and choreographer Graeme Murphy Deny King, naturalist, ornithologist and environmentalist Aviator and a founder of Qantas, Sir Hudson Fysh


Joseph Lyons, former Prime Minister of Australia his wife Dame Enid Lyons, the first woman member of the House of Representatives Bob Brown, former leader of the Greens political party


Actor Simon Baker, star of The Mentalist Actor Errol Flynn Actress Rachael Taylor Australian actress Kris McQuade lives in Tasmania. Actress Essie Davis, star of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries


Richard Flanagan, Australian author and recipient of the Man Booker Prize 2014 Heather Rose, Australian author and recipient of The Stella Prize 2017, the Christina Stead Prize 2017, the Margaret Scott Prize 2017 Danielle Wood, Australian author and recipient of the Vogel Prize 2002 Rohan Wilson, Australian author and recipient of the Vogel Prize 2011, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction 2016, The Margaret Scott Prize 2013 Katherine Scholes, Australian author Rachael Treasure, Australian author Katherine Lomar, Australian author Katherine Johnson, Australian author Angelica Banks, Australian author ( Heather Rose
Heather Rose
& Danielle Wood) Bradley Trevor Grieve, Australian author Christopher Koch, Australian author Bob Brown, Australian author James Boyce, Australian author Author and permaculturalist Bill Mollison, Right Livelihood Award, 1981 Author Kate Gordon

Sports persons[edit]

Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting Australian cricketer David Boon Australian cricketer George Bailey Australian cricketer Xavier Doherty Australian Test cricket match umpire Steve Randell; convicted of 15 counts of sexual assault against nine schoolgirls Eddie Jones, former Australian rugby union player and current headcoach of England Woodchopping world champion David Foster Robert Fahey, real tennis player; reigning World Champion since 1994. Former ATP Tennis player David Macpherson Alex Cisak, Association football
Association football
player currently playing for Football League 2 side Leyton Orient. Although, he was born in Poland. Royce Hart, Australian rules footballer Matthew Richardson, Australian rules footballer Former V8 Supercar
V8 Supercar
and current NASCAR
driver Marcos Ambrose (2003–2004 champion of V8 Supercar) Retired V8 Supercar, driver John Bowe (1995 champion) Cyclist Richie Porte Cyclist Luke Ockerby

Musicians and composers[edit]

Drummer Dave Haley from technical death metal band Psycroptic and black metal band Ruins (metal band) Composer Don Kay Country music singer Jean Stafford Composer Peter Sculthorpe Bassist Brian Ritchie, founding member of Violent Femmes


Mount Roland, Tasmania

Cataract Gorge, Tasmania

Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania

Sub-Antarctic Garden, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden, Hobart

Hastings Caves, Tasmania

Old chocolate vending machine at the Cadbury factory in Tasmania.

Salamanca Market in Hobart, Tasmania.

Russell Falls

Mount Roland

Tasman Peninsula

Wineglass Bay

See also[edit]

Book: Australia

Aboriginal Tasmanians Australia Index of Australia-related articles

List of amphibians of Tasmania List of schools in Tasmania Outline of Australia Protected areas of Tasmania Regions of Tasmania University of Tasmania

Islands portal Oceania portal Commonwealth realms portal Australia
portal Tasmania


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Press, p. 36, ISBN 978-0-70225-006-4  ^ Ryan, Lyndall (2012), Tasmanian Aborigines, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp. 58, 62, 66, 74–75, ISBN 978-1-74237-068-2  ^ Clements, Nicholas (2014), The Black War, Brisbane: University of Queensland
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Press, pp. 95–101, ISBN 978-0-70225-006-4  ^ Ryan, Lyndall (2012), Tasmanian Aborigines, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp. 1199–216, ISBN 978-1-74237-068-2  ^ Clements, Nicholas (2013), Frontier Conflict in Van Diemen's Land (Ph.D. thesis) (PDF), University of Tasmania, pp. 329–331  ^ Boyce, James (2010), Van Diemen's Land, Melbourne: Black Inc, p. 296, ISBN 978-1-86395-491-4  ^ Ryan, Lyndall (2012), Tasmanian Aborigines, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, pp. xix, 215, ISBN 978-1-74237-068-2  ^ Boyce, James (2010), Van Diemen's Land, Melbourne: Black Inc, pp. 264, 296, ISBN 978-1-86395-491-4  ^ Boyce, James (2010), Van Diemen's Land, Melbourne: Black Inc, pp. 1, 158, ISBN 978-1-86395-491-4  ^ MONA takes top billing Trips – The Mercury – The Voice of Tasmania. The Mercury (30 December 2011). Retrieved on 16 July 2013. ^ "Tasmanian Liberals secure 15 seats as election count ends". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.  ^ a b Davies, Lynn (2006). "Lake Pedder". Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies. Retrieved 6 March 2010.  ^ Ridge, Justin. "Mt. Ossa, Tasmania". The Interactive Tour of Tasmania. Retrieved 26 August 2011.  ^ 'About the Tarkine' Tarkine: Australia's Largest Temperate Rain forest Archived 26 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 15 June 2009. ^ 'Statistics – Tasmania, 2006', Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 25 June 2009. ^ Moore, Garry (1 March 2014). "The boundary between Tasmania
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Further reading[edit]

Alexander, Alison, ed. (2005). The Companion to Tasmanian History. Hobart, Tasmania: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania. ISBN 1-86295-223-X. OCLC 61888464.  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 0-19-554364-5. Robson, L. L. (1991). A History of Tasmania. Volume II. Colony and State from 1856 to the 1980s. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553031-4.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tasmania.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Tasmania.

Online—the main State Government website Discover Tasmania
– official tourism website Geographic data related to Tasmania
at OpenStreetMap

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