Tasmania is all about getting back to nature – whether you want to wind down and enjoy the views or rev it up to the max with adrenalin-pumping sports. You can raft through rapids on the Picton or Franklin rivers, launch yourself on a cable hang-glider above Trevallyn, paddle a sea kayak from Strahan or abseil a coastal cliff at Freycinet.

The locals are pretty laidback in Australia’s island state (peak-hour traffic lasts for about ten minutes) and the scenery is either truly pretty or outrageously wild. Its cooler climate makes for a whole new range of wonderful wines and food.

Cultured and cosmopolitan Hobart – awash with historic buildings and sitting astride the Derwent River – is the capital. – It’s a great base to explore the south of the island,  including Port Arthur where Tasmania’s convict heritage comes to life. Walking trails weave through easy-going rolling green hills and dense forests dotted with lakes to the more steep-sided Cradle Mountain, snow-capped in winter and surrounded by native beech trees and ancient pines.

Things to try in Tassie include the 110m slide to the bottom of Dismal Swamp, the Spirit of Tasmania ferry ride from Melbourne and the chair lift ride to the top of the Nut at Stanley.


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