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History and heritage

Tasmania’s heritage offers event organisers a unique stage in which to present their events. 

With many heritage sites on offer, for example Port Arthur, Salamanca Place, Clarendon House and Entally Estate, and the old townships of Ross and Oatlands, incorporating them into your event activities is easy.

In 1803, the first Europeans settled in Tasmania on the eastern shore of the River Derwent. Named by Abel Tasman as Van Diemen’s Land, when he discovered the island in 1642, the Europeans were sent from the Sydney colony to stop the French claiming the land. In 1804, Hobart was settled at Sullivans Cove. Harsh penal colonies were established at Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour, which can still be visited today.

The land was originally home to the Tasmanian Aborigines, who had lived on the island for thousands of years. As a result of disease and persecution by the white settlers, the Tasmanian Aborigines were lost to the island with the last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine, Truganini, dying in 1876.

Tasmania is renowned for its preserved history and although the grand colonial buildings and relics of the convict past are well known and largely preserved throughout the state, the heritage of the first Tasmanians is still being uncovered.

In the state’s caves and wilderness areas that hold the history of the Tasmanian Aborigines, middens and artefacts are still being found. A visit to our Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is a must.

The elegant buildings of Tasmania’s colonial heritage still stand today, lining the city streets and dotted throughout the countryside. Most buildings of this era were created with convict labour and still carry their distinctive stamp today providing an insight into Tasmania’s colonial past.

The history of the Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine) is also worth noting and can be viewed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Although the last known thylacine died at Hobart Zoo in 1936, some believe the tiger still exists today and a reward for its discovery still stands. The species was officially pronounced extinct in 1986.

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The URL for this page is:    This page was last modified on 1st March 2012 .