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Reading Up

A summary of some of the best books about travelling in Tasmania.

You’d be surprised how much information is available about Tasmania – from the early days of the first European settlement, this is a place that has fascinated and rewarded artists, photographers, naturalists, historians, poets and novelists.

Here’s some recommended reading for researching some of the stories and images behind our island.


Tasmanian Travelways Online is a companion to the popular bimonthly hardcopy tourism magazine and offers a comprehensive database of Tasmanian travel and tourism services and products including accommodation, restaurants, wineries and tours.

40 degrees south book

40 degrees South is a magazine published by 40 South Publishing and sets out to celebrate all that is good about Australia’s island state.
Richly illustrated with superb photographs. Tasmania 40°South presents the wilderness, wildlife, culture, industry, landscapes and people of Tasmania. Always leading with a theme a typical issue will give you an in depth read on topics such as food, gardens, restaurants, perhaps a wine review, a new book about Tasmania, or interesting Tasmanians at large.

There is no more authorative and respected journal on fishing Tasmania's waters and oceans than 'FlyLife' magazine. Published for a worldwide audience from headquarters in Richmond, their writers, enthusiasts and practicing anglers give beautifully illustrated and informed articles on the best that Tasmania has to offer.flylife magazine Other (worldwide) fishing is also covered, but the Tasmanian information cannot be bettered and this magazine singlehandedly brings focus to the inland rivers, lakes and coastal fishing that Tasmania can show the world. From cosy lodges to 'secret spots', or the insights and company of skilled guides - this is your 'bible'.


HIDE & SEEK | HOBART Tasmania is a world apart from the rest of Australia – and Tasmanians wouldn’t have it any other way. But while the pace is noticeably slower in the state’s capital of Hobart (or ‘Slowbart’ to the locals), this fair city oozes charm like a pair of knitted nanna socks.
40 degrees south book Hide & Seek Hobart is for locals and visitors who want to discover the city’s lesser known gems. There’s something for everyone here, no matter what your tastes or interests. And, in all cases, we’ve made sure you won’t burn a hole in your wallet. So take a bite of the Apple Isle and savour its sweet delights.
For sale for just $14.95 or an online version for $7.50.

The Lonely Planet Guide to Tasmania (updated in 2011) provides you with comprehensive information on the State’s history, lifestyle, wildlife and wild places, itineraries. The opening 'Getting Started' chapter from the 2008 edition had this special place perfectly summarised:
"lonely planet guideLike any new love affair, there's a lot you can do in the space of a week. Top of your to-do list should be a close encounter with the state's wild places: the curves of Wineglass Bay, the far-flung Tarkine forests, the crags of Cradle Mountain. Almost a quarter of Tassie (as it’s affectionately known) is classed as a World Heritage Area or national park ... an inspirational backdrop of jagged mountain peaks and near-impenetrable rainforest, soaring sea cliffs and fragile alpine moorlands. Experience it first hand with world-class bushwalking, sea-kayaking, white-water rafting and cycling, or just bum around on a deserted beach. And while you're outside, grab a deep breath of Australia's purest air in the abundant sunshine - in the height of summer, Hobart (Tassie's capital city) enjoys more than 15 hours of sunlight every day (more than Darwin or Sydney).
When you wander in from the wilderness, you'll discover the table is laid. A highlight of any Tasmanian trip is sampling the local gourmet fare, especially fresh seafood, luscious fruits, outstanding dairy products and cellar-worthy cool-climate wines".

That surely means grab the guide, pack your bags, and put this to the test yourself.
For more information visit the Lonely Planet site.

lonely planet guideThose who follow the series will find the Rough Guide to Tasmania (2008) delivers extensive detail and travel hints, covering all the excitement that’s crammed into this island state. It features comprehensive coverage of every national park, accommodation from free bush-camps to luxury boutique hotels and where to eat, from burger joints to world-class seafood restaurants. The guide will steer you through a bonanza of adrenalin-fuelled activities, as well as how and where to relax, with all the nitty-gritty in between.

South-West Tasmania, by Ken Collins, published by Heritage Books in 1990, is a natural history and visitor’s guide that identifies landforms, geology and glaciation, vegetation, ecology and wilderness information in South-West Tasmania.

bradt travel guideTasmania: the Bradt Travel Guide, by Matthew Brace, published by Bradt and updated in 2004, features elegant prose, maps and pictures, and explains ways to get the most from a Tasmanian holiday. Bradt guides have a special appeal for visitors looking for holidays with a strong emphasis on natural history and hiking.
Compared with other guides, there are intimate insights into history and great observations about mingling it with the locals.
Best of all, a search on sites such as Amazon may mean picking up a copy of this excellent guide from around ten dollars.

Tassie Terms - A Glossary of Tasmanian Words, by Maureen Brooks and Joan Ritchie, published by Oxford University Press in 1995, contains over 600 words and their meanings and reflects the identity and spirit of Tasmania through its language.

It’s a Kid’s Life! Hobart, by Wendy Nielsen and Avril Priem, published in 2002, is an ideas book for families that tells you where to go in Hobart to have the most fun with kids, from play parks and free activities to kid-friendly eating places.
Available from It's A Kid's Life, PO Box 77, Blackman's Bay TAS 7052.

The Artist and the Fly Fisher by Pieter Zaadstra, is a celebration of fly fishing in the highland waterways of Tasmania.
The book is published by Zaadstra, in 2007, and includes elegant illustrations. It is offered in a limited and open edition.
For more information about the book and how to purchase it online go to

Guide to Fresh & Salt Water Fishing Around Tasmania, by Mike Stevens, published by Stevens Publishing Pty Ltd in 1999, is an extensive guide to fresh and salt water fishing techniques, locations and species throughout Tasmania.


Down Home - Revisiting Tasmania, by Peter Conrad, published by Chatto and Windus (London) in 1988, is an evocative and beautifully written autobiography.

The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, was published by Harvill (London) in 1987. From the squalor of Georgian Britain to grim prison cells onboard ships bound for an unkown world, this book documents the history of the transportation of over 160,000 convicts to Australia.

The Road to McCarthy, by Pete McCarthy, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 2002, gives a warts and all account of the author’s travels through the state, as he traces the Irish diaspora around the world.

pockets & cornersPockets & Corners - Furry Facts and Thylacine Fiction in the Heartlands of Tasmania, by Penny Carey Wells and Diane Perndt. This 110-page hardcover book takes you on a whimsical journey through Tasmania using 19th century – postcards, illustrations, poems and flights of fancy all wrapped up with practical guidance.

Penny Carey Wells and Diane Perndt are local artists who have used their quirky sense of style and design – along with their imaginative text – to create a love poem to their home state.

You can find Pockets & Corners at major Tasmanian bookstores or by contacting the artists direct; tel (03) 6229 3568

A Guide to Tasting Tasmania, by Graeme Phillips, is a informed and practical guide to the best of Tasmania’s restaurants, seafood, wine, cafes, watering holes and pubs. This independent, full-colour publication sells for $A19.95 and can be found at larger newsagents, bookstores and major winery cellar door outlets in Tasmania., or see
Or get a copy from the author by telephoning (03) 6224 8139.

Photo Stories

The Photographer, the Cook and the Fisherman: Real stories of Tasmanian Fishing, by world renowned yachting photographer Richard Bennett and Hobart restaurateurs Jill and George Mure, published by Richard Bennett in 2002, is a collection of intriguing photographs, anecdotes, recipes and information about catching, farming, researching, admiring and - most importantly for many - cooking and eating fish in Tasmania.

from the sea book

From the Sea: Images of Tasmania’s glorious sailing waters, seafood and wines, by Rob and Rosemary Peterswald, published by Oceania II Enterprises in 2001, is a collection of stunning photographs by the authors and Nick Osborne interspersed with recipes and personal reflections on Tasmania’s beautiful coastal regions.

On the Mountain, by Peter Dombrovskis, published by West Wind Press in 1996, is a tribute to Hobart’s Mt Wellington - and to Peter Dombrovskis, one of Tasmania’s most celebrated photographers.

Wild Rivers, by Peter Dombrovskis and Bob Brown, was published by Peter Dombrovskis Pty Ltd in 1983. Instrumental in saving the Franklin River, Peter Dombrovskis and Bob Brown enhance the readers’ appreciation and understanding of this spectacular wilderness area.

Australian Geographic’s Tasmania, by Lindsay Simpson and Bruce Miller, published by Australian Geographic Pty Ltd in 1997, is a collection of stories and photojournalism that details the lives and lifestyles of Tasmanians and the islands they call home.

Beyond the Reach - Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, by Chris Bell, was published by Laurel Press in 1990. From intricate wildflowers to dramatic spires of dolerite, the beauty of the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park is captured is this photographic tribute.

Tasmania - island of tranquillity

Tasmania Island of Tranquillity is a self-published hardcover collection of 170 classic photographs by master photographer Owen Hughes. In this 144 page book the length and breadth of the island have been captured in all seasons reflecting the moods and diversity of life in Tasmania.
Images of wilderness, rural landscape and urban life make this collection a wonderful treasury of pictures.

In Tiger’s Reach, also by Owen Hughes, focusses on the State’s national parks and reserves.

Both can be obtained from bookstores, or directly from Owen via his website at