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Far from Ordinary

Cultural Heritage, Wilderness, Dining

Tasmania is an easily accessed land apart – a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people with a relaxed island lifestyle; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; and a haunting history evoked by spectacular convict-era ruins. According to professional travellers who criss-cross the globe in search of excellence, Tasmania has one of the world’s 10 best beaches (Wineglass Bay, US-based Outside magazine), the world’s best little town (Strahan, Chicago Tribune) and has been rated equal third in the world for wise land stewardship by National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Sustainable Tourism Initiative. The Bay of Fires region topped Lonely Planet's list of the world's best destinations in 2008.

Historic sites, spectacular landscapes, bustling markets, award-winning restaurants and scenic wineries - almost everywhere you look in Tasmania there’s something special to see, do, taste, hear or smell. This extraordinary place is well served by sea and air links to Australia’s biggest cities, so it is hardly surprising that tourism is a major industry. In 2007-08, 897,100 visitors crossed Bass Strait to the archipelago of 334 islands. They spent $1.48 billion, representing an increase over the previous year of 12 per cent.

People planning a visit should be prepared to be surprised. Matthew Bruce reported in The Guardian, London: “Don’t believe the guidebooks that tell you Tasmania is more English than England. Giant eucalyptus trees tower over creeks where platypus swim, 10ft tree ferns burst from the undergrowth, tiger snakes lurk in the grass and the woods are full of hopping wildlife. At dawn, Tasmania’s temperate rain forests are heady with the scent of lemon, peppermint and myrtle. Branches shower you with fragrant dew as you brush past. This is a long way from England. It’s a long way from anywhere.”

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