Tasmania is located off the southeast corner of mainland Australia. It is Australia’s smallest state in terms of both size and population, yet is a major tourist attraction due to the diverse and spectacular scenery, unspoilt wilderness and heritage.
Many Tasmanian food producers rely on Tasmania’s pristine environment to manufacture high quality delicacies. For instance, Tasmanian beer is brewed from some of the cleanest water in the world, and the green pastures of King Island ideally suit the area to cheesemaking.
Although at a greater latitude than New York, Tasmania enjoys much the same temperate climate as other southern Australian states. Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, receives less rain than any other Australian capital except Adelaide. The capital city of Tasmania is Hobart, located in the south-east of the state. Launceston is the largest city in the north.
North of Bicheno
The A3 hugs the coast, giving access to good surfing at beaches in Four Mile Creek, Scamander, Beaumaris and St Helens. (Turn left on the A4 at Chain of Lagoons to reach St Marys and the northern end of the Douglas-Apsley National Park.) Ten km past Falmouth is the seaside town of Scamander. Turn left after the Scamander River to reach the cool shade of the Scamander Forest Reserve, with its picnic and camping areas, bream fishing and boating.
If you’ve left the A4 to head inland, you’ll climb the Elephant Pass to St Marys. Twenty km further on is Fingal – a right turn on the B43 takes you through farmlands and forest to the Griffin Camping Area, Evercreech and Mathinna Falls Forest Reserves. Within 10 km of each other, these reserves offer good camping and picnic areas with a backdrop of the world’s tallest white gums. In this area, you can explore the forest trails on horseback. After returning to the A4 at Fingal, continue west to the Midlands Highway, or head back to the East Coast.
West – St.Helens
On the East Coast, 15 km north of Scamander on the A3 is the fishing and holiday town of St Helens. The St Helens Point State Recreation Area runs from Diana’s Basin just south of the town, along the southern side of Georges Bay, and includes the dramatic Peron Dunes, ocean and bay beaches, coastal heathlands and an internationally-significant wetland bird habitat (Jocks Lagoon). The reserve is popular for camping, boating, fishing, surfing and walking.
To reach St Helens Point, turn off the A3 on the C851 when you reach Georges Bay. If you’re ready for rainforests and hills after the beaches of the East Coast, take the A3 from St Helens to Pyengana and the short walk through dense bush to the spectacular St Columba Falls, then continue through the old tin mining towns of Weldborough and Derby to the rich farmlands around Scottsdale, or return to St Helens to continue your exploration of the coast.
North – St.Helens
Beyond St Helens township on the C850 is Binalong Bay and the Humbug Point State Recreation Area, with its granite shorelines, white beaches and short walks. There are good camping and picnic areas, with fishing, diving, bird watching and boating the popular activities. North again is the remote and beautiful coastline of the Bay of Fires Coastal Reserve. Enjoy the camping, beach walking, diving, fishing and swimming.
Fifty-two km north of St Helens on the C843 is Eddystone Point, Tasmania’s most easterly point, with its hand-hewn granite lighthouse. This is the southern end of the Mt William National Park, with its long, deserted beaches and coastal vegetation. Access to the park’s camping area is by the C845, a gravel road 60 km to the north-west of Eddystone Point. On the way in to the Mt William camping area is the Forester Kangaroo Drive, where at dusk or early morning you’re likely to see wombats, wallabies and some of Australia’s Eastern Forester kangaroos grazing quietly by the road.
From Mt William, you can return to the A3 via Gladstone to Scottsdale, or instead, go north from Gladstone via the coastal areas of Waterhouse and Tomahawk to the holiday and fishing port of Bridport.
There’s an excellent campground here, with good fishing, swimming and coast walks.