Rainfall in Tasmania varies dramatically from region to region. Hobart is Australia’s second-driest capital city after Adelaide, while on the West Coast an annual average of 2400 millimetres ensures that temperate rainforests thrive.

Minimal artificial light makes Tasmania’s night sky an exceptional location for stargazing, including the wonder of the magnificent Aurora Australis.

Devonport is a diverse and interesting region, home to charming historic towns, beautiful beaches and forests, fine foods and the magnificent craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain. Cradle Mountain is a dramatic mountain peak in the northern section of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, a World Heritage Area.

The mountain is one of the most popular features in the park, and is surrounded by stands of native deciduous beech trees, rainforest and alpine heathlands. Icy streams cascade down the mountainsides, and ancient pines are reflected in the still glacial lakes. The walk to the top of the mountain (1,545 metres) takes eights return.

Lake St Clair is the deepest in Australia (190 metres), having been excavated by glaciers about 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.

Towering cliffs rise sheer from the waters of the lake, in which fishing and boating are allowed.
The east coast of Tasmania is a region of agreeable contrasts – sunshine and sea, wine and wildlife, rugged cliffs and glorious beaches.

A centre of fine food and wine, the area is famous for its fresh, natural produce.

It is also home to a series of excellent national parks, including Douglas-Apsley National Park with majestic rivers, eucalypts and Oyster Bay pines, Freycinet National Park which is renowned as a bushwalkers’ and sea kayakers’ paradise, and Maria Island National Park rich in history, scenic walks and fauna. The east coast’s history is told by its place names.

Schouten Island and Maria Island were mapped by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, while the Freycinet Peninsula was charted by Frenchman Nicolas Baudin. Welsh settlers named the town of Swansea, while Triabunna and Wielangta recall thousands of years of Aboriginal presence in Tasmania.

Miguel Scaccialupo writes regularly on Outback Tour topics, including Alice Springs Tour destinations and Tasmania Tour itineraries.

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