Tasmania – Did You Know…



… That there are some really funny names of places in Tasmania? Have a go and a giggle reading them all out loud. Yep, pretty funny, don’t you think so?

But there is more of course to Tasmania than just the funny names, so let’s start with the basics:

  • Separated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land apart, a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle.
  • Tasmania is an island with an area of 90,758 km², located 240 km off the south-east corner of mainland Australia. Next stop south is Antarctica, 2000 km away.
  • Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait, Tasmanians breathe  clean air and rejoice in pure water and fertile soils. The wine and food are acclaimed around the world.
  • Tasmania is a natural island, a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Over a third of the state is reserved in a network of National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana.
  • Tasmania has more than 2000 km of walking tracks and 18 national parks.
  • The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covers 1.38 million hectares.
  • Hobart has the nation’s second-lowest rainfall (626 mm or 24 inches) of all Australian capital cities.
  • The average summer temperature is a comfortable 21°C (70°F). Winter’s average is 12°C (52° F).

And now to some extras:

  • The world’s first Green party formed in Tasmania in 1972. The United Tasmania Group evolved to become the Tasmanian Greens.
  • Launceston introduced the first underground sewage system in Australia in 1860. Launceston was only the third city in the world to be served by underground sewers.
  • Hobart was the first Australian city to introduce parking meters.
  • The Tasmanian Tiger was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. The last documented Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936. Considered to be extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.
  • What we know today as a notepad was invented by Launceston man J. A. Birchall. Until Mr Birchall took a piece of cardboard and glued the ends of the paper together in 1902, pieces of paper simply wafted around offices.
  • Hobart is the second-driest capital city in Australia. Hobart receives about half as much rain (per year) than Sydney.
  • Hobart was the first Australian capital city to have an electric tramway. A private company started the tramway operations in 1893.
  • 1997 saw Tasmania become the first Australian state to formally apologize to the Aboriginal community for past actions connected with the ‘stolen generation’.
  • More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves
  • Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka.
  • Australia’s oldest brewery still in operation is the Cascade Brewery in Hobart.
  • Tasmania was the first Australian colony to have a compulsory state education system in 1868. It was administered by local school boards.
  • Tasmania’s lower house became the first chamber of an Australian parliament to pass a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. It was later voted down in Tasmania’s Legislative Council by eight votes to six.
  • Tasmania was the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality. Until 1997, the punishment for homosexuality was jail for up to 25 years.
  • 300 female convicts decided to moon the Governor of Tasmania during a chapel service in 1832.
  • Mount Ossa is the highest mountain in Tasmania. It lies in the heart of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and measures 1,617 metres.
  • The first secular register of births, deaths and marriages in the British colonies was established in Tasmania in 1838.
  • Tasmania was originally named Van Diemen’s Land and was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803. The name was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.
  • Launceston was the first city in the southern hemisphere to get electric light after the first Tasmanian hydro-electric station was opened at Duck Reach on South Esk River in 1895.
  • Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly or King’s lomatia, is a self-cloning shrub discovered in Tasmania’s remote south west in 1937. Fossil leaves of the plant found in the south west were dated at 43,600 years old. Given that the species is a clone, it is possibly the oldest living plant in the world.

17 thoughts on “Tasmania – Did You Know…

  1. Did you also know….. Tasmania is home to a rare type of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate??? That’s right! Tasmania is home to the Fortuano cocoa tree – I tried dark chocolate made from this cocoa when I was in Melbourne recently and it’s so exquisite! And Tasmania is home to the leatherwood tree – R.J Stephens Apiarists in Mole Creek make a really unique honey from their bees which are placed in the leatherwood forests in the northwest corner of the state…..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. About the only thing I knew about Tasmania was what I learned from a documentary I watched about the Tasmanian Devil. It was interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

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