When you’re footloose and travelling far from home, there’s one thing we all need. Information at our fingertips. So to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area and the birth of the world’s first Green Party, our new Tasmania Guide app is being launched free on all Apple devices.
Since the victorious conservation battle to stop the building of a hydroelectric dam on the Franklin River made international news in the early ‘80s, Tasmania has become one of the most inspirational eco-destinations in the world. The new app helps you explore the country’s rich natural diversity while researching tours, travel, walking and wildlife operators, places to stay and everything you need to know both at the planning stage and on the ground when you arrive.
Tasmania is world-famous for its wilderness landscapes and the diversity of its wildlife. Its 19 National Parks and reserves cover 45% of the country. Around half of this area is located in the Tasmanian Wilderness, a World Heritage Site and one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, which includes the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park (home of the Overland Track) and the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park with the Franklin River itself at its heart.
The state has more than 2,000 kilometres of world-class walking tracks, thousands of highland lakes and tarns, hundreds of pristine ocean beaches, extensive underground caverns, more than 300 large and small islands both remote and accessible, and enough peaks and crags to keep the keenest walkers and climbers busy for a lifetime.
Its headline species include the Tasmanian devil and pademelon, and the now presumed extinct Tasmanian tiger but other lesser-known species such as the quoll, pademelon (only ever found in Tasmania) and bettong are so rare on the mainland that they are on the verge of extinction. Tasmanian bird species include 12 that are found nowhere else in the world while its marine animals include southern right and humpback whales, fur seals, penguins and sea horses.
Tasmania’s unique geography has also made it adventure central for adrenaline junkies with adventure activities on offer from diving to white-water rafting, mountain biking and canyonning. The perfect companion for walkers, the new app uses Google Maps to plot the route of some of Tasmania’s most famous multi-day walks.
These include the Overland Track, the Maria Island and Bay of Fires walks, the South Coast Track and the Tarkine Rainforest Track which takes visitors through a temperate rainforest that is the last refuge of the Tasmanian devil. Information is also available on a ten-day rafting expedition down the Franklin River – one of the longest and most exhilarating river rafts in the world – as well as the state’s newest adventure tour, Cradle Mountain Canyons, both of which are in the heart of the World Heritage Wilderness.
The details of an easy four-hour return walk to Mt Misery are also included in the app. Just south of Hobart, this walk is an example of Tasmania’s successful transition from resource exploitation to eco-tourism. Mt Misery Habitat Reserve is a community conservation project led by Paul Dimmick. Paul spent six years as a full-time campaigner for the protection of the Franklin River and the app provides information on this historic conservation battle. At the end of the campaign he became the first ranger in the resultant Wild Rivers National Park and is now an eco-tourism operator.
The new app also showcases Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, a centre for fine dining, arts and culture with galleries, playhouses (including the oldest theatre in Australia), markets and museums. After four years of planning and building, the $75 million Museum of Old and New Art – MONA – opened in Hobart in January 2011 to global acclaim. MONA is the only Australian travel experience that offers a vineyard, accommodation, fine dining, wine bar, cellar door tastings, and an internationally significant museum and art gallery.
Convict stories are at the heart of Tasmania’s cultural heritage and there are five World Heritage Convict Sites on the app including Port Arthur and the Isle of the Dead on the Tasman Peninsula - one of the most popular day-trips from Hobart - and the atmospheric Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast of Tasmania.
To start exploring Tasmania and plan a trip right away, simply log on to your app store and search ‘Tasmania Guide’ or visit the Apple app store on your mobile to download the app.
See below, a selection of our top Tasmania holidays:
2012 Solar Eclipse holiday with Tasmania tour
From £4199 (16 days ) including UK flights
Maria Island walking tour
From AU $2,150 (GB £1,391) (4 days) excluding flights
Tasmania wildlife holiday
From AU $4,206 (GB £2,720) (8 days) excluding flights
Cradle huts overland track walking holiday
From AU $2,600 (GB £1,682) (6 days) excluding flights
From AU $189 - AU $420 per room per night
Tasmaina activity tour
From AU $1,995 (GB £1,290) (7 days) excluding flights