is a relatively small island enabling you to see a lot
of the state within a short time frame. However, given
the diversity of the state and the large amount of attractions
to see and explore, we recommend you take your time to
not only ensure your safety but take in all that Tasmania
has to offer.
Tasmania, the smallest of Australia's
six states and is an island lying south of the south-east
corner of the Australian mainland. Roughly triangular
in shape, it is surrounded by smaller islands, the most
important of which are King, Flinders and Bruny islands.
Including these smaller islands, the State has a total
area of some 68 331 km2 and is separated from the Australian
mainland by Bass Strait, a shallow but potentailly dangerous
stretch of sea with an average width of 240 km.
Tasmania is the most mountainous of
Australian States. It is distinctive not so much for the
height of its mountains, which rarely exceed 1500 m, but
for their domination of the landscape because the proportion
of mountainous country to total area is particularly high.
The island is dominated by a central plateau sloping south-east
from an average level of 1000 m in the south. On the western
edge, it gives way to a range of mountains running parallel
to the west coast. This region is sparsely populated and
contains the State's main mining areas.
Tasmania lies between latitudes 40°
and 43.5° south and its climate is temperate maritime.
The State's location on the northern edge of the "Roaring
Forties" (a westerly airstream), plus its mountainous
terrain, produce marked variations of climate, particularly
of rainfall. Tasmania has the highest average rainfall
of any Australian State. Annual rainfall can be as high
3600 mm in the west and as low as 500 mm in the east.
In the west and north-west, maximum rainfall is received
in winter. In the east and south-east, rainfall is more
evenly distributed throughout the year.