Tasmania at a glance

Enjoy the freedom of visiting communities off the main routes while exploring the region’s more remote and wild natural attractions. It’s worth remembering that although Tasmania is small, its landscape is diverse and its 500,000 strong population decentralised.
Tasmania is an island roughly the size of West Virginia, located 240km off the South East corner of mainland Australia. Next stop South is Antarctia, 2000km away. Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait, we breathe the world’s cleanest air and rejoice in pure water and fertile soils – our 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, a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana.

Our European heritage dates back to the early 1800s, while Tasmanian Aboriginals first reached here 40,000 years ago. Tasmania also has a vibrant cultural life, boasting one of the best small orchestras in the world and literary authors such as Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2002 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Wilderness, heritage, art & culture, wine and food – they’re waiting for you in Tasmania.

  • The population of Tasmania is 507,626
  • Main centres are Hobart (the capital city with 203,600 people) Launceston (98,500) Burnie (18,000) and Devonport (25,000)
  • 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)
  • Retail opening hours are unrestricted in Tasmania. Large supermarkets are generally open from 0700 to 2100 seven days a week. Many smaller convenience stores are open longer.
  • ATMs and EFTPOS facilities are widely available.
  • Most banks are open 0930 to 1600, Monday to Friday
  • Petrol is available 24 hours in major centres.
  • As in most parts of regional Australia petrol prices are slightly higher – but then again you won’t have to travel vast distances. The Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania tracks current petrol prices.
  • The speed limit in built-up areas is 50 kilometres per hour unless otherwise indicated. The maximum speed possible on roads outside cities and towns is usually 100 kilometres per hour, although there is a limit of 110 kilometres per hour on a small number of high quality roads. On all open roads, however, lower speed limits are frequently indicated and these limits must be adhered to.
  • Speed cameras and random breath testing units operate throughout Tasmania.
  • Seat belts must be worn in motor vehicles – motorcyclists and bicyclists must wear helmets.
  • Contact police, fire and ambulance by dialing 000
  • The Australian GST (goods & services tax) of 10% applies to most purchases.
  • Tasmania operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time. For daylight saving, clocks are advanced one hour between October and March.
  • Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts (50 hertz).