• Tasmania: A hidden Australian gem

    2013-04-16

    Australia travel is often heavily focused on the experiences you can find on the mainland, and it's easy to see why. Whether you want to explore the bustling metropolis of Sydney or get a firsthand look at the country's famously diverse wildlife, much of the appeal of a trip to the Land Down Under is on the island. However, the island state of Tasmania offers a unique experience of its own and there are several spots in particular that highlight the appeal of this often overlooked piece of Australia.

    Salamanca Market
    For more than 40 years, this thriving hub of activity has welcomed merchants from all across the island and certainly offers travelers a unique experience. The market is held each Saturday and vendors come prepared with anything you could possibly want. For instance, if you're looking to pick up some fresh and affordable local produce, Salamanca is the place to be. Not only that, but merchants also come prepared with clothes, books and anything else you may wish to pick up as a memento of your travels. Even if you don't walk away with anything, a stroll through the market will offer a glimpse into everyday life in Tasmania.

    Port Arthur
    Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Tasmania, Port Arthur has a tumultuous past that makes it especially appealing to history buffs. The site was originally built during the 18th and 19th centuries and was used primarily as a penal colony. Though the prison closed more than 130 years ago, today its eerie past makes it a large draw. It is especially well known as one of the most haunted spots in Australia, and guided tours can bring you to some of the supposedly spookiest areas.

    Freycinet National Park
    Like much of Australia, Tasmania has some of the most beautiful landscapes you're likely to encounter during your travels, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Freycinet National Park. Located along the island's east coast, this park is home to a number of natural highlights, including the well-known Wineglass Bay. There are many ways to experience this picturesque piece of coastline, including hikes that last multiple days or those that take two hours. Whichever way you choose will be sure to impress.

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