Tasmania (abbreviated as TAS, often called Tassie) is an Australian island and state. It is 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania, the 26th largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of 507,626 (as of June 2010), of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart precinct. Tasmania’s area is 68,401 square kilometres (26,410 sq mi), of which the main island covers 62,409 square kilometres (24,096 sq mi).Tasmania is promoted as the natural state, the "Island of Inspiration", and A World Apart, Not A World Away owing to its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Almost 37% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites. The island is 364 kilometres (226 mi) long from its northernmost to its southernmost points, and 306 kilometres (190 mi) from west to east.
The state capital and largest city is Hobart which encompasses the local government areas of City of Hobart, City of Glenorchy, and City of Clarence, while the satellite town of Kingston (part of the Municipality of Kingborough) is generally included in the Greater Hobart area.
Other major population centres include Launceston in the north and Devonport and Burnie in the northwest. The subantarctic Macquarie Island is also under the administration of the state, as part of the Huon Valley Council local government area.
Dove Lake is a corrie lake near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Australia. It lies in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The lake is a very popular visitor attraction and is encircled by well maintained walking paths which also lead up onto Cradle Mountain .
Like several other lakes in the region, Lake Dove was formed by glaciation. The habitat is unique and includes the Tasmanian deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), tussock grasses, snow gums and pencil pines. Among animals wandering the shores of the lake are numerous wombats, echidnas, pademelons and tiger snakes.
The Tasman Peninsula lies south and west of Forestier Peninsula, to which it is connected by an isthmus called Eaglehawk Neck. This in turn is joined to the rest of Tasmania by an isthmus called East Bay Neck, near the town of Dunalley (about 60 kilometres or 37 miles by road from Hobart). Many smaller towns are also located on the Tasman Peninsula, the largest of which are Nubeena and Koonya. Smaller centres include Premaydena, Highcroft and Stormlea. The Conservation Park, located on the main highway at Taranna, is a popular local visitor attraction along with the Port Arthur Historic Site and a number of beaches.
The local government area is the Tasman Council and the major route to Hobart is the Arthur Highway. The population is around 2317 (estimate June 2006), which rises to around 8000 in summer months, mainly due to Port Arthur. The area of the peninsula and of the Local Government Area is 660 square kilometres (250 sq mi), which amounts to a population density of 3.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.1 /sq mi).
Bay of Fires. One of Tasmania's most popular tourist destinations in the world located between Eddystone Point and Binalong Bay. Bay of Fires has beautiful blue water, red rocks, and sandy white beaches. The entrance is through the Binalong Bay, which is only 10 minutes from St Helens. This area offers a wide range of activities including camping, boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing, and walking along the coastline.
Port Arthur. Port Arthur Historic Site is the best preserved convict site in Australia. Many years ago, this site was a key role in the colonial system of convict discipline. During your experience, you will have the chance to take guided tours of the Commandant's House, Parsonage, Trentham Cottage, Junior Medical Officer's quarters, historic buildings and ruins of the Penitentiary, Barracks, Guard Tower and military precinct, Hospital, Paupers' Depot and Asylum. Port Arthur is surrounded by beautiful bushland and trails available to explore the land around you.
Cataract Gorge Reserve. A unique, natural formation within a two minute drive from central Launceston known to locals as The Gorge. After walking 15 minutes from central Launceston along Tamar River into Gorge, you then follow the pathway along the cliff face looking down onto South Esk River. On the southern side, called the First Basin, there is a cafe, swimming pool, and Launceston's beach. The northern side, known as the Cliff Grounds, there is a kiosk, restaurants, swimming pool, and a chairlift across the river. The Cataract Gorge Reserve is one of Australia's most fascinating urban parks.