|Coles Bay||RM 2,394|
Travellers taking cheap flights to Tasmania are spoiled for choice when it comes to destinations and activities. This small island is remarkably diverse and wonderfully wild.
Hobart, the capital, has the heritage as well as the stunning setting and, within a 90-minute drive, beautiful, bird-full Bruny Island and Port Arthur, the historic former penal settlement. Along the east coast – which has the mildest weather – the beaches are pristine, white-sanded and lapped by the bluest of seas.
Launceston, Tasmania’s second city, is in the north. It boasts the Cataract Gorge and, thanks to the bounty of the Tamar Valley, a reputation as a foodie city. Across the island, to the west, small villages give way to the Tarkine wilderness and the World Heritage Area, which accounts for about 20 per cent of Tasmania.
The national parks in the World Heritage Area include Southwest National Park, the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, the Hartz Mountain National Park and Mole Creek Karst National Park. Few places are as unexplored as Tasmania’s national parks.
Tasmanians like to say that the island gets all four seasons in one day, but it has a mild, maritime, climate with plenty of rainfall. On the east coast, Hobart, for example, gets an average of 630mm, making it Australia’s second-driest capital city (after Adelaide). The west coast gets four times that, about 2,400mm per year.December-March are the warmest months with temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees. May through August is winter; temperatures hover between 3 and 11 degrees.
Summer (December to February) is high season, when most travellers take cheap flights to Tasmania.
Winter – May to August – is low season.
The autumn and spring months – March and November – are shoulder season, but the weather can be unpredictable. However, if you brave the elements you can save on flights and accommodation.
(prices quotes are from London)