April 20, 2009

Adventure Spotlight: Tasmania Australia

Say "Tasmania" and immediately images of that cute Looney Toon crosses your mind. While it's true that Tasmanian devils do hail from Tasmania, that's certainly not the most exciting thing you'll find on your trip to this Australian state. With a diverse landscape and over 80 golf courses, Tasmania delivers a bowlful of delight for nature-lovers and daredevils alike.

West Coast

Tasmania's west coast is still largely rugged and undeveloped. That makes for the perfect setting for those with a love for the outdoors. Included in a one-million-acre World Heritage Area, you'll discover exceptional rapids just begging to be navigated. In addition to the sheer adventure of this truly untamed whitewater, you'll also take in amazing rock formations as well as overhanging cliffs and an abundance of wildlife.

Prefer a more civilized way to see the area? Perhaps a catamaran cruise is more to your liking. As you sail the Gordon River, you'll view sections of rainforest that boast distinctive animal and plant life native to this area. Kayaking, canoeing and surfing are also popular pastimes.

Hastings Caves

For landlubbers, professionally guided tours of Hastings Caves are an excellent way to view the area. Bring your camera as you'll want to snap plenty of photos of the gorgeous flowstone, stalactites, columns, shawls, straws, stalagmites and the unusual helictites.

Never seen until 1917 - when the cave was discovered by miners - Hastings Caves have been outfitted to suit visitors. Stairs and lighting are in place to allow you to get up close and personal with this astonishing geological sight.

Once your tour is complete, take a nice, long soak in the nearby thermal pool. Perfectly moderated by Mother Nature, this pool maintains a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82.5 degrees Fahrenheit) year round.

Cultural Sights

For those who would rather surround themselves with culture instead of adventure, you're in luck: Tasmania serves up plenty! Writers, artists and performers bring a wondrous mix of drama, art and music to visitors from all around the globe. From museums to galleries, you'll find creativity and beauty at every turn.

To further your interest, visit one of the many wineries or vineyards in the area. Thanks to an outstanding climate of abundant sunshine, rich soil and clean water; Tasmania boasts some world-class vintages.

Cataract Gorge Reserve

You've never seen so much wilderness inside a city. Just two-minutes away from the city of Launceton is a paradise typically not found so close to metropolitan life. The Cataract Gorge breaks open from flat terrain into steep cliffs and rushing water. Climb or repel the Gorge, tour the fern tree glades by foot or take a leisurely walk across the bridge.

Too much nature? Just hop across to the Northern side (the Cliff Grounds) where you'll find a swimming pool, restaurant, landscaped lawns and more to enjoy.

To be the smallest state in Australia, Tasmania is packed with big-time fun! While this island is included on many Australian cruises, don't assume. Always ask your travel agent if the port of Tasmania is on your itinerary.

Roy Witman is Vice-President of Cruise Vacation Center at http://www.cruisevacationcenter.com offering the best deals including Princess cruises. You'll find their service exceptional and their attention to detail second to none. © 2008, All Rights Reserved


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