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JEWISH AND KOSHER TASMANIA            הקהילה היהודית בטסמניה




  2. טסמניה למטייל הישראלי


PARLIAMENT HOUSE, HOBART, TASMANIA      בית הפרלמנט, הובארט, טסמניה
Parliament House, Hobart, Tasmania. Photo is a cropped version of a panorama created with a Canon EOS 350D camera. April 3, 2006. Original uploader was Chuq at en.wikipedia

Capital Hobart
Demonym Tasmanian
Government Constitutional monarchy
 - Governor Peter Underwood
 - Premier Lara Giddings (ALP)

Australian State

 - Established as Van Diemen's Land 1825
 - Responsible Government as Tasmania 1856
 - Became State 1901
 - Australia Act 3 March 1986


 - Total  90,758 km2 (7th)
35,042 sq mi
 - Land 68,401 km2
26,410 sq mi
 - Water 22,357 km2 (24.63%)
8,632 sq mi

Population (June 2010)

 - Population  507,626 (6th)
 - Density  7.36/km2 (4th)
19.1 /sq mi


 - Highest Mount Ossa
+1,614 m AHD  (5,295 ft)

Gross State Product (2009–10)

 - Product ($m)  $22,341 (7th)
 - Product per capita  $44,011 (8th)

Time zone


Federal representation

 - House seats 5
 - Senate seats 12


 - Postal TAS
 - ISO 3166-2 AU-TAS


 - Floral Tasmanian Blue Gum
(Eucalyptus globulus)
 - Animal Tasmanian Devil (unofficial)[5]
(Sarcophilus harrisii)
 - Colours Dark green, red & gold
 - Mineral Crocoite

Web site

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.


The state is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642. Tasman named the island "Anthony van Diemen's Land" after his sponsor Anthony van Diemen, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Land by the British. It was officially renamed Tasmania in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856.

Tasmania was sometimes referred to as "Dervon", as mentioned in The Jerilderie Letter written by the notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in 1879. The colloquial expression for the state is "Tassie" (pronounced "Tazzie"). This name is often used in advertising campaigns, for example by the Bass Strait ferry, Spirit of Tasmania.

History of Tasmania timeline

The history of Tasmania begins at the end of the most recent ice age (approximately 10,000 years ago) when it is believed that the island was joined to the Australian mainland.

Indigenous people

Tasmania was inhabited by an indigenous population, the Tasmanian Aborigines, and evidence indicates their presence in the territory, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. The Aboriginal population at the time of British settlement in 1803 has been estimated at 5 000   but through persecution (see Black War and Black Line) and disease much of the population was eradicated. The impact of introduced diseases, prior to the first European estimates of the size of Tasmania's population, means that the original indigenous population could have been somewhat larger than 5,000. Until the 1970s, most people thought that the last surviving Tasmanian Aborigine was Trugernanner,  who died in 1876. However this 'extinction' was a myth, as documented by Lyndall Ryan in 1991  

European arrival

The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt, after his sponsor, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Land by the British. In 1772, a French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne landed on the island. Captain James Cook also sighted the island in 1777, and numerous other European seafarers made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features.

The first settlement was by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803, by a small party sent from Sydney, under Lt. John Bowen. An alternative settlement was established by Capt. David Collins 5 km to the south in 1804 in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.

The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict settlements were made in Van Diemens Land, including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the south-east and Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast. The Aboriginal resistance to this invasion was so strong, that troops were deployed across much of Tasmania to drive the Aborigines into captivity on nearby islands.




  • 1802: French explorer Nicolas Baudin surveys Derwent during month-long visit to South-East Tasmania, on which his party makes extensive notes on Aborigines, plants and animals.
  • 1803: Lieutenant John Bowen's 49-member party, with the ships Lady Nelson and Albion, starts first European settlement of Tasmania at Risdon Cove, naming it Hobart.
  • 1804: Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins' 262-member party lands at Sullivans Cove in February; the settlement, which becomes known as Hobart Town, grows to 433 with arrival in June of rest of his Port Phillip party.
  • 1804: Soldiers temporarily refuse guard duties at Risdon amid fears of convict rebellion.
  • 1804: Aborigines killed in Risdon affray and settlement there abandoned.
  • 1804: Church of England clergyman Robert Knopwood conducts first divine service at Sullivans Cove.
  • 1804: Hobart's first cemetery opens, later St David's Park.
  • 1804: Colonel William Paterson establishes Port Dalrymple (Tamar River) settlement, first at George Town, then at York Town on river's western side.
  • 1805: After supply ships fail to arrive on time, famine forces David Collins to cut rations by one-third
  • 1805: Collins leaves tent home to take up residence in first Government House, a wooden cottage.
  • 1805: Harbourmaster William Collins establishes Australia's first whaling station at Ralphs Bay.
  • 1805: First land grants include 10 acres (40,000 m˛) to Robert Knopwood
  • 1806: Colonel William Paterson begins transfer of York Town settlement to site of modern Launceston
  • 1807: First Norfolk Island settlers arrive in Hobart in the Lady Nelson and settle at New Norfolk
  • 1807: Lieutenant Thomas Laycock leads five-man party on first overland journey from Launceston to Hobart, taking nine days, mainly to seek supplies for the northern settlement.
  • 1809: Deposed New South Wales Governor William Bligh arrives in Hobart and temporarily disrupts David Collins' authority as lieutenant-governor.
  • 1809: Floods in Derwent


  • 1810: David Collins dies suddenly, Lieutenant Edward Lord takes over and first of three administrators pending appointment of second lieutenant-governor.
  • 1810: First church, St David's, built
  • 1810: Colony's first flour mill built beside Rivulet between Murray St and Elizabeth St, operated by Edward Lord and William Collins
  • 1810: Administration launches colony's first newspaper, the Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer
  • 1810: Sealing expedition discovers Macquarie Island
  • 1811: After arriving from Sydney, Governor Lachlan Macquarie draws up plan for Hobart streets and orders construction of public buildings and Mount Nelson signal station.
  • 1812: Michael Howe (later bushranging gang leader) among first convicts to arrive directly from England in HMS Indefatigable
  • 1812: Northern Tasmania's lieutenant-governorship ceases, Government House in Hobart takes control of whole island
  • 1813: Schooner Unity not heard of again after convicts seize it in Derwen
  • 1813: First Post Office opens in postmaster's house on corner of Argyle St and Macquarie St
  • 1814: Work starts on Anglesea Barracks, Australia's longest continuously occupied military building
  • 1814: Colony's first horse races believed to have taken place at New Town
  • 1814: Lieutenant-governor's court created to deal with small personal financial disputes.
  • 1814: Governor Lachlan Macquarie offers amnesty to bushrangers
  • 1814: Ship Argo disappears after seizure by convicts in Derwent
  • 1815: Michael Howe's bushranging gang kills two settlers in New Norfolk raid
  • 1815: Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey declares martial law against all bushrangers, mainly escaped convicts, with some military deserters; Governor Lachlan Macquarie later revokes order.
  • 1815: Captain James Kelly circumnavigates island in whaleboat
  • 1815: First Van Diemen's Land wheat shipment to Sydney.
  • 1816: First emigrant ship arrives with free settlers from England
  • 1817: Weekly mail service begins between Hobart and Launceston
  • 1817: Work starts on new St David's Church, replacing earlier structure blown down in storm
  • 1817: First convict ships arrive directly from England
  • 1817: New Government House occupied in Macquarie St, on site of present Town Hall, lower Elizabeth St and Franklin Square.
  • 1818: Government opens flour mill in Hobart
  • 1818: Soldiers and convict kill bushranger Michael Howe on banks of Shannon River
  • 1818: Government establishes nucleus of Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
  • 1819: First proper hospital opens
  • 1819: Hobart-New Norfolk road built
  • 1819: St David's Church opens


In 1820, Tasmanian roads were first macadamised and carthorses began to replace bullocks. In the same year, the first substantial jail was completed on the corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street and merino sheep arrived from John Macarthur's stud in New South Wales. 1820 also saw the first Wesleyan (Methodist) meeting in the colony. The following year marked the arrival of first Catholic clergyman, Father Phillip Conolly and on his second visit, Governor Lachlan Macquarie chooses sites for Perth, Campbell Town, Ross, Oatlands and Brighton. In 1821, officials and convicts left Port Dalrymple to establish Macquarie Harbour penal settlement at Sarah Island.

1822 was the first year Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society held a meeting in Hobart. In 1823 the Presbyterian Church's first official ministry in Australia occurred in Hobart and the first Tasmanian bank, Bank of Van Diemen's Land, was established.

The inauguration of the Supreme Court occurred in 1824, as the did the opening of Cascade Brewery, Australia's longest continuously operating Brewery. Cannibal convict Alexander Pearce was hanged after escaping twice from Macquarie Harbour who survived by eating his companions and convict Matthew Brady begins his bushranging career after escaping from Macquarie Harbour.

On 3 December 1825, Van Diemen's Land became an independent colony from New South Wales with an appointed Executive Council, its own judicial establishment, and Legislative Council. Also in that year, the Richmond Bridge, Australia's oldest existing bridge, was opened and a party of soldiers and convicts establishes Maria Island penal settlement

In 1826, Van Diemen's Land Company launches North-West pastoral and agricultural development at Circular Head and the Tasmanian Turf Club was established. Settler John Batman, later one of Melbourne's founders, helped capture bushranger Matthew Brady near Launceston. Hobart experienced a disease epidemic which was blamed on rivulet pollution. A courthouse was built on the corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street and street lighting with oil lamps was introduced. 1826 was also the year that the Legislative Council met formally for the first time.

1827 saw the first regatta-style events on Derwent River and Van Diemen's Land Company began settlement at Emu Bay (now Burnie). A proclamation made in 1828 by Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur excluded Aborigines from settled areas and was the year of the Cape Grim massacre.

In 1828, martial law was declared against Aborigines in settled areas after Van Diemen's Land Company shepherds killed 30 Aborigines at Cape Grim and regular mail services with Sydney began. That year also saw widespread floods. The following year a jail for women convicts ("female factory") opened at Cascades, "Protector" George Augustus Robinson starts an Aboriginal mission at Bruny Island, convicts seized the brig Cyprus at Recherche Bay and sail to China, Van Diemen's Land Scientific Society formed under patronage of Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur and a Hobart-New Norfolk coach service began.


  • 1830: George Augustus Robinson starts reconciliation efforts with Aborigines by visiting west coast
  • 1830: Samuel Anderson, Pioneer Settler, arrives in Hobart aboard the Lang, employed as book keeper with Van Diemens Land Co. Will go on to establish the third permanent settlement in Victoria at Westernport.
  • 1830: Administration launches "Black Line" military campaign across most of colony to round up Aborigines; in seven weeks two are shot and two are captured
  • 1830: Port Arthur penal settlement established
  • 1830: Convict chain gang starts work on causeway across Derwent at Bridgewater
  • 1831: Australia's first novel, Quintus Servinton, by Henry Savery, published in Hobart
  • 1831: New land regulations discontinue free land grants, replacing them with sales
  • 1832: George Augustus Robinson arrives in Hobart with Aborigines from Oyster Bay and Big River tribes, the last Aborigines removed from European-settled areas; Wybalenna, Flinders Island, chosen for Aboriginal resettlement site.
  • 1832: Ends of martial law against Aborigines
  • 1832: Work starts on Cascade Brewery
  • 1832: Regular Hobart-Launceston coach service begins
  • 1832: Maria Island penal settlement closes
  • 1832: Derwent Light ("Iron Pot") lit for first time
  • 1833: Robert Massie arrives in Tasmania takes up position as Engineer with Van Diemens Land Co.
  • 1833: First professional theatrical performance in Hobart
  • 1833: Macquarie Harbour penal settlement closes, convicts transferred to Port Arthur
  • 1834: Convicts evacuating Macquarie Harbour capture brig Frederick and sail to Chile
  • 1834: Stagecoaches begin daily Hobart-New Norfolk, weekly Hobart-Launceston services
  • 1834: Daily Hobart-New Norfolk steamship trips begin
  • 1834: Launceston "female factory" completed
  • 1834: Point Puer boys' convict establishment opens at Port Arthur
  • 1834: First coal shipment leaves convict mines on Tasman Peninsula
  • 1834: Jury trial system for all civil cases begins
  • 1834: Horse-drawn coaches begin taxi-style service
  • 1834: Henty brothers leave Launceston for Portland Bay to make first European settlement in Victoria
  • 1835: Nearly all remaining Tasmanian Aborigines surrender to George Augustus Robinson and are moved to Flinders Island
  • 1835: Transport George III sinks in D'Entrecasteaux Channel with loss of 139 male convicts of 220 aboard
  • 1835: In separate expeditions, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner leave Launceston to launch first European settlements at Port Phillip, which developed into Melbourne.
  • 1835: Samuel Anderson leaves Launceston to establish third permanent Victorian settlement at Bass in Western Port.
  • 1835: Colonial artist John Glover sends 35 paintings of Van Diemen's Land to London exhibition.
  • 1835: First meeting to establish Launceston Bank for Savings.
  • 1836: First Catholic Church was built—St John the Evangelist's Church in Richmond. It is the oldest running Catholic Church in Australia.
  • 1836: Charles Darwin visits Hobart during round-the-world voyage in HMS Beagle
  • 1836: Post office moves to premises on corner of Elizabeth Street and Collins Street
  • 1836: Eleven counties, and some parishes therein, proclaimed; establishing the cadastral divisions of the colony
  • 1837: Robert Massie leaves VDL and joins Samuel Anderson at Bass Victoria where his skills as an engineer enhance their partnership with the building of a tidal powered flour mill.
  • 1837: Theatre Royal opens
  • 1837: Lieutenant Governor Sir John Franklin founds Tasmanian Society for the Study of Natural Science
  • 1837: Police office built on corner of Macquarie Street and Murray Street
  • 1838 The first secular register of births, deaths and marriages in the British colonies established
  • 1838: First annual Hobart Regatta on Derwent
  • 1838: Work begins on old Customs House, which becomes Parliament House at start of responsible self-government in 1856
  • 1838: Sir John Franklin establishes board of education to introduce non-denominational schools
  • 1838: Bruny Island lighthouse completed


  • 1840: Economic depression starts, continues until 1845
  • 1840: Captain James Ross arrives with Antarctic expedition in HMS Erebus and HMS Terror
  • 1840: Sir John Franklin establishes Ross Bank meteorological observatory site, named after explorer, near present Government House site
  • 1840: Dr William Bedford founds first Hobart private hospital (in house near Theatre Royal) after dispute at government hospital
  • 1840: Transportation from Britain to NSW ends, causing heavier influx of convicts to Tasmania
  • 1842: Colony's first official census, population 57,471
  • 1842: The Weekly Examiner begins publication in Launceston
  • 1842: Hobart proclaimed a city
  • 1842: Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, first Australian scientific journal, begins publication
  • 1842: Peak year for convict arrivals (5329)
  • 1842: Maria Island's Darlington penitentiary reopened
  • 1843: Arrival of Tasmania's first Anglican bishop, Francis Russell Nixon
  • 1843: Bushranger Martin Cash captured in Hobart, his death sentence was commuted and he was later pardoned
  • 1844: First Catholic bishop, Robert Willson, arrives
  • 1844: Formation of Royal Society of Tasmania, first branch outside Britain, as development of society founded in 1837 by Sir John Franklin; society branch takes over botanical gardens
  • 1844: Norfolk Island, formerly administered by NSW, comes under Tasmanian control
  • 1845: Emigrant ship Cataraqui wrecked near King Island, 406 lives lost
  • 1845: Hobart Savings Bank opens
  • 1845: Jewish community consecrates Hobart Synagogue, Australia's oldest
  • 1845: Artist John Skinner Prout organises first known Australian exhibition of pictures in Hobart
  • 1846: Foundation of the Hutchins School and Launceston Grammar School
  • 1846: Lieutenant-governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot dismissed, allegedly for failure to suppress convict homosexuality
  • 1846: Convict transportation to Tasmania suspended until 1848
  • 1846: Tasmania becomes first Australian colony to enact legislation to protect native animals
  • 1847: Britain orders closure of NSW convict establishment and transfer of remaining prisoners to Tasmania
  • 1847: Big Hobart meeting petitions Queen Victoria for end to transportation
  • 1847: Wybalenna Aboriginal settlement at Flinders Island closes and surviving 47 Aborigines move to Oyster Cove
  • 1847: News of Sir John Franklin's death during Arctic exploration reaches Hobart
  • 1847: Charles Davis founds hardware business
  • 1847: Launceston doctor W. R. Pugh uses ether as general anaesthetic for first time in Tasmania
  • 1848: Hobart peaks as whaling port, with 1046 men aboard 37 ships
  • 1848: Colony now only place of transportation in British Empire
  • 1849: "Young Irelanders" (Irish political prisoners), including William Smith O'Brien, arrive at Port Arthur
  • 1849: Anti-transportation league formed after Launceston public meeting
  • 1849: Tasmania gets first public library
  • 1849: Tasmanian apple growers export to the United States of America and New Zealand


  • 1850: Prisoner Patrick O'Donoghue starts publishing 'The Irish Exile', first Irish Nationalist paper in Australia.
  • 1850: First secular high school built at Domain
  • 1850: Constitution Dock officially opened
  • 1851: O'Donoghue sent to a chain-gang, released, restarts his paper and sent again to a chain-gang.
  • 1851: Black Thursday bushfires in February
  • 1851: Influenza epidemic
  • 1851: First election for 16 non-appointed members of Legislative Council
  • 1851: Hobart Chamber of Commerce established
  • 1851: Launceston host for first intercolonial cricket match (Van Diemen's Land v Port Phillip district)
  • 1851: Maria Island's Darlington penitentiary abandoned
  • 1852: Elections for first Hobart and Launceston municipal councils
  • 1852: Payable gold discovered near Fingal
  • 1853: Jubilee festival in Hobart celebrates end of convict transportation after arrival of last ship, the St Vincent
  • 1853: First Tasmanian adhesive postage stamp issued
  • 1854: Severe floods, fires hit city
  • 1854: The Mercury founded as bi-weekly publication
  • 1855: Horse-drawn "buses" (large carts) begin services, mainly on city–New Town route; they later become enclosed vehicles
  • 1855: Henry Young becomes first vice-regal representative to have title of Governor
  • 1856: Name of Van Diemen's Land officially changed to Tasmania after grant of responsible self-government
  • 1856: New two-house Parliament opens after elections, William Champ becomes colony's first Premier
  • 1856: Norfolk Island transferred from Tasmanian to NSW control
  • 1857: Hobart's municipal Incorporation
  • 1857: Hobart-Launceston telegraph line opens
  • 1857: Hobart customers start using coal gas, streets get gas lighting
  • 1858: First meeting of Hobarts Marine Board, Australia's oldest port authority
  • 1858: Hobart and Launceston councils form municipal polices forces
  • 1858: Council of Education established
  • 1858: Hobart Savings Bank founded
  • 1858: Parliament passes Rural Municipalities Act
  • 1859: Worries about public health prompt Hobart Town Council to appoint health officer
  • 1859: New Government House at Domain occupied for first time, by Governor Henry Young and Lady Young


  • 1860: British troops sail from Hobart for Māori war in New Zealand
  • 1860: Volunteer corps of infantry, cavalry and artillery formed
  • 1860: Economic depression
  • 1860: The Mercury begins daily publication
  • 1862: Tasmania adopts Torrens title land-conveyancing and registration system
  • 1862: Serious Derwent flooding
  • 1862: Hobart's post office moves to rebuilt courthouse on corner of Macquarie St and Murray St
  • 1863: Opening of Tasmanian Museum on present site
  • 1864: First shipment of trout and salmon ova arrives from England
  • 1866: Hobart Town Hall opened
  • 1866: Hobart Philharmonic Society formed
  • 1867: George Peacock launches one of Australia's first jam factories in Hobart (later operated by Henry Jones and Co under the name IXL)
  • 1868: First royal visit, during which Prince Alfred (Duke of Edinburgh) lays foundation stone for St David's Cathedral and turns first sod for Tasmania's first railway, Launceston-Deloraine line, built by a private company.
  • 1868: With Education Act, Tasmania becomes first Australian colony to have compulsory state education system, administered by local school boards
  • 1869: Death of William Lanne ("King Billy"), reputedly the last full blood Tasmanian Aboriginal man; whose remains were disrespected horribly after disagreement over who should have his remains.
  • 1869: Submarine communications cable successfully establishes link between Tasmania and Melbourne.


  • 1870: British troops leave
  • 1870: Tasmanian Public Library formally constituted
  • 1871: Opening of Launceston–Deloraine railway, Tasmania's first—(1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in))
  • 1871: James "Philosopher" Smith discovers tin at Mount Bischoff
  • 1872: Direct telegraphic communication begins between Tasmania and England
  • 1873: Work begins on private operated Hobart–Launceston rail link—(1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
  • 1873: Government takes over Launceston-Deloraine line
  • 1874: St David's Cathedral consecrated
  • 1874: Tasmanian Racing Club established
  • 1874: Launceston rioters protest against rates levy for Deloraine railway
  • 1874: First book publication of Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life, set mainly in Tasmania
  • 1875: Hobart Hospital begins professional training of nurses
  • 1875: Widespread flooding
  • 1876: Truganini, described as last Tasmanian full blooded Aborigine, dies in Hobart
  • 1876: Hobart-Launceston railway opens
  • 1877: Port Arthur penal settlement closed
  • 1877: Gold discovered at Beaconsfield
  • 1878: Mount Heemskirk tin mining begins


  • 1880: Earthquake hits Hobart
  • 1880: Tasmania gets first telephone with line from city centre to Mount Nelson signal station
  • 1880: Start of Derwent Sailing Boat Club (later Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania)
  • 1880: Gold discovered at Pieman River on West Coast, Tasmania
  • 1881: William Shoobridge organises first trial shipment of apples from Hobart to Britain
  • 1881: Hobart officially replaces 'Hobart Town' as capital's name
  • 1882: Married Women's Property Act allows wives to own property in their own right
  • 1882: Silver-lead discovered at Zeehan
  • 1882: Hobart Stock Exchange opens
  • 1883: Typhoid and diphtheria epidemic prompt public health legislation
  • 1883: Government opens first Hobart and Launceston telephone exchanges
  • 1883: Trades and Labor Council formed
  • 1883: Discovery of gold at "Iron Blow" at Mount Lyell amidst increased West Coast, Tasmania mineral prospecting
  • 1885: Education Department created, centralising control of schools
  • 1885: Mersey and Deloraine Railway opened—4' 6" gauge
  • 1885: Oatlands to Parattah Railway opened
  • 1885: Formation of the Mt Lyell Prospecting Association
  • 1886: Copper found at Mount Lyell
  • 1886: Government takes over Tasmanian Museum and Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
  • 1886: Federal Council of Australasia discusses Federation at its first assembly held in Hobart
  • 1886: Public Health Act creates local boards of health
  • 1887: Derwent Valley railway line to New Norfolk opens, extended to Glenora within a year
  • 1887: Establishment of The Friends School in Hobart by the Society of Friends (Quakers).
  • 1887: Italian entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi floats company to develop Maria Island
  • 1888: Hobart gets first technical school
  • 1888: Reservoir water supply opened
  • 1888: Launceston proclaimed a city


  • 1890: University of Tasmania opens at the Domain
  • 1890: Government takes over Hobart-Launceston railway
  • 1890: Legislation provides for payment of Tasmanian parliamentarians
  • 1891: Bank of Van Diemen's Land collapses, economic depression follows
  • 1891: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery opens in Launceston
  • 1891: Apsley Railway opened
  • 1892: George FitzGerald founds FitzGeralds department store chain, now owned by Harris Scarfe
  • 1893: Private company begins electric tramway in Hobart, first in an Australian capital city
  • 1893: Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company. formed (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))
  • 1893: Government establishes Tasmanian Tourist Association
  • 1894: Hobart international exhibition opens
  • 1894: Government introduces flat-rate income tax system
  • 1895: Premiers conference in Hobart discusses proposals for federal constitution and plebiscite.
  • 1895: Launceston becomes first southern hemisphere city to get electric light after first Tasmanian hydro-electric station opens at Duck Reach on South Esk River
  • 1895: All Tasmanian districts move to Australian Eastern Standard Time, ending different time zones in colony
  • 1896: Entrepreneur George Adams launches Tattersalls lottery venture in Hobart; first lottery held to dispose of assets of failed Bank of Van Diemen's Land
  • 1896: Ore smelting begins at Mount Lyell
  • 1897: Hare-Clark voting system used on trial basis for state polls in Hobart and Launceston
  • 1897: Formation of Southern Tasmania Football Association
  • 1897: Serious bushfires start on New Year's Eve, end with six lives lost
  • 1898: Tasmanians vote four to one in favour of referendum on federation with mainland colonies
  • 1898: Municipal police forces become part of new statewide government force
  • 1898: Electric street lighting begins in Hobart
  • 1898: Norwegian-born Carsten Borchgrevink's Antarctic expedition arrives in Hobart on way south; Tasmanian Louis Bernacchi joins as physicist
  • 1899: First Tasmanian troops leave for Second Boer War in South Africa
  • 1899: Federation of Australia wins overwhelming Tasmanian approval in second referendum


  • 1900: More Tasmanian troops leave for Second Boer War
  • 1900: Adult male suffrage for House of Assembly adopted, with property qualifications abolished
  • 1900: End of whaling operations from Hobart
  • 1900: Bubonic plague scare grips Tasmania
  • 1900: Macquarie Island becomes a Tasmanian dependency
  • 1901: Administrator Sir John Dodds reads proclamation of Commonwealth of Australia from Tasmanian Supreme Court steps
  • 1901: Visit by Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (future King George V and Queen Mary)
  • 1901: First elections for Federal Parliament
  • 1901: Zeehan conference leads to formation of Tasmanian Workers Political League (forerunner to Labor Party)
  • 1902: Last Tasmanian troops return from the Boer War
  • 1902: Robert Carl Sticht completes world's first successful pyritic smelting at Mount Lyell
  • 1903: Women get House of Assembly voting right (the already had it for federal polls)
  • 1903: Hobart-Launceston telephone line opens
  • 1903: Two ships leave Hobart on relief expedition to free British explorer Robert Scott's Discovery from Antarctic ice
  • 1903: Launceston smallpox epidemic forces cancellation of Tasmanian centenary celebrations, some festivities a year later
  • 1904: Legislation allows Tasmanian women to become lawyers
  • 1904: Formation of Tasmanian National Association (forerunner to Liberal Party)
  • 1904: Native flora and fauna reserve declared at Schouten Island and Freycinet Peninsula
  • 1905: Wireless telegraphy experiments between Hobart and Tasman Island and between state and mainland
  • 1905: General Post Office building opens
  • 1906: Marconi Co. demonstrated a wireless telegraphy service between Devonport and Queenscliff, Victoria
  • 1906: Tasman Lighthouse first lit
  • 1907: New public library, built with money from American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, opens in Hobart
  • 1907: Hare-Clark voting system extended to all of Tasmania
  • 1908: State school fees abolished
  • 1908: Queen Alexandra Maternity Hospital opens in Hobart
  • 1908: First Scout troops formed
  • 1909: Guy Fawkes Day (5 November) fire destroy Hobart market, City Hall later built on site
  • 1909: First statewide use of Hare-Clark voting system elects first Labor government, led by John Earle; government lasts only one week, with return of conservatives
  • 1909: Irish blight wipes out potato crop
  • 1910: Carters' wage strike paralyses Hobart for a week, ends with win for workers
  • 1910: Legislation sets maximum 48-hour working week and minimum wages in several trades
  • 1910: Great Lake hydro-electric project starts
  • 1911: Douglas Mawson's ship Aurora docks in Hobart on way to Antarctic
  • 1911: Philip Smith teachers' college opens at Domain, Electric trams begin running in Launceston
  • 1912: Mount Lyell fire traps miners underground, 42 die
  • 1912: Norwegian Roald Amundsen, first man to reach South Pole, arrives in Hobart on return from Antarctic expedition
  • 1912: Hobart City Council takes over tramway service
  • 1912: First Tasmanian Girl Guide company formed
  • 1913: First government high schools open in Hobart and Launceston
  • 1913: Hobart City Council buys tram service
  • 1913: Term "free by servitude" referring to ex-convicts, appears for last time in official documents, after use for more than 100 years
  • 1914: A. Delfosse Badgery makes Tasmania's first flight from Elwick in a plane he built himself
  • 1914: First Tasmanian troops leave to fight in World War I
  • 1914: The town of Bismarck is renamed Collinsvale due to anti-German sentiment inflamed by the war
  • 1914: State government buys hydro-electric company
  • 1915: Tasmanian legislation establishes Australia's first special authority to create and manage parks and reserves
  • 1915: Serious bushfires
  • 1916: In Tasmania's worse rail disaster, driver and six passengers die, 31 survive injuries, after Launceston-Hobart express crashes near Campania
  • 1916: First all-Tasmanian battalion (the 40th) leaves for World War I
  • 1916: Opening of Great Lakes hydro scheme's first stage, Waddamana power station
  • 1916: State's first national parks declared at Mount Field and Freycinet
  • 1916: Daylight saving time first introduced as temporary wartime measure
  • 1917: Electrolytic Zinc Company works at Risdon and Australian Commonwealth Carbide's plant at Electrona established
  • 1917: Ridgeway reservoir completed
  • 1919: Worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic reaches Tasmania, affecting one-third of the population and claiming 171 lives
  • 1919: Ex-World War I airman A. L. Long makes first flight over Bass Strait
  • 1919: Frozen Tasmanian meat exported for the first time



  • 1931: Tasmanian Harold Gatty and American Wiley Post make record round-the-world flight (eight days, 15 hours)
  • 1932: Ivan and Victor Holyman start air service between Launceston and Flinders Island
  • 1932: Lyell Highway opens, linking Hobart with West Coast
  • 1932: Former premier Joseph Lyons becomes prime minister, only Tasmanian to hold that office
  • 1933: Commonwealth Grants Commission appointed to inquire into affairs of claimant states, including Tasmania
  • 1934: Holyman Airways (a forerunner of Ansett Airlines) launches Launceston-Melbourne service, within months, company plane Miss Hobart disappears over Bass Strait with loss of 12 people, including proprietor Victor Holyman
  • 1934: Election of government led by Albert Ogilvie starts 35 years of continuous Labor governments
  • 1935: Five die when Holyman Airways plane Loina crashes off Flinders Island.
  • 1935: Hobart gets first electric trolley buses
  • 1935: Legislation for three-year state parliament terms
  • 1936: SS Paringa sinks in Bass Strait while towing tanker, 31 die
  • 1936: ABC forms orchestra
  • 1936 (7 September): Last known Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) dies at Hobart's Beaumaris Zoo
  • 1936: First commercial flights use federal aerodrome at Cambridge
  • 1936: Submarine telephone cable service begins between Tasmania and Victoria via King Island
  • 1936: First two area schools (renamed district schools in 1973) open at Sheffield and Hagley
  • 1937: Open of Mount Wellington summit road, built as Depression relief work project
  • 1937: Poliomyelitis epidemic
  • 1937: Five-year state parliamentary terms return
  • 1938: Production starts at APPM's Burnie mill
  • 1938: Work begins on floating arch bridge across Derwent in Hobart
  • 1939: World War II begins
  • 1939: Death in office of prime minister Joseph Lyons
  • 1939: Royal Hobart Hospital opens on present site


  • 1940: Tasmanian soldiers leave for North African campaign with Australian 6th Division
  • 1940: German naval raiders Pinguin and Atlantis lay mines off Hobart and other Australian areas. Hobart closed to shipping because of mine threat; Bass Strait closed after mine sinks British steamer Cambridge.
  • 1941: Tasmanian soldiers leave for Malaya with Australian 8th Division
  • 1941: Australian Newsprint Mills' Boyer plant becomes first in world to produce newsprint from hardwood
  • 1942 (January–March): daylight saving time introduced as wartime measure
  • 1942: Women 18 to 30 called up for war work
  • 1943: Floating-arch pontoon bridge Hobart Bridge opens
  • 1943: Enid Lyons (later Dame Enid), widow of Joseph Lyons, elected first woman member of House of Representatives, winning seat of Darwin (now Braddon).
  • 1944: University of Tasmania begins transfer to Sandy Bay site
  • 1944: State Library established
  • 1945: Rani wins first Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
  • 1946: Australian National Airways plane crashes at Seven Mile Beach, killing 25
  • 1946: Last horse-drawn Hobart cab ceases operation
  • 1946: Poliomyelitis epidemic
  • 1947: War-affected migrants begin arriving from Europe to work for Hydro-Electric Commission
  • 1947: Edward Brooker takes over as Labor premier after Robert Cosgrove's resignation to face corruption and bribery charges
  • 1948: Margaret McIntyre wins Legislative Council seat in May, becoming the first woman member of Tasmanian Parliament; airliner crash in NSW in September kills her and 12 others.
  • 1948: Robert Cosgrove resumes premiership after acquittal on corruption and bribery charges
  • 1948: ABC forms Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra on permanent basis
  • 1948: Fire destroys Ocean Pier
  • 1948: Antarctic research station established on Macquarie Island
  • 1949: Poliomyelitis epidemic
  • 1949: Government introduces compulsory X-rays in fight against tuberculosis
  • 1949: Tasmanian politician Dame Enid Lyons, widow of former prime minister Joseph Lyons, becomes first woman to reach federal ministry rank, as Executive Council vice-president
  • 1949: Government buys Theatre Royal


  • 1951: Brighton army camp gets first intake of national service trainees
  • 1951: Hartz Mountains National Park proclaimed
  • 1951: Tasmanian Historical Research Association commences
  • 1951: Serious bushfires
  • 1951: Italian and German migrants arrive to work under contract for Hydro-Electric Commission
  • 1952: First woman elected to Hobart City Council
  • 1952: Severe floods
  • 1952: Government ends free hospital scheme
  • 1952: Single state licensing body formed for hotels and clubs
  • 1953: Tasman Limited diesel train service begins between Hobart and northern towns
  • 1953: Housing Department created to manage public housing
  • 1953: Beaconsfield becomes first Australian centre to get fluoridated water
  • 1954: Queen Elizabeth II becomes first reigning monarch to visit state, accompanied by Prince Phillip. As part of 150th anniversary celebrations, she unveils monument to pioneer British settlers
  • 1954: Hobart Rivulet area damaged as severe floods affect southern and eastern Tasmania
  • 1954: Metropolitan Transport Trust formed
  • 1954: Tattersalls Lotteries moves headquarters from Hobart to Melbourne
  • 1954: Spouses of property owners get right to vote in Legislative Council elections
  • 1955: Royal commission appointed to inquire into University of Tasmania after request by Professor Sydney Orr
  • 1955: House of Assembly gets first two women members, Liberals Mabel Miller and Amelia Best
  • 1955: Hobart becomes first Australian city to get parking meters
  • 1955: Proclamation of Lake Pedder National Park (later extended to form Southwest National Park).
  • 1955: First ingot poured at Bell Bay aluminium refinery
  • 1955: Labor Party's federal conference in Hobart brings Australian Labor Party split over industrial groups to head, leading to formation of Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist), later Democratic Labor Party
  • 1955: Lactos cheese factory opens at Burnie
  • 1956: University of Tasmania Council dismisses Professor Sydney Orr, alleging improper conduct by him with female student; Orr launches unsuccessful court action against university for wrongful dismissal
  • 1956: Tasmania gets first woman mayor, Dorothy Edwards of Launceston
  • 1957: Water Act establishes Rivers and Water Supply Commission
  • 1958: Hobart waterside works block two Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) members, father Frank Hursey and son Denis, from working in dispute over their objection to paying union levy that would partly go to ALP; police guard Hurseys after court order; Supreme Court awards them damages
  • 1959: MG Car Club of Tasmania formed
  • 1959: Princess of Tasmania becomes first roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry on Bass Strait run
  • 1959: High Court verdict in Hursey case upholds unions' right to levy members for political purposes, expel those who refuse to pay
  • 1959: Federal Government reduces claimant states to two, Tasmania and Western Australia


  • 1960: Severe floods in Derwent Valley and Hobart, with business basements under water and houses washed away
  • 1960: Television stations ABT-2 (ABC) and TVT-6 (now WIN) start programs from Mount Wellington transmitters
  • 1960: New jail opens at Risdon
  • 1960: Hobart trams cease, succeeded by electric trolley buses
  • 1960: First meeting of Inland Fisheries Commission
  • 1960: Opening of new State Library headquarters
  • 1960: First city parking station opens in Argyle Street
  • 1961: Construction of Hobart-Sydney ferry terminal begins
  • 1962: Australian Paper Makers Ltd's Port Huon mill opens
  • 1962: TEMCO's Bell Bay ferro-manganese plant begins production
  • 1962: Government subsidises municipal fluoridation schemes
  • 1963: University of Tasmania completes move to Sandy Bay site; Universities Commission recommends medical school
  • 1964: Tasman Bridge opens for traffic, old pontoon bridge towed away
  • 1964: Hobart's water supply fluoridated
  • 1964: Glenorchy proclaimed city
  • 1965: First Tasmanians leave for Vietnam War under national service scheme
  • 1965: Ferry Empress of Australia makes first Sydney-Hobart voyage
  • 1965: Official opening of Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music
  • 1965: Bass Strait oil drilling begins
  • 1966: Huge copper reserves found in Mount Lyell area
  • 1966: Savage River iron ore agreements involving $62 million signed
  • 1967 (February): Black Tuesday bushfires claim 62 lives—53 in Hobart area—and destroy more than 1300 homes
  • 1967: Tasmanian joins other states in approving full constitutional rights for Aborigines
  • 1967: Hydro-Electric Commission tables plans in State Parliament to dam Lake Pedder in South-West
  • 1967: Daylight saving time and breathalyser tests introduced
  • 1968: Full adult franchise introduced for Legislative Council elections
  • 1968: Hobart trolley buses cease, replaced by diesel vehicles
  • 1968: State abolishes death penalty
  • 1968: Savage River iron ore project officially opens
  • 1968: Batman Bridge across lower Tamar River opens
  • 1969: Tasmanians vote Labor Party out after 35 years in office, Liberal-Centre Party forms coalition government
  • 1969: Worst floods in 40 years hit Launceston


  • 1970: Parliament legislates for permanent daylight saving time
  • 1970: State marine research laboratories at Taroona open
  • 1970: Electrolytic Zinc Company opens $6 million residue treatment plant
  • 1971: First woodchip shipment leaves Tasmanian Pulp and Forest Holdings' mill at Triabunna
  • 1971: APPM Ltd's Wesley Vale paper plant opens
  • 1971: First state Aboriginal conference held in Launceston
  • 1972: Conservationists lose battle to prevent flooding of Lake Pedder in South-West for hydro-electric scheme
  • 1972: Liberal-Centre Party coalition government collapses
  • 1972: Tasmanian College of Advanced Education opens in Hobart
  • 1972: Ferry Princess of Tasmania makes last Tasmanian voyage
  • 1972: Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre opens at Tasmanian Aboriginal Information Centre
  • 1973: Coastal freighter Blythe Star sinks with loss of three men, seven survivors spend eight days adrift in lifeboat before coming ashore on Forestier Peninsula
  • 1973: Australia's first legal casino opens at Wrest Point Hotel Casino
  • 1973: Sir Stanley Burbury, formerly chief justice, becomes first Australian-born governor of Tasmania
  • 1974: Three die when boiler explosion demolishes laundry at Mt St Canice Convent, Sandy Bay
  • 1974: Tasmanian workers under state wages board awards get four weeks annual leave; woman awarded equal pay
  • 1974: Hobart suburban rail services cease
  • 1975: Freighter MV Lake Illawarra crashes into Tasman Bridge, causing 12 deaths and bringing down part of bridge; temporary Bailey bridge put across Derwent
  • 1975: Police academy completed at Rokeby
  • 1975: Hotels allowed to open for Sunday trading
  • 1975: Totalizator Agency Board begins operating
  • 1976: Members of Aboriginal community ritually cremate Truganini's remains, scatter ashes in D'Entrecasteaux Channel
  • 1976: Tasmanian Wilderness Society formed
  • 1976: Freight equalisation scheme subsidises sea cargo to and from state
  • 1977: Repaired Tasman Bridge reopens to traffic
  • 1977: Royal visit, during which Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell presents the Queen with land rights claim
  • 1977: Tasmanian Film Corporation launched
  • 1978: Australian National Railways takes over Tasmanian rail system; Tasman Limited ceases operations, ending regular passenger train services in state
  • 1978: Hydro-Electric Commission proposes power scheme involving Gordon, Franklin and King rivers
  • 1979: Tasmanian College of Advanced Education moves to Launceston
  • 1979: State's first ombudsman begins duties
  • 1979: Hobart gets increased Saturday morning shopping
  • 1979: Government expands South-West conservation area to more than one-fifth of state's total area


  • 1980: Australian Antarctic Division headquarters completed at Kingston
  • 1980: Labor MHA Gillian James becomes first woman to become State Government minister
  • 1980: Australian Maritime College opens at Beauty Point
  • 1980: Australian Heritage Commission includes Tasmania on National Estate register
  • 1981: Plebiscite on preferred new hydro-electric power development scheme shows 47% of voters favour Gordon-below-Franklin development, 8% prefer Gordon-above-Olga, with 45% casting informal votes, including 'no dams' write-ins.
  • 1981: Devonport proclaimed city
  • 1981: Bushfires destroy 40 Zeehan homes
  • 1982: Proclamation of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, including South-West, Franklin-Lower Gordon Wild Rivers and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair national parks; conservationists blockade Gordon-below-Franklin hydro-electric dam work
  • 1982: Tasmanians elect Liberals as government in their own right for first time in state's history
  • 1983: Federal regulations block Franklin Dam construction; High Court rules in favour of federal sovereignty, ending the proposed Gordon-below-Franklin scheme
  • 1983: Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council established
  • 1983: Visit by The Prince and Princess of Wales
  • 1984: Official opening of Bowen Bridge
  • 1984: Official opening of Wrest Point Convention Centre
  • 1984: Fire damages Theatre Royal
  • 1984: Atlantic salmon eggs introduced to Tasmania
  • 1985: Four-day cremation ceremony at Oyster Cove, south of Hobart, for Aboriginal remains recovered from museums
  • 1985: CSIRO Marine Laboratories open in Hobart
  • 1985: Last voyage by ferry Empress of Australia before replacement by Abel Tasman
  • 1985: Last Tasmanian drive-in theatres close in Hobart and Launceston
  • 1985: Municipal rationalisation advances with Launceston taking over St Leonards and Lilydale
  • 1986: Pope John Paul II holds mass for 32,000 people at Elwick racecourse during Hobart visit
  • 1986: Archaeologists discover Aboriginal rock paintings in South-West believed to be 20,000 years old
  • 1987: Launching of Lady Nelson replica ship
  • 1987: High Court decision bans logging in Lemonthyme, southern forests
  • 1987: Antarctic supply ship Nella Dan sinks off Macquarie Island
  • 1988: International fleet of about 200 sailing, cruise and naval ships from about 20 countries calls at Hobart as part of Australian Bicentennial celebrations; more than 150 leave on race to Sydney
  • 1988: Clarence and Burnie proclaimed cities
  • 1988: Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame opens
  • 1989: State election ends with Labor-Green accord involving five independents; their no-confidence vote in Robin Gray's minority Liberal government gives Labor's Michael Field premiership


  • 1990: Sea Cat Tasmania, built in Hobart by InCat, begins summer crossings of Bass Strait
  • 1990: King Island scheelite mine closes
  • 1990: World Rowing Championships held on Lake Barrington, near Sheffield
  • 1991: Savings Bank of Tasmania and Tasmanian Bank amalgamate as Trust Bank
  • 1991: Port Huon paper mill, Electrona silicon smelter, Renison tin mine and Devonport Ovaltine factory close
  • 1992: Aborigines occupy Risdon Cove in protest over land claims
  • 1992: Royal Hobart Hospital nursing school closes, ending hospital-based nursing training in Tasmania
  • 1992: Seven women ordained as Anglican priests at St David's Cathedral
  • 1992: State's unemployment rate reaches 12.2% as jobs decline in public and private sectors; rallies of angry workers force temporary closure of House of Assembly
  • 1993: Christine Milne (Tasmanian Greens) becomes first female leader of a Tasmanian political party
  • 1993: Spirit of Tasmania replaces Abel Tasman on Bass Strait ferry service
  • 1993: Tasmania's unemployment rate reaches 13.4%
  • 1993: State Government reduces total of municipalities from 46 to 29, number of departments from 17 to 12
  • 1994: End to 80 years of dam building as state's last power station, Tribute, opens near Tullah
  • 1994: HMAS Huon naval base decommissioned
  • 1995: All-day Saturday shop trading begins
  • 1995: Government announces legislation to transfer 38 km˛ of culturally significant land to Aboriginal community, including Risdon Cove and Oyster Cove
  • 1995: States unemployment rate falls to 9.6% as number of Tasmanians in work sets record
  • 1996 (28 April): Gunman Martin Bryant kills 35 people and injures 20 more in shooting rampage at Port Arthur historic site; Supreme Court sentences him to life imprisonment
  • 1996: Former federal Liberal minister Peter Nixon heads Commonwealth state inquiry into Tasmanian economy
  • 1997: Tasmania becomes first state to formally apologise to Aboriginal community for past actions connected with the 'stolen generation'.
  • 1997: Hobart Ports Corporation succeeds marine board
  • 1997: State Parliament repeals two century-old laws that together made all male homosexual activity criminal
  • 1997: Royal Hobart Hospital announces part privatisation
  • 1997: Official opening of Hobart's Aquatic Centre
  • 1997: Nixon report recommendations include single chamber State Parliament with 27 members, government asset sales
  • 1997: About 800 gaming machines introduced into 55 Tasmanian hotels, clubs amid predictions of major social problems
  • 1998: Federal Government sells Hobart and Launceston airports
  • 1998: Subsidiary Kendell Airlines takes over Ansett's Tasmanian services
  • 1998: Parliament reduced from 54 members to 40—25 Members of the House of Assembly and 15 Members of the Legislative Council
  • 1998: Legislation passed to separate Hydro-Electric Commission into three bodies: Aurora Energy, Transend Networks and Hydro Tasmania.
  • 1998: Bushfires destroy six houses in Hobart suburbs, burn out 30 km˛
  • 1998 (December): torms and massive seas claim six lives in Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
  • 1999: Wild winds and heavy rain caused chaos across Tasmania, one casualty being the Ferris Wheel at the Royal Hobart Regatta which blew over onto the Gee Whizzer ride. 113 km/h winds in Hobart, 158 km/h winds on Mount Wellington.
  • 1999: Tasmanian cricketer David Boon announced his retirement from Sheffield Shield cricket
  • March 1999: Tasmania is almost booked out for the millennium New Year's Eve party—a once-in-1000-year event for Tasmania's key resorts, hotels, motels and restaurants
  • 1999: Albanian refugees from Kosovo housed at Brighton military camp, renamed Tasmanian Peace Haven
  • 1999: Legislation passed to give Aboriginal community control of Wybalenna, Flinders Island
  • 1999: Colonial State Bank of NSW takes over Trust Bank
  • 1999: Official opening of Port Arthur Visitor Centre
  • 1999: Queen Alexandra Hospital building leased to private operators
  • 1999 (25 October): Labor part stalwart Eric Reece, hailed as Tasmania's greatest premier, died in Hobart, aged 90
  • 1999: Proclamation of Tasmanian Sea Mounts Marine Reserve, Australia's first deep-sea reserve
  • 1999: Tasmania voted the best temperate island in the world by the world's largest travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveler

2000 to present

See also

Physical history

It is believed that the island was joined to the mainland of Australia until the end of the last glacial period approximately 10,000 years ago. Much of the island is composed of Jurassic dolerite intrusions (upwellings of magma) through other rock types, sometimes forming large columnar joints. Tasmania has the world's largest areas of dolerite, with many distinctive mountains and cliffs formed from this rock type.

The central plateau and the southeast portions of the island are mostly dolerite. Mount Wellington above Hobart is a good example, showing distinct columns known as the Organ Pipes. In the southern midlands as far south as Hobart, the dolerite is underlaid by sandstone and similar sedimentary stones. In the southwest, Precambrian quartzites was formed from very ancient sea sediments and form strikingly sharp ridges and ranges, such as Federation Peak or Frenchmans Cap.

In the northeast and east, continental granites can be seen, such as at Freycinet, similar to coastal granites on mainland Australia. In the northwest and west, mineral-rich volcanic rock can be seen at Mount Read near Rosebery, or at Mount Lyell near Queenstown. Also present in the south and northwest is limestone with magnificent caves.

The quartzite and dolerite areas in the higher mountains show evidence of glaciation, and much of Australia's glaciated landscape is found on the Central Plateau and the Southwest. Cradle Mountain, another dolerite peak, for example, was a Nunatak. The combination of these different rock types offers incredible scenery, much of it distinct from any other region of the world. In the far south-west corner of the state, the geology is almost completely quartzite, which gives the mountains the false impression of having snow capped peaks year round.

Indigenous people

Tasmania was first inhabited by the Tasmanian Aborigines. Evidence indicates their presence in the region, later to become an island, at least 35,000 years ago. Rising sea levels cut Tasmania off from mainland Australia about 10,000 years ago.

By the time of European contact, the Aboriginal people in Tasmania had nine major ethnic groups. At the time of British settlement in 1803, the indigenous population was estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 people. Through the introduction of infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, war, persecution, and intermarriage, the population dwindled to 300 by 1833. Almost all of the indigenous population was relocated to Flinders Island by George Augustus Robinson.

A woman named Truganini (1812–76) is generally recognised as the last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine. Strong evidence suggests that the last survivor was another woman, Fanny Cochrane Smith, who was born at Wybalena and died in 1905.

European arrival

The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Tasman landed at today's Blackmans Bay. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux was the first Englishman to land in Tasmania at Adventure Bay. A French expedition led by Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne also landed at Blackmans Bay in 1772.

Captain James Cook landed at Adventure Bay in 1777—with young William Bligh aboard. William Bligh returned in 1788 (H.M.S. Bounty) and again in 1792 (H.M.S Providence), with young Matthew Flinders aboard. Numerous other Europeans made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features. Matthew Flinders and George Bass first proved Tasmania to be an island in 1798–99.

The first settling of Tasmania was by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary. In 1800 the French sent an expedition led by Commander Baudin to explore the South Seas, It was suspected that the reason for the expedition was to try and establish a French colony on the coast of New Holland. In response to this, the Lady Nelson and the whaler Albion commanded by Lieutenant John Bowen, sailed from Port Jackson on August 31, 1803 and he arrived in the Derwent on Sunday, September 12 in the Albion. The Lady Nelson had arrived five days before, on September 7. September 12 is regarded as the birthday of the colony (now state) of Tasmania. Lieutenant Bowen chose Risdon Cove on the left bank of the Derwent a few miles above Hobart. Among the settlers were 21 male convicts and an overseer and three women, besides the officers and two free settlers. About two months later the colony had increased to 100 people.[17] An alternative settlement was established by Captain David Collins 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the south in 1804 in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.

The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict-based settlements were made in Van Diemen's Land, including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the southeast and Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast. In the fifty years from 1803 to 1853 around 75,000 convicts were transported to Tasmania.[18] Van Diemen's Land was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales, with its own judicial establishment and Legislative Council, on 3 December 1825.

Colony of Tasmania

The Colony of Tasmania (more commonly referred to simply as "Tasmania") was a British colony that existed on the island of Tasmania from 1856 until 1901, when it federated together with the five other Australian colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The possibility of the colony was established when the Westminster Parliament passed the Australian Colonies Government Act 1850, granting the right of legislative power to each of the six Australian colonies.

The Legislative Council of Van Diemen's Land drafted a new constitution which they passed in 1854, and it was given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria in 1855. Later in that year the Privy Council approved the colony changing its name from "Van Diemen's Land" to "Tasmania", and in 1856, the newly elected bicameral parliament sat for the first time, establishing Tasmania as a self-governing colony of the British Empire.

The Colony suffered from economic fluctuations, but for the most part was prosperous, experiencing steady growth. With few external threats and strong trade links with the Empire, the Colony of Tasmania enjoyed many fruitful periods in the late 19th century, becoming a world-centre of shipbuilding. It raised a local defence force which eventually played a significant role in the Second Boer War in South Africa, and Tasmanian soldiers in that conflict won the first two Victoria Crosses awarded to Australians. Tasmanians voted in favour of federation with the largest majority of all the Australian colonies, and on 1 January 1901 the Colony of Tasmania became the Australian state of Tasmania.

Recent history

The state was badly affected by the 1967 Tasmanian fires, in which there was major loss of life and property. In the 1970s, the state government announced plans to flood environmentally significant Lake Pedder. As a result of the eventual flooding of Lake Pedder, the worlds first Greens Party was established; the United Tasmania Group.

In 1975 the collapse of the Tasman Bridge was caused when the bridge was struck by the bulk ore carrier MV Lake Illawarra. This made crossing the Derwent River at Hobart almost impossible. National and international attention surrounded the campaign against the Franklin Dam in the early 1980s.

On 28 April 1996 in the incident now known as the Port Arthur massacre, lone gunman Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people (including tourists and residents) and injured 21 others. The use of firearms was immediately reviewed, and new gun ownership laws were adopted nationwide, with Tasmania's law one of the strictest in Australia. In April 2006, the Beaconsfield Mine collapse was triggered by a small earthquake. One person was killed and two others were trapped underground for 14 days.

The Tasmanian community has for some time been divided over the issue of the proposed Bell Bay Pulp Mill to be built in the Tamar Valley. Proponents argue that jobs will be created while opponents argue that pollution will damage both the Bass strait fishing industry and local tourism.


The form of the government of Tasmania is prescribed in its constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901, Tasmania has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth and prescribes which powers each level of government enjoys.


Tasmania is a State in the Australian federation. Its relationship with the Federal Government and Parliament are regulated by the Australian Constitution. Tasmania is represented in the Senate by 12 senators, on an equal basis with all other states. In the House of Representatives, Tasmania is entitled to five seats, which is the minimum allocation for a state guaranteed by the Constitution—the number of House of Representatives seats for each state is otherwise decided on the basis of their relative populations, and Tasmania has never qualified for five seats on that basis alone. Tasmania's House of Assembly use a system of multi-seat proportional representation known as Hare-Clark.

At the 2002 state election, the Labor Party won 14 of the 25 House seats. The Liberal Party saw their percentage of the vote decrease dramatically, and their representation in the Parliament fell to seven seats. The Greens won four seats, with over 18% of the popular vote, the highest proportion of any Green party in any parliament in the world.

On 23 February 2004, the Premier Jim Bacon announced his retirement, after being diagnosed with lung cancer. In his last months he opened a vigorous anti-smoking campaign which included many restrictions of where individuals could smoke, such as pubs. He died four months later. Bacon was succeeded by Paul Lennon, who, after leading the state for two years, went on to win the 2006 state election in his own right. Lennon resigned in 2008 and was succeeded by David Bartlett, who formed a coalition government with the Greens after the 2010 state election resulted in a hung parliament. Bartlett resigned as Premier in January 2011 and was replaced by Lara Giddings, who became Tasmania's first female Premier.

Tasmania has numerous relatively unspoiled, ecologically valuable regions. Proposals for local economic development have therefore been faced with strong requirements for environmental sensitivity, or outright opposition. In particular, proposals for hydroelectric power generation proved controversial in the late 20th century. In the 1970s, opposition to the construction of the Lake Pedder reservoir impoundment led to the formation of the world's first green party, the United Tasmania Group.

In the early 1980s the state was again plunged into often bitter debate over the proposed Franklin River Dam. The anti-dam sentiment was shared by many Australians outside Tasmania and proved a factor in the election of the Hawke Labor government in 1983, which halted construction of the dam. Since the 1980s the environmental focus has shifted to old growth logging, which has proved a highly divisive issue. The Tasmania Together process recommended an end to clear felling in high conservation old growth forests by January 2003, but was unsuccessful.

Local government

Tasmania is divided into 29 Local Government Areas. Local councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Tasmanian parliament, such as urban planning, road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants.

As with the House of Assembly, Tasmania's local government elections use a system of multi-seat proportional representation known as Hare-Clark.


Tasmania’s landmass of 68,401 square kilometres (26,410 sq mi) is located at 42°S 147°E / 42°S 147°E / -42; 147Coordinates: 42°S 147°E / 42°S 147°E / -42; 147, right in the pathway of the notorious "Roaring Forties" wind that encircles the globe. The island is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans and separated from mainland Australia by Bass Strait.

As the island has been volcanically inactive in recent geological times, Tasmania has many rounded smooth mountain ranges. Tasmania is the most mountainous state in Australia. The most mountainous region is the Central Highlands area, which covers most of the central western parts of the state. The Midlands located in the central east, is fairly flat, and is predominantly used for agriculture, although farming activity is scattered throughout the state. Tasmania's tallest mountain is Mount Ossa at 1,617 metres. The mountain lies in the heart of the world famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.[2][20] Much of Tasmania is still densely forested, with the Southwest National Park and neighbouring areas holding some of the last temperate rain forests in the Southern Hemisphere

The Tarkine, located in island's far North West, is the largest temperate rainforest area in Australia covering approximately 3,800 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).  With its rugged topography, Tasmania has a great number of rivers. Several of Tasmania's largest rivers have been dammed at some point to provide enough hydroelectricity for the entire state's needs. Many rivers begin in the Central Highlands and flow out to the coast. Tasmania's estuaries (although in many cases named rivers) are mainly situated around major population centres.

The Derwent River flows south and reaches the coast at Hobart; the Tamar River flows North from Launceston; the Mersey River also flows North to the North West coast at Devonport, and the Franklin and Gordon Rivers flow west and meet the coast at Strahan. The South Esk River is the longest river in Tasmania. It starts in the mountains at Fingal and flows through Avoca, Evandale, Longford, Hadspen and finally Launceston. The river is dammed at Launceston's Trevallyn Dam and used for the city's hydroelectricity. Although most of the water is dammed at Lake Trevallyn, some flows on into the Cataract Gorge where it becomes a tributary to the Tamar Estuary, and the outflow from the power station also joins the Tamar River downstream of Launceston.


Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer lasts from December to February when the average maximum sea temperature is 21 °C (70 °F) and inland areas around Launceston reach 24 °C (75 °F). Other inland areas are much cooler with Liawenee, located on the Central Plateau, one of the coldest places in Australia, ranging between 4 °C (39 °F) and 17 °C (63 °F) in February. Autumn lasts between March and May and experiences changeable weather, when summer weather patterns gradually take on the shape of winter patterns.

The winter months are between June and August and are generally the wettest and coolest months in the state, with most high lying areas receiving considerable snowfall. Winter maximums are 12 °C (54 °F) on average along coastal areas and 3 °C (37 °F) on the central plateau, as a result of a series of cold fronts from the Southern Ocean.  Spring is a season of transition, where winter weather patterns begin to take the shape of summer patterns, although snowfall is still common up until October. Spring is generally the windiest time of the year with afternoon sea breezes starting to take effect on the coast.

Rainfall in Tasmania follows a complicated pattern rather analogous to that found on large continents at the same latitude in the northern hemisphere. On the western side rainfall increases from around 1,458 millimetres (57.4 in) at Strahan on the coast up to 2,690 millimetres (106 in) at Cradle Valley in the highlands.

There is a strong winter maximum in rainfall: January and February typically averages between 30–40% the rainfall of July and August, though even in the driest months rain usually falls on every second day and the number of rainy days per year is much greater than on any part of the Australian mainland. Further east in the Lake Country, annual rainfall declines to around 900 millimetres (35 in), whilst in the Midlands, annual rainfall is as low as 450 millimetres (18 in) at Ross and generally below 600 millimetres (24 in). The eastern part of Tasmania has more evenly distributed rainfall than in the west, and most months receive very similar averages.

The more densely populated northern coast is much drier than the western side, with annual rainfall ranging from 666 millimetres (26.2 in) in Launceston to 955 millimetres (37.6 in) in Burnie in the north west and 993 millimetres (39.1 in) in Scottsdale located further to the east. Most rain falls in winter, and in summer the average can be as low as 31 millimetres (1.2 in) per month in Launceston.

The east coast is wetter than the Midlands, with an average annual rainfall ranging from 775 millimetres (30.5 in) in St. Helens to around 640 millimetres (25 in) in Swansea.  Here the rainfall is evenly distributed over the year but can be very erratic as heavy rainfalls from the warm Tasman Sea are quite frequent. Whereas a three-day fall of 125 millimetres (4.9 in) occurs only once every fifty years on the north coast, it occurs on average once every four or five years around Swansea and Bicheno, and on 7–8 June 1954, there were many falls as large as 230 millimetres (9.1 in) in two days in that area. The east coast is sometimes called the "sun coast" because of its sunny climate.

Several sections of inland Tasmania, together with Flinders Island, were declared drought-affected areas by the state government in 2007.[31]

The highest recorded maximum temperature in Tasmania was 42.2 °C (108.0 °F) at Scamander on 30 January 2009, during the 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave. Tasmania's lowest recorded minimum temperature was −13 °C (8.6 °F) on 30 June 1983, at Butlers Gorge, Shannon, and Tarraleah.

City Mean Min. Temp oC Mean Max. Temp oC No. Clear days Rainfall (mm)
Hobart 8.3 16.9 41 616
Launceston 7.2 18.4 50 666
Devonport 8.1 16.8 61 778
Strahan 7.9 16.5 41 1,458


Despite the presence of some quaternary glaciation, Tasmania's soils are not more fertile than those of mainland Australia, largely because most are severely leached and the areas with driest climates (least leaching) were unaffected by glaciation or alluvia derived therefrom. Most soils on the Bass Strait Islands, the east coast and western Tasmania are very infertile spodosols or psamments, with some even less fertile "lateritic podzolic soils" in the latter region. Most of these lands are thus not used for agriculture, but there is much productive forestry—which remains one of the state's major industries.

On the north coast, apart from some relatively fertile alluvial soils used for fruit growing, there are also deep red, easily workable soils known as "krasnozems" ("red land"). These soils are highly acidic and fix phosphate very effectively, but their extremely favourable physical properties make them extensively used for dairying, beef cattle and fodder crops.

The Midlands and the Lower Derwent present a different story from the rest of the state. Owing to a relatively dry climate and alkaline (mostly dolerite) parent material, these soils are relatively unleached and contain lime in the deeper subsoil. They are mostly classified as "prairie soils" or "brown earths" and bear some resemblance to the chernozems of Russia and North America, although they are much lower in available phosphorus and somewhat acidic in the surface levels. Their higher nutrient levels, however, allow them to support productive pasture, and large numbers of sheep are grazed in these regions. Some grain crops are also grown in the driest areas. In the alluvial areas of southeastern Tasmania, rich alluvial soils permit apples to be grown.


Geographically and genetically isolated, Tasmania is known for its unique flora and fauna. Tasmania has extremely diverse vegetation, from the heavily grazed grassland of the dry Midlands to the tall evergreen eucalypt forest, alpine heathlands and large areas of cool temperate rainforests and moorlands in the rest of the state. Many flora species are unique to Tasmania, and some are related to species in South America and New Zealand through ancestors which grew on the super continent of Gondwana, 50 million years ago. The island of Tasmania was home to the Thylacine, a marsupial which resembled a wild dog. Known colloquially as the Tasmanian Tiger for the distinctive striping across its back, it became extinct in mainland Australia much earlier because of competition by the dingo, introduced in prehistoric times. Owing to persecution by farmers, government-funded bounty hunters and, in the final years, collectors for overseas museums, it appears to have been exterminated in Tasmania. The Tasmanian devil became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936, and is now found in the wild only in Tasmania.


The majority of the residents are of British descent.[37] As of 2008, Tasmania is the only state in Australia which has an above-replacement Total Fertility Rate. Tasmanian women have an average of 2.24 children each. This is also the highest TFR recorded in Tasmania after 1975.


Tasmania's erratic economy was first experienced by colonists in the early 19th century.The reasons have been many and varied over the years. Lack of a federal infrastructure highway, lack of a gold rush, lack of open immigration initiatives, lack of population, decline in the wool and mineral economies, lack of early colonial initiatives, or lack of foreign investment have all been attributed as reasons for the erraticism of the economy. For the length of colonial history of Tasmania there has been a continuing exodus of youth to mainland Australia to seek employment opportunities.

Traditionally, Tasmania's main industries have been mining (including copper, zinc, tin, and iron) agriculture, forestry, and tourism. In the 1940s and 1950s there was a hydro-industrialisation initiative embodied in the state by Hydro Tasmania. These all have had varying fortunes over the last century and more, involved in ebbs and flows of population moving in and away dependent upon the specific requirements of the dominant industries of the time. The state also has a large number of food exporting sectors, including but not limited to seafood (such as Atlantic salmon, abalone and crayfish).

In the 1960s and 1970s there was a rapid decline in traditional crops such as apples and pears, with other crops and industries eventually rising in their place. During the 15 years until 2010, new agricultural produces such as wine, saffron, pyrethrum and cherries have been fostered by the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research.

There was a decline in manufacturing during the 1990s, leading to a drain of some[quantify] of the island's trained and experienced working population to mainland Australia, especially to urban centres such as Melbourne and Sydney. Since 2001 however, the Tasmanian economy has experienced a significant improvement.  Favourable economic conditions throughout Australia, cheaper air fares and two new Spirit of Tasmania ferries have all contributed to what is now a booming tourism industry.

1.7% of the Tasmanian population are employed by local governments. Other major employers include the Federal Group, owner of several hotels and Tasmania's two casinos, and Gunns Limited, the state's biggest forestry company. Small business is a large part of the community life, including such success stories as International Catamarans, Moorilla Estate and Tassal. In the late 1990s, many national companies based their call centres in the state after obtaining cheap access to broad-band fibre-optic connections.

Apparently the state's housing market was undervalued in the early part of 2000, and a large boom in the national housing market finally made Tasmanian housing prices rise dramatically. This has in part been attributed to increased levels of interstate and overseas immigration. A shortage of rental accommodation has caused problems for many of Tasmania's low income earners. Thirty-four percent of Tasmanians are reliant on welfare payments as their primary source of income.



During colonial times the cuisines of the British Isles were the standard in most areas of Tasmania. Tasmania now has a wide range of restaurants, in part due to the arrival of immigrants and changing cultural patterns. Scattered across Tasmania are many vineyards, and Tasmanian beer brands such as Boags and Cascade are known and sold in Mainland Australia. King Island off the northwestern coast of Tasmania has a reputation for boutique cheeses and dairy products. Tasmanians are also consumers of seafood, such as crayfish, orange roughy, salmon[45] and oysters, both farmed and wild.


To foster tourism, the state government encourages or supports several annual events in and around the island. The best known of these is the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, starting on Boxing Day in Sydney and usually arriving at Constitution Dock in Hobart around three to four days later, during the Taste of Tasmania, an annual food and wine festival. Other events include the road rally Targa Tasmania which attracts rally drivers from around the world and is staged all over the state, over five days. Rural or regional events include Agfest, a three-day agricultural show held at Carrick (just west of Launceston) in early May and the Royal Hobart Show and Royal Launceston Show, both held in October annually. Music events held in Tasmania include the Falls Festival at Marion Bay (a Victorian event now held in both Victoria and Tasmania on New Year's Eve), MS Fest is a charity music event held in Launceston, to raise money for those with multiple sclerosis. Recent additions to the state arts events calendar include the 10 Days on the Island arts festival, and MONA FOMA, run by David Walsh and curated by Brian Ritchie.


Tasmania has a relatively small but growing literary culture. Notable titles include For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan and The Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher Koch and children's books such as Tiger Tale by Marion and Steve Isham.


Tasmania has five broadcast television stations which produce local content including ABC Tasmania, Southern Cross Television Tasmania an affiliate of Seven Network and WIN Television Tasmania an affiliate of Nine Network.

Music and performing arts

Tasmania has a varied musical scene, ranging from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra whose home is the Federation Concert Hall, to a substantial number of small bands, orchestras, string quintets, saxophone ensembles and individual artists who perform at a variety of venues around the state. Tasmania is also home to a vibrant community of composers including Constantine Koukias, Maria Grenfell and Don Kay, who is the patron of the Tasmanian Composers Collective,[46] the representative body for composers in Tasmania. Tasmania is also home to one of Australia's leading new music institutions, IHOS Music Theatre and Opera and gospel choirs, the Southern Gospel Choir. Prominent Australian metal band Psycroptic hails from Tasmania.[47] Respected noir-rock band The Paradise Motel[48] and eighties power-pop combo The Innocents[49] are also citizens. The first season of The Mole was filmed and based mainly in Tasmania, with the final elimination taking place in the famous Port Arthur gaol.

Tasmanian cinema

Films set in Tasmania include The Tale of Ruby Rose, The Hunter, The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce, Arctic Blast, Manganinnie and Van Diemen's Land. Common within Australian cinema, the Tasmanian landscape is a focal point in most of their feature film productions. The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce and Van Diemen's Land are both set during an episode of Tasmania's convict history. Tasmanian film production goes as far back as the silent era, with the epic For The Term Of His Natural Life in 1927 being the most expensive feature film made on Australian shores.

Visual arts

The biennial Tasmanian Living Artists' Week is a ten-day state-wide festival for Tasmania's visual artists. The fourth festival in 2007 involved more than 1000 artists. Tasmania is home to two winners of the prestigious Archibald PrizeJack Carington Smith in 1963 for a portrait of Professor James McAuley, and Geoffrey Dyer in 2003 for his portrait of Richard Flanagan. Photographers Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis are known for works that became iconic in the Lake Pedder and Franklin Dam conservation movements. English-born painter John Glover (1767–1849) is known for his paintings of Tasmanian landscapes. The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in January 2011 at the Moorilla Estate in Berriedale, and is the largest privately-owned museum complex in Australia.



Tasmania's main air carriers are Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia; Qantas, QantasLink and Regional Express Airlines have services from Tasmania. These airlines fly direct routes to Brisbane, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. Major airports include Hobart International Airport (which has not had a regular scheduled international passenger service since the 1990s) and Launceston Airport; the smaller airports, Burnie (Wynyard) and King Island, serviced by Regional Express; and Devonport, serviced by QantasLink; have services to Melbourne. Inter-Tasmanian air services are offered by Airlines of Tasmania. Until 2001 Ansett Australia operated majorly out of Tasmania to 12 destinations nationwide.

Antarctica base

Tasmania, Hobart in particular, serves as Australia's chief sea link to Antarctica, with the Australian Antarctic Division located in Kingston. Hobart is also the home port of the French ship l'Astrolabe, which makes regular supply runs to the French Southern Territories near and in Antarctica.


Within the state, the primary form of transport is by road. Since the 1980s, many of the state's highways have undergone regular upgrades. These include the Hobart Southern Outlet, Launceston Southern Outlet, Bass Highway reconstruction, and the Huon Highway. Public transport is provided by Metro Tasmania bus services.


Rail transport in Tasmania consists of narrow-gauge lines to all four major population centres and to mining and forestry operations on the west coast and in the northwest. Services are operated by TasRail. Regular passenger train services in the state ceased in 1977; the only scheduled trains are for freight, but there are tourist trains in specific areas, for example the West Coast Wilderness Railway.


The port of Hobart is the second deepest natural port in the world, second to only Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. There is a substantial amount of commercial and recreational shipping within the harbour and the port regularly hosts Cruise ships and occasionally military vessels. Burnie and Devonport on the northwest coast host ports and several other coastal towns host either small fishing ports or substantial marinas. The domestic sea route between Tasmanian and the mainland is serviced by Bass Strait passenger/vehicle ferries operated by the Tasmanian Government-owned TT-Line (Tasmania). The state is also home to International Catamarans, a manufacturer of very high-speed aluminium catamarans that regularly broke records when they were first launched. The state government tried using them on the Bass Strait run but eventually decided to discontinue the run because of concerns over viability and the suitability of the vessels for the extreme weather conditions sometimes experienced in the strait.


Sport is not only an important pastime in Tasmania, the state has produced several famous sportsmen and women and also hosted several major sporting events. The Tasmanian Tigers cricket team represents the state successfully (for example the Sheffield Shield in 2007 and 2011) and plays its home games at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart; also the site of international cricket matches. Famous Tasmanian cricketers include David Boon and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Australian Rules Football is also popularly followed, with occasional discussion of a proposed Tasmanian team in the Australian Football League (AFL). Several AFL games have been played at the Aurora Stadium, York Park Launceston, including the Hawthorn Football Club. The stadium was the site of an infamous match between St Kilda and Fremantle which was controversially drawn after the umpires failed to hear the final siren.

Association football (soccer) is played throughout the state, with discussion of a Tasmanian Hyundai A-league Club building on the existing Southern Premier League and the Northern Premier League. Tasmania hosts the Moorilla International tennis tournament as part of the lead up to the Australian Open and is played at the Hobart International Tennis Centre, Hobart. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race run every year between Boxing Day and New Year since 1945, finishes in Hobart.

While some of the other sports played and barracked for have grown in popularity, others have declined. For example in basketball Tasmania has not been represented in the National Basketball League since the demise of the Hobart Devils in 1996.

Notable people

Notable people from Tasmania include:

Places in Tasmania



Significant bridges:


Main highways:

Significant Valleys:




See also












  9.  אוסטרליה למטייל הישראלי


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