In Tasmania, the old flows neatly with the new, creating a seamless cultural fabric where everything fits. The island blooms with art and cultural influences from the ancient aboriginals and the more recent European visitors. String the markets, museums, galleries, playhouses and local events into a fine Tasmanian cultural map on your visit.
Give A Nod To Recent European Cultural Remnants
Explore Convict Sites
Visit the five World Heritage Convict Sites, such as Port Arthur, the Brickendon-Woolmers Estates near Longford, the Coal Mines Historic Site, the Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island and the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart.
Ponder A Previous Era
Visit the isle of the dead and Sarah Island. The isle of the dead is a fenced grave site in Port Arthur, full of the unmarked and headstone-less graves of convicts past. This area is at low sea level; European officers were buried on higher ground, as a mark of respect. Sarah Island was Tasmania’s first penal station, where convicts were imprisoned under the harshest conditions possible, felling Huon pines in the nearby rainforest. Now both convict sites are tourist sites, with walking tracks linking important sites.
Visit Colonial Landmarks
1. Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Museum
This museum is located in Beaconsfield, northern Tasmania. It is a testament to the gold rush of the past, full of machinery and hands-on, interpretive displays of how gold used to be mined, panned, melted and solidified.
2. Brickendon Historic Farming Village
This 1824 farming estate is still owned by the original family. If you want to know more about the world of early Tasmanian settlers, to their daily lives, their hard work and the conditions they lived in, this is just the place.
3. Clarendon Homestead
The Clarendon Homestead is a 19th century old homestead in the town of Clarendon, which is classified by the National Trust. The buildings in this area are beautifully preserved and a must-visit.
4. Low Head Pilot Station Maritime Museum
Australia’s oldest pilot station sits on the picturesque Low Head peninsula, where the Tamar River begins. This pilot station is still in use, as it has been from 1807. Explore the cottages built for European maritime pilots in 1805.
5. Maritime Museum of Tasmania
This museum charts Tasmania’s seafaring heritage and maritime history from its very beginnings till the modern day. Here you’ll find the largest collection of maritime artifacts, beautiful paintings and models of old ships.
6. National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
See the best of motor vehicles and motorcycles of Australia’s past – all 95 of them, Veteran, Exotic, Classic and Vintage. Privately owned vehicles are displayed seasonally as well.
Pay Your Respects To The Tasmanian Aboriginal Culture
The Tasmanian Aboriginal people maintain their cultural traditions via their arts in spite of the conflicts and impact of the European colonization. Tasmanian aboriginal women make beautiful shell necklaces using a traditional method that has been internationally recognized. They also make beautiful, functional and watertight baskets out of plant materials, kelp, or animal skin. Be sure to buy some of these handmade artifacts, some t-shirts with drawn aboriginal themes, aboriginal wood crafts such as spears and waddies from native hardwoods and so on. Many wooden handicrafts are stained with many colors of ochre, which has religious and spiritual significance for aboriginal people.
Go on a tour of the Tasmanian landforms and wilderness Aboriginal guides, descendants of the Trawlwoolway people. Visit spectacular rock shelters, old growth forests, mountains and waterfalls. Sample bush food, and listen to stories of how the ancient aboriginals hunted and foraged for their food. View their old hunting tools, and roam the cliff faces at Devils Gullet where aboriginals once mined rock.
Nelly is an avid adventurer and nature lover working for Adrenaline, who loves to share his experiences with others. Nelly regularly contributes freelance travel articles to adventure travel blogs.