Tasmania’s historic past is no dead and dusty creature – it’s a living, breathing spirit that reaches out from its place in time, everywhere you tread.
The fascinating convict heritage lives on, not just in the penal settlements and convict-built towns, but in the communities of descendants that continue to live on the island.
Thousands of years before Europeans first came ashore, Tasmanian Aborigines were the state’ sole inhabitants. A number of significant historic Aboriginal sites are visible today, predominantly in the north-east of the island.
From its position on the edge of the great Southern Ocean Tasmania has rich maritime heritage: with colourful wharves, bustling fishing towns, and a strong marine science community working to manage this extraordinary resource.
Named after the British statesman Lord Robert Hobart, Hobart Town became the capital of Tasmania in 1825 and was chartered as a city in 1857. Convict Transportation ceased in 1853, after more than 74,000 convicts had been sent to the island. The still-fledgling colony’s parliament changed the name to Tasmania in 1856.
From dense cool climate rainforests to craggy mountain peaks, Tasmania’s diverse wilderness sets it apart.
Surveyor George Frankland named many of the mountains and lakes in the park. Lake St Clair was named after a Scottish family in 1835 (The lake’s Aboriginal name ‘Leeawuleena’ means ‘sleeping water’), but inspired by Greek mythology, Frankland also named Mounts Olympus, Ida, Pelion and Rufus.
During the 1890s a rail route from Hobart to the west coast, between Pelion Creek and Frog Flats, was cut. The rail line never eventuated but miners walking from Deloraine to Rosebery and drovers used it for many years. Today it forms part of the Overland Track.
Austrian Gustav Weindorfer climbed Cradle Mountain in 1910. Both Gustav and his Victorian wife, Kate, were pioneering conservationists of the region. In 1922 the Weindorfer’s cri de coeur was heard and 158,000 acres was proclaimed a ‘Scenic Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary’. In 1982 the park was placed on the World Heritage list, along with the Southwest and Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Parks.
Deloraine has been classified by the National Trust as a town of historical significance with building dated back to the 1830’s. Visit the growing number of local antique and brickabrac shops.