5 Myths About Tasmania | Debunking Common Misconceptions

by | Australia, Featured, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Tips

Tasmanian Wonders

Tasmania is one of the world’s most remote destinations. It is certainly somewhere that, if you have not already, you should look to visit. Tasmania is a beautiful island off the south coast of Australia and is often taken for granted. You will be surprised by how much there is to see and do on your Tasmania holiday.

Cradle Mountain Walk Tasmania

Getting There

Post Covid-19 times, domestic flights to Tasmania will be readily available with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways. Most international flights arrive via the larger Australian cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. However, many Australians choose to travel to Tasmania by the Spirit of Tasmania ferry and take their caravan or motorhome on their Tasmania holiday. International visitors can easily pick up a rental car from airports or various locations across Tasmania.

Motorhome holiday in Tasmania

Tasmania Myths Debunked

Here we will dispel five common myths about Tasmania. Perhaps it will encourage you to explore Australia’s less explored state. There is a world of wonder waiting down there for you. Do not pass up an extraordinary opportunity to holiday in Tassie!

young families living in Tasmania

1. Tasmania has an ageing population

For many years Tasmania has been seen as a retirement village state. Long been thought of as the place where older Australian’s go when they are at the end of their working life. But there is much more to this tiny state than just that. Tasmania has a thriving economy, and an ageing population is certainly not on the cards! Demographers have proven that the majority of people moving to Tasmania are between 25 and 29 years of age. The next closest group is 30 to 34-year olds.

While there is still a significant number of older Australians in Tasmania, around 20% of the population is over 65, it is far from a retirement state. A younger demographic is migrating to the area, and with it comes new jobs and opportunities. Tassies tourism caters for all age groups, and its diversity is why Tasmania is a great place for anyone to visit, including families and younger Australians. There are activities for all ages and a wide range of accommodation to cater to all needs. So, do not think of Tasmania as a place for older Australians, think of it as a new destination to explore!

Convicts of Tasmania

2. Tasmania’s convict past

There is a common misconception that a large number of convicts were transported to Tasmania in the early days of settlement and that they were forced to live in less than optimal conditions. More recent studies have found that this is simply not the case. There are some areas in the rest of Australia, where convicts were treated poorly. However, as for the majority, this is not correct.

Vandemonian Lags

An Australian musical-theatre production with an all-star cast, Vandemonian Lags, works to dispel these myths. The show debunks the myth that 70,000 convicts transported to Tasmania from Britian were not maltreated in the 1800s. The musical shines a light on the myths and demonstrates the real living conditions faced by these early settlers. The musical shatters a lot of misconceptions. Rather than die in misery from hard physical labour, convicts were often allowed to wander free around town. This, of course, does not account for the poor conditions in hellholes such as Port Arthur and Sarah Island. It was even healthier for them in Tasmania, as they had access to better food and living conditions than those who lived in the factory towns in  England.

All in all, people think that Tasmania was home to some of the worst treated convicts in the country. A trip to some of the extensive native history museums will undoubtedly reveal the truth about the matter.

3. Tasmanian native Aboriginal people

It has long been a common misconception that Aboriginal people in Tasmania are no longer existent. This, of course, is not the case. Tasmania has a strong connection to its native people, and this myth stemmed from a misconstrued story from the late 1800s.

This myth is developed from the story of Truganini, who was the woman from Bruny Island. She passed away in 1876 and was known as the sole returning person from the Flinders Island mission where the majority of Tasmanian Aboriginals were sent for resettlement.

Many of the Aboriginal population of Tasmania are of mixed descent, but still, recognise themselves as Aboriginal. They keep the original history and culture of the state alive and well. These cultural traditions are still practised today. During your visit, immerse yourself in Tasmania’s oldest history and learn more about the native people and their contributions to this great land. Combined with the extensive convict history, Tasmania has a bigger story to tell than you would have ever thought.

4. Tasmania is a ‘Sleepy Hollow’

Similarly, to the misconception that Tasmania is a retirement state, it has also been known for a long time as a sort of ‘Sleepy Hollow’. A place that is quiet with not much to do and even fewer things to see. We have already proven though that this is not the case.

Tasmania is a bustling state and, despite its reputation, has much to offer for the growing tourism market. Other areas of Australia seemed to develop a lot faster, while Tasmania was left behind. Today, the state has surpassed this image and is now home to some of the most modern construction in Australia. As it has become more accessible for tourism, there has been a significant growth in the economy as well as in infrastructure. This also means better employment opportunities, and with more jobs comes younger residents looking for work. It seems like Tasmania is only on the up and up. There is no better time to holiday in Tasmania than the present!

5. Tasmania is similar to England

It was the late 1800s when Tasmania was becoming famous for tourism, most of which was coming from the then motherland, England. The English decided early on that Tasmania was the closest in climate to England and offered a similar landscape.

It was often thought that Tasmania was so far from the mainland of Australia that it was virtually a different country. It is not well-known that the film star Merle Oberon while hoping to hide her non-Aryan blood, claimed that she was born in Tasmania. She most likely thought that it was such a remote place that no one would think otherwise or call her on her bluff. In more recent times we find that people who do not live in Australia confuse Tasmania with Tanzania, which could not be further apart!

What are you waiting for

So, whether you are planning a vacation around Australia, or just looking for somewhere new to explore, Tasmania is an amazing and unique part of the country. It is even home to one of the most successful saffron crops in the world, due to the optimal climate for growing such an expensive export. Come see Tasmania, for yourself! You will wonder why you didn’t come sooner.

MACq 01 Hotel Hobart Tasmania

Accommodation in Tasmania

Choosing accommodation is an important part of the planning a vacation in a new country. Tasmania offers an extensive selection of accommodation options from cool hotels to luxury boutique bed and breakfasts. Today hotels are more than somewhere just to sleep. While there are plenty of budget hotel / motels around Tasmania, there is also plenty of hidden gems to be found. So if you find yourself in Tasmania, be sure to check out booking.com for the unique places to stay.

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