AREA: 64,519 sq. km.,
POPULATION: 470,272 (2001)
CAPITAL: Hobart (300,000)
The island state of Tasmania is located some 200 kilometres south of the mainland of Australia and
measures only some 200 kilometres from north to south and east to west at its broadest points.
Rich in Australia's young history, it was the second settlement in Australia after Sydney and the first
settlers arrived in 1803 to what is now Hobart. It was primarily established as a penal settlement to
house prisoners from the United Kingdom and much of this early penal history can be seen around the state.
It takes its name from Abel Tasman who first charted the island in 1642 and originally named it Van Diemens
Land. Like those who visit it today he was struck by its intense and varied beauty.
As Australia's most southern land mass, it is snow capped throughout much of the year, and the mountainous
terrain and many lakes provide a tranquil and beautiful island which is a popular destination for holiday
makers from all over the world.
The principal cities are the capital, Hobart, in the south, and Launceston, in the north.