The total land area of Tasmania is 68 300 square kilometres, less than 1 per cent of the total landmass of Australia. The State is compact and rela tively short distances separate population centres. The roads are in good condition and the scenery varied. Its diversity ranges from long white beaches, sand dunes, coastal heaths and dense rainforest, to rugged mountains and alpine moors covered in
snow during the winter months. The State has many lakes, lush green pastures, orchards, convict ruins and fine examples of colonial freestone architecture.
Surrounding the State's capital city are four distinct districts — the Derwent Valley, the Huon Valley, D’Entrecasteaux Channel and the Tasman Peninsula. Each district provides delightful scenery and attractions of historic interest and rural beauty. Of special interest are the ruins of the infamous penal settlement at Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula. There are also many well-preserved historic towns to the north of Hobart, including Richmond, New Norfolk and Ross.
The central region of Tasmania is the high country, its terrain consisting of rugged mountains and deep lakes renowned for their trout. A plateau rises from around 305 metres above sea level in the Clyde Valley to o\er 1000 metres above sea level at Great l_ake The countryside in this area is ideal for bushwaiking, photography and nature excursions. The major lakes in the central region include Great lake. lake St Clair, Lake Echo. Lake Sorell and Arthurs Lake. The highlight of this region is the Cradle Mountain—Lake St Clair National Park, which attracts bushwalkers from around the world.
The south-western region of Tats-mania is largely unexplored wilderness. Its major features are Lake Ped der and lake Gordon, both of them fed by the Gordon River which flow's into the Southern Ocean.
The east coast of Tasmania offers many spectacular scenic attractions. Its mild climate, surfing beaches and excellent fishing areas make the region an ideal holiday location. Although the towns are somewhat small, they offer many places of historical interest as well as all the comforts and facilities of larger centres The highlight of the east coast is St Helens, the principal resort area in the region, which offers good swimming 2nd surfing conditions along Binaloog Bay Scamander is also a popular attraction renowned for its fine fishing while Btcheno an old whaling township, offers fahwig and diving trips Other am actions in the region include the clean white beaches of Coles Bay; Freycinet National Park, w hich offers swimming, camping and bushwaiking; and boat trips from Triabunna to historic Maria Island.
The sparsely populated wild western coast of Tasmania is the most fascinating area in the State, its untamed mountains, dense forests, deep lakes and echoing valleys offering magnificent beauty. The main regional township is Queenstown, whose photographic museum records the remarkable pioneering and mining history of the land. Other attractions include the township of Strahan, the wilderness of the Gordon and Franklin Risers, and the scenic beauty of South-West National Park.