For fun and frolic

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

PRE­PARE to in­dulge in some won­der­ful food, awe­some scenery and fresh ex­pe­ri­ences when you are in Tas­ma­nia. Dis­tinctly laid back and wel­com­ing, the Aus­tralian is­land state is blan­keted in wilder­ness. It’s no won­der that Tas­ma­nia is hailed as Aus­tralia’s out­door play­ground. So lace up your boots for a lux­ury coastal hike – even if purely as an ex­cuse to work up an ap­petite to in­dulge in the su­perb lo­cal food and wine. If you pre­fer a more re­laxed pace, you can also cruise the seas to pluck seafood fresh from the ocean.

Tas­ma­nia’s Bass Strait coast is as wild as any Scot­tish heath, so it’s no sur­prise that a cou­ple of Aus­tralia’s top links golf cour­ses have set up here. Oth­er­wise, a visit to the “best lit­tle town in the world” should hold plenty of sur­prises. Backed by rain­for­est, moun­tains and a su­perbly moody har­bour, Stra­han – a four- hour drive west of Hobart – is the lit­eral vil­lage in the wilder­ness.

Fancy seafood so fresh, it’s still drip­ping? Bar­be­cued and eaten while you’re still on the wa­ter? A day- long Tas­ma­nian Seafood Se­duc­tion cruise will have you skim­ming out of Hobart’s docks and into the boun­ti­ful wa­ters of the D’En­tre­casteaux Chan­nel, where your guide will jump over­board to catch the likes of cray­fish, sea urchins and abalone.

Af­ter a hearty meal, the next ob­vi­ous choice is to sink into “the best bou­tique ho­tel on earth”. Perched at the edge of Coles Bay, the sting ray- shaped Saf­fire Fr­eycinet peers across flat seas to the ever- chang­ing colours of the

There is plenty to dis­cover in Aus­tralia’s favourite out­door play­ground. Haz­ards moun­tains, in it­self of­fer­ing a won­der­ful ac­tiv­ity – sim­ply set­tle in with a re­fresh­ing drink in hand to watch the mov­ing colour show over the af­ter­noon sky.

Don’t just stay in bed at Coles Bay, though. Take a guided walk along the per­fect white curve of Wine­glass Bay, splurge at the ex­clu­sive La Prairie day spa and meet the very rare ( but very hand­some) Tas­ma­nian devils.

Feel like tak­ing a drive? Tas­ma­nia’s Great East­ern Drive – which stretches from the cap­i­tal city of Hobart, all the way up the east­ern coast­line – is the “dream road trip” for most lo­cals. It’s easy to see why: White- sand beaches, vivid, lichen- smoth­ered head­lands and one of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous bays – dot­ted with de­lights the whole way – cre­ate a most de­light­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.

Of course, long sec­tions of Tas­ma­nia’s glo­ri­ous shore­line are best seen on foot. And for ev­ery great stretch of coast, there’s an op­er­a­tor pro­vid­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence where the scenery is matched by the lo­cal food, wine and pri­vate pieces of coastal lux­ury. Some of our favourites in­clude Three Capes Track, Maria Is­land Walk and Fr­eycinet Ex­pe­ri­ence Walk.

An­other great thing about Tas­ma­nia is its ex­cit­ing fes­ti­vals. For a few days, the cli­max of the Rolex Syd­ney Hobart Yacht Race turns Hobart into a float­ing fes­ti­val, cre­at­ing a mood the city main­tains through a se­ries of won­der­ful events.

Plan your visit around other amaz­ing water­side fes­ti­vals – The Taste of Tas­ma­nia, Aus­tralian Wooden Boat Fes­ti­val, Dark Mofo and Fes­ti­val of Voices – and pre­pare your­self for a splash­ing good time.

Sourced from Tourism Aus­tralia. Malaysia Air­lines of­fers an all- in­clu­sive re­turn fare to Tas­ma­nia via Mel­bourne. Con­tact your travel agent to book.

the World her­itage wilder­ness beck­ons. ( right) tas­ma­nia, Aus­tralia’s fa­mous play­ground, is known for rich ex­pe­ri­ences that are steeped in na­ture. — Pho­tos: tourism Aus­tralia

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