Lush rainforests, soaring peaks, white-sand beaches and dense bushland characterise Tasmania, Australia's island state. Enchanting forests feature the world's tallest and rarest trees, and some of the most beautiful spots in Australia are to be found on this, the smallest of the country's six states. Situated south of mainland Victoria in southeast Australia, Tasmania was named after a Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, who sighted the island in 1642.
Today, it is home to half a million people, of which nearly half the population lives in and around the state capital, Hobart. Tasmania harbours distinct wildlife, many of which are endangered or extinct elsewhere; the infamous Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail and the eastern quoll are the three biggest carnivorous marsupials on the planet.