Featured Image Credit: Stuart Gibson via The Mercury
Tasmania- a tiny little island off the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, is somewhat of a mystery to most. It’s considered one of the world’s best kept secrets and is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. But why?
Nature is on a dramatic scale here: over 3.4 million acres of its area is protected wilderness, including ancient rainforests, jagged peaks and powerful rivers. Almost 45% of Tasmania is made up of reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites.
Also, there is a CRAZY variety of marine wildlife.
Tasmania’s marine wildlife is amazing. It has one of the most biologically diverse marine environments in the world due to its varying climatic conditions, cool ocean currents and the fact that Tasmania is a meeting point for three ocean currents. In fact, 90 percent of Tasmania’s marine wildlife is found nowhere else on earth.
Tasmania’s oceans are brimming with sea life unique to Tassie, such as spotted handfish, red handfish, live bearing seastar, Maugean skate and so much more. Some other treasures include sea dragons, pipe fish, senator fish, small caves, over 30 species of seaweed and many invertebrates such as bryozoans, sponges, and anemones.
The island state is also known for its beauty under the sea as well. The ocean flora is abundant with giant kelp and seagrass meadows.
On land, Tasmania also has some pretty interesting creatures that roam around as well!
Platypus’s are identified by their streamlined bodies, webbed feet, broad tail and their duck-like bills. In Tasmania, platypus’s are found mostly in lakes, rivers and streams. Tasmanian platypuses are also significantly larger than their mainland cousins.
ANNNNDDDDDD Tasmanian devils, of course.
Tasmanian devils are ONLY found in Tasmania! Much unlike it’s cartoon version, Tasmanian devils are actually a small, hyena-like marsupial with a haunting hiss. Currently, Tasmanian devils are considered endangered due to a mysterious cancer, the evil Favial Tumor Disease. Thankfully, visitors are able to help these little critters. The environmental group, Devils@Cradle has created a sanctuary for these Tasmanian devils, where visitors can view these nocturnal hissers at close range, but raising funds for their defense also.