MNN Galleries

7 amazing islands for eco-tourists

Sept. 13, 2012, 6:08 p.m.
Tasmania forest trail

Photo: nicolas.boullosa/Flickr

7 of 9

Tasmania

Tasmania sits just to the south of the Australian mainland. Though it is separated only by a small strip of water called the Bass Strait, Tasmania has developed independently from the rest of Australia and has its own natural history. Because of its relative isolation, the wildlife of Tasmania is quite unusual. Some species, such as the well-known Tasmanian devil, are unique to the island, and other plants and animals thrive even though they have been wiped out in other parts of Oceania. Creatures such as the platypus and Forester kangaroo also draw enthusiastic nature-seekers. Huge tracts of forest and mountains and numerous national parks and preserves are ideal for people seeking a days-long adventure on the trails. Sea kayaking around the scenic and rugged coastline is also a popular activity for adventure-seekers, while expansive kelp beds and numerous shipwrecks mean that diving is another worthwhile pastime.