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Travel in Australia and New Zealand

Devonport Is a Good Base From Which to Explore Cradle Mountain
By:Sidney Morgan

Devonport, on the northwest coast of Tasmania, is often called "Australia's market garden." 40 percent of the produce grown in Tasmania comes from the rich soil of Devonport's Mersey Valley and much of this produce finds its way to the Australian mainland. The rich bounty from Devonport's soil has made the city one of Tasmania's most prosperous. Easily accessed by air or by sea, it is a popular tourist destination.

While Devonport has an airport with regular flights to and from Melbourne, it is better known for its iconic passenger and vehicle ferries, the Spirit of Tasmania I and II. The ferries have to make a sharp u-turn as they make their way into port on the Mersey River. To onlookers, it seems like the ferries are turning onto and "driving" down a city street. Devonport's permanent population is only just over 20,000, so the arrival of the big passenger ships swells the population appreciably when they arrive.

Australians who visit Tasmania regularly choose Devonport as their first stop, both because of its natural beauty and the attractions of the city itself. Not the least of Devonport's attractions are its restaurants. Between the cornucopia of fresh produce and the abundance of fresh seafood that comes from the waters just off its coastal shores, Devonport is a diner's delight.

Devonport is also a great family destination. Among the most popular family destinations are the maritime and railway museums. Open seven days a week, the Don River Railway is owned and operated by volunteers. Be sure not to miss the scenic train ride on a fully restored vintage steam train. It runs seven days per week and tickets can be purchased at the museum. The maritime museum is famous for its collection of intricately crafted model ships that trace the history of sailing in Australia. Art lovers enjoy the Devonport Regional Gallery, where they can explore some of the finest examples of Tasmanian 20th century art to be seen anywhere.

You will enjoy relaxing in Devonport, but won't want to miss the opportunity to take the 90 minute trip to the entrance to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. So captivated by this wilderness area was Austrian immigrant Gustav Weindorfer, he built a chalet in the area in 1912 and lobbied tirelessly to have the area declared a National Park. His efforts paid off and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is now a World Heritage listed Tasmanian park.

In order to make Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair accessible while preserving it at the same time, both short and multi-day trails have been established for visitors to enjoy.. The Enchanted Walk takes only 20 minutes for a person of average fitness, yet takes you through old growth forests and beside rushing mountain rivers. Those who are up to the challenge can take on the six day, 40 mile (65 km) Overland Trail that starts at Cradle Mountain and finishes on the northern shores of Lake St Clair.

You will love everything about your visit to Devonport and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Take your cue from the thousands of visitors who preceded you and make your Devonport accommodation your "base of operations." This way, you can enjoy all the region has to offer in comfort and style.

Get away with the family for a few days, find Devonport Tasmania hotels, activities and other travel related information about the area. Or visit our Australia blog http://ozblog.net.au/ for more Australian holiday ideas.

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