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Tasmania is about the size of West Virginia but while America's 35th state has a population near 2 million, Tassie has just 500,000 uncrowded souls. There could be a simple explanation for the ostensible dearth of citizens. Around 20 per cent of Tassie is UNESCO World Heritage Area. A great swathe of wilderness stretches from its Great Western Tiers to the state's southern most tip (the next landmass is Antarctica). There are few roads. Pines huddle in copses more than 1000 years old.
The state also comes with liberal quantities of national parks.
There are vast tracts of temperate rainforests where footprints can be still considered something of a novelty. Much of it is home to indigenous fauna including wallabies, platypus and the unique Tasmanian devil, the world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.
As an island Tasmania is afforded natural cachet. It is quarantined from many forms of pollution and from a number of pests and diseases that affect plants, and animals in other countries.
Rich and blooming produce is fuelled by air streams travelling over cleansing waters stretching beyond Tasmania to South America, Antarctica and Africa. Between Tassie and these great continents there is little else. The air in northwest Tasmania is, reportedly, amongst the cleanest recorded in any populated place.
Yet despite all this nature, part of Tasmania's intrigue is that fine food and wine are never far from the wilds.
This, of course, is good news for gourmands as Tasmania's wilderness can be experienced without suffering any of the privations normally associated with plunges into expansive wilds.
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