Name the world's best islands and one could be forgiven for picturing palm trees and coconuts to a Hawaiian themed soundtrack. But according to Travel + Leisure, America's largest travel magazine brand, Tasmania is the best island in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. What's more, the readers rated Tassie fourth among the world's top ten islands.
Each year, the Travel + Leisure readers vote for their favourite destinations as part of the World's Best Annual survey. The island rankings are based on readers' ratings of five characteristics:natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, and value.
Tasmania is thrilled to be listed as one of the world's best ten islands and re-define what international travellers are seeking in island destinations. It is the ultimate validation of how a destination is serving Travel + Leisure readers, from experienced global travellers.
Acting Chief Executive of Tourism Tasmania, Guy Taylor, said that Tasmania's holiday appeal continues to grow stronger and spread further every day.
“Over the past 12 months, Tasmania has received a host of global awards and accolades, and the latest Travel + Leisureannouncement is yet another reason why more people should visit Australia's premium island state”.
The world has awoken to the lure of this island at the world's edge. Lonely Planet named Tasmania one of the world's most desirable regions in 2015 and even Chinese President Xi stopped in to say hello. We invited the world to dinner as part of Restaurant Australia and it appears visitors are wanting a second helping, coming in numbers never seen before.
At the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, Tasmania collected a record trophy loot and even came home with a newly named Australian Tourism Legend in Rob Pennicott. Oh, and this year Bill Lark flew off to London to be inducted into the World Whisky Hall of Fame.
So what's the appeal of Tasmania?
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan, said “In many ways this is an island which really epitomises the essence of Australia's destination appeal - raw, unspoilt natural beauty, incredible fresh food, wine and culinary experiences, all shared by warm and passionate people.”
Just an hour from Melbourne and 90 minutes from Sydney, one could ask the droves who came for the Dark Mofo winter festival or those planning to experience Australia's premier coastal bushwalking experience- The Three Capes Walk due to open late 2015. Then there's the islands off Tasmania- the wildlife haven of Maria, foodie's paradise of Bruny and remote allure of Satellite.
As Travel + Leisure readers propel Tasmania to the heights of world's fourth best island, we quietly pump a fist for other awards including best whisky and Pinot in the world, best private art gallery, best bushwalks, best boutique hotel, best beaches, top golf course and cleanest air on the planet.
We could go on, but it's a feeling best experienced on the island. Is it the romantic notion of being surrounded by water? Or the mix of four seasons rather than the sweltering island heat of tropical neighbours? Or that two thirds of Tasmania is accessible wilderness? Whatever it is, we do 'island life' a little differently in these parts.
It seems Travel + Leisure readers quite like our island style. And nothing makes us happier than when the people choose Tasmania. One lucky Australian fan might be lucky to head across Bass Strait to collect Tassie's Trophy Cabinet as part of our latest comp. Island treasure – it's always been worthy of crossing seas for. Just ask a pirate.
For more information on Tasmania, visit www.discovertasmania.com.au.