Tasmania, Australia's only island state, was named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, reportedly the first European to see Tasmania in 1642. It is separated from mainland Australia by the Bass Strait.
The state's capital, Hobart, was crowned no. 7 "Best in Travel 2013" by travel guide company Lonely Planet, the only Australian city in the top 10. Hobart is also Australia's second oldest city.
Tasmania has a population of 512, 000, and is the sixth most populated state in Australia. Today it is known for its World Heritage-listed natural beauty, culinary scene and convict history. The former penal colony of Port Arthur made headlines in 1996 when gunman Martin Bryant opened fire on both tourists and locals, killing 35 people. This led to a nationwide review of gun ownership. Other well-known Tasmanians include Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (once known as Mary Donaldson) and legendary Hollywood actor Errol Flynn.