It is believed that the island was joined to the mainland of Australia until the end of the last glacial period approximately 10,000 years ago. Much of the island is composed of Jurassic dolerite intrusions (upwellings of magma) through other rock types, sometimes forming large columnar joints. Tasmania has the world's largest areas of dolerite, with many distinctive mountains and cliffs formed from this rock type.
The first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642 by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Tasman landed at today's Blackman's Bay. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux was the first Englishman to land in Tasmania at Adventure Bay. A French expedition led by Marc-
Captain James Cook landed at Adventure Bay in 1777 with William Bligh aboard. William Bligh returned in 1788 (H.M.S. Bounty) and again in 1792 (H.M.S Providence),
Numerous other Europeans made landfalls, adding a colourful array to the names of topographical features. Matthew Flinders and George Bass first proved Tasmania to be an island in 1798–99.
The first settling of Tasmania was by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803, by a small party sent from Sydney, under Lt. John Bowen for the purpose of preventing the French from claiming the island.
Floral Emblem of Tasmania -
The Tasmanian Blue Gum, Southern Blue Gum or Blue Gum, is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30 to 55 m (98 to 180 ft) tall. The natural distribution of the species includes Tasmania and southern Victoria (particularly the Otway Ranges and southern Gippsland). There are also isolated occurrences on King Island and Flinders Island in Bass Strait and on the summit of the You Yangs near Geelong.
Fauna Emblem of Tasmania -
is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae, now found in the wild only in the Australian island state of Tasmania. The size of a small dog, it became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936. It is characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding.
Bird Emblem of Tasmania -
is Australia's largest honeyeater (380-
An alternative settlement was established by Captain David Collins 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the south in 1804 in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, later shortened to Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart. The settlement at Risdon was later abandoned.
The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict-
Van Diemen's Land was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales, with its own judicial establishment and Legislative Council, on 3 December 1825.
The Tasmanian devil's large head and neck allow it to generate the strongest bite per unit body mass of any living mammal, and it hunts prey and scavenges carrion as well as eating household products if humans are living nearby.
Although it is usually solitary, it sometimes eats with other devils. The devil is capable of surprising speed and endurance, and can climb trees and swim across rivers.