Tasmania 1.2Melbourne, Summer 2009
Tasy was actually a surprisingly interesting place to visit. Here are a few “interesting facts” I found out while visiting:
- Despite being home to about 500,000 people, Tasmania is one of the world’s leading exporters of opium for the pharmaceutical industry producing about 50% of the world’s legally-grown opium for painkillers like morphine. (Wallabies often consume poppie flowers, and after getting high, they hop around occasionally creating “crop circles.”)
- Tasy grows tulips for export to many countries including the Netherlands-the world’s leading producer of tulips.
- The Greens is one of Tasmania’s political parties and the world’s first green party. Its inaugural Parliamentary Leader is Bob Brown, the first openly gay Parliament member in Australia.
- Tasmania is actually closer to the equator than to the South Pole.
- According to a souvenir shop postcard that I don’t necessarily trust, if all of Tasmania’s rugged lands were flattened its surface area would be greater than that of the mainland of Australia.
- Abel Tasman is noted as the “first” European to explore Tasmania. He was a Dutchman supported by Anthony van Diemen, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies. Therefore Tasman originally named the island Van Diemen’s Land. Despite all of this, the indigenous Aborigines had been living there for many years before Tasman’s arrival.
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