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13 Reasons Why Tasmania Is More Badass Than You Think

Tasmania is the tourism darling of Australia but this island State has long been the butt (read: two heads) of many a joke. Here’s a salute to its badassness.

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1. Tasmanian Devil


Not only has this little monster got his own Warner Bros. character, but it's up there as one of the most powerful bites-to-body-mass ratio of any animal walking the planet.

Badass rating 9/10

2. Mary Donaldson aka Crown Princess of Denmark


This isn't your normal girl-meets-boy story. In this twist, girl from Tassie meets Prince from Denmark in dive bar in Sydney. A well as being a commoner who married a Prince, Mary also received her own coat of arms and was honoured with an Order of the Elephant. Elephants are heaps badass.

Badass rating 5/10

3. David Boon, aka Boonie


The year was 1989. And it was a big one for Tasmania's own walking moustache who famously consumed 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London. This gave him the boost he needed to produce the winning four runs for Australia to win the Ashes – the first time the Poms were defeated on home soil since Don Bradman's team in 1948. The Brits just couldn't get enough and in the same year Boonie was named a Member of the British Order.

Badass rating 8/10

4. Booze and Gambling

Hobart is Australia's very own Las Vegas. With Australia's oldest brewery (Cascade Brewery, since 1824) and casino (Wrest Point Casino, 1973) they've been doing booze and gambling since way back when. There is rumoured to have been a time in Hobart's early history where there was one pub for every nine families!

Badass Rating 7.5/10

5. The Tasmanian Flag


This may be news to the rest of the world but the Tasmanian flag dons a lion. Not only does the Apple Isle have zero big cats but there is no official record of how the lion even came to be included. The state governor does a one-up on badassness by opting for the flag with the Royal Crown value add.

Badass rating 1/10

6. Shipsterns Bluff


Is it the 2 hour hike in, the 11-15°C water temperature, the presence of sharks or the heavy, unpredictable swell that pounds the shallow reef and surrounding jagged rocks that makes this popular surf spot so badass? There's no doubt this is some of the gnarliest surf on the planet.

Badass rating 9.5/10

7. Tasmanian Tiger


Well, this one is a bit of an anomaly. Whilst the now extinct mammal was (incorrectly) labeled a tiger it was a fairly anxiety-ridden animal. Multiple reports surfaced of the thylacine simply dying of shock soon after being captured. One redeeming feature is that it could hop on its hind legs like a legend, but only when it was anxious.

Badass rating 2/10

8. David Foster


David and his brother won the World 600mm double-handed sawing championships (apparently that's a thing) in 1978. David went on to win the Australian Axeman of the Year award nine times and beat the competition to win every major woodchopping event in Australia and NZ. In total David hacked up over 1000 championships in his long career.

Badass rating 7/10

9. Errol Flynn

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This Hobart-born Hollywood heartthrob was a bit of a devil in his early days. Having been expelled from the prestigious Shore school for theft, and by his own account having been caught in a romantic assignation with the school's laundress, he was well known as a womaniser. The phrase "in like Flynn" comes from this man who got in like Flynn with reportedly more than one school nurse in his youth.

Badass rating, 7.5/10

10. Bob Brown


Bob served time in Risdon Prison for his successful protesting against the failed Franklin Dam, he was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia and he was working at the St Mary Abbot's Hospital as the resident doctor on duty when Jimi Hendrix was brought in, later to be pronounced dead.

Badass rating 8/10

11. Sarah Island


On the West Coast of Tasmania this tiny island achieved a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements in the Australian colonies. Geographically it was separated by the mainland by treacherous seas and surrounded by harsh mountainous wilderness. The only seaward access was through a channel called Hells Gates and the soil couldn't even bear crops. The worst of the worst convicts were sent here and set to work making wooden boats.

Badass rating 9/10

12. Alexander Pearce


Irish convict Alexander Pearce escaped Sarah Island on two occasions, both times turning to cannibalism to survive. He was captured, twice, and was eventually hanged in Hobart. His last words are reported to be "Man’s flesh is delicious. It tastes far better than fish or pork".

Badass rating 9.9/10

13. Tubby Turkeys


For the rest of eternity the whole of Tasmania will be talking about "that Christmas when turkeys were too big for the ovens". On December 19, 2009, the Tasmanian Mercury's front page revealed that due to a cooler than expected year (where the birds ate more than usual) turkeys were indeed too big for ovens. One butcher was quoted as saying "It's a nightmare…It's caused mass panic and hysteria. People don't know what they're going to do". Big turkeys are badass turkeys.

Badass rating 3/10

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