Tasmania is an Australianisland and state of the same name. It is located 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the eastern side of the continent, being separated from it by Bass Strait. The state of Tasmania includes the island of Tasmania, and other surrounding islands. Tasmania has a population of 484,700 and an area of 68,332 square kilometres (26,383 sq mi).
Tasmania promotes itself as the Natural State and the "Island of Inspiration" owing to its large, and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Formally, almost 37% of Tasmania is in reserves, National Parks and World Heritage Sites. The island is 364 kilometres long from the northernmost point to the southernmost point, and 306 kilometres from west to east.
In 1803, the island was colonised by the British as a penal colony with the name Van Diemen's Land. From the 1830s to the abolition of penal transportation (known simply as "transportation") in 1853, Van Diemen's Land was the primary penal colony in Australia. Following the suspension of transportation to New South Wales, all transported convicts were sent to in Van Diemen's Land. In total, some 75,000 convicts were transported to Van Diemen's Land, or about 40% of all convicts sent to Australia.