Regions of Tasmania

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In the Australian state of Tasmania, there are many areas which are commonly known by regional names. Regions are areas that share similar characteristics. These characteristics may be natural such as the Furneaux Islands, the coastline, or the Central Highlands. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as a viticulture land use. Tasmania is divided by numerous regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different government agencies are coterminous and are often cited by the Australian and local media that tend to distinguish between North West, West Coast, Southern, and East Coast.[citation needed]

Some regions were historically identified in terms of land use.[1] In the 1960s the Atlas of Tasmania was the definitive Tasmanian Government publication in relation to regional geographical variations in Tasmania.[2]

Local government[edit]

In Tasmania the third tier of elected government after the federal and state governments are the local government authorities, which are responsible for the local government areas. The types of LGAs in Tasmania are cities and councils.

Tasmania has more than 29 local government areas[3] which have an elected council and carry out various functions delegated to them by the Tasmanian Government.

Australian Bureau of Statistics[edit]

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has multiple regional structures for which it analyses and reports data. These regional structures derive from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (AGSC). The AGSC defines at the very smallest level, the Census Collection District (CCD). These CCD's aggregate to form the Statistical Local Area (SLA), which is the common base unit for each of the larger regional structures.[4] The boundaries of the SLA are designed to be typically coterminous with Local Government Areas unless the LGA does not fit entirely into a Statistical Subdivision (SSD), or is not of a comparative nature to other LGA's.[4] Bureau of Statistics provides statistics for Local Government Areas, as well as three other statistical structures: Statistical Divisions, Statistical Regions, and Statistical Districts.

Statistical Divisions[edit]

Statistical Divisions (SD) form the main structural hierarchy of statistical analysis. These regions are structured to provide a broad range of social, demographic and economic statistics.[4] The basis for the boundary delineations centre on socio-economic criteria.[4] The five divisions for Tasmania are:[5]

Greater Hobart, Southern, Northern, Mersey-Lyell, Off-Shore Areas & Migratory.

Statistical Regions[edit]

The Statistical Region (SR) structure was established in 1986 as a means for labor force analysis.[6]

Greater Hobart-Southern, Northern, Mersey-Lyell.

Statistical Districts[edit]

The Statistical District (SDist) is a non-capital, urban region of one or more adjoining areas, with a population of 25,000 or more. The SDist is defined with consideration of a 20-year growth forecast. The SDist does not need to conform to LGA boundaries or to state territory boundaries.[7] The two Statistical Districts in Tasmania are:

Launceston, Burnie-Devonport.

Biogeographic regions[edit]

IBRA 6.1 regions map

The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) is a biogeographic regionalisation of Australia; divided into 89 bioregions and 419 subregions. Each region is a land area made up of a group of interacting ecosystems that are repeated in similar form across the landscape. Regions and subregion cross state and territory boundaries. There are nine bioregions that are located within all or part of Tasmania:[8]

Informal divisions[edit]

Informal divisions of Tasmania
Region name Subregion name Comments
Western North West North of the Pieman River mouth and proceeding round into the Bass Strait.
South West From Cape Sorell in the west to either South Cape or South East Cape in the east.
South East From South East Cape in the southwest, north to Hobart and through to Wineglass Bay.
Midlands Inland, from north of Richmond in the south to Launceston in the north.
North East From Wineglass Bay in the south to the Bass Strait coast in the north.
Northern Central Highlands As its name implies, the centre of Tasmania, from Lake St Clair in the north to the lower River Derwent in the south east.
North West From the Bass Strait coast in the north to Pieman River in the north west.

Specific uses of regions for different purposes[edit]

Weather forecasting[edit]

Since 2013, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) divided Tasmania into eleven land-based districts for the purpose weather forecasting. In addition, the Bureau detailed nine coastal districts and a further five inshore districts covering the bays and channels in the River Derwent lower estuary.[9]

Land based districts
Coastal districts

Tasmanian Government[edit]

Other coastal regions[edit]

In some schemes a quadrant of the coast is made into four parts:[citation needed]

In general terms, the usage is found in a number of forms:[citation needed]

  • North West - generally starting north of the Pieman River mouth and proceeding round into the Bass Strait coast
  • South West - generally starting at Cape Sorell and finishing at either South Cape or South East Cape
  • South East - usually incorporates the region around Hobart and through to wineglass Bay or further north
  • North East - usually referring to the coast from the Tamar River and proceeding round onto the East Coast

These regional schemes do not relate to the physical realities of the coast, or any of the coastal processes, but are simply organisational categorigisation.[citation needed]

Tourist regions[edit]

Tourism regions are a scheme of tourist promotion; some tourist regions are in sub-regions, or a component of separate regions, and others are grabs of separate regions. As of 2015 Tourism Tasmania, a Tasmanian Government body, divided the state into five regions on the Tasmanian mainland, and two regions covering the two major Bass Strait islands:[10]

  • East Coast
  • Flinders Island
  • Hobart and South
  • King Island
  • Launceston and North
  • North West
  • West Coast

Other regions previously used for tourism purposes include: Hobart, Southeast, Huon Valley and D'Entrecasteax Channel, Derwent Valley and Central Highlands, Launceston and the Tamar Valley, Midlands, North East, Devonport and Cradle Valley, and West Coast and Wilderness.

Zones have also been historically used for the purposes of public transport[11] including: Hobart and surrounds, Launceston, Tamar and the North, North West Coast, East Coast, and Western Wilderness.

Wine regions[edit]

  • North West - south of Devonport
  • Tamar Valley - along the valley north of Launceston
  • Pipers River - on the Georgetown to Bridport road.
  • East Coast - between Bicheno in the north, and east of Sorell
  • Coal River - between Cambridge and north of Colebrook.
  • Derwent Valley - between Hamilton and Hobart
  • Southern - between Kingston and Southport

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lowndes, Arthur G.; Maze, Wilson H.; University of Sydney (1937). Land utilization regions of Tasmania. University of Sydney. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Davies, John Lloyd (1965). Atlas of Tasmania. Lands and Surveys Dept, Tasmanian Government. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Local Government Area populations". Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-2007. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) - Electronic Publication". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC): 13. The Classification Structures: Broad Main Structure: Tasmania". Statistical Divisions Structure. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2006. 
  6. ^ "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)". 13. The Classification Structures: Detailed Main Structure: Purpose and structure. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2006. 
  7. ^ "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)". 13. The Classification Structures: Statistical District Structure. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "Australia's bioregions (IBRA)". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Commonwealth of Australia. 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Tasmanian Forecast Areas Map". Bureau of Meteorology. Australian Government. 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Destinations". Discover Tasmania. Tasmanian Government. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Tasmania's Regions". Tasmanian Travelways. 4 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2017.