Aug
22
2013

If you want to head out on a rewarding wander in Tasmania, a walk to Montezuma Falls is a local favourite for those who like to take a leisurely stroll in a naturally enchanting area.

The Montezuma Falls are located on Tasmania's west coast near the mining town of Rosebery. These falls are Tasmania's highest, stretching up for 104 metres – so it pays to bring a camera and prepare to be wowed.

All up, the walk is a three hour return trip and the track is fairly even and easy to complete for most levels of fitness.

Lovers of birds and wildlife will enjoy the variety of trees that can be found here including sassafras, leatherwood, myrtle and fern, with white's thrushes tweeting and hopping along the path as you walk.

The area is also a hotspot of history, as in the 1890s a nearby silver mining company was formed on Mount Dunas and a tramway ran nearby providing access to the mining sites. Then, the creek below the Montezuma Falls was adorned with a huge wooden trestle bridge – something that now lies scattered in occasional pieces of remains, providing the area with a slightly eerie atmosphere. 

Be sure to take some time to explore the nearby town of Rosebery as well, which has comfort facilities if you have been on the road, picnic areas and shops for your convenience. Through its history the mining community has not only given out silver, but also gold, lead and copper here. You can even take an underground tour of Pasminco Mine – but this isn't for any claustrophobes out there!

Enjoy your wander along the Montezuma Falls as you're sure to come back with great memories and tales to tell. Best yet there are hundreds of other waterfalls to explore in Tasmania.

Montezuma Falls West Coast Tasmania near Rosebery - Image Credit: QDKFQSZ.com,

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Aug
21
2013

The list of spectacular sights in Tasmania is never-ending, and the Bay of Fires is one breathtaking area you should consider adding to your list of places to see and explore.

The reason the area is named the Bay of Fires is when Captain Tobias Furneaux discovered the bay in 1773, he noticed many fires burning along the shores lit by the local Aboriginal people.

It is a beautiful area, with its pristine white beaches, clear water and its granite infused with orange lichen.

The kind of things you can do at the Bay of Fires include boating, fishing, swimming, surfing, hiking, camping and general beach activities such as picnicking and playing with the kids. It’s agreat family destination.

It's important to note you shouldn't get too close to some of the area's sand dunes as they are protected due to the Aboriginal shell and bone deposits (middens) that can be found there.

If you want to see the best of the Bay of Fires, you can head out on a fully guided walk, one of Australia's finest trails. This four-day walk includes one night at Forester Beach Camp, with two nights at a beautiful and award-winning lodge to rest your legs. On this walk you get the best of both worlds, with the chance to spend a night amongst nature, as well as the opportunity to relax at the beautiful lodge with its sea views.

The guides who will lead you on this walk are knowledgeable and friendly and are all trained in geology, botany or environmental science so can enlighten you on the details of this rich environment.

While stunning and comfortable, the lodge also operates by ecologically sustainable principles so you don't need to worry about having a negative impact on this pristine area. It is one of the world’s finest walks.

Bay of Fires one of the worlds most beautiful beaches

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Aug
20
2013

Tasmania is a fantastic destination for horse riding due to the beautiful natural surrounds and its abundance of trails. And as the weather starts to get warmer and more agreeable, now is the perfect time to start thinking about that adventure.

Experienced horse riders may like to think about taking on the Tasmanian Trail, which is a long distance track stretching from Devonport to Dover and with a length of 480km – it’s actually one of the longer trails in the country.

Walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders frequent this trail, so you certainly won't be alone in your journey.

The trail stops off in many small towns so one can easily find accommodation en route, with options available to cater to different budgets and needs. There are campsites along the way as well, with toilets and water that will sometimes need to be boiled. There are horse yards on the trail too but you will need to carry a portable electric fence with you regardless, and for piece of mind.

It also means that you need not complete the whole track if you don't want to – you can take on whichever portion of the trail appeals. The route doesn't go through National Park areas but instead follows forestry and fire trails, an array of country roads and even some private land.

It takes around three weeks for a horse rider to complete the whole trail, allowing a few rest days for horses and riders. Bike riders should finish more quickly while walkers can take around 25 days to complete it. Guidebooks and maps are available to help you set out on a successful excursion.

Along the way, you'll be treated to gorgeous sights, including lush forest, tablelands and farms and you will visit small ‘off the beaten track’ Tasmanian towns, so why not head out with your horse to complete this outstanding journey. Horse, trail operators, and pony clubs will perhaps be your next point of call.

Horses on the trail

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Aug
19
2013

Tasmania is one place where you can get up close and personal with some of Australia's unique creatures.

There are plenty of wombats and wallabies to go around – so why not head out on a camping expedition with some family or friends and see what kind of cute critters you can spot?

Lucky for you, camping is permitted at Narawntapu National Park, situated on the north west of the island. This park is full to the brim with a number of forest kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and wombats, which are most easily spotted at dawn or dusk. Please remember not to feed them though, as this can make them very sick! There is also an abundance of birdlife for you to enjoy.

For a very small fee, visitors can camp at the horse yards, Springlawn, Griffiths Point or Bakers Point areas of the park. There are unpowered and powered sites available so your style of accommodation is up to you.

There are plenty of walks in the area for you to enjoy, and if you're a fan of getting out on the water then there's no shortage of ocean for you to make the most of – so take the break that you deserve and head to Narawntapu.

image by Leonoras<br />
 from PaperBlog: 'Where the wild things are'

Like camping in a zoo

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Aug
18
2013

Port Arthur is perhaps one of Tasmania's most famous attractions. It is a fantastically preserved example and reminder of Australia's convict settlement history, and acts as a window into the past for visitors.

The grounds of the Port Arthur site span over 40 hectares, meaning that there is plenty to explore – including over 30 historic buildings and ruins. It's an extremely old site, having begun as a timber station in 1830. Not just a jail, Port Arthur was a whole convict community, and it quickly became a site of industrial importance where those who were imprisoned worked for the nation.

Ship building in particular was an important pursuit at Port Arthur, where particularly well-behaved prisoners were chosen to work at the dockyard to develop their skills for when they had completed their jail term and could go back into the world as free people.

Along the line even a flour mill and granary were added to the settlement, and construction began on a hospital. In 1848, a separate prison area was established. Following this, in the 1860s an asylum was also built on site for patients with issues such as depression. Treatment was very basic and residents of this asylum lived in dormitories and spent much of their time in the area's garden.

By the 1870s activity at the settlement was winding down, and the final convict left in 1877. After this people began to buy up parts of the area and live there, though major fires in 1895 and 1897 destroyed some of the area. However, locals were resilient and tried to rebuild as best they could.

Even in the late 1800’s Port Arthur began to be a hot-spot for visitors, and this has continued until today. Now a World Heritage spot, the area is preserved so that visitors can come to learn about and experience Port Arthur's significant history. It also forms an important part of Australia's wider convict history, and there are other World Heritage convict sites dotted throughout Tasmania and other parts of Australia.

There are a huge number of options for your visit to Port Arthur. You can choose whether you'd like to simply wander the grounds yourself, or head out on a guided tour. Guided tours run daily, and there are a number of interactive display and museum houses where you can learn for yourself some of the fascinating information and stories that exist about Port Arthur.

Those brave of heart may also want to head to Port Arthur at night for a ghost tour, where you are taken on a 90 minute spine-tingling tour that explores the spookier stories and locations of the settlement – allegedly the most haunted site in Australia.

There is even a paranormal investigation experience on offer, where you can come along and learn how to conduct your own paranormal investigation, taking various measurements and readings with ghost hunting equipment – and this spooky tour is for adults only!

There's no need to go hungry while you explore the area either, as there are two cafes on site, as well as dinner available at Felons Bistro for those who hang around in the evenings for a ghost tour.

There is also a variety of nearby accommodation available so for the ultimate ease in travel you can stay close to the Port Arthur site and really make the most of your visit.

A few kilometres away you can also head to the settlement's coal mines, where the worst offenders were sent to work as the harshest form of punishment – and this area is full of ruins of offices, cells, houses and barracks of those who lived there, but that is another whole day … there is much to do in the area.

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Aug
17
2013

If you find yourself nearing the North West coast of Tasmania, make sure you check out the Arthur River.

This river is also home to a small settlement, so will give you a true taste of how living really is in such a remote and wild area.

The true beauty of the area can only be seen from the river and a cruise operates down the Arthur River to explore the area's beauty. There are gorgeous rainforest trees as well as eucalypt trees stretching for the skies, you have a good chance of seeing some local wildlife and birdlife too, such as rosellas, orange-breasted parrots and wedge-tail eagles in pristine surroundings – their territory.

You can even hire a canoe and head out on your own paddling journey down the river.

Arthur River also acts as a bit of a gateway for other activities and areas, such as beach and forest trips. You can camp, and there are barbeque and picnic areas.

The weather in this area can be volatile, so no matter what activity you decide upon make sure you're well prepared with warm and rain-proof clothing. Then you can rest easy knowing no matter what, you're going to have a great time along the Arthur River.

Arthur River Ferry Now and Then - Image Credit: ABC Open Project

Arthur River downriver - Image Credit: Tarkine Wilderness Last Minute-dot-com-au

Arthur River Cruises

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Aug
16
2013

Mount William National Park is located in Tasmania's north-east and it's an area that you'll truly want to spend some time getting to know.

There's a bit of everything to see at this location, with expansive beaches, amazing plants and trees, wonderful wildlife and more. It's an important area for conservation, as the coastal heathlands and woodlands have hundreds of various plant species, as well as the birdlife who take shelter here. It's a fantastic place to visit in spring, considering the colourful flowers which bloom all around. If you look out to the ocean, you might even be lucky enough to see a white-bellied or wedge-tailed sea eagle.

When exploring Mt William National Park you should definitely head out on a dawn or sunset walk – as this is the time much of the wildlife is most active and you may come across forester kangaroos, wombats and wallabies. Pademelons and echidnas also frequent the area, so there's a high chance you will come across some pretty cool creatures when you head out on a walk during these active times.

Snorkelling is also a fantastic activity to do in this area in the spring and summer months. If you're looking to go diving you can, but it is best done under the supervision of a qualified guide experienced in the nuances of the local waters.
It’s also a favourite camping spot for the locals, so for a few back-to-basics nights pick up a tent and basic supplies; you can gift it forward to a hostel or charity when you have finished with the gear.

You might also want to head to the historic Eddystone Point Lighthouse which is at the park's southern end. This is a significant landmark as it was built in 1889 and is still very well preserved to this day.

There is all this and more to do at the Mount William National Park so head there to get your fix of adventure or relaxation and nature.

Mt William National Park Map - Image Credit: Tasmanian National Parks Dept

The Big Ride - Image Credit: Tassie Rambler

The Roads You Will Be On

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Aug
15
2013

You can't visit Hobart without immediately noticing Mount Wellington. It looms mightily over the city, providing locals and visitors alike with a beautiful natural feature to explore as well as opening up a whole realm of other fun and thrilling mountain activities.

Mount Wellington also known inceasingly by its beautiful sounding Aboriginal name – Kunanyi – cuts an intimidating figure, as it stands 1,270 metres (that's 4,000 feet) above sea level. Hold onto your hat, because it sure is windy up at the top. It's an easy, 21km drive up to the summit; the views and the surrounding nature and even wildlife (if you’re lucky) is well worth it. Not only can you see Hobart's Harbour and the vast expanse of the Derwent River from here, you can also see Bruny Island, the Iron Port, the Tasman Peninsula and the South Arm, and the valleys leading north to Launceston via Glenorchy and Bagdad, or the Coal River Valley stretching out beyond Richmond – so bring your camera and get snap happy at the sight of this panorama.

One of the highlights of Mount Wellington is its hiking trails. You can head out on long or short walks of varying degrees of difficulty – so there really is something for everyone – and you can even join a downhill cycling descent tour if you're really looking to get your adrenalin and heart pumping.

There are also a number of facilities on the mountain such as barbeque and picnic equipment, so once you've seen all there is to see from the viewing platforms you can have a lovely picnic lunch and further soak in the sights around you. Don't forget to visit some of the mountain's springs, which are not only beautiful to look at but provide much of Hobart's drinking water.

You'll soon understand why visitors can't help but rave about Mount Wellington.

Mount Wellington Shelter and Lookout

Exploring Mt Wellington before the descent by bike

Hobart Panorama - image credit: Tasmanian Bush Blog

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Aug
14
2013

If you're looking for somewhere to hang out, relax and soak up the atmosphere on your holiday in Tasmania, then you can't look past Salamanca. Located in Sullivans Cove, Hobart, this laid-back and cool area is known for its awesome vibe, friendly haunts and endless array of things to see and do year-round.

During the day you can forget the pressures of everyday life and enjoy wandering the main street, sipping on coffee at its chic cafes, browsing its craft and book stores and checking out what's in some of the extremely fashionable clothing stores. It's an extremely beautiful area, as these new cafes, shops and stores occupy gorgeous old Georgian sandstone buildings which were used in the 1800s as storage warehouses – so history buffs will love that the area is also of significant historical consequence.

Saturday's Salamanca Market is a highlight, bringing even more trinkets to the table ranging from hand-knitted garments to fine china – you never know what kind of treasures you may come across here. And if you get hungry head to the local food stalls. You won't be cheated of entertainment either as musicians liven up the area. If you feel like a rest from the buzzing streets you can always go to relax in Salamanca Square, a great social spot for friends, families and couples alike.

Friday night is another great time to visit this awesome area if you're going to get your groove on. Head to the Salamanca Arts Centre Courtyard and you'll find yourself enjoying a free night's worth of musical entertainment care of Rektango, with gypsy, jazz and swing music sure to get you in the dancing mood. Don't forget to check out the Arts Centre in the daytime where you can see galleries full of work from talented artists.

Explore Cities Hobart Salamanca Place

Where it all happens - Salamanca Market Map

Maldini Italian Cafe Salamanca

Salamanca Place Hobart - Image Credit: Travelfolio

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Aug
13
2013

The Phantom of the Opera has come to Hobart and this musical gem is yours to discover at the historic Theatre Royal if you are passing through – the theatre stars in our present ‘Go Behind The Scenery‘ TV advert.

It's likely you'll be familiar with this world-famous production, composed by the prolific Andrew Lloyd Webber – composer of many other revered productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Starlight Express and more. He has also composed film scores as well as produced other shows and won Grammys, Tonys, Emmys, and even an Oscar.

This time around, Craig Wellington Productions is putting on this fantastical show, with the Tasmanian Theatre Unit Trust in association with the Old Nick Company Inc also getting on board for a piece of the action.

This performance is going to be great for anyone who wants to check out the local thespian talent – it is most certainly alive and well in Tasmania, as this show is made up of almost 40 Tasmanians, not to mention an orchestra made up of 27 talented musicians.

Its season at Hobart's Theatre Royal began on August 9, but there is still a chance to catch this great performance which runs until August 24.

NEWSFLASH – season extended until 31 August!
Prices range from $89-99 and as it's a three-hour show, this is a whole night's worth of entertainment. By mainland standards, a bargain.

Its special effects are sure to be a highlight of this performance with sound effects, smoke and lighting all a part of the Phantom's wonder – but you might want to keep the kids at home, it's not suitable for under-10s – and those under the age of 16 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Make sure you catch this show before its season ends – not only will you enjoy the amazing performance but you'll be supporting local Tasmanian talent as well.

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