Jul
01
2013

The historic Tasmanian capital of Hobart will be showcasing the premium cool-climate wines of the island's northern Tamar Valley at the Taste of the Tamar celebrations from July 20 to 21.

This annual event will take place at the Long Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, with entry only $15! This fee includes free tastings of ninety products on display and an engraved souvenir tasting glass.

Exhibitors at the Taste of the Tamar event include Josef Chromy, Dalrymple, Dickens Cider, Brook Eden, Marion's Vineyard, Tamar Ridge, Three Wishes, Sharmans, Winterbrook and Humbug Reach.

If you find that you're impressed with the award-winning wines on show, make a journey north to embark on the Tamar Valley wine route!

You can choose to take a half-day tour of the region's highlight wineries, of if you're a passionate wine connoisseur, opt to explore all of them in a comprehensive two to three-day journey.

There are 32 wineries to explore on the Tamar Valley wine route, weaving through the towns of Evandale, Launceston, Lilydale, Pipers River and Exeter.

You can add wineries such as the Jansz Wine Room, Delamere Vineyard and Ninth Island Vineyard to your tour list as these are all open daily.

One of the suggested itineraries that you can head out on include the half-day Launceston to Relbia loop.

In this short wine trip you can visit some of the smallest boutique producers, as well as the renowned Josef Chromy cellar door and cafe.

Another itinerary trip is the half-day Pipers River Express. Simply pick three cellar doors in the Pipers River region to sample some of the best pinot noir, sparklings and chardonnays in Australia.

Taste of Tamar 2012 at the Long Gallery Salamanca - Image Credit Salamanca Arts Centre

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Jun
30
2013

Calling all jazz cats! Clear your schedule from July 25 to 28 for the annual Devonport Jazz music festival on Tasmania's stunning north-west coast.

This musical gathering is a celebration of all thing jazz, embracing both old and new genres. It's not only smooth jazz music that you'll be enjoying though, with food, visual art, film, dance and education all incorporated into the traditional festival program.

Celebrated Australian singer Kate Ceberano will be the headline performer of Devonport Jazz 2013, with Kate set to release her brand new album in July.

This marks a special occasion, as it will be her first original album in a decade. The ARIA award-winning artist will take time out of her busy schedule – she's the artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival – to play a one-off concert at Devonport Jazz on July 26.

The four-day festival is packed with swingin' jazz performances with a touch of gospel, funk and blues.

Some artists featuring at Devonport Jazz include Kaye Payne, Nick Haywood, Paul Furniss, Bob Henderson, ROAM and Stevie Paige Band.

On the first day of the festival, visitors can check out Gospel Song at Gateway Church from 19:00 to 21:00.

Local church choirs and vocal groups will come together to give an "uplifting performance" celebrating the evocative style of gospel jazz music.

Day two of the festival is packed with activities, featuring a covers session by Tilly & Billy at House of Anvers, 'Swingin' Aussie Allstars', a dinner accompanied by tunes from Australian jazz masters Dan Barnett, Bob Henderson, John Blenkhorn and Leigh Barker, and a performance from Swing Thing at Barringwood Park Vineyard.

To view the full festival program, visit the Devonport Jazz website.

Devonport Jazz Festival 2013

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Jun
29
2013

If you're looking for a new, exciting way to experience the unique beauty and wonder of Tasmania's coastal wilderness, you have what locals consider a little slice of paradise.

The Ida Bay Railway is Australia's southernmost railway and offers a two hour trip from the Lune River train station through buttongrass bushland along the banks of Ida Bay before reaching the historic limestone pier at Deep Hole.

This beachside stop offers an area for a picnic lunch, a casual swim in summer and a marked bushwalk track that stretches through to Southport Lagoon, where you can find the King George III monument – a reminder of the 134 souls who lost their lives when a convict ship sank there in 1835. 

During the trip you will see the once-thriving Ida Bay township and vast landscapes of wildflower-dotted Tasmanian wilderness that has to be seen to be believed. 

In winter, the trains run Friday to Monday at three separate times – 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 –  with costs ranging from $28 for adults, $15 for children aged five to 16, and a $25 concession for senior citizens. Children under four ride for free.

The cute little engine and carriage of the Ida Bay Railway - Image Credit: About Australia

Cafe and Ticket Office at Ida Bay

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Jun
28
2013

The vibrant state of Tasmania is home to a myriad of markets, with crafts, food, antiques and other unique homewares showcased at these gatherings, dotted around the island.

In any trip it's recommended that you make a visit to at least one market, so that you can get a taste of the local produce and maybe even take home a souvenir from your travels.

Here are a few markets that you can check out during your time in Tasmania.

Harvest Market

This authentic farmers market is located north of the island in Launceston, where you can pick up fresh dairy products, meat and seafood from local farmers; vegetables, herbs, fruit, plants and flowers from gardeners; pastries, breads and cakes from bakers; and other special products such as jams, honey, cheeses, oils and preserves.

You can also nab yourself a bottle of Willie Smith's Organic Cider at the Harvest Market, created using the very best-tasting apples!

Salamanca Market

The Salamanca Market is located in the busy capital hub of Hobart, attracting thousands of visitors every Saturday of the year.

More than 300 stalls offer fresh fruit, crisp vegetables, delicious coffees, croissants, artwork and handmade crafts, all to the sound of buskers at Salamanca Place.

The market is the perfect place to stop in for breakfast, operating from 08:30 to 15:00, with so many tasty treats on offer! You can also take a closer look at the hand-worked glass and Tasmanian timbers on display, before heading to the restaurants surrounding the popular area for lunch.

Penguin Market

Pay a visit to Tasmania's largest undercover market on the beautiful north-west coast – the Penguin Market!

Rain or shine, the Penguin Market is a delight, with jewellery, fashion, giftware, Tasmanian woodwork and home wares on offer.

You can also listen to live entertainment in the courtyard while munching on your breakfast.

Harvest Market in Launceston

The Market at Penguin - Sundays

Salamanca Market - a banner from the Hobart City Council

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Jun
27
2013

It would be criminal to visit Tasmania without experiencing at least one of their fantastic vineyard tours for a day – and luckily, we've got just the one!

Located 12 kilometres outside of Hobart, Tasmania's capital city – part of the MONA complex – the Moorilla Estate vineyard was established in 1958 by Italian-Australian textile merchant Claudio Alcorso.

Their wines are renowned for their exuberance and need to be experienced by anyone with a palate for wine and a thirst for quality.

Moorilla Estate produces a wide variety of cold climate wines, including Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer amongst others.

The vineyard also produces a number of red wine varieties including a Cabernet Merlot blend, a Pinot Noir and the Australian classic, the Syrah.

French oaked, with vibrant acidity and the richness that comes from crisper climates, the Syrah is a fantastic bottle of wine that will treat your tastebuds to an overwhelmingly decadent experience.

There are guided tours for the public to participate in which include a tasting at the end of the trip. These run from Wednesday to Monday, last one hour and cost $15 per person.

If you're a connoisseur of the finer wines, make sure you take the time to visit the delightful Moorilla Estate vineyard on your travels through Tasmania.

Moorilla Vineyard part of the MONA complex

Moorilla Muse Label series

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Jun
26
2013

Are you looking for the perfect venue to host your wedding? Why not set your special day among the vines and gorgeous backdrop of Tasmania?

Tasmania is renowned for its cool-climate wines, crafted in beautiful vineyards scattered around the island.

A vineyard wedding venue is a must-have for nature and wine lovers alike, with the stunning surroundings sure to make it a day you'll never forget.

Here are two vineyards you can host your wedding celebrations.

Josef Chromy

With a gorgeous lake in the background and a beautiful vineyard providing picturesque views, you can't look past Josef Chromy for your wedding venue.

The Josef Chromy Restaurant offers a fantastic reception venue, with a warm and intimate atmosphere to set the mood for your special day.

Included in your wedding at Josef Chromy is a cake and gift table, cake knife, use of the iPod system for your music, use of the gardens and grounds for photographs, tables, chairs and the bridal table, as well as white tablecloths and napkins.

You can also treat your guests to the plated menus available, with pan fried rannoch farm quail and lamb cutlets just some delicious offerings, complemented with Josef Chromy's award-winning wines.

Pooley Wines

Pooley Wines' Belmont Vineyard in Richmond is the perfect wedding venue for the ultimate romantic, with the historic Georgian property an enchanting backdrop for this memorable occasion.

The 180-year-old rustic barn can be decorated with flowers, paper lanterns and glittering fairy lights to make your wedding that extra bit special, with the barn able to comfortably seat 80 people, or accommodate 100 people for a stand-up reception.

On-site facilities include access to electricity, a large beverage fridge and a single toilet. Trestle tables, chairs and outdoor gas heaters are also available for hire.

Another favourite venue is in the Huon Valley – Home Hill Winery offers all facilities and a country setting for your special day. Exchange your vows either outdoors surrounded by the beautiful vineyard or if the weather is a little cooler, in the winery which is lined with French oak barrels and lit with candles to create a very special ambiance.

Other fabulous vineyard venues include Frogmore Creek and Puddleduck Creek, and the romantic setting of Leaning Church Vineyard – so make sure to check them out!

Just married and a first stroll amongst the vines at Frogmore Winery in the Coal River Valley

A lake shot and romantic setting at Josef Chromy Winery

An old world setting at Pooley's Belmont Vineyard near Richmond

Leaning Church Vineyard's beautiful chapel

Home Hill Wines in the Huon Valley at Ranelagh - beautiful grounds and an atmospheric interior

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Jun
25
2013

Catch a concert whilst you are in Tasmania – relive the golden years of the seventies with the iconic tunes of American singer-songwriter Don McLean this August!

The folk singer, renowned for his 1971 hits American Pie and Vincent, will play a show in Hobart on Friday August 16 at the Wrest Point Entertainment centre.

McLean holds a special place in Australia, with the Songwriters' Hall of Famer the first-ever American artist to perform at the newly built Sydney Opera House around 40 years ago.

In 2007, McLean shared his life story in the biography written by Alan Howard, The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs.

The 67-year-old is still going strong, touring Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, the UK and Ireland in 2011, also making an appearance in front of a crowd of 100,000 at England's Glastonbury festival. Last year, he completed his longest tour of UK and Europe in 20 years.

You can purchase your tickets now from TixTas, with prices from $89.90. Don't miss out on this American voice of the seventies – Don McLean!

Don MacLean performing in Saratoga during a concert in 2012 / Image Credit: Nippertown - photographer  Andrzej Pilarczyk

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Jun
24
2013

Trade the hustle and bustle of the city life for the great outdoors in Tasmania's gorgeous Derwent Valley!

Situated in the southern region of the island, the Derwent Valley is a fantastic getaway for city dwellers where you can connect with local wildlife, sample amazing gourmet food, embark on a wilderness walk alongside Lake St Clair and pick up some crafts from Jacksons Emporium to take home.

If you really want to experience the Derwent Valley at its best, then book yourself in for a kayaking tour with Tassie Bound!

Adventurers at heart will love this kayaking day tour, which commences with a short scenic drive into the upper Derwent Valley, capturing views of Mount Field National Park and the gorgeous lush farmlands.

The 3.5 hour kayaking journey begins at the mouth of the Styx River, with paddlers heading downstream into the mighty Derwent River, taking in views of the Wellington Range and passing under historic railway bridges.

During your adventure downstream, you may even spot some wildlife such as acrobatic trout, sea eagles and possibly even a platypus!

All this adventure can make for hungry work, but don't worry, your tummy will be left satisfied with a fresh gourmet riverside lunch.

Some foodie treats you may be served include smoked salmon baguette with local salad and aioli dressing, as well as baked goods such as berry muffins and chocolate brownies.

The kayaking action resumes after lunch as "tranquility gives way to adventure", with paddlers encountering the first of three rapids at Broken Bridge, leading to a brief break of serenity before heading off to the biggest challenge, the Train Bridge, sure to get the adrenaline running!

Paddlers will finally arrive at the jetty 'Paradise', where group shots will be taken and light refreshments offered, to provide a fitting finish to a wonderful, action-packed day out on the water.

Pulled ashore

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Jun
23
2013

Deep-sea diving in Tasmania needs to be seen to be believed. If you're looking for a new, exciting adventure, head down and see what the Southern Ocean looks like beyond those coastal ripples splashing against the sand.

Tasmanian waters are home to a wide variety of unique plants and animals. For example, bottlenose dolphins, Australian fur seals, and vast kelp forests all lie in wait just below the crystal clear surface of the ocean. 

If you aren't a diving enthusiast, Tasmania is a great place to hire out the equipment and take classes to become adept at submerging into the deep, blue unknown.

The Tasman Peninsula offers a fantastic diving experience for novices and advanced divers alike. The best sea cave in Australia can be found at Waterfall Bay, whilst the giant kelp forest (in excess of 20 metres high) can be located in Munro Bight. Keep an eye out for the iconic sea dragon, scattered throughout the waters.

Departing downtown Hobart, it is possible to be snorkelling or at a dive spot little more than 20 minutes after departure. The location is in a Marine Reserve near Tinderbox – a wide variety of creatures of all kinds including crayfish (lobster) can be seen. All gear is provided and your host will be Underwater Adventures Tasmania

However, one of the Tasman's prime sites for diving is Troy D, an artificial reef just off the northwest tip of Maria Island. Installed in February 2007, the reef is now populated with a variety of marine life.

Take a weekend off and travel down to Tasmania to experience the sight and wonder of exotic marine life in the flesh.

Diving in kelp on the Tasman Peninsula

Diving with Tasmanian Underwater Adventures

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Jun
22
2013

Bernard Fanning, the lead singer of one of Australia's most iconic bands Powderfinger, will be playing one live Tasmanian show that you can't miss out on this August.

To promote the release of his second solo album Departures earlier this month, Fanning has planned an extensive national tour through July and August, heading down to Hobart's Wrest Point on Tuesday August 13, 2013.

Departures comes eight years after his debut solo release, Tea & Sympathy, with Fanning commenting that he feels like this is "new ground".

"The production doesn't reveal itself on the first listen – that was very intentional. I see this album as simply a collection of songs I've written at one point in time; I'm not going for some big 'reinvention'. It's more a reset."

The ARIA award-winning artist said that the new album is "much more energetic", making for a really dynamic show when played with his tracks from Tea & Sympathy.

Fanning adds that recording Departures was the hardest vocal session he had ever done, with the backing vocals alone taking a week and a half.

Last week (June 17), Departures debuted at number one on the ARIA albums chart, with Fanning releasing 'Battleships' as the first single from the album.

Shows in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have already sold out – so make sure to get your hands on some tickets quick!

You can secure your seats at Fanning's Hobart show by visiting the Tix Tas website, with tickets from $70.90.

The R18 show will also feature special guests Big Scary and Vance Joy, so make sure to get along to this gig to witness Australian talent at its best!

Bernard Fanning - Image Credit: Eventbrite

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