Dark MOFO is sure to be a ripper this winter, so make sure you don't miss out on the festival's first ever circuit!

Celebrate all that is wonderful about the new season with light, noise, large-scale public art and of course food, with Dark MOFO sure to offer something that moves your senses, whether it be sight, sound, taste, touch or smell.

You can start planning which exhibitions, music performances and light displays you see at the festival, with the full Dark MOFO program available for download!

Make sure to get in quick with your ticket purchases, with Martha Wainwright's June 13 show already sold out.

If you're planning on making a visit down to Tasmania, then June is the time to do it, with the astounding Ryoji Ikeda spectra to illuminate the Hobart sky above the domain from June 14.

A "tower of pure, white light" reaching fifteen kilometres into the sky will be set up from June 14 to the end of the festival on June 23. The base of the tower consists of 49 custom-made Xenon searchlights set into the ground in a seven-by-seven grid, emitting a light that is sure to stop many Tasmanian night walkers in their tracks.

If you love the Walt Disney classic Fantasia, then head on down to the Derwent Entertainment Centre on June 15, with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to play live alongside a fourteen-metre cinema screen to project the larger-than-life film.

Australian electronic music duo The Presets are also set to take the stage at Dark MOFO, promising a huge night of music and fun with a major light show, as well as support from Hermitude and DZ Deathrays.

Download your own copy of the Dark MOFO program or visit the website for more ticketing details!

Download the DARK Mofo Festival program

The extraordinary art of R y O j I IK e DA - SPECTRA Tasmania

The Red Queen is an assemblage of major commissions, exciting loans, and yet-unseen works from our own collection

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The travel spotlight is shining bright on Tasmania, with Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine handing out a host of awards to the nature state.

MONA was the main Tasmanian star of the awards, taking out the 'Standout Australian Travel Experience' for the 2013 Expert Panel Travel Awards.

"From the moment it opened, it was obvious MONA was never going to rest on its laurels," Gourmet Traveller writes.

"David Walsh's exhilarating Museum of Old and New Art thrilled and challenged visitors from the beginning and has continued to do so thanks to Walsh's restless vision."

MONA also picked up an award from the 2013 Readers' Choice Travel Awards for 'Best Cultural Attraction', with Gourmet Traveller writing that as far as art galleries go, MONA is a "massive game-changer".

Winter is a fantastic time to check out MONA, with the upcoming Dark MOFO festival set to light up the city from June 13 to 23.

The magazine adds that the top attraction has put Hobart firmly on the itineraries of art lovers in Australia and abroad.

Tasmania's cultural hub of Hobart was also awarded the Readers' Choice 'Best Weekend Away', with the capital remarked as being "so hot right now".

"Partly it's the Bilbao effect of MONA that is luring mainlanders south for short stays, but the city is not short of pilgrimage-worthy accommodation, eating and attractions."

The gorgeous Saffire Freycinet on Tasmania's east coast was also runner up in the Readers' Choice 'Best Resort or Lodge' with Islington in Hobart awarded the Best City Boutique Accommodation.

The luxury hotel provides stunning views of Mount Wellington, offering serenity, luxury and tranquility for anyone needing an escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

Fantastic food, an eclectic mix of art, a large glorious garden and exquisite rooms – Islington has it all.

The award winners from Australian Gourmet Traveller 2013 Travel Awards - Image Credit: etravelblackboard

The Multi-Award Winning MONA - Museum of Modern Art - Image Credit: Karen Cosgrove writing on experiences-discovertasmania-dot-com

Islington Hotel looking toward Mt Wellington

The imposing Islington Hotel

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Looking for a winter escape? Then the idyllic King Island, anchored between Victoria and Tasmania's north west coast, is the top spot to visit.

Not only will you enjoy the views provided by some of Australia's most beautiful beaches, you'll also get to try some of the island's fantastic gourmet cheeses, fresh seafood and succulent beef.

Here are a few of the top foodie spots to check out during your stay.

King's Cuisine

Get your fix of King Island's delicious local produce by booking a table at King's Cuisine in Grassy, located in the south of the island.

The restaurant dishes up food such as Bass Strait squid from Tim & Terry seafoods; onions, spinach, parsley and asparagus from Camp Creek gardens; veal, sausages and beef mince from Russells butchery; and octopus from King Island seafoods.

Some tasty meals offered on the menu include Yarra Creek lamb with seed mustard sauce, veal loin, Camp Creek asparagus and rosemary polenta, panna cotta, Pergarah apple syrup and macadamia nut praline, and sticky chocolate date pudding with King Island cream and caramel sauce.

King Island Dairy

The home of some of Australia's most delicious gourmet cheeses, King Island Dairy is a must-visit for any cheese-lover making a trip to the island.

Whether you love your smooth, creamy soft whites, aromatic washed rinds, strong tangy blue veins or staple cheddars, you're bound to find something you love.

King Island Dairy also has their own artisan range, Black Label, which includes a unique mix of cultures blended with rich King Island milk to create signature flavours.

Don't forget your dairy fix of milk, yoghurt, cream and desserts when you stop by!

Rocky Glen Retreat – Restaurant

This award winning, family owned restaurant, serves local, quality King Island produce; They grow their own fruit and vegetables. Presentation and freshness is a priority which is complemented by friendly and welcoming staff.

Admire a wine glass view of the bay and coastline while dining anywhere in or outside of the restaurant.

Boomerang by the Sea Restaurant

Enjoy gorgeous 270-degree ocean views while tucking into local and Tasmanian beef, cheese, seafood and wine at the Boomerang by the Sea Restaurant.

Regarded as the “finest on King Island”, the fully licenced restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for dinner, offering a mouth-watering selection of dishes.

Delicious King Island Cheese - Image Credit: King Island Cheese FB

Rocky Glen's location overlooking the water

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If you're a cappuccino fiend looking for your next fix in Tasmania, then you'll be glad to hear that the island boasts of a range of brilliant cafes, bakeries and coffee stops!

Tasmania isn't only renowned for its stunning natural beauty, wildlife and adventure escapes, the nature state is also noted for its fine selection of food and drink.

Here are five top coffee spots for travellers looking for their pastry and caffeine fix.

Pilgrim Coffee

With winter knocking at our door, it calls for some good coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods to be made.

Pilgrim Coffee in Hobart is one cafe that you can rely on for high quality coffee, with fantastic food also available on the menu too!

Stop by for a salted caramel chocolate waffle and a delicious latte to wash it down.

Sweet Envy

If you're a sweet tooth, you know you're onto a winner here by visiting Sweet Envy to pick up a tasty baked treat to go along with your cup of coffee!

Located in North Hobart, Sweet Envy is loaded with cakes, cookies and candy, including hazelnut and creme brulee cake with praline mousse, chocolate caramel tart, peanut butter cupcake, and a variety of macaroons. The emphasis is very much on the sweets things – sometimes that is exactly what you need, right?

Laneway Cafe

Drink your morning coffee with your choice of breakfast at Laneway Cafe in Devonport.

Don't start your day on an empty stomach, get some food in your system to provide some energy, with eggs benedict, ricotta hotcakes and the BIG Laneway breakfast of two free range eggs, spinach, mushrooms, a hash brown and chorizo all on the same plate!

Blue Cafe Bar

If you're in Launceston's Inveresk Precinct, stop by Blue Cafe Bar for sourdough toast, honey and almond granola with coconut yoghurt and of course – coffee!

You can satisfy your breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert needs here, so remember to visit the Blue Cafe Bar next time you're in town.

TMAG Courtyard Cafe

If you're making a visit to the newly refurbished Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) then drop in for a coffee at the Courtyard Cafe.

Hot picks off the drinks menu include hot white chocolate, organic chai, lemongrass and ginger tea, iced coffee and espresso.

Pilgrim Coffee House in Hobart - Image Credit: Beanscene Magazine

TMAG Coffee Shop Cafe in Hobart

Sweet Envy - Image Credit: pc-rita food blogger

Read the article by blogger pc-rita

The Laneway Cafe during a Theme Night (Rolling Stones)

Blue Cafe Bar in the grounds of Inveresk Launceston

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The fast-approaching long weekend is the perfect time to set up a romantic getaway, so pack your bags and book your flights down to Tasmania for a stay at Eagles Nest Retreat!

The retreat is luxury Tasmanian accommodation at its best, with this unique getaway allowing you to sit back in a spa with astounding views of Cradle Mountain's pristine wilderness.

Choose from three 'nests' to stay in, with the Eagle Nest I featuring two bedrooms, an outdoor spa with 12 micro jets and a hot pump, mood lighting, a private courtyard, barbecue area and campfire area, a revolving sofa on a 360 degree turntable and an upstairs bedroom featuring a large window in the ceiling with gorgeous views of the southern sky while lying in bed.

The stunning Eagle Nest II offers a global experience with bedrooms themed by African, Asian and Middle Eastern influences.

The Asian wing features a king-size bed, authentic Asian furnishings, a Japanese Haiku spa and bamboo shower experiences.

The African wing also has a king-size bed with African artifacts and artwork decorating the room. Take pleasure in the African wing's stone-built exterior shower for a unique experience outdoors.

The Middle Eastern reading loft has an 'Arabian Nights' vibe and comes equipped with a queen bed surrounded by silk curtains and a bookcase combined with numerous cushions to complete the experience.

Eagle Nest III features two bedrooms, a large stone fireplace in the lounge room, a deck with glorious mountain views, iPod docks in all bedrooms, a luxurious spa bath, outside courtyard and a gorgeous lakeside bath.

Instead of picking and choosing experiences, Eagles Nest Retreat has 'snuggle packages' already set up for you!

Heavenly Home is a package offering three nights accommodation with full breakfast provisions and gourmet delights on your arrival. Packages are from $1,080.

Upgrade your experience of Eagle Nest Retreat with the Heavenly Temptation package, also offering a three night stay, breakfast provisions and gourmet delights, plus a three course meal of your choice with Dream Chef. This package is priced from $1,210.

For ultimate luxury book yourself in for the Heavenly Indulgence package, including all the offers featured above as well as two one-hour relaxation massages. This package starts from $1,354.

Eagles Nest Night View

Daytime vIew of Eagles Nest Retreat

Mt Roland from Eagles Nest III

Australian Musician Jessica Mauboy was a recent Guest

Eagles Nest III

Your View - Your Retreat

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If you're taking the family down to Tasmania for a winter break, visit one of Tasmania's "most loved national parks" only an hour's drive from Hobart – Mt Field National Park.

Mt Field is one of the island's most diverse parks with stunning scenic features, towering tree ferns and pandanas, native wildlife and the gorgeous Russell Falls.

There are essentially two visitor sections in the park, with the first located near the park entrance containing the famous Russell Falls and picnic facilities. You can also embark on an enchanting walk through the fern forests and encounter some of the world's tallest trees on your journey.

The other visitor section, centred at Lake Dobson, includes skiing areas and long day walks, so if you want a bit of winter snow action add this site to your travel plans!

Make sure to first check the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association website to check that the slopes are open, with snowboarding, downhill and cross country skiing popular.

If you're looking for a place to stay, then the Government Huts, located at approximately 1000 m elevation, are an excellent choice.

Established in the 1940’s for the use of the original Lake Dobson road workers, the huts have been used by school groups and walking clubs for the past 50 to 60 years.

The huts also offer stunning views of the national park, overlooking a beautiful alpine moorland, where you may spot animals such as wombats, Bennetts wallabies and ground parrots searching for food and shelter.

There are five small vertical board huts that can house six people each, with the complex including a communal toilet facility, water tank and wood shed (no showers). There is no gas, electricity or other services, with lamps, gas cookers and other usual camping provisions recommended. This is a back to basics experience.

If you and the kids are feeling pretty peckish and are yearning for more than noodles, then head on down to the Waterfalls Cafe at Mt Field National Park for an appetising lunch!

Russell Falls at Mt Field National Park

Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery at Mt Field

The creek leading from Russell Falls - Image Credit:  Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery

Snow by the lake at Lake Dobson - notice the Pandanus

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Get a taste of northern Tasmania's arts and craft scene at the Dorset Arts Festival this upcoming long weekend!

From June 8 to 10, the town of Dorset will wake from the winter slumber to feature local Tasmanian craft, arts and local produce.

Warm up this winter by purchasing works made by the Dorset Quilters, or find a new photograph to frame and hang in your dining room!

There will also be music and entertainment during the long weekend, with a Performing Arts Variety Concert to be held on Saturday June 8 at 15:00.

During your visit to Dorset, make sure to visit some of the nearby gardens on the Northeast Tasmania Garden Trail.

These include the Oakdene Gardens and Museum featuring an array of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias; the vibrant Highview Garden where you can enjoy a light lunch and tea; and the enchanting Mara Ponds featuring two large stream-fed ponds, native peppers, eucalypts and perennials.

These exclusive gardens are only able to be viewed by appointment, so visit the Northeast Garden Lovers Trail website for more details!

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Tasmania's newest winter festival is drawing ever-closer, with Martha Wainwright's June 13 show selling out yesterday (May 21) and Disney's Fantasia noted to be selling fast with more tickets released.

The inaugural Dark MOFO festival will kick off with the opening night of 'Conversations in the Dark' on June 12, as well as the world premiere of 'Vandemonium Lags' at Launceston's Princess Theatre and the first of the series of Dark MOFO films, A Hijacking.

Another significant event taking place during the festival is the opening of the major MONA exhibition, The Red Queen, on June 18 from 6:00 pm to midnight.

The Red Queen is an assembly of "yet-unseen" works from MONA's collection, major commissions and exciting loans, with the concept emerging from a comment that David Walsh made to curators about the fact that he built the museum as an attempt to understand why people make art.

The free-entry opening night will have food and music, with the exhibition to remain open until April 21 2014.

If you're making a holiday stop in Tasmania this winter, make sure to check out Dark MOFO from June 13 to 23 for large-scale public art, music, food and light!

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If you want to experience pure luxury in Tasmania, then you'd do no better than to book your stay at Saffire Freycinet!

The award-winning luxury hotel was recently profiled on Tourism Australia's Facebook page, with the group showcasing the exquisite suites, stunning views and grand restaurant.

Guests can choose to stay in a comfortable luxury suite, spacious signature suite or exclusive private pavillion, with all accommodation options offering a touch of class with grand views, contemporary furnishings and the option of breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Palate Restaurant.

Fully relax and kick back in luxury with Saffire Freycinet's spa facilities, offering a variety of treatments including body scrubs, silken body cocoons, massages and facials.

Take part in Saffire Freycinet's 'signature experiences' where you have the option of hopping on board a purpose-built vessel, Saffire, to travel to Schouten Island enjoying close encounters with marine animals and sea birds.

If you have a taste for adventure, then the Friendly Beaches Quad Experience is right up your alley, with the quad bike tour taking you through the coastal heathland to the southern Friendly Beaches in the Freycinet National Park.

During your visit to Tasmania, remember to keep Saffire Freycinet top of mind.

Looking out from the main building

Biking to the lighthouse

Your luxury deck - ultimate privacy

Your 'very' premium Bathroom

Plenty of time for relaxing

An excursion by boat to a quiet cove or secluded beach

Luxury Dining at Saffire

Fun on trails with Quad Bikes

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The recent refurbishment of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has paid off and delighted judges at the Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNA), with TMAG taking home the National Award for most outstanding museum development.

The Hobart-based museum and art gallery's suite of 12 new exhibitions also scooped up an award in the Permanent Exhibitions category, with the TMAG team posting on their Facebook page that they consider this level of recognition, by national peers, a "great honour".

"Just as important though is that the museum is enjoyed by you, the visiting public. We'd love to see you through our doors soon, especially if you have yet to visit the redeveloped TMAG," TMAG posted on May 20.

The MAGNA judges said that the redevelopment of TMAG's core exhibitions utilises more space to produce an "integrated suite of museum displays", achieving a greater consistency of collection presentations and experiences than what was attainable before.

"The architectural redevelopment, providing beautifully designed new and refurbished spaces for the new exhibitions, as well as interconnecting older displays and facilities on the site, has produced highly successful, visitor-appealing outcomes," the judges commented.

"The TMAG redevelopment of core exhibitions has demonstrably garnered much community engagement and support, and will provide a strong basis for the further redevelopments still planned."

TMAG is open from seven days a week from 10:00 to 17:00 – So make sure to check it out on your visit to Hobart!

The National Award for Museums & Art Galleries held by Bill Bleathman TMAG Director

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