The very best of the country's attractions and tourist operators will be recognised at the industry's peak event, the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, in the historic city of Hobart on Friday February 15, 2013.

The 2012 awards presentation will be held at Princess Wharf 1 on Castray Esplanade, providing stunning views of the Hobart waterfront while guests dine from a delicious menu featuring Tasmanian produce and the island's signature cool-climate wine.

A number of prestigious national awards will be given on the night including major tourist attraction, major festival and event, ecotourism, Indigenous tourism and major tour and/or transport operator.

All Tasmanian attendees of the Tourism Awards will also be sporting furry devil ears in support of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal formed a partnership with the Tasmanian tourism industry to help raise awareness of the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease which threatens the existence of the island's most famous native animals.

The Mercury reported on February 12 that over 350 pairs of devil ears are expected to be scattered among the crowd of 950, with the operator of Tasmania's award-winning Pennicott Wilderness Journey, Robert Pennicott, among the attendees donning a set of ears.

Mr Pennicott is a finalist for three categories including tourist attraction and ecotourism for Bruny Island Cruises, and the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism for Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.

Among the other Tasmanian finalists is the Port Arthur Historic Site, which is nominated for major tourist attraction, heritage and cultural tourism, and new tourism development for its Paranormal Investigation Experience.

The spectacular four-day guided journey just off the east coast of Tasmania, The Maria Island Walk, is also a finalist in two categories – adventure tourism and tour and/or transport operators.

Port Arthur Historic Site

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

The Maria Island Walk

Maria Island Walk Cliffs

Port Arthur Paranormal Experiences

Bruny Island Cruises

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Looking for a great place to eat in Tasmania's capital city of Hobart? Then take a turn down Sullivan Cove's famous Salamanca Place for a myriad of mouth-watering dishes and delightful treats!

Georgian sandstone warehouses built in the 1800s line the street, once storing whale oil, grain and imported goods from around the globe.

These historical buildings now provide a wonderful backdrop to the hip scene that is Salamanca Place with design and craft shops, fashion boutiques, jewellers, cafes, the Peacock Theatre, arts centres, galleries – and of course the restaurants!

Here is a selection of our favourite Salamanca Place eateries.

ZUM Restaurant

Whether you're in need of an early morning bite or a huge lunch to tuck into – ZUM Restaurant is guaranteed to meet the needs of your appetite.

Open from 07:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday and 08:00 to 17:00 on Sunday, ZUM Restaurant boasts of tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Help yourself to some ricotta hotcakes with berry compote, maple syrup and King Island cream to kick off your day or visit at lunchtime for a crispy buttermilk chicken burger!

Feeling particularly hungry? Opt for 'fideos' from ZUM Restaurant's dinner menu, a clam dish with noodles, caramelised onion and tomato.


Do you have a big sweet tooth?  Then you will want to try some of the delectable desserts on offer at The Quarry.

Treat your tastebuds to dishes such as the rose water panna cotta with Persian fairy floss, white chocolate bread and butter pudding served with a vanilla bean anglaise and ice cream or couverture chocolate and chilli tart served with mascarpone!

Match your dessert with a beverage from The Quarry's cocktail selection which includes the Bombay Bramble, Brazilian Daiquiri, Pomegranate Smash and Quarry Amaretto Sour.

Quarry has full bar service serving the best of local and imported beersss, wines and spirits
Zum - Be served by great wait staff

Quarry is one of many excellent restaurants and eateries along the Salamanca Strip

ZUM - Red or White wines to your pleasure

Quarry is located right on Salamanca - eat in or kerbside

ZUM - regulars will strike up great conversations if you are visiting and want to know a thing or two about the area

ZUM - making the choice to step inside

ZUM - Stirring the back of house along

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A whole lotta funk, soul and sound is coming to MONA for the long weekend, so make sure to stop on by Hobart from Sunday March 10 to Monday March 11 for performances from two huge international acts!

American singer-songwriter Cat Power will kick off the MONA weekend spectacular with her signature breathy vocals and heart-rending lyrics, launching into songs from her latest album, Sun.

Cat Power (real name Chan Marshall) begun her career in the grungy haze of the mid nineties, with her debut album, Dear Sir.

The Atlanta-born musician has gone on to release nine albums since 1995, featuring singles such as The Greatest, Lived in Bars, Cross Bones Style, He War and Cherokee.

Don't miss out on Cat Power's enigmatic performance at MONA, with this show her only Tasmanian appearance!

Cat Power will appear at MONA on Sunday March 10 from 15:00, with tickets for adults $50 and concession $40.

Legendary performer George Clinton will be ready to shake the house along with his groovin' group Parliament Funkadelic on Monday March 11.

The man labelled the 'Godfather of Funk' is responsible for iconic hits such as Atomic Dog, Nubian Nut and Do Fries Go with that Shake?, and is also a notable music producer working on albums for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bootsy Collins.

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are cited to be one of the innovators of funk music alongside other legendary acts such as James Brown and Sly Stone, with the group's efforts recognised in 1997 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Clinton will be joined by his "22-piece psychedelic circus" for an out-of-this-world performance that will have MONA grooving all afternoon.

Catch George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on Monday March 11 from 15:00, with adults $60 and concession $50.

You can witness both Cat Power and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic for $85 – grab these hot tickets from the MONA website!

Cat Power Banner - performance at MONA

The amazing Kat Power performing at MONA - Image Credit:- Stefano Giovannini (SPIN)

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Celebrate "island culture" at Tasmania's International Arts Festival, Ten Days on the Island, with music, art, theatre, film, dance, literature and more from March 15 to 24, 2013.

Ten Days on the Island cements its place as Australia's only statewide international arts festival, exhibiting work from international, national and local artists.

The festival has grown since its inception in 2001, to hold 232 events in 62 locations across Tasmania in its sixth outing.

Soak up the rich cultural atmosphere, with a number of free events on offer including the International Film Festival for Kids, Little Big Shots, Circa's show 21 Circus Acts in 20 minutes, dance film Sue Healey's Virtuosi and the art exhibition of Raymond Arnold's Unique States.

For the first time in the festival's history, the "entire package" of the international arts festival is spreading right across the state, making appearances in the capital Hobart, then stopping off at Burnie, Swansea, St Helens, Queenstown, Launceston, Huonville, Campbell Town, Deloraine, and Devonport and Latrobe.

Music aficionados can check out performances from artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, A Filetta, Sprag Session, Grace Barbee, Dougie MacLean, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and more!

Put on your best dancing shoes to move and groove along to the "urban carnival" 360 Allstars, featuring beatboxing, breakdancing, basketball freestyling, BMX flatlining and exhibition drumming – this sounds like a perfect event for the teens!

A festival must-see is Shadow Dreams, an ingenious collaboration between digital puppet specialists Terrapin Puppet Theatre and the TSO, which sees traditional storytelling blended with digital communication.

The family show is staged simultaneously in two theatres which are hundreds of kilometres apart and connected through broadband technology to stream vision and live orchestral music between the venues in real time.

Shadow Dreams is about Dale, a Tasmanian Aboriginal boy living in the bush, and Pete who stays in urban Hobart, with both waking up having had each other's dreams, "shadow dreams of a place not their own".

TenDays event collage

TenDays event  Mary Contrary Helen Gadsby

TenDays event Ockhams Razor

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The countdown is on until the next Miss Burlesque Tasmania is crowned, with the competition's finals taking place in Australia's oldest working theatre, Hobart's Theatre Royal on Saturday February 23!

The night will see judges determine who will represent the island state in the Miss Burlesque Australia 2013 competition, with the best overall performer in a range of activities including neo and traditional burlesque awarded the coveted title.

"Personality, performance, skill and presentation" are all key parts to winning the competition, with the Tasmanian finals featuring ten contestants from all around the state.

Last year's winner Missy De Meanour will be performing on the night with a very special guest performance from Australia's Got Talent high-flyers Suzie Q and Toby J.

Miss Burlesque Australia is the first competition in the country to combine "all feature elements" of Burlesque performance and personality, and participants compete for a prize pool worth over $20,000 in money, prizes and sponsorship.

The event's organiser Bec Collins said that the competition had grown in popularity, having had to move to a bigger venue each year.

"Last year I had 300 tickets and it was sold out a month before," Ms Collins told the Mercury on February 5.

"This time we moved to the Theatre Royal and there's 600, but they're selling fast."

You can get your tickets from the Theatre Royal website, with seats from $28.90.

Miss Burlesque Tasmania - will you be in the pink?

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Haven't quite come up with a romantic gift or experience to treat your loved one to for Valentines Day?

Well if the special person in your life loves a glass of bubbly, treat them to a champagne masterclass at Hobart's popular Museum of Old and New Art.

Take a romantic journey learning about the history of champagne and what makes it one of the most desirable wines in the world!

You will also be able to judge for yourself if these sentiments are true with a special tasting of five exquisite champagnes complemented with a delicious cheese platter.

Ticket availability to the Valentines Day Masterclass is strictly limited and is likely not to last long, so book your place now on The Champagne Dame's website!

The views from MONA are also a sight to see, so take in the picturesque scenery with your loved one on the most romantic day of the year!

Make sure to also visit some of the exhibitions on display at MONA, with Theatre of the World – curated by Jean-Hubert Martin – only showing until April 8.

Treat your lover to a gift from MONA's shop with jewellery, artist products and stationery on offer.

Champagne Dames - What better setting

Learning the Art of Good Champagne

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Gather a few friends together for a wonderful weekend trip to the vineyards of Pooley Wines in southern Tasmania's Coal River Valley.

The winery was awarded the 2012 Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year Award – which gives even more reason to head on down!

Choose from a range of the island's famous cool-climate wines including "intensely flavoured" pinot noirs, "well-rounded" merlots, "punchy" pinot grigio and "elegant" rieslings.

Pooley Wines is also the recipient of numerous other awards which include the Pinot Noir Exhibitor of the Year at the 2012 Tasmanian Wine Show for the 2009 Butchers Hill Pinot Noir and the trophy for Best Sparkling White Wine at the 2011 Boutique Wine Awards for the 2008 Matilda Vintage Sparkling.

Sample some of the winery's finest offerings with the variety of group wine tastings at Belmont Vineyard's historic property.

The first wine tasting option will see guests taken through an educational presentation of four wines from Pooley's range, covering two white and two red varieties.

The second option will have guests treated to a presentation of four wines with a platter of Tasmanian cheeses, fruits and biscuits to match.

The third wine tasting option is a 'tutored tasting' experience with guests seated in the barn and taken on the "ultimate wine tasting journey".

Learn more about "varietal characteristics" and how wines are created, with guests given the opportunity to be a make-believe wine judge, offering a more hands-on experience than the first two tasting options.

The last option is the tutored wine tasting experience along with Tasmanian cheese platters to complement the wine.

If you're looking for the perfect venue for your summer or autumn wedding, then you might want to consider holding it at the vineyard's historic stables and coach house!

The private area comes set up with tables, chairs, market umbrellas and a fantastic view over the Richmond township, with BBQ facilities also available upon request.

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If Tasmania's north west coast is part of your summer travel itinerary then make sure to dine in at some of Devonport's top local eats!

The town is known for attractions such as the Tiagarra Aboriginal Centre, Maritime Museum and the Pandemonium Discovery and Adventure Centre, where all these activities can leave you feeling very hungry indeed after a long day out.

Here are some of our top Devonport picks – whether you're keen for some classic Aussie fish n chips or wanting to spoil yourself with a full course meal!


Ranked number one in TripAdvisor's selection of Devonport restaurants, Laneway is a great spot to pick up some breakfast or brunch.

The cafe has a focus on "high quality, organic, local ingredients, simple food and GOOD coffee" – all you need for a fantastic start to the day in Tasmania.

Bring the family along for a bite to eat and quality coffee and beverages at this Devonport gem of a cafe.

Drift Cafe and Restaurant

It's all about summer fun at Drift Cafe and Restaurant with Sunday feature days.

Enjoy live music on the grass at the Drift, while sipping on your favourite beverage!

Feeling peckish? Take your pick of a gourmet burger and chips, prawn and pork dumplings or fish and fritters!

A great spot to gather together with friends, treat yourself to a cool beer this summer, overlooking the spectacular sea views.

26Red Cafe Restaurant

This fantastic food setting was only opened in July 2012, offering a fine selection of culinary delights!

Stop by for lunch or dinner, with the menu offering mouth-watering selections such as salt and pepper squid served with roasted walnuts, Tasmanian pepper berries, marinated feta, crisp apple and pomegranate dressing.

You can also pick up the classic Aussie meal of beer battered fish and chips to snack on, while taking your fill of the island's signature cool-climate wines.

Drift Logo from Drift Cafe Devonport

The Imposing Building - Cafe and Surf Club

The Entrance to The Laneway Cafe Devonport

The View From Drift

26 RED in Devonport - Image Credit: Think-Tasmania

Links to Think-Tasmania Article

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One of Australia's leading journals of ideas and analysis Griffith REVIEW launched its latest Tasmanian-themed quarterly edition tonight at Hobart's Town Hall.

Tasmania: The Tipping Point? is a collaborated effort between Griffith REVIEW and the University of Tasmania (UTAS), discussing how Tasmanians see themselves and examining if the island has reached a tipping point "politically, economically and culturally".

Some of Australia's most talented storytellers and writers weigh in on Tasmania's past, present and future, including MONA's David Walsh, Director of the Inglis Clark Centre for Civil Society at UTAS Natasha Cica and acclaimed food writer and gourmet farmer Matthew Evans.

Tasmania is described as a "haven for the thinking traveller", with the island holding a place of great significance in Australia's history and its pristine wilderness being one to explore with great wonder.

The island has a pull toward its colourful past with the historical sites in Port Arthur, while also drawing crowds to its contemporary attractions such as the ever-popular Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) – allowing visitors to experience Tasmania's past, present and future.

Riding on the coattails of MONA's successful summer festival MONA FOMA is its new winter alternative, Dark MOFO.

This new festival will be the perfect winter warmer for MONA FOMA fans, with visitors in for a festival of fire, art, music, food and light held during winter’s deep embrace at MONA and in the streets of Hobart.

Highlights include a "large-scale fire and light event" at Salamanca, a music program from Brian Ritchie and a night market at Princes Wharf shed No 1.

More Tasmanian events to mark on the calendar are Ten Days on the Island, featuring music, theatre, film, visual art, dance and more from March 15 to 24, and the island's acclaimed Festival of Voices in July.

Griffith Review Site with Magazine and e-online App

David Walsh and his Dark Mofo Implementers

DARK MOFO as pointed to by MONAFOMA

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Billed by some as the "gateway to Tasmania's wilderness", Strahan is a must-visit to witness the spectacular beauty of the island's wild west.

Strahan is home to some of Tasmania's top tour highlights including the Macquarie Harbour, the West Coast Wilderness Railway, Sarah Island, and the King, Franklin and Gordon Rivers.

It's a tranquil setting of unspoiled beauty, providing the ideal getaway for couples and families wanting to escape the busy, congested city life.

Here is a Strahan attraction you should not miss!

Gordon River Cruises

Be transported to another world, moving along the ancient waters with Gordon River Cruises.

Take in wondrous views of the temperate rainforest, cruising along to the famous Hell's Gate where the harbour opens to the Southern Ocean, the notorious penal colony Sarah Island and Tasmania's renowned salmon farms.

Cruise guests will be able to explore the sights on foot, disembarking at Heritage Landing onto an elevated walkway to enjoy a spectacular rainforest experience, which includes a visit to a 2,000 year-old-tree!

Stretch your legs again to walk around the ruins of what is said to perhaps be "Australia's harshest convict settlement", Sarah Island.

Before Port Arthur was established, convicts in the 1820s were sent to live in the harsh conditions of Sarah Island.

Stunning River Cruising - Image Credit: Discover Strahan

The striking village of Strahan and its harbour - Image Credit: Discover Strahan

The cruise vessels depart from the pier in the township - Image Credit: Discover Strahan

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