Take the family out this summer for a day of high adventure at Hollybank Treetops Adventure, located only 15 minutes north-east of Launceston.

The Tasmanian attraction is a first for both the island and Australia, with the natural state hosting the first high-wire adventure tour.

High flying adventure is coupled with an amazing view of the Hollybank Eucalypt forest in a spectacular three hour tour.

Rest assured that no damage will be done to Tasmania's valuable forests, with the structures secured to the treetops in a unique way that ensures the host tree is left in good condition.

Get ready for a huge day of adventure, with the tour consisting of a multi-stage high wire ride "far above the forest floor", where you'll experience a day in the life of a spider monkey!

The treetop adventure consists of no more than 14 people per group, with two highly qualified guides on hand to assist and give an overview of the forest.

The guides will also ensure that your equipment – including a helmet, harness and attachments – is customised to fit, leaving you to feel comfortable and secure.

If you want to up the ante in your Hollybank Treetop Adventure, then book yourself in for a night session!

Let your helmet light lead the way, as you sweep through the trees of the darkened forest, where you might be lucky enough to spot some of Tassie's nocturnal wildlife.

To explore more of the beautiful Hollybank Eucalypt forest, head out on a Segway Tour!

You'll glide along the forest floor in a two hour informative tour, where you won't have to worry about tiring out or getting leg cramps.

Hollybank Treetops Adventure is open seven days a week, with a fantastic adventure to be had rain or shine!

Hollybanks is extreme fun in the treetops

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Smartphones can play a huge part in daily life helping us to contact friends and family through text messages, calls and even social media, and allowing us to get day to day tasks such as banking and shopping done.

Well now you may find it handy in your visit to Sorell Fruit Farm in Tasmania, where visitors have been invited to use their smartphones to learn about fruits on the farm.

Tour the orchard following a signposted trail, where at each signpost you can use a QR reader app on your smartphone to scan the QR box and read about the crops!

Sorell Fruit Farms believe this is the first time this technology has been used in outdoor tourism in Australia.

The use of smartphones can help to enhance visitors experience of the fruit farm, as they can learn about crops and the orchard at their own pace in their self-guided tour.

Bob Hardy of Sorell Fruit Farm told the Mercury that information is available in both English and Mandarin Chinese, with Chinese the second largest language group of overseas visitors to Tasmania.

"QR codes are a great way of ensuring Chinese tourists have an enjoyable farm experience," Mr Hardy said, reported by the Mercury on November 22.

He added that tech-savvy visitors and those 'young at heart' may also appreciate the use of QR codes.

Sorrell Fruit Farm is located in a trio – a Magic Triangle of great attractions – Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Barilla Bay Oysters and the farm with historic Richmond Village being an adjacent common point for them all. Set aside a little over 15 minutes journey time and from downtown Hobart, you can be at any of them.

Sorrell Fruit Farm QR Code touring initiative

The Magic Triangle of Attractions

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Australia's biggest tennis event of the year, the Australian Open, is fast approaching and in the lead up to the event Tasmania will be hosting the annual Moorilla Hobart International, gathering together some of the world's top female tennis players to battle it out on court.

The Domain Tennis Centre will be hosting Tasmania's 'premier international women's sporting event' from January 4 to 12, with a number of top talent heading to the Moorilla Hobart International to fine-tune their game for the Australian Open.

Some of the world's top women's tennis players have competed at the event including former international ranking number ones Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, and Australia's number one and WTA top ten ranking Sam Stosur.

This year's event saw the young German Mona Barthel take the title home, defeating top seed Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in a stunning 6-1, 6-2 win.

The then ranked world number 64 (now 39) beat the first, second, fourth and fifth seeds in the tournament taking eight straight wins to win her first WTA title.

The 2012 doubles title was claimed by Romania's Monica Niculescu and Irina-Camelia Begu, defeating Taipei's Chia-Jung Chuang and New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.

Past winners of the event include world number eight Petra Kvitova who took the title in 2009 and Belgian Kim Clijsters who was ranked at 43 when she won in 2000.

Tickets for the Moorilla Hobart International are on sale now from Ticketek with package and single session options available.

Single sessions are from as little at $8.90 for children aged three to 16 and concession, with adults $9.90 and a family pass (two adults, two juniors or one adult, three juniors) $28.90.

There are three packages to choose from including the All Sessions package (January 4 – January 12), the Semi-Finals and Finals package (January 11 – January 12) and the Final Five package (January 10 – January 12) – more details are available from Ticketek.

Make sure to head to the Domain Tennis Centre on January 6 for Kids Day, with children admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

The Hobart Domain Tennis Centre site of the Moorrilla International for 2013

Moorrilla International 2012 Mona Barthel thrashing it out in Hobart

Moorrilla International 2012 Yanina Wickmayer placing a serve (how high is that?) in Hobart

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Celebrate the iconic, soulful sounds of Motown and African-American gospel in this fantastic event, Standing in the Shadows of MONA.

Be transported back to the sixties and seventies with tunes from legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, Jackson 5, Joe Cocker, The Beatles and more.

This fantastic free event will be held at MONA on Sunday November 25, with Andrew Legg and the ARIA-nominated Southern Gospel Choir channelling the sweet soul sounds.

Standing in the Shadows of MONA is an event for the whole family, so if you're around Hobart come on down and sing along, with tunes running from 14:00 to 17:00.

Andrew Legg and The Southern Gospel Choir will be joined by The Very Righteous Gospel Band, Brian Ritchie, Michael Spiby (the Badloves), Maria Lurighi and Dean Stevenson.

So make sure to 'cut loose, cut sick, and kick back on the beanbags on the MONA lawns', when you make your appearance at Standing in the Shadows of MONA.

In your visit to MONA make sure to also check out the great exhibitions on show which include Theatre of the World curated by Jean-Hubert Martin and the artwork of Yannick Demmerle.

MONA performance on the lawns - Standing inthe Shadows of Motown

Sceene from the day with the choir on stage and 500 people enjoying the sound and scene. FREE

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There's a new Tasmanian beverage to enjoy on those hot summer days, with Australia's largest organic apple orchard William Smith & Sons teaming up with businessman Sam Reid to create the crisp and refreshing Willie Smith's Organic Cider!

The fourth generation apple orchardists based in Huon Valley have created – along with former Launceston resident Mr Reid – what is believed to be Australia's first purpose-built ciderty to produce 100 per cent organic apple cider.

Willie Smith's Organic Cider was described as a 'French-inspired, farmhouse-style cider', which is bound to go down well with some fresh summer strawberries and a piece of pavlova!

The beverage is expected to be launched this month, just in time for summer and events such as Hobart's Taste Festival.

"I’ve always loved apples and craft beer and so I thought why not make a cider that has more complexity and depth with a rounded mouth feel that would appeal to people like me," Mr Reid said.

"In addition drinkers can know that they are drinking a 100% organic cider which uses the best apples, born from four generations of Tasmanian apple farming expertise."

Mr Reid also added that he hoped that the cider would "raise the bar everywhere" so that everyone would use freshly crushed apples instead of "cheap concentrate".

You can place your order for Willie Smith's Organic Cider now by visiting the William Smith and Sons website.

Willie Smith's Organic Cider - Andrew Smith in the family Orchard in the Huon Valley - Image Credit: The Australia

Andrew and Ian Smith with their new direction - Photo Credit: ABC Rural

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Now would be a good time to start planning your festive holiday getaway to beat the Christmas rush in December, with Saffire Freycinet the perfect luxury stay during your travels in Tasmania.

Saffire Freycinet is a premium luxury lodge that offers the best in spectacular views, service, dining and experience.

Make your stay extra special by jumping in on one of Saffire Freycinet's fantastic packages.

Indulge in the three night ultimate escape, spending your nights in a premium suite equipped with a king bed, deck and outdoor lounge chairs overlooking the stunning coastline of the Freycinet Peninsula, double shower and bath, private courtyard with plunge pool and many other special amenities. 

This package includes breakfast, lunch, dinner for two, a mini bar, selected deluxe beverages and $200 spa credit.

The luxury experience doesn't end there though, you also get a complimentary half-day Schouten Island experience valued at $500, heading out onto the water watching the playful marine animals and taking in the sights on your way to three hours of fun on Schouten Island.

During your stay at Saffire Freycinet, you can get involved with a number of fantastic activities such as the Wineglass Lookout Walk, Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm and Pelican Bay canoeing.

Saffire and its view from the air

Saffire Resort Freycinet Logo

Spa Saffire Exterior

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Tasmania's capital city Hobart is indeed 'on the rise' in international travel, after the world's largest travel site TripAdvisor named the Australian hotspot in its travelers' choice 2012 list.

This notable compilation of travel destinations was chosen by 'millions of travelers', with Hobart named as one of the Top 10 Destinations on the rise.

Hobart and Perth were the only Australian cities named in the list, alongside other top locations such as Mar del Plata in Argentina, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Kiev in Ukraine, Montevideo in Uruguay, Mexico City and Guadalajara in Mexico, Moscow and Turin in Italy.

The website described Hobart as a 'unique mash-up of the 19th and 21st centuries', acknowledging the city's waterfront cafes and restaurants, vibrant nightlife and 'active art scene'.

TripAdvisor noted attractions such as the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Mount Wellington and Salamanca Market as places not to miss.

Other highly ranked Hobart attractions include Louisa's Walk, Battery Point, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, State Cinema, South Bruny National Park, Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Hartz Mountains National Park and Theatre Royal.

The top three Hobart activities recommended by travelers are Tasman Island Cruises, Great Expeditions – Personal, Private & Guided Tasmania Day Tours and Eye See Personalised Private Tours.

TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2012 Hobart

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Much is shared about one of Tasmania's biggest attractions, the Port Arthur Historic site, but what about the other piece of the island's history at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site?

The World Heritage-listed historic site is located a short way – about a ten minute drive – from the Hobart CBD and is Australia's most significant spot associated with female convicts.

The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site was ranked eighth out of 53 Hobart attractions on TripAdvisor, with a large majority of reviewers ranking the site as 'excellent'.

More than 5,000 female convicts were known to have spent time at the Cascades Female Factory from 1828 to 1856, with the institution intended to reform convicts.

Up to a thousand people were said to live at the factory at any one time, including children, nurses and guards.

The factory was established on the site of a failed rum distillery, eventually expanding to five conjoined yards.

Three of the original five yards make up the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, with a number of tour options available to explore the different experiences of the site.

You can get a 'dramatic interpretation' of life at the Cascades Female Factory with the tour 'Her Story'. This runs from 11:00 every day with adults $20, children $12.50 and families $60.

John P of Adelaide visited the site in October and in his review on TripAdvisor, he said that the performance of 'Her Story' was "one of the best things we did during our week in Hobart".

"I strongly recommend 'Her Story' (45 minutes) and the short mini-tour afterwards of the superintendent's cottage. Without these we would not have properly understood the significance of the site and would probably have left disappointed," he added.

The memorial to convict women and the site's viewing platform

Museum Pass - worth exploring for entrance to all Properties in the Historic Collection

Interior yards of the Cascades Female Factory - Photo credit -

Fountain and Mill Stones at the Site Photo Credit - Adrienne Bartl (Flickr)

The Casades Female Factory pictured in 1892 Photo Credit - University of Tasmania Collection

Cascades Wall and Entrance - Photo credit:  Dragi Markovic and DEWHA

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Mexican food is all the rage at the moment and it no wonder when you realize that the Mexican food-culture introduced the world to chocolate, corn, chilies, tomatoes, vanilla, avocado and guava. Australians are just scratching the surface of Mexican food it is one of the oldest cuisines, yet it is one on the newest trends.

Masterchef Australia finalist (2012) Ben Milbourne will be cooking up a storm in a class for budding enthusiasts, experts on brush up, or if you would like to spend an intensive day with Ben taking on those extra skills. Book now for 25 November at Tranquilles at Port Sorell.
Yes, you can stay – it is also a luxury B&B.
The cost is a modest $150. Accommodation is extra.

Ben says “It is the perfect food for sharing, which I think is one of the reasons I like it so much. Its packed full of flavor and healthy and makes great use of seafood, another reason Tasmanians should be into it. My love of Mexican food was developed at a young age through, of all things packet Mexican. During summer holidays packet tacos were a staple diet so for me growing up, Mexican was always connected to long hot summer days and good times playing backyard cricket, swimming at the beach and fishing off the jetty. So as my culinary interests and skill developed, as I got older I started to venture away from the packet and started to experiment with more varied flavors and ingredients”.

“The recipes we will cover in the cooking school are a great introduction to Mexican food, if you like what you see and taste then let your imagination run wild and come up with some recipes of your own. I look forward to seeing you over the summer, to experience the fun and enjoyment food brings to family and friends”.


Appetizer – King Fish Tequila Slammer
Entrée – Popcorn Chicken Tostadida’s with assorted garnishes
Main – Chipotle Braised Beef Cheek with Pome Puree and Mixed Mushrooms
Dessert – White Chocolate Mojito Shortcake with Rhubarb and Vanilla Compote
Cocktail – A Surprise

Book now.

Ben dockside at Hobart's Sullivans Cove

Ben at Devonport Food & Wine Festival Event in 2012 - Image Credit: The Advocate

The location for the cooking school Tranquilles in North West Tasmania

Ben Milbourne MasterChef Australia 2012 finalist at Oatlands - Image Credit: Herald Sun

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Enjoy the return of international cricket this summer with the first Vodafone Test Series in Tasmania's Blundstone Arena in Bellerive.

The cricket season indicates the return of long summer days, so remember to pack up your sunscreen, straw hat and plenty of snacks and drinks for an entertaining day of sport.

Australia takes on the Sri Lankans from Friday December 14 to Tuesday December 18 – with kids getting free admission on day three of the Vodafone Test!

The third day of every Vodafone Test match is marked as Toyota Family Day, with one child (aged 15 and under) getting free entry with every full-priced adult ticket purchased in the same transaction.

So make sure to treat the kids to a trip to the arena for a day of cricket on Sunday December 16.

Tickets for the Vodafone Test Series are available now from Ticketek, with single-day tickets for adults from $38, juniors (aged four to 15) $15, concession $25 and a family of four (two adults and two juniors) $83.50.

There are also test match passes available to catch all five days of action, with adults from $152, concession $100, juniors $60 and family $334.

Gates open at 09:00, with the match kicking off at 10:30 – so head down to Bellerive Oval this December to catch the first Vodafone Test Series with Australia taking on Sri Lanka.

Bellerive Oval and the view down the harbour - Image Credit: CricketTas

Bellerive Oval now named Blundstone Arena scene of Internation Cricket Games in Hobart. Image Credit: The Mercury

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