Sep
20
2012

Stimulate your senses to experience the "saturating sensory euphoria" of Synaesthesia: Music of Colour and Mind at MONA.

What exactly is synaesthesia you may ask? American neurologist and author Richard Cytowic says: "Synaesthesia means 'joined sensation', such that a voice or music, for example, is not only heard but seen, tasted or felt as a physical touch…

".

So let all your senses come alive to take in the musical works, original numbers and "new encounters with the masters" Olivier Messiaen, Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition – with a new arrangement by Julian Yu.

Make sure to get your tickets quick for this unique musical experience, that runs from November 3 to November 4, as the event is open to only 400 guests, with the museum closing to regular punters (The Wine Bar will remain open to the public).

The weekend program, which was produced in collaboration with MONA and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will serve up a "smorgasbord of light, colour and sound".

Artists attending the event include Kate Miller-Heidke, Michael Kieran Harvey, Allison Bell, Peter HIll, ANAM, Meow Meow, Brian Ritchie, Ken Young, Danny Healy, Marc Hannaford, Chorus and the TSO.

Get your tickets now from the MONA website!

Synaesthesia at MONA

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Sep
19
2012

The city of Launceston has long been a favourite destination for visitors to the island state, but a trip to one of the most famous places in Tasmania is not complete without seeing the Cataract Gorge.

Long considered the jewel of Launceston, the Cataract Gorge extends from the mouth of the South Esk River near Kings Bridge through to the Trevallyn hydroelectric dam.

During the warmer months First Basin comes alive with the sound of people splashing around in the popular swimming spot, which is an easy 15 minute walk from the city centre.

However there are a number of activities that take place alongside the river that make it a popular travel option in winter, too.

The Launceston Cataract Gorge Reserve – or "The Gorge" to locals – is an oasis tucked within the depths of a busy city.

It features a number of hiking trails that wind along the riverbed and traverse the area’s rocky landscape, as well as the world's longest single span chairlift.

Panoramic views await you at the top of this gradual incline, which is suitable for people of all ages and is sure to keep the kids entertained while you practice your photography skills.

After exploring nature, you can sit back and rest your eyes on the blooming flowers in the Victorian gardens, as well as roaming peacocks and other native birds.

For those who feel like dining in the area, it is hard to go past the Gorge Restaurants for the best in local cuisine and sought after Tamar valley wines.

While anyone in the mood for a light snack and afternoon catch up with friends will want to head over to the Basin Cafe.

The George is a short drive from the City Centre. Opening hours are 09.00am to 4.30pm during winter, longer during summer.

Cataract Gorge Chairlift in Launceston - Image Credit: Travelfolio

Cataract Gorge Suspension Bridge

Cataract Gorge in flood - Photo Credit: Maria Elena Chagoya

Launceston's Tamar River Winter-Spring

An climbing event being held on the suspension bridge

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Sep
18
2012

The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge isn't for the faint-hearted – with teams made up of two or three people mountain biking, kayaking and trekking across more than 350 kilometres of terrain over five days.

The event kicks off in Launceston this year on November 28, moving to the north/north-east regions of Tasmania and visiting notable locations such as St Helens and The Bay of Fires before finishing on December 2 in the state capital of Hobart.

The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge is organised by Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber, who says he loves the experience the event provides competitors.

"…for many of them it's will a life-changing experience and it's great to see them having a go," he says.

The adventure race isn't just about getting the bragging rights of being the winning team, but is also done in the name of a good cause.

The challenge raises money for the Mark Webber Foundation, which supports Australian charities that have included The Leukemia Foundation and Save the Tasmanian Devils Foundation, with 100 per cent of the money raised each year going toward foundations like these.

"I’ve visited a few hospitals in Australia," says Mark on his website.

"And it’s in those places that I’ve seen people who were much less fortunate than me. People for whom every day is a struggle. As I started to do well out of my own profession, it made me want to give something back and to help people back home. I don’t like to shout about it, but that’s my philosophy and that’s what I’ll continue to do."

The Mercury reported on September 14 that this year's event was a sellout with a record of 40 teams entering (up from 25 last year), including Australian Olympic athletes Ken Wallace – who won gold in the canoe sprint at the Beijing games – and triathlete Courtney Atkinson.

Mark Webber in last year's Tasmanian Mark Webber Challenge

Scaling rock faces at Freycinet in the 2011 Mark Webber Challenge event - image credit: UK Telegraph

No one ever said this event is EASY - Image Credit: Italian Internet Mountain Bike Magazine (Murrgia) 2011

Mark Webber and Guy Andrews in one of the kayak stages at Freyinet 2011 event

Scaling the spit on Bruny Island - the locations do not get any better than this (Mark Webber 2011) - Image Credit: Redbull

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Sep
17
2012

This November, Hobart's iconic Princes Wharf 1 will be the home to The Soundscape Festival, one of Tasmania's biggest music events of the year.

The festival started as a small, local event in 2008 to grow to one of the most prominent and anticipated events in the region.

Over the past four years huge international acts such as Basement Jaxx, Born Ruffians, Mystery Jets and Roots Manuva have graced the festival with their presence.

Great local bands have also been present at the event with acts such as Empire of the Sun, PNAU, Cut Copy, The Living End, Grinspoon and The Getaway Plan playing at the festival.

This year's event has seen a shakeup with the January event being moved to November, and the festival opting for a two-day event with an emphasis on "moving to a more boutique festival".

Taking place on November 16 – 17, the revamped, 18+ Soundscape Festival will feature spectacular live music, good food and drink, shorter queues and reduced capacity for an enjoyable experience.

A brilliant lineup has been announced for this year's event with ARIA award winners headlining the two days with The Temper Trap headlining Friday and Missy Higgins headlining Saturday.

Festival organiser Brendan Self said: "The Temper Trap and Missy Higgins have been killing it overseas and we are super excited to have both acts for this Hobart event. The Temper Trap are only doing one Australian show outside of supporting Coldplay and it is Soundscape, so we are in for a treat."

Also announced to take the stage are Bluejuice, Yacht Club DJs, Big Scary, Strange Talk, Skryptcha, Mitzi, The Cairos, Asta and The Mornings.

The popular Silent Disco will also be making a return and is a hot favourite for music festivals all over the world, from Glastonbury to Coachella.

Tickets are available now from the Soundscape Festival website, and are priced from $89 for a single day pass.

Soundscape Mt Wellington Visual Mashup

Soundscape PW1 Location Pic

Soundscape The Temper Trap Promo Pic

Soundscape Missy Higgins Promo Pic

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Sep
16
2012

As yo start to make our holiday plans for the warmer months ahead, you may be considering which activities appeal to you.

What better way to enjoy the return of the sunshine than by heading out onto the water?

Kayaking in Tasmania is an activity you have to experience, taking in views of our unspoiled coastline and beautiful wild surroundings.

Opt for the style that suits you best. Paddle around the calm waters of Hobart Harbour if you're in for a relaxing experience close to town or get a taste for adventure by exploring secret coves on Tasmnaia’s East Coast or Deep South.

It is best to take a kayak trip with a professional guide, who will impart some of their local knowledge as you make your way through the waterways of choice – whether that be Port Arthur, Launceston, Strahan, Coles Bay, Hobart or Kettering – all places where kayak tours can be experienced!

Bathurst Harbour Tasmania's South West - Image Credit: Matt Newton/Tourism Tasmania and Wilderness Travel

Freycinet Kayaking

Hobart Paddle in the inner harbour Image Credit: TripAdvisor

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Sep
15
2012

Elton John has recently announced that he will be touring Australia in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)  – and yes, he's heading to Tasmania!

The legendary English singer will be launching into Launceston, Tasmania on Tuesday November 20 for a night of hits, with his back catalogue including the singles Crocodile Rock, Tiny Dancer, Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

John's shows will be a big hit in Australia, with his first show at the Sydney Entertainment Centre selling out!

Tickets are available now from Ticketek – so make sure to get in quick – with tickets starting from $99.90.

Michael Chugg of promoter Chugg Entertainment, thought it was only right to add his hometown Launceston to the tour.

"I couldn’t be more excited about playing a part in bringing Elton to Launceston.  He performed there solo a few years back and blew the crowd away – I can’t even imagine how big it’s going to be with his awesome band!," Chugg said.

See Elton John live in Tasmania and enjoy your stay in the area by visiting the lush surrounds of the national parks and also indulging in the local produce and Tasmanian wines.

Poster image

Elton John returns to Launceston the promoter's home town

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Sep
14
2012

Every year the pleasant rural town of Deloraine plays host to the Tasmanian Craft Fair, Australia's "largest working Craft Fair", taking place from November 2-5 this year.

Attracting over 30,000 visitors annually, the craft fair is an event for the whole family, with over 200 stalls in the four day event.

There's something that is bound to attract and draw all visitors to the fair, with quality crafts on sale ranging from hand blown glassware, oil and watercolour paintings, woodcarvings, leather and metal work, embroidery and pottery.

You can also try your hand at several activities including spinning, silk screen painting, blacksmithing, calligraphy, quilling, basket weaving, whip making, wrought iron work and candle wicking.

Entering its 32nd year, the festival has attracted "significant international interest", with French artist Anais Pitalier – who specialises in authentic reproductions of important historical artworks by important figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci – returning for another year.

During the fair she will demonstrate her talents and techniques, and will have some of her works of art for sale.

Plan your drive down to Deloraine for the weekend – located only 30 minutes west of Launceston – for the magnificent Tasmanian Craft Fair.

Craft of all sizes for all ages

Frames on sale in a frame

Another of the many venues at The Tasmanian Craft Fair

Craft Fair at Deloraine

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Sep
13
2012

Put on your dancing shoes, pair up with a partner and get ready to have fun with That Shady Groove contra dance!

If you love folk music and culture, you'll love this event – with no dancing experience required. It's a fantastic night for the whole family, with tickets $16 for adults, $13 for members and $5 for children under 14 where you can purchase them at the door.

Taking place on Saturday September 29, the standard of dress for the event is casual, with guests encouraged to bring along a plate of supper.

Arrive early at Wesley Hall in Hobart – a five minute walk from the city centre – to take part in a beginner's workshop from 19:30-19:45, to learn some basic moves.

Contra dance is a lively, swingin' dance style from America which is done to a simple walking step, with of course a lot of partner swinging! This dance style is fun and sociable, where you have the opportunity to meet new people as you whisk around the dancefloor.

The event will have the Hobart Old Time (HOT) string band providing entertainment and will feature special guest fiddler Sytske Hillenius, a member of the contra dance band Shady Groove from South Carolina.

A reviewer of Shady Groove's recent EP commented: "This EP is the product of four inspiring musicians, who've made an impressive run in the southeastern U.S. contra dance scene."

"This EP will have you dancing; whether [you're] on the dance hall floor, in the woods, or going 70 miles-per-hour down the interstate. Be careful with that last location, as these energetic tracks may have you pressing harder on that gas pedal… taking foot-stomping to a whole new level."

So get ready for a fun night of good ol' folk tunes and swingin' dances to keep you entertained in your stay in Tasmania.

The Wesley Building in Hobart (formerly The Mechanics Institute)

The same building under its original name The Mechanics Institute

Shady Groove will lead the way for the evening

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Sep
12
2012

Open up your eyes to the great outdoors of Tasmania, with a trip to the beautiful Freycinet National Park.

Sitting on the east coast of Tasmania, the rugged national park is surrounded by white sand beaches, coastal dunes, granite mountains and azure bays – all in all the ultimate destination for your escape from the daily stresses of life.

The national park is famous for the idyllic Wineglass Bay, which was named one of the top ten beaches in the world by American magazine Outside.

If you love to engage in a bit of birdwatching, then Freycinet National Park is the place to go, where you may be able to spot the large Australasian gannet or the white-bellied sea-eagle in your travels.

Lace up your hiking boots to discover the wonders of Freycinet National Park, with many short walk tracks ready to be trod.

If you're keen for a more leisurely walk, head out on the Cape Tourville circuit walk, where you'll witness spectacular coastal views of the park and also check out the lighthouse that was constructed over 40 years ago.

To capture the views of the beautiful Wineglass Bay, hike your way through to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Bring along your water bottle and sturdy shoes, as it's a steep uphill walk on a rocky but well-constructed track which is accessible to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

The walk through the bush is well-worth the views you'll find though, so ensure you also pack your camera to get some brilliant snaps of the bay.

All this walking can make your tummy rumble with hunger, so head to Freycinet Marine Farm to sample some of their fresh seafood catch!

Relax with a glass of Tasmanian wine while you have your oysters or mussels cooked right in front of your eyes – a great end to a grand national park adventure.

Boardwalk high along the cliffs leading to the lighthouse

The Cape Tourville Lighthouse - built in 1971 to replace a decaying structure

Cape Tourville and the view from near the lighthouse from the boardwalk

Wineglass Bay Lookout Image Credit WAZoologist

Wineglass Bay Hazards Beach Circuit - Image Credit Tassie Campers

Wineglass Bay from the summit of Mt Amos another 1km from the loookout

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Sep
11
2012

During a period when New Yorkers are reflective of September 11, its memory and meanings, Tasmanian based jewellery designer, Linda van Niekerk, has been invited to come to New York to present and sell her bold contemporary jewellery at the Museum of Arts and Design’s fund raising event ‘LOOT 2012: MAD About Jewellery’.

This annual event is by invitation only to artists from around the world who are selected ‘for their originality, use of materials, and expert craftsmanship’.

“I will be presenting my work alongside artists whose work just takes my breath away,” says van Niekerk. “I understand that my use of fine Tasmanian timbers, driftwood and tidal stones caught the eye of the curators because it is quite different to the works of the other artists and is seen as very interesting as well as wearable.

The museum’s press release said this about van Niekerk:
Rare Tasmanian wood and tidal stones, ribbons of sterling silver, chunky discs of African amber, and oxidized Turkomen beads are among the materials from which this master artist, born in South Africa, now based in Tasmania, makes striking wearable sculpture.

van Niekerk goes on to say that the curators have also encouraged her to bring some of her more ‘fun’ and colourful works using anodised aluminium to New York.

MAD (the Museum of Arts and Design) is the only American museum to have a gallery dedicated to contemporary and studio art jewellery. LOOT 2012: MAD About Jewellery runs from September 11 – 15, 2012.
If you are in New York – this is a copy of the program.

Necklace - Tribal Slats 2012 / Tasmanian Huon Pine, Tasmanian Sassafras (wood slats: Jon Grant), nylon + sterling silver Image : Peter Whyte

Ring - Forest Light 2010, Sterling silver + Tasmanian Huon Pine (wood turner, Trevor Semmens) Image : Peter Whyte

Metallic Jewelry Set

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