Aug
22
2012

Everyone wants to see the world, but there are times when the best adventures to be had are right in your own backyard.

From the tip of Southwest National park to Devonport, Hobart to Cradle Mountain and everywhere in between, you will be sure to discover something new the next time you travel around Tasmania.

To help you get started on your next 'staycation' – the holiday that is all about relaxing close to home – here are some fun activities to do in our island state.

If you are sticking to a budget, but still want to enjoy the finer things in life, then a well being walk could do just the trick.

Tasmania's coastline and National Parks are dotted with world-class bush walking experiences that will see you journey from the breathtaking headlands of Maria Island to snowy hiking tracks at Cradle Mountain. Pull off the road at many places for walks into waterfalls which immediately give you a sense of peace and calm.

White sandy beaches and big waves make the coastline along Tasmania's east to south a popular destination among surfers from across the globe. For the ultimate surf experience, it is best to head to the infamous Eaglehawk Neck or nearby Clifton Beach. For the beach goer, that injection of ozone will immediately transform your day.

For those who prefer dry land, you can still get your heart rate pumping.

Replacing the ocean for open roads is not hard if you are on a mountain bike. Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park is just 15 minutes from Hobart is home to a number of national tournaments for the sport. Viewing is often open for free to the public.

Don’t have access to a bike? You do now. Art Bikes are available for FREE to use in Hobart – they let you explore the downtown area and the track out to MONA from the central city. It’s 12 kms of totally immersive experience. For those who like to consider the unusual – it is a must do. And everything is supplied, including a helmet!

Cradle Mountain Hiking Trail with Barn Bluff in the distance - Image Credit: cradlemountain.net

Horseshoe Falls - Mt Field National Park Tasmania Image Credit: Lee Henley Photography

Surfing the points - Image Credit: Great Expeditions Surf Tours

Art Bikes ready to go - Image Credit: arts@work

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Aug
21
2012

Tasmania has a reputation for producing some of the country's best artisan cheese and wines, with a slew of awards proving its dominance in this area.

However, it is also a great place to indulge in a rich variety of seasonal delicacies in a place that celebrates close links from the paddock to the plate.

With four distinct seasons to choose from, you can easily find something that you will want to try while you are journeying.

During the cooler months, mouth-watering berries and crisp apples are on the menu in a number of restaurants and smaller eateries. Alternatively, you could go to the farmers directly and include an orchard tour as part of your trip.

They are also the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon feast of a hand-made blue cheese and locally produced Riesling – a food lover's dream. Dine al fresco or wait until evening to treat yourself to one of our award winning restaurants such as Garagistes in Hobart.

As the weather heats up, it is time to broaden your palette on a sea trail of the state's best seafood. February is typically oyster season and it would be a shame not to try a fresh one while you are in town. 

There are a number of tours for gourmet travellers and foodies all year round however and you can find them right here. They include moving around by car and mini-bus through to walking tours; a leisurely stroll to vendors and favourite finds.

Gourmet Food Tours - Image Credit: Think-Tasmania.com

Poached Striped Trumpeter Garagistes Hobart voted best Tassie Restaurant 2012 - Image Credit: Urbanspoon.com

Kates Berry Farm East Coast Tasmania

Oysters Tasmania - Image Credit: 101tasmania.co.nz

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Aug
20
2012

Spring is just around the corner, which means it is time for nature lovers to head out to the great outdoors.

This year there is a range of activities suitable for people of all ages that are on across our island state.

But to mark the change in season, there is often no better place to go than one of the many gardens that feature in this year's Blooming Tasmania.

Although only small in comparison to the rest of Australia, the island state enjoys some of the country's most plant-friendly climates.

It also has the advantage of four distinct seasons, fertile soil, clean rivers and waterways, as well as varied landscape that can change from rugged mountains to coastal plains in the blink of an eye.

This means that along with seeing your more typical Australian flowering plants and trees, you can also catch a glimpse of thick rainforests, European-inspired gardens and unique coastal vegetation.

To make planning your visit of Tasmania's unique garden attractions, you can download the Great Days Out guide from the Blooming Tasmania website.

Other great events to fill up your September calendar include the Daffodil, Camellia and Floral Art Show (September 7-8), as well as the Launceston Horticultural Society Daffodil and Camellia Show (September 15-16).

Extending from September through to October is the Katandra Garden and Bulb Farm Daffodil display (September 23 – October 7), Colours of Wynyard (September 23 – October 14) and the Table Cape Tulip Farm Open Days (September 24 – October 19).

Given that spring – and especially October – is tulip season in Tasmania, you might want to make a beeline for as many showings of this bulbous plant as possible and put Bloomin' Tulips (October 14) in your diary.

Blooming Tasmania

Tulip Farm near Wynyard

Culzean Gardens Westbury Northern Tasmania Image Credit - John de la Roche

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Aug
18
2012

They say the view from the passenger's seat is often the best one and it seems this is true when it comes to coach tours in Tasmania.

While you let the driver make all the important decisions, you can enjoy putting your feet up, enjoying the view or catching a quick afternoon nap before arriving at your next destination.

Coach tours and other small group services are available throughout Tasmania with departures at all times of year.

If you plan on travelling from one city to the next, you might want to book in with AAT Kings, APT, Scenic Tours, and Great Value Coach Tours.

These companies will be able to advise you on the best rates and prices depending on the number of people travelling, as well as your preferred journey times.

A range of local businesses including Experience Tasmania and Tasmania Tours also offer guided excursions and day tours that are often described as a great way of getting, in smaller vehicles, to known places off the beaten track.

If you are keen to step outdoors, breath in fresh mountain air or take your taste buds on a trip through all parts of Tasmania, you will be able to do so in a selection of comprehensive itineraries. See a full listing here.

Great Value Holidays Coach from Tasmania's Redline

Cradle Coast Tours Operating in Tasmania's North West

McDermott's Coaches Tourism Award Winner

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Aug
17
2012

Whether you prefer the slow moving waters of a river or waves that lash against the shoreline, you will be spoilt for choice in the small town of Scamander.

From surfing to swimming and fishing for bream, the wide range of activities on offer in this seaside town continue to make it a popular tourist destination.

And it is this variety, as well as the gorgeous views, that are some of the reasons why so many people are keen to take advantage of experiences accommodation in the area. Explore the upper reaches of the picturesque Scamander River on a cruise or venture south to the Douglas-Aspley National Park, swim or sun bake.

There are also a number of small towns up and down the Tasman Highway for you to discover on day trips, and the chance to mingle with the locals at popular eateries and restaurants. It’s a wind down town.

So if you are interested in pristine waters, stunning views and the chance to unwind while you reconnect with nature, this may just be the deal for you.

Scamander Coast from the air (Bellanca Scout) - Image Credit: i30 owners club member bumpkin

Pelican Sands and Scamander Beach Resort each side of the bridge

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Aug
16
2012

A US-based travel magazine has named World Expeditions’ Franklin River Trip as the world’s best white water rafting destination.

‘Outside’, which is described as America’s leading active-lifestyle and adventure travel magazine, said the river’s pristine ecosystem was one of the reasons for choosing the outdoor location.

However, it was also to do with the thrill so-called adrenaline junkies get when they set off on a journey down the Franklin’s notorious rapids.

Once famously described as a mix of canyons and waterfalls, it is easy to see why so many tourists with a passion for adventure make the yearly pilgrimage to this part of the world.

But it is not just the river that keeps them coming back. Instead, it is a combination of clear waters, an isolated wilderness and native animals – including sea eagles and platypuses – that help to reinvigorate weary travellers.

It is also possible to pass nine days without seeing anyone else on an expedition, which helps to add to the feeling of being one with nature that so many people crave.

If you are keen to raft your way in Tasmania, you will want to make a booking for the next World Expeditions tour.

Slumber under cliffs on the Franklin RiverFranklin River World Expeditions - entering the rapidsFranklin River World Expeditions - The Calm

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Aug
15
2012

When it comes to coastlines, they don’t get more dramatic than those in the island state and the Tasman Peninsula is just one of many places with rocky cliffs, rolling waves and sweeping views that will take your breath away.

Eaglehawk Neck is known for its adventure sports (and history), which is a good thing for visitors because if the landscape doesn’t inspire you to try something new, the people who live here certainly will.

For those who are travelling from Hobart, you can find Eaglehawk Neck by following the Tasman Highway towards Port Arthur. While weather conditions may change depending on the season, the journey should take on average just over an hour to complete by car; that is if you don’t get too distracted by the opportunity to detour to Richmond or spend time near Sorrell at the fruit farm.

As you enter Eaglehawk, you will notice two bays and a small reserve where you can stop to catch-up on the area’s bushranger past.

A nearby rock formation known as the tessellated pavement might also catch your eye and it is well worth seeing this geological wonder up close. There is a car park clode to the Lufra Hotel, where you can walk five minutes down to this well know and often photographed attraction.

After this, you might want to head towards another famous natural wonder, the Tasman Arch.  This rock formation will surely grab your attention and is conveniently located near the Blowhole and the Devil’s Kitchen – two top visitor destinations – in Doo Town.

The rocks that have been reshaped over the years to form these natural archways and other formations are thought to be 250 million years old – which means that they are also worth seeing in their own right. You will be struck in awe by the power of the waves.

But your visit to his part of the world would not be complete without an eco-cruise to  nearby Tasman Island where you can reconnect with the nature in a pristine setting.

Surfing the break at Eaglehawk - one of many great spots in Tasmania

Nickle Doo at EagleHawk Neck in the midst of DooTownThe spectacular Tasman Arch

Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck Image Credit - Nick Monk -Red Bubble

Tessellations at the Tesselated Pavement Image Credit - Martin Pot martybugs.net

Cape Pillar Track - just one of the tracks on the Tasman Peninsula Image Credit - Karen Meredith Blog

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Aug
14
2012

Tim Winton’s hilarious whodunit The Bugalugs Bum Thief returns to the Theatre Royal in Hobart for two unforgettable performances.

Join Skeeta Anderson and his best mates Mick Misery and Billy Marbles on their side-splitting adventure to find his missing bum.

You will also get to meet a range of colourful characters such as Mick’s Mum and Mrs Misery that add new twists and turns to the story, as well as the odd red herring, before Skeeta finally identifies the culprit.

With a string of successful performances across five states, you can be sure that your little one will be in for a good time watching seasoned actors take to the stage and bring an Australian children’s classic to life.

And what better way to turn your afternoon out into a fun family day trip than by spending time discovering Hobart.

For visitors to the island state, the performance is a rare opportunity to combine activities that are suitable for both adults and kids.

Head down to Salamanca Place to see the city as it looked in its days as a whaling centre or make your way to Battery Point so that you can learn more about Tasmania’s first settlers and convict past.

For those who don’t mind rising early, you can enjoy a gourmet breakfast in town and then to the Salamanca markets before heading off to the show in the afternoon.

Anyone with children who are a little older might also want to see the city by night and visit one of its many fine eateries after the performance has finished.

Tickets are on sale now for the August 23 and 24 shows, with adult prices starting at $15 though to $25.

Bugalugs - graphic attributed to Monkey Baa Theatre Company

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Aug
13
2012

Moonah Arts Centre is kicking off its special event program with performances by Tasmania’s growing group of culturally diverse musicians this Saturday (August 18).

The Moonah Nights festival will delight and entertain audiences of all ages as if it takes you on an explorative journey of the best in international music.

From Iranian vocalist to Karen Burmese pop and great percussion traditions of the Congo, you won’t want for variety.

But it is the ability of music to bring otherwise disparate people together that is one of the main highlights of the 90 minute performance.

Along with sharing the traditions of their own culture, the artists who take part in this production will also recount some of their own life experiences through the pieces they perform.

Many will also be performing alongside their close friends or family members, who add to the rich tapestry of the show, as three generations take to the stage.

The production is part of an ongoing push to raise awareness of these unique cultures within the local community, as well as the profile of live music in and around the island state.
Entry is by gold coin donation and you can buy tickets at the door.

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Aug
12
2012

Want to escape this winter? Why not take a mini-break in one of many exciting Tasmania destinations.

Whether you are seeking adventure and headed for the western wilderness or wanting to let the stress melt away in a hot tub overlooking the treetops, you will be sure to find a holiday package that suits your needs.

If luxury is your middle name, it will be hard to go past the pampering that is on offer at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.

Spend the day hiking through the breathtaking alpine is just one of the many ways that you can reconnect with nature.

Nature lovers will find it hard to go past a weekend in Corinna and the Tarkine -which is known for its coast walks, kayaking and regular river cruises.

You can also discover a number of small towns on your stay, including the picturesque Stanley, and enjoy the best in local produce as you dine in style at the nearby Cable Station.

This and many other great weekend holidays are available to locals and visitors alike and are a great way to get away without breaking the budget or taking too much time off work.

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