May
18
2012

Bushwalkers will be tying their laces and organising their next hiking adventure after it was recently announced that a new walk has been proposed (and development funding secured) to supplement the reputation of the iconic Overland Track.

The 80 km walk would start in central Hobart and extend into Tasmania's South-West over Mount Wellington and across ridge tops to the Snowy Ranges of the Huon Valley.

While some parts of this journey may sound difficult (they are!), the walk is designed to cater to people of all fitness levels.

This means that people of all ages and ability levels – from novices to hard-core bushwalkers – will be able to enjoy the great outdoors on foot.

Shorter walks with road access will help to break up the route and make sure that it is widely accessible.

And with breathtaking views over the city from Mt Wellington, the Huon Valley from the peaks of the Wellington Ranges and awe-inspiring forest scenery flanking the White Timber Mountain area, organisers are sure that the new walk will attract both local and international visitors.

At this point in time it is unclear whether hut-based accommodation will be available to walkers, which is a feature of numerous long-distance walks around the world (including the Overland).

Huon Valley one of the scenic areas which will be reached from the walk - Image Credit: Roger Lovell

Great views from Mt Wellington - Image Credit: walkweb.net

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May
17
2012

You can be forgiven for thinking you have stepped back in time when travelling along Tasmania's Heritage Highway.

The inland drive is not part of the usual coastal trek that visitors have come to expect from the island state. For many it is a quick highway journey between Hobart and Launceston. But the wise will set aside time to explore the character towns alomng its length.

Instead of sweeping beach scapes, you are met with the rolling hills, amber trees and an old-world charm that will make you dream of a simpler time.

Historic towns like Longford, Ross, Campbell Town and Evandale – which has its own Sunday market – only add to this feeling.

A quick stop at the Glover Art Show or time your visit for the annual Penny Farthing Championships will also add to the regions romantic sentiments.

However, it is the region's World Heritage Listed convict sites in Woolmers and Brickendon that will most capture your attention.

Woolmers was a male convict settlement that now has 18 buildings and structures on a site that is flanked by 13 hectares of farmlands and pastures.

The Woolmers Homestead is a large two-storey building and one of the most important and historic buildings in the area.

Brickendon is one of Tasmania's oldest farming properties, as well as being the home of convicts, free works and pioneering agricultural site. It is open to visitors and weary travellers have the option of spending the night there too.

The Heritage Highway draws its present charm from a distinctly functional past; of farming and toil, of the early transport and stage coaches where each township meant a change of horses, a refreshment stop or an overnight. How easy the journey is now.

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May
16
2012

Travelling to new places can be difficult if you don't have the right transport in place to help get you from A to B.

And if you are planning a trip to Tasmania, it is highly likely that transport will factor heavily in your holiday plans. How to get about, what to see.

Along with advice on bus fares and car hire there is also the option of taking your own vehicle with you via ferry or taking advantage of the many organised tours on offer in Tasmania.

Depending on the type of vacation you want to experience – whether it be a backpacking adventure or luxurious weekend away – it is easy to find something to suit your needs.

In some cases, you can also find package deals which can help make it easier to find accommodation in remote locations at an affordable price.

Another advantage of going on a tour is that they are often tailored to your interests including food, adventure and wilderness areas, art, history and antiques or allowing time for shopping.

This means that you can enjoy doing the things you love without having to worry about planning every detail and have fun meeting like-minded people.

For those who have a passion for good food and wine, and a different part of Tasmania, it is hard to go past King Island Coach Tours.

On this tour you will visit the Cape Wickham lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere, as well as the famous King Island dairy and there is also the opportunity to go penguin watching for an evening.

Another gastronomic delight is a 6 Days Taste of Tasmania tour that encourages you to explore the flavours of the east and west coast.

Those with a sense of adventure will no doubt want to make their way to Cradle Mountain National Park to go on one of the walking or canyoning tours.

Day tours too in Tasmania’s main centres allow you to quickly take in all the sights without having to plan, plan, plan. That’s what they do … you just sit back, let the driver do the work and take in the ever-changing surroundings.

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May
15
2012

As the longest-running stage production in the world, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has been entertaining audiences continuously in London since its debut 1952 – and you won't want to miss a performance of this stunning whodunit in Hobart in May and June.

It's estimated that more than ten million audience members worldwide have experienced The Mousetrap for themselves – and faithfully kept the secrets of its mysterious plot for generations of future audiences.

Between May 25 and June 9, Hobart's Playhouse Theatre on Bathurst Street will play host to this classic murder mystery, which will keep audiences on the edge of their seats until the final curtain falls.

The plot centres on a group of travellers staying at a British guesthouse. Trapped by a snowstorm, it soon becomes apparent that there is a murderer in their midst. The Mousetrap is famous for its twists and turns – as well as its surprise ending!

Adult tickets for The Mousetrap, performed by the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society, cost $27 – concession tickets are available and performances on Tuesdays cost $22. Tickets can be purchased from Centertainment.com.au.

Home of the Hobart Repertory Theatre in Bathurst Street

Home of the Hobart Repertory Theatre in Bathurst Street formerly The Union Chapel

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May
15
2012

The northwest of Tasmania is known for its awe-inspiring landscapes, rocky cliffs and sweeping beaches.

It is also something of a hotbed for art and culture attracting artists from across the country to its many exhibitions.

This month's Coastal exhibition, an annual event held by the Burnie Coastal Art Group, is true to that tradition and will showcase the works of a number of local artists inspired by the region's breathtaking landscape.

Among some of the artists featuring in the May exhibition are 2011 Ulverstone Artex category winner Liz Haygarth and 2011 TasART category winners Karen Coles, Julie Jones and Christine Smith.

Emerging artists are also an important part of the program and exhibitors have the option to sell their artworks to visitors to the show.

Mediums including traditional acrylic, oil and watercolours, as well as pieces inspired by popular craft movements are a part of the many inter-textual references that inform this contemporary art exhibition.

Despite the different mediums in use, there is a common theme to the range of works on show that all seek to depict the strong "coastal connection" the local community has with the state's northwest.

For those who feel inspired to start creating their own artworks after viewing the exhibition, you can speak with the event's organisers about attending one of the many weekly workshops that are held in the region throughout the year.

But you are, of course, more than welcome to sit back and enjoy looking at the scenery of the northwest coastline from a new, sometimes surprising perspective.

Coastal will run until the end of May 2012 at Studio 2Eleven, 211 Mount Street, in Upper Burnie and is open everyday except Mondays.

Entry is a gold coin donation and members of the public are encouraged to visit the venue and take part in the Brunie Coastal Art Group's 60th birthday.

Burnie Coastal Art Group Building in Upper Burnie

Burnie Coastal Art Group Masthead

Lino Print Workshop Setting

Lino Print results

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May
13
2012

Tasmania may be relatively new to the international wine scene, but it seems that the island state is quickly catching up to its main competitors.

And when one of the world's leading lifestyle and beverage publications Drinks Business identifies the regions cool-climate wines as an up and coming star, it is hard not to take notice.

The industry magazine placed Tasmania ahead of famous wine-making regions such as Languedoc in France and the island of Sardinia, Italy.

However, it still came in second to China which is said to be heavily investing in this area.

Helping to explain why the magazine's publishers may have been so impressed with Tasmania was minister for economic development David O'Byrne (May 10).

Mr O'Byrne said: "Our island offers water availability, soil, land affordability, branding and biosecurity advantages over many popular wine regions."

The minister also feels that the temperate maritime climate that attracts so many visitors to Tasmania was also one of the region's natural strengths.

"It's perfect for producing ultra-premium cool-climate wines, which are increasingly popular worldwide."

Tasmania's wine industry is currently valued at $75 million, but experts are predicting that this figure will quickly increase.

Craigow Vineyard - Image Credit Samuel Shelley

Bay of Fires Vineyard - Image Credit: Worldisround

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May
12
2012

Locals are probably well aware of the ever increasing number of world-class eateries in Tasmania.

But there are still those who may not have experienced the wonders of sipping on a boutique red, while enjoying the flavours of a tender wagyu cut.

However, you can always refresh your knowledge or try something new at some of these top eating destinations.

For those who like the finer things in life it is hard to go past The Source at MONA which features French-inspired cuisine that is sure to make your mouth water and an impressive wine list.

Just be sure to check its opening times ahead of your visit as restaurant hours can change during the week.

Anyone with a passion for eating fresh, locally produced food will want to make a beeline for the Huon Valley.

Well-known establishments such as the Home Hill Winery Restaurant will make you want to come back for seconds, while a number of smaller cafes cater to travellers on the move.

Black Cow Bistro in Launceston is known for its value for money meals and while you are in the area you may want to visit Hallam's Waterfront Restaurant and try some delicious seafood.

Black Cow Bistro in Launceston

Home Hill Winery Huon Valley

Hallams Restaurant Launceston - Image Credit: manmenjourney blog

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May
11
2012

The sweeping hills, rugged mountains and lake scenery are just some of the reasons why so many people go to Tasmania to unwind and reconnect with nature.

But in addition to a long list of natural wonders and must-see sights that showcase the region's waterways, beaches and wildernesses, you can also learn more about the best ways to preserve the regions seemingly untouched beauty.

At least this is part of the thinking behind a new, sustainably aware food movement that is flourishing on the island state.

It also underpins the sustainable food philosophy at The Agrarian Kitchen – a working farm located in Lachlan just 45 minutes from Hobart in the Derwent Valley.

Owner Rodney Dunn and his wife Severine run regular cooking classes at The Agrarian Kitchen, which uses ingredients raised on the farm including vegetables, herbs, fruit, chicken, geese and goats to make delicious, homemade meals based on the principles of organic farming practices.

In addition to running artesian and lifestyle classes, you can also take your little ones along to a paddock-to-place cooking experience.

This particular class is designed to help educate young children about how food is sourced, as well as their distinct flavours and properties.

Agrarian Kitchen at work scene - Image Credit: news.com.au

Tetsuya visiting with Rodney - Image Credit: BrandTasmania

Fabulous results - Image Credit: blogger Elizabeth (chookwoman)

The talented couple - Image Credit: GORMET

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May
10
2012

Get ready to roll down your windows, turn up the radio and let the wind rustle through your hair as you go on a driving tour of Tasmania.

While many people visit the island state with the intention of flying between destinations, you never know what you might stumble upon as you take to the road with nothing but a map and sense of adventure.

Among some of the more popular tourist destinations to visit are of course the cities including Hobart, Launceston and Queenstown.

However, there are a number of smaller yet still equally as interesting towns between that are also great to visit for a coffee or maybe an afternoon of sightseeing.

The Lyell Highway will take you through New Norfolk as you make your way to Derwent Bridge and the southern end of the Cradle Mountain – which you can find on a map under Lake St Clair National Park.

Make sure to stop off at The Wall in the Wilderness for a breath of fresh air and a brief history lesson before spending the night marvelling at the lakeside scenery on show at Derwent Bridge.

Next on your must see list as you continue west is the Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park where a number of short walks will help you stretch your legs as you make your way to the Iron Blow Lookout.

Travelling through rugged mountain terrain will help to revitalise your senses before heading into the former mining town of Queenstown.

You can get a real insight into what it would have been like to work in one of these mines on the Mt Lyell Mine Tour before catching forty winks and heading off on another adventure tomorrow.

The Wall in The Wilderness

Nearby Lake St Clair

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May
09
2012

An island holiday in Tasmania sits near the top of most people's bucket list along with travelling the world, career promotion or for the romantics, falling in love.

And while it can be hard to reach all your life goals, booking a weekend away with friends in Tasmania is easy.

But before you go, it is important to do your research so that you can find the perfect location.

More than 300 islands sit off the coast of Tasmania and range from rocky outposts to tranquil, white sand resort-like places.

In some cases, islands are privately owned and used to raise cattle or as pristine grazing grounds for stock such as Hunter or Robbins Island.

Among some of the more popular places for tourists and curious locals to visit is Flinders Island in the Bass Strait – which is located on the north-east tip of Tasmania – as well as King Island on the other tip, a hub of pastoral activity and Bruny Island near the mouth of the Derwent River.

Another remote yet equally fascinating location that will no doubt help to bring out the hidden adventurer in you is Cape Barren Island – one of the islands of the Furneaux Group in Bass Strait.

Home to a small indigenous community this particular island is off the beaten track, it will be sure to provide you with a greater appreciation of the region's history.

If you are in the mood for some serious adventure then it is hard to go past a hiking trip on Maria Island – this award winning location (and the various tours available) is sure to have you wanting to return for another journey through our wilderness.

Another island to put on your itinerary and very close to Hobart is Bruny Island … a centre for cruising and doing the food scene.

Bruny Island Spit Image Credit: Sporleder

Currie Harbour King Island

Flinders Island  Trousers Point - Tourism Tasmania Visual Library

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