Apr
28
2012

Riverdance – the breathtaking musical spectacular – is on its way to Tasmania in May, and if you’ve never seen this incredible performance on stage before, you won’t want to miss out.

The Irish music and dance sensation is returning Australia for its farewell tour, with a limited run of seven showstopping performances scheduled to take place in Hobart from May 8 to 12.

Since its creation nearly 20 years ago, more than 22 million people have been swept away by this incredible production – it has been performed across four continents in a total of 32 countries, grossing a staggering US$1.6 billion worldwide since 1994.

Billed as a celebration of Irish dance, song and music, next month’s Riverdance farewell tour will be the first time the show has been performed on Australian soil in nine years.

Hobart’s Derwent Entertainment Centre will play host to the festivities, which have been described by the London Times as “a family evening unlike anything else”.

The story of Riverdance showcases the development of Irish dances, drawing on rich Celtic traditions and showcasing their influence on other cultures.  Featuring Grammy award-winning music and lyrics from composer Bill Whelan as well as some of the finest dancers and musicians in Ireland, this is a must-see show that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Whether you are a devoted Riverdance fan or are simply looking to enjoy the phenomenon for the first time, you won’t want to miss out on tickets to this thrilling and energetic performance.

The Riverdance Farewell Tour will be performed every day at 8:00pm, with an additional May 12 matinee show scheduled for 2:00pm and a May 13 afternoon performance at 1:00pm.

Adult tickets for Riverdance start from $65 for C reserve seats. Premium tickets are available for $130 and can be purchased from Ticketmaster or the Derwent Entertainment Centre Box Office.

Riverdance Tour Poster

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Apr
27
2012

Whether you’re a longtime fan of classical music, an enthusiastic Anglophile or simply want to experience the iconic Last Night of the Proms for yourself, you won’t want to miss the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as they take to the stage in Launceston this weekend.

Taking inspiration from London’s famous Proms – a series of summer concerts performed in the capital city – the Tasmanian version of the Last Night of the Proms is a celebration of all that is great about Britain.

Hosted by presenter Guy Noble, the event will feature the vocal talents of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, as well as soprano Jacqueline Porter and baritone Stuart Maunder.

Billed as an evening of passion and patriotism, guests at the Last Night of the Proms will be treated to some of the famous pieces of music that featured in last year’s royal wedding, as well as some of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most well-known songs, including I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General from The Pirates of Penzance.

The Last Night of the Proms will be performed at Launceston’s Albert Hall on Saturday April 28 at 7:30pm.

TSO Concert Series Launceston

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Apr
26
2012

If you're lucky enough to spend a Sunday in Hobart, you won't want to miss the weekly market held at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds.

This facility has an exciting range of stalls offering something for everyone – whether you are looking to add to your garden, find a new outfit or sample some of Tasmania's great gourmet fare, you'll find exactly what you're after here.

Entry to the Hobart Showground Sunday Market is free – and with just two weekends to go before Mother's Day, it is a great place to track down a one-of-a-kind gift for a special mum in your life.

From freshly-cut flowers to handicrafts, jewellery, decadent chutneys and jams, local art and even homemade cakes, the stalls here are packed with gift ideas to suit mums of every taste.

Located at the corner of Howard Road and Brooker Highway, the market is held every Sunday between 8:00am and 2:00pm – and early birds often get the best bargains!

You'll find the fun and friendly atmosphere here also offers a great alternative to traditional supermarkets – and if you are looking for the best seasonal produce in Tasmania, you'll find the Hobart Showground Sunday Market offers the freshest fruit and vegies in town!

Market Scene at the Showgrounds - Mt Wellington in the background

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Apr
25
2012

If you are looking for handmade items with local flair on Hobart's Eastern Shore, you won't want to miss a visit to the Barn Market during the first weekend of May.

A total of five markets are being held throughout 2012 at Rosny Barn on Rosny Hill Road – and the second market on May 5 is just in time for you to find the perfect Mother's Day gift.

This popular market was named as the Clarence City Community Event of the Year for 2011, and is the perfect place to spend a relaxing Saturday morning or afternoon.

You can browse a great range of unique and locally-made products between 10am and 3pm – and while you are there, why not sample a delicious cup of coffee, indulge in a homemade gourmet pie or take in a craft demonstration?

From luxurious food and wine to striking handmade stationery, accessories and jewellery, the Barn Market has something for everyone – there are even vendors selling a range of children's toys and accessories.

You'll also be able to browse through an exceptional selection of cut flowers, fruit, vegetables and bakery products – all as the sounds of talented local musicians fill the air.

Barn Exterior (detail) and Market

market space and barn exterior

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Apr
24
2012

Whether you're a cabernet connoisseur or just starting to develop your palate, the upcoming Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend in Hobart is a great opportunity to sample the best the island state has to offer.

On May 26 and 27, Princes Wharf No. 1 plays host to two days of red wine celebrations, featuring winemakers and vignerons from right across Tasmania.

The island state shares a similar climate to that of many European wine-growing regions – and its mild summers and crisp autumn days offer perfect growing conditions for cool-climate wines.

Tasmania is particularly famous for its critically-acclaimed Pinot Noirs, and it boasts a national – and even international – reputation as one of Australia's leading wine regions.

From 11am until 5pm, you'll be able to meet with a selection of key players from this fascinating industry, and sample the best red wines the region has to offer. More than 70 different wines will be on offer at this annual event, which is also a great opportunity to connect with fellow wine lovers from Tasmania and beyond.

General admission tickets cost $25, which includes tastings of all the wines at the event, as well as a souvenir Plumm wine glass featuring the WineSouth logo valued at $25.

Bream Creek Vineyard - Image Credit: images sourced from Wine South
Meadowbank Winter Covers  - Image Credit: images sourced from Wine South
Restaurant Dining Southern Tasmania  - Image Credit: images sourced from Wine South  - Image Credit: images sourced from Wine South

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Apr
23
2012

If you have always wanted to experience the secret world of caving, Mole Creek Karst National Park could be the perfect destination for your next adventure holiday.

There are more than 300 caves and sinkholes dotted throughout the park – but it is perhaps most famous for King Solomons and Marakoopa Cave, both of which offer unique caving experiences and are open to the public.

Marakoopa Cave is home to a fascinating glow worm display – the largest of its kind in Australia accessible to the public. It is interesting to note that glow worms are not worms at all – these creatures are the larvae of insects that are similar to mosquitoes and the glowing appearance is caused by their digestive systems.

Glow worms aren't the only unique species you might spot in these caves – you may also be fortunate enough to see ancient mountain shrimp (sometimes referred to by their scientific name of Anaspides), as well as harvestmen or Tasmanian cave spiders. These creatures are sustained by the streams that run through the cave, bringing with them other insects and plant material.

By contrast, King Solomons Cave is comparatively dry – although the limestone formations and richly-coloured rocks here are evidence that a stream did flow through the cave at one time.

You can take guided tours of both caves – admission costs $19 per cave tour for adults, and $9.50 for children between the ages of four and 17. Concession charges and family passes are also available.

Tours of both caves are scheduled throughout the day, and you should allow approximately 45 minutes to view each site. It is also important to note that if you plan to visit both caves in a single day, it takes approximately 15 minutes to travel by car between King Solomons Cave and Marakoopa Cave.

Stream flowing to cave - pure above, pure below

Aragonite cluster from Ghengis Khan section of Mole Creek Cave

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Apr
22
2012

you love all things spooky, ghoulish and downright scream-worthy, you won't want to miss out on a ghost tour during your next trip to Hobart or Battery Point.

Ghost Tours of Hobart and Battery Point has been in operation for more than eight years and promise to bring you a spook-tacular experience by only taking guests to "genuinely haunted sites".

Led by brave guides (known as the Boo Crew), you have the choice of two spine-tingling adventure walks encompassing the scariest locations in Hobart and Battery Point.

The dramatic Hobart route takes you right through the heart of the city's historic CBD, where you'll be regaled with ghost stories from the city's past and present. Guests are even invited to bring along their own cameras or video equipment so you can try your hand at ghost photography.

Alternatively, you can sign up for the Battery Point tour, which takes in the classic buildings in this iconic waterfront suburb – and reveals some present-day spooky surprises too.

Battery Point tours depart on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from The Bakehouse, an iconic 24-hour bakery situated in Salamanca Square. If you are travelling in a large group, you can also arrange for special Battery Point tours on Monday and Thursday nights on request.

The Hobart tours also depart from The Bakehouse on Sunday nights and occasionally on Wednesdays too. This tour is a recommended option for those who have walking difficulties or require a wheelchair, as the Battery Point route involves stairs and a hill.

Bookings are essential on all tours – you can reserve your place online, over the phone or by dropping by The Bakehouse in Salamanca Square. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and discounted admission is available for groups of more than 20 adults.

Exterior of buildings near Franklin Square - what stories can they tell?

A fantastic interior in central Hobart

Ectoplasmic streams in the tunnels below the streets of Hobart

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Apr
21
2012

Classical music lovers who plan to be in Hobart during the first weekend of May won't want to miss a spectacular performance of one of the finest pieces of music ever composed for orchestra and violin.

On Friday May 4, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra will perform Bruch's Scottish Fantasy – as well as Mozart's Symphony No 40 and Kodaly's Summer Evening – at Hobart's Federation Concert Hall on Davey Street.

These selections offer incredible auditory contrasts – from expressive Celtic melodies to the darker notes of the Mozart piece and the gentle charm of Summer Evening, there is something to offer everyone.

This dazzling performance will be conducted by Arvo Volmer and will feature Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jun Yi Ma on violin.

May 5 and 6 will also see members of the Hobart Symphony Orchestra getting out and about in the Tasmanian capital and surrounding areas, with a travelling performance of Borodin's String Quartet No 2 in D major and Mozart's String Quartet No 4 in C major, K157.

You can catch this performance at MONA at 11:00 on Saturday May 5, and again at 18:00 at the Home Hill Winery. On Sunday May 6, it will be played again at 18:00 at the Fitzpatricks Inn in Westbury.

Scottish Fantasy

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Apr
20
2012

Whether you're a coin collector, a history buff or simply love learning, there is always something new to discover at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

This Hobart icon is home to a number of fascinating exhibits, including a long-term display of one of Australia's most important coin and medal collections.

Featuring more than 350 medals and coins, the Stories From the State Numismatics Collection display brings some of the most important events in Tasmanian history to life.

You'll be able to experience the stories behind the end of convict transportation, the introduction of federation banknotes and Australia's transition to decimal currency as you take in the fascinating displays.

This permanent exhibition also features one of the nation's most important collections of Roman coins, which were donated by Lord Talbot de Malahide.

Entry to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is free and the museum is open between 10:00 and 17:00 seven days a week (except for Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

If you've never been to the museum before, guided tours are available from Wednesday to Sunday at 14:30. This is an excellent way to learn more about the highlights of each exhibition and get to know your way around the museum.

Entrance Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (may presently be out of use due to alterations)

Old Note

Photos of Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart
This photo of Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

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Apr
20
2012

A Tiger Airways Australia party led by CEO Andrew David touched down at 10am (AEST) in Hobart Airport today to announce the return of the airline’s services between Melbourne and Hobart as of early November 2012 (subject to regulatory approval).

With up to three daily return services between Melbourne and Hobart commencing 1st November 2012, this will be a welcome increase in the available number of seats to and from the island’s capital.

Better – yet, flights go on sale today from $45.95* OW. It is hoped that other route developments will be announced shortly.

Daily flights from 1st November will depart Melbourne at 7:00 am and 6:00 pm and return respectively from Hobart at 8:45am and 7:45pm, making a day-trip to Tassie a consideration and at Tiger’s aggressive pricing – affordable.

A third service will be phased in for peak periods.

tigerA320

Tiger-airways-logo

CEO of TigerAirways and a Tasmanian Devil

(Donations to the Save The Tasmanian Appeal can be made at their website. It has been well publicised that one of Australia’s favourite little critters is in severe trouble with declining wild populations due to a Devil Facial Tumour disease.)

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