Wine lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts are already making reservations for the new Josef Chromy Restaurant and Function Centre at the Relbia vineyard and winery.

The multimillion dollar development compliments the 1800s homestead, 61-acre vineyard, cellar door and cafe and is being hailed as a world-class facility that is sure to attract thousands of visitors wanting a taste of Europe.

Premier Lara Gidding was on hand for the site's official launch and to congratulate Chromy, as well as the strong reputation of Tasmanian wines.

"More than 300 delegates from across the globe marvelled at our cool climate wine as we showcased the state’s high-value, high-profile and high-quality industry," she commented.

Ms Gidding also highlighted the importance of the wine industry to tourism in the island state, saying that it helps to drive local jobs and a strong foodie culture.

Dean Cocker, JAC Group managing director, said the expansion was completed due to increasing interest in the vineyard which has gone from just a few visitors per day to more than 40,000 a year.

And with some of the best wines to choose from in the country, as well as stunning scenery and mouth-watering meals, it is not hard to see why so many Launcestonians regularly head to the vineyards.

Article about Josef Chromy as written up in The Wine Syndicate Image Credit The Wine Syndicate

Opening of the new centre - Image Credit - The Mercury

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Hobart's Theatre Royal anniversary celebration continues to entice visitors with a full production schedule.

The cultural hot spot has so far wowed audiences with performances from internationally renowned comedian Ross Nobel, as well a host of other big-name celebrities including The Wharf Revue.

British actress Miriam Margolyes is back in the country for the first time since her sell-out tour in 2007, with her own take on Charles Dickens' most engaging female characters.

On stage for two nights only – March 16 and 17 – Margolyes' preference for irreverent, thought provoking and colourful performances is sure to strike a chord with audiences.

But comedy is not the only dish on the menu at this cultural feast where decadence is a top priority.

Australian actor and playwright, Brendan Cowell, adds an element of sophistication to the line-up.

Cowell's Ruben Guthrie is an engaging twenty-something with ample career prospects, a perfect fiancee and the somewhat disturbing, albeit alcohol-induced, belief in his own ability to fly.

This award-winning play is on from March 22 to 31, presented by Tasmanian acting group Blue Cow, and will take on the directorial influence of Robert Jarman.

Opera, dance and cutting-edge art are on show in the month of April with stirring performances by some of the country's leading artists.

A sultry combination of fire, passion and seduction take to the stage in Melbourne Opera's April 14 production of Bizet's Carmen.

Prepare for a visual and auditory spectacular as you sway to the sound of the Toreador Song, Habanera, Seguidilla and Flower Song among others.

If descriptors like 'avant-garde', 'cutting-edge' and 'ground-breaking' are right up your alley then you will want to book tickets for Big hART's Namatijira.

Telling the story of Elea – one of Australia's most iconic Indigenous artists – who was born in central Australia at the turn of the last century, this is one of the Scott Rankin's most acclaimed productions.

Theatre bump out


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Reconnect with Tasmania's vibrant car racing past at the upcoming Longford Revival Festival on March 25 and 26.

Now in its second year, organisers are keen to once again showcase the car racing and history festival – which is based on Longford's automotive hey-day from 1953 to 1968.

On show at this truly international celebration of automotive ingenuity and design, as well as a range of activities the whole family can enjoy.

Among some of the many retail and commercial displays that will be operating over the course of the weekend are the National Automobile Museum, Motorworks Motorcycles, Heli-Adventures and the Shannons Super Rig.

If you have a passion for automobiles, you will want to catch a glimpse of the Speed Demonstration Show which runs from 09.30 to 16.30 each day and features racing legend Jim Richards discussing the history of motor racing.

There are also twice-daily talks about cars in the Automotive Marquee and ongoing big screen entertainment.

The festival also has a reputation for showcasing the best in vintage fashion and music from the 50s and 60s.

Radio and TV personality Candy Hertz will host the Longford Fashion Parade on Saturday at 14.00 and there is live music on for the duration of the car racing celebration.

Despite the emphasis on cars there are also plenty of attractions for local foodies.

Tamar Valley wine, gourmet food and locally produced arts and crafts are all parts of the festival's cultural experience.

With so many activities to choose from, it is easy to see why so many people descend on the 30 acres of farm land on Pateena Road (The Flying Mile) in Longford each year.

Parking at the festival is limited, but there are buses that run regularly from Launceston to Longford and give you access to Pateena Road via the Illawarra Main Road.

Longford Revival Festival 2012

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Mount Wellington is located just outside of Hobart and is a comfortable 20 minute drive from the city centre.

"The Mountain" (as locals call it) has long attracted the attention of residents and visitors to Hobart.

One of its more famous admirers, Charles Darwin, even climbed its highest peak when he dropped into Tasmania as part of the Beagle expedition.

Exploring Mount Wellington can take time, but it is well worth the trip to the summit which rises 1,270 metres above sea level.

You can make your way to the top of the mountain on foot and admire the temperate rainforests that change to sub-alpine flora as you approach the mountain's highest point.

Half and full-day walks are a fun way to take in the surroundings and breathe in the clean mountain air.

Buses run regularly up the mountain stopping at Fern Tree to do those walks or solo travellers can join a Mount Wellington Tour from Hobart.

Glacial rock formations, snow and  ice-cold streams are also a feature of this walk, so make sure to wear your woollies in the cooler months.

On a clear day you can see roughly one-third of the entire state including sweeping views of Hobart, Bruny Island, and South Arm, as well as the Iron Pot and the distant Tasman Peninsula.

If you are a keen cyclist you might like to take part in the commercially operated Mt Wellington Descent, which also features a drinks break at the iconic Cascade Brewery.

For those who are feeling adventurous, abseiling is another popular activity that is sure to get your heart pumping, but it is best to speak with experts who can help to identify and offer advice about the best places for this sport.

There is also the opportunity to relax with friends over an afternoon barbeque, with a number of bookable picnic facilities to choose from as well as other great eating locations near the Springs.


Amazing vistas and observation area

Mt Wellington Glover Image Credit held National Library of Australia

Mt Wellington from the Harbour at Sullivans Cove

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Harvest Launceston is quickly becoming a popular destination for foodies across the island state.

The community farmers' market in Launceston is still relatively new – it was launched in February this year.

But after an afternoon spent strolling past busy market stalls, mingling with crowds of visitors and chatting to farmers, you could be forgiven for thinking the Harvest had been here much longer.

You might want to make a beeline for the locally grown vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and plants that are regularly on display if you have a green thumb or enjoy eating vegetarian meals.

Gourmet heaven awaits you at the cheese and honey stalls – which are conveniently located among tables stacked high with a selection of jams, preserves, oils, nuts and grains.

On a cool day it is hard to beat the smell of freshly baked goods and early-birds can have their pick of home-style breads, cakes, biscuits and pastries.

The region's best meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs are also available to people who get in early – but there is still a good selection on offer for those who can only drop by of an afternoon.

However, the markets are not just about visitors, they are also a great place for other growers, farmers and producers to meet each other and exchange ideas as well as the odd tip.

Being run in accordance with the Australian Farmers' Market Association guidelines means that only locally sourced and grown food and beverages are sold at the stalls.

The markets are open from 09:00 to 13:00 each Saturday at the Climitiere St car park in Launceston – opposite the Grand Chancellor hotel between Cameron and Climitiere streets.

Stall holders are encouraged to become members of Harvest Launceston for an initial fee of $30 per year, but there is free entry for all visitors.

Harvest_Launceston Image credit - ritual coffee

Signage for the Harvest Market and Cheeseboard

Veggie Basket at the Market

Tamar-Valley-Wine-Route,-Jansz-Estate Image credit - australiantraveller-dot-com

Tamar scenery in the region

launceston river port Image credit - directory tasmania

LauncEskMkt Image credit - whitehat

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Organisers are hoping that this year's Tasmazia International Mural Fest 2012 will be bigger and better than ever.

Held annually in Sheffield – which is known as the Town of Murals – this truly unique art competition attracts worldwide attention and some of the country's best mural artists.

On show is the work of nine artists, who are each given just six days to create a mural that is 2,100mm high and 4,800mm wide.

The works are inspired by a poem – one is selected each year – which helps to get their creative juices flowing and ensure that no two artworks are the same.

Now in its 10th year, there have been some minor changes to the exhibition and along with the People's Choice Award, which attracts a $2,000 cash prize, and Visitors Award ($1,000) there is also the new addition of the Artists Choice Award ($2,000).

Entry to the outdoor gallery is free and the paint-off begins this Easter Week (April 8 to 14), however, winners are not announced till the final day of the competition.

You'll be able to enjoy passing time watching an artwork develop in front of your very own eyes, but remember to come early in order to cast your vote for the work that inspires you the most.

Incredible Sheffield Murals Image Credit - World Map Australia used by Panoramio

Fantastic Sheffield mural Image credit - booktasmania-com-au

Murals on the Sheffield Bible Chapel

Country view near Sheffield

Large mural at Sheffield Image credit - surprisingaustralia-dot-com

GlowingDepthsMural from 2010 competition Image credit - aerograffix

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Our blog records all manner of observations about Tasmania … its attractions, things we know or have been told. It’s always great to note down things for you, to reveal facts and oddities which may add to your enjoyment of this amazing state. One of the things which does constantly amaze us, is the number of incredible photos that come our way. DiscoverTasmania’s facebook photo pages are crowded with striking visuals which have been trusted to our care and share. Precise and technically perfect professional shots, ‘iphonography’ where smartphones with their increasingly better resolutions (and savvy users) produce remarkable portraits of the land and other more intimate moments. Vistas, food-shots, and countless others have created a whole genre of enjoyment for many. Art and landscapes, the documentary and the casual snapshot, aided by programs like – yes, we are there too!

We hope that you enjoy a selection of some of the best to pass our way … most cross-posted on facebook.

Cruising the Tasman Peninsula Image Credit - Gautam Bawa

Taking an evening stroll along Surprise Bay on the South Coast Track Image Credit - Darrel Grundy

Amazing reflections at Rosebery Image Credit and Copyright Chetwin Photography

Spectacular Sisters Beach

Stunning North West Image Credit - Linda Michelle Baker

Summit of Mt Ossa Cradle Mountain Walk Image Credit - Joanne Lane

Hobart by night Shutterbug Tours Image Credit and Copyright  - Roy Veith

Looking across from Nubeena Image Credit - Richard Burgess

Cradle Mountain Walk Image Credit - Joanne Lane

One of the reasons to take a long RV or caravan holiday in Tasmania Image Credit - Rodney Hunt

A tarn and everlasting wilderness stretching as far as the eye (camera) can see Image Credit - Joanne Lane

Kingston Beach Early Morning Image Credit - Aimee Parmateer

Albino Bennett's Wallaby at Adventure Bay, Bruny Island Image Credit - Trina Mangels

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St Helens is the largest town in the north-east of Tasmania with a reputation for game fishing, holiday homes, beach bungalows at nearby Binalong Bay and a more relaxed pace of life.

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway, trip with friends or simply visiting for the day, you won’t be short of things to do on your stay.

A good starting point and a great place to get your bearings is the Local History Room on Cecilia Street – the main road in town.

Guides will give you a verbal introduction to St Helens History Room – this is a perfect wet weather activity that will have the kids begging to stay.

The region is most famous for its sandy beaches, aquamarine waters and coastal scenery – which may mean packing your bags and making a quick trip just outside of town.

Georges Bay is one of the many surfing and swimming beaches that dot the area and the seaside town is well known for its seafood, including bream, flounder, scallops and abalone.

Keen surfers will no doubt want to see the long line of sand dunes and clean beaches that lie just south of St Helens, while fisherman may prefer to head east to the resort town of Binalong Bay, which is famous for its rock and surf fishing.

At Binalong Bay too are the impossibly white beaches and lichen stained rocks which stretch northward toward world famous Bay of Fires.

Georges Bay

Superb Binalong Bay

Peron Dunes

Broad swathe of the bay - St Helens

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Horse riding tours in Cradle Mountain are popular with locals and tourists alike due to the area's stunning scenery, deep valleys and beautiful bush tracks.

Whether you are an advanced equestrian, a relative newcomer to trail riding or you prefer to take walking tours while the rest of the family go riding, you can have fun outdoors in this corner of Tasmania. Horses are selected for temperament and the range of breeds includes Arabs, Quarter Horses, Percherons, Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Clydesdale (and crosses), Australian Stock Horses and Welsh Mountain Ponies!

With your pick of half-day, full-day and multi-day rides, it is easy to plan your horse-riding adventure and still have time relax by a fire at the end of the day in one of Cradle Mountain Lodge’s chalets.

Tours last from three to six hours per day, but there are plenty of opportunities to take a break from soaking up the surroundings and morning tea is often included in the total costs.

Among some of the main attractions are rolling hills, creeks, logs to jump over and guided tours led by experts who are more than happy to show you all the best spots.

If you are looking to get back to nature and away from the rat race, eucalyptus trees, mountain views and rural landscapes will help clear your mind as you breathe in the fresh air. VERY fresh air.

There is also the opportunity to traverse other parts of the Great Western Tiers region, as well as Mersey Valley and Vale of Belvoir that sits on the edge of the Cradle Mountain World Heritage area.

Chalets at Cradle Mountain Mountain

composite riding image


Stunning bark on gums at Cradle Mountain Image Credit Natasha von Geldern

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The southern part of Tasmania has a reputation for gourmet food and high quality produce.

You can source great tasting seafood, meat and dairy products right across the state, but it is hard to go past the Huon Valley for fresh fruit.

The Huon Valley is located just a short drive from Hobart and winds along the Huon River through the towns of Huonville, Geeveston and Cygnet.

And while the region is well known for its former prowess for tasty apples, it is also home to a rich variety of fruits that grow in cooler climates.

A quick visit to the Apple & Heritage Museum in Huonville – which is the largest town in the region – will go some way to explaining the rich history of apple and pear production in the region.

Driving further south (just below 43 degrees south in fact) is the Panorama Vineyard at Cradoc, where you can enjoy wine tasting, or simply admire the scenery.

If you are already in the area then it might also be a good idea (in season) to head toward the nearby Hancock's Daffodil Farm.

The great part about this journey is that you can make regular stops along the way, as local farmers and growers often sell fresh, organic produce directly to the consumer.

Another top fresh food destination in the Huon Valley is the berry producing town of Cygnet.

It is easy to get lost in the local orchards and craft stores that dot the area – and if you feel like unwinding after a long day of sightseeing there are a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from in the township. The Red Velvet Lounge comes to mind – part boutique food store, part funky eclectic cafe/restaurant, headed up by the redoubtable Steve Crumper ex Peppermint Bay.

Depending on the weather, you might like to bring a rug and thermos with you for an afternoon picnic on the river with friends and snack on all the delicious treats you have picked up on your travels.

Classic Huon Valley Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs With Salmon

Grandvewe Composite Image Image credit (parts) Joe Shemesh

Small Boats at Anchor near the Wooden Boast Centre and Franklin - image Susan Moore

Gourmet Farmer - Mathew Evans - a Huon Valley resident Image Credit SBS

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