Feb
14
2012
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There are some breathtaking natural wonders and mesmerising destinations throughout Tasmania, but sometimes you need more than just your feet to take you into the heart of the beauty and get the most out of your adventure experience.

With a 4WD it is possible to reach places that might not otherwise be possible – in the process opening up a gateway to magical views and a feeling of remote isolation to be cherished.

From wild beaches to magnificent forests, exploring the island state's diverse wilderness area is often made possible by jumping behind the wheel of an all-terrain vehicle that specialises in negotiating rugged conditions.

Many of Tasmania's most inspiring coastlines and lush landscapes are inaccessible to conventional vehicles.

But this does not mean they are out of reach – in fact a self-guided, tag-along or tour-operated 4WD journey will take you to special places that most visitors never find the opportunity to witness. Be sure that you obtain a Parks & Wildlife Parks Pass as many of these special places are curated for everyone’s enjoyment.

One of the main advantages to off-road touring in Tasmania is that the distances between exciting tracks are relatively short, so you can achieve a lot in a short space of time.

4WD Acess to Montezuma Falls Image Credit AV Rider

Out on the coast near the mouth of the Arthur River  Image Credit - Sunset Holiday Villas

Getting bogged on the Balfour Track Image Credit - Kookynet

Catch a trout in Tasmanias off road Highland Lakes Image Credit - Sports Fish Tasmania

North East Tasmania Track to Waterhouse Point with Cape Portland in background Image Credit - kookynet

Sandy Cape-4wd near Coles Bay Image Credit Travelpod user Lavis

Intro Off Road Course available in Burnie Tasmania

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Feb
13
2012
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For a fun day out featuring novelty races and a host of great entertainment, head to the Evandale Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships later this month.

This is a popular annual event and when it comes to antique bicycle racing the action does not come better than this, with an extensive program for fans, friends and family members to enjoy throughout the day.

Penny Farthing enthusiasts will gather from far and wide to climb onto their high seats and peddle for glory over the specially-designed triangular circuit.

Market stalls, clowns, music, vintage car displays, cycling memorabilia and plenty more will be on offer in the surrounding streets and parks of this ordinarily peaceful village.

For the kids there are pony rides, puppet shows and some fun cycle races – but they will have to spend a few more years growing before attempting to mount an old Penny Farthing.

The fair takes place on Saturday February 25 between 10:00 and 16:00 and it costs nothing to come along and enjoy the country carnival atmosphere.

Evandale is an easy 15-minute drive from Launceston in the north of Tasmania.

Spectacular cornering - image credit Dirk Veltkamp panoramio

Penny Farthings racing toward the finish at Evandale

Launceston just 15mins from Evandale

Rounding the corner outside the Clarendon Arms Evandale

Clarendon House close to Evandale

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Feb
12
2012
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When you think of a holiday, do you picture spending relaxing evenings in a home away from home and days filled with walks along the beach or exploring a charming local town?

If the answer to that question is emphatically yes, then perhaps a getaway to one of Tasmania’s many fantastic self-contained accommodations is exactly what you need.

The island state is filled with an awesome range of places to stay including inner-city units and modern apartments, pleasant seaside cabins and quaint country cottages.

Whether you are a couple seeking a romantic weekend away, a family taking the kids on an interstate adventure or a single businessperson visiting Tasmania for work, there is a comfortable private setting waiting for you to base yourself in this southern wonderland.

Unlike staying in an impersonal or predictable hotel room, privately owned and fully self-contained accommodation allows you to be entirely self sufficient and live among friendly local residents – even if it is only for a few days.

This is the ideal way to get to know a fascinating new region whilst feeling completely at ease the second you return from a busy day out.

Every one of Tasmania’s luxury homes or cabins available for hire has its own style, charm and special features. With a little bit of research you can book yourself into something special and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime this season.

You can look through a number of great options on the Innkeepers website or follow the advice of friends who have previously stayed in somewhere that they recommend highly – but whatever you do, remember that when visiting Tasmania you should always prepare for a truly relaxing and happy experience.

Armytage House Bagdad - Self-Contained Accommodation
View at Beach Apartments at Kingston - Self-Contained
Three Henry Street Richmond - Self-Contained Accommodation
Superb Rural accommodation through booktasmania-dot-com-dot-au - Self Contained Accommodation
Retreat inTasmanias Far South - Buttongrass Retreat - Self Contained
MONA Pavilions Distinctive Self-Contained Accommodation
Beachside Retreat West Inlet near Stanley - Self-Contained Accommodation

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Feb
11
2012
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Where would we be without ferries?

As an extremely popular island destination south of mainland Australia, Tasmania relies on ferries more than most.

And fortunately the state also possesses an efficient and comprehensive system whereby visitors can cruise and reach spectacular scenery and well known locations by ferry.

The most significant route is between Port Melbourne and Devonport in Tasmania’s north, as it connects the two and represents an easy and adventurous alternative to air travel – it is also Australia’s only significant overnight ship journey.

With the Spirit of Tasmania ferries you and your vehicle are able to journey overnight in order to save time and accommodation costs. During peak time there are also daytime sailings.

Once you arrive in the beautiful state it is time to start exploring – there are historic ferries such as the Emma Lisa from Hobart waterfront to Bellerive on the eastern shore. Another ferry serves Bruny Island from a base at Kettering. Cruise upriver from the Waterfront as an enjoyable way to reach the MONA museum complex.

One of Tasmania’s most idyllic ferry journeys is from Cynthia Bay, at the southern edge of picturesque Lake St Clair, to Narcissus Point at the end of the renowned Overland Track.

There is a ferry punt across the Pieman River, near Corinna on the way to the awe inspiring Tarkine region.

Spirit of Tasmania at Station Pier in Port Melbourne

Emmalisa ferry in Hobart Harbour arrives from Bellerive

Bruny Island Ferry

Loading up the Bruny Island Ferry

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Feb
10
2012
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Slick piano notes, classy upright bass, smooth saxophone solos and dulcet vocal tones – your ears will be treated to all this and more at the enchanting Clarence Jazz Festival in Hobart between February 21 and 26.

Over six exciting days patrons will have the opportunity to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and classic tunes of Tasmania’s premier jazz festival.

A wide variety of acts will represent the musical genre at a host of beautiful outdoor, riverside and historic locations around the picturesque capital city.

Feature concerts will be presented at Simmons Park Lindisfarne, Montagu Bay Park, Rosny Farm and the Bellerive Boardwalk among other venues, with the comprehensive program also featuring the Jazz Lounge for a more intimate music experience.

The Jazz Lounge – set in the 200-year-old Rosny Barn – is a perennial crowd favourite due to its unique atmosphere and close proximity to the performers.

This is not just a major event on the Tasmanian summer events calendar – it is one of the musical highlights of the year anywhere in Australia.

With an amazing line-up of local talent and seasoned performers from around the country, audiences are in for an unrivalled jazz treat and plenty of good vibes.

Beloved festival ambassador, trombonist and award-winning singer Dan Barnett will return in 2012 to jam with the bands and guide enthusiastic audiences through the six-day musical journey.

Over the last three days of the festival the majority of shows migrate to the Boardwalk area, where guests can feast on delicious Tasmanian food prepared on site and enjoy fine locally-produced wines.

All venues are within 15 minutes’ drive of the Hobart CBD, while outdoor events are provided to the public free of charge.

Clarence Jazz Festival Image Array

Jazz musicians at the ClarenceJazz Festival

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Feb
09
2012
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If you fancy a flutter whilst visiting the island state this season – or just a day out in your finest suit or dress – why not get along to experience all the glitz, glamour and glory of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival?

One of the highlights of the fabulous carnival is the AAMI Launceston Cup held at Tasman Park February 29.

As Northern Tasmania’s premier event on the sport of kings’ calendar, this is always a fantastic day of racing, entertainment, fashion and of course socialising.

The whole city of Launceston seems to come alive with the buzz of carnival time, as colourful clothes, extravagant hats and hot tips on the next big race can be found on every street.

For many patrons this is a day to settle back in the marquee with a group of friends and chat about fashion over a glass of champagne, occasionally checking to see if one of their horses is anywhere near the lead.

Other guests might consider themselves to be somewhat of an expert, spending hours analysing the form and rushing between the tote and the track.

Some world class thoroughbred horse racing will be on display including the $50,000 Shaw Magic Millions Tasmanian 2yo Classic, $100,000 Eliza Park Vamos Stakes and the big one – the $225,000 AAMI Launceston Cup over 2,400 metres.

However you choose to enjoy the Launceston Cup – or any of the great events throughout the carnival – you are guaranteed to be treated to a vibrant atmosphere.

Adult tickets cost $35, concessions $30 and children under the age of 16 can enter for free.

For marquee reservations it is important to contact the Tasmanian Turf Club in advance.

Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival logo

Recent Winner in Launceston - NZ horse Growl

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Feb
08
2012
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From now right up until Easter people in Tasmania will have the opportunity to check out a wonderful produce-based market on the roof of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) each Saturday.

While the unique location helps make this a great afternoon out, it is the quality of the goods on offer that really stands out at MoMa.

Growers and supplies from the Derwent Valley, greater Hobart and other parts of regional Tasmania come together to present local organic and sustainable produce for visitors to sample and buy.

Tasmania is renowned for being home to some of the finest fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and wine in the world.

MoMa is an eclectic mix of food, art, environment and some unexpected treats thrown in by the organisers.

With workshops, art installations and a superb selection of tasty food all in the one place, what better way is there to spend a weekend in the island state?

You can find MoMa at Berriedale, Hobart between 13:30 and 18:30 – and with free entry it is an ideal event for the whole family.

Fruit and produce galore at the MOMA market at MONA

Getting in early before the crowds arrive

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Feb
07
2012

Tasmania has long held a reputation for unspoilt natural beauty, fine local produce, friendly service, delightful architecture, rich culture and a fascinating history – qualities that make it one of Australia’s favourite tourist destinations all year round.

And in more recent times the island state has begun to emerge as a hotspot for the burgeoning farmers market scene throughout the country, with numerous cities and townships hosting great family events on a regular basis.

The list of quality Tasmanian markets is long and varied, with visitors able to enjoy everything from fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood to beautiful handmade arts and crafts from local practitioners.

While Saturdays and Sundays are generally the best times for a fun day out, the Margate Wednesday Community Market provides a fantastic mid-week alternative right throughout the year.

The most of famous of Tasmania’s big markets is undoubtedly the Salamanca Market in the capital city Hobart - with its produce section stretching out towards the Abel Tasman statue alongside Parliament House lawns – while other venues of note include Burnie, Glenorchy and the state’s second-largest city Launceston.

According to The Market Guide, an easy journey across Bass Strait from Melbourne leads travellers to “Australia’s best-kept secret”.

Tasmania’s world-class local produce includes fish, apples, wine and plenty more, so visitors to any of the excellent farmers markets will be able to walk away from a relaxing day out with a bagful of delicious fresh ingredients to take home.

The superb Burnie Farmers Market takes place the second and third Saturday of every month – and for the second and fourth Saturdays there is no more rewarding option than arts and crafts shopping at Launceston’s Civic Homespun Market. More to explore are the markets at Claude Road, Sheffield, the Don Village opposite the Don River Railway, Forth, Latrobe Village, Northdown, Ulverstone, Wynyard Airport and Car Boot and the Wynyard Old Theatre in Goldie Street. Check here for details.

Every Sunday you have the option to get along to Tasmanian Farm Gate in Hobart for a huge supply of culinary delights and tasty goods, while bargain hunters are bound to love the variety on offer at both the Penguin Market and Launceston Esk Market.

farmers markets tasmania image credit - lindemans harvest club magazine

spuds of all colours -  northwest tasmania

Eliza from Mount Gnomon at Burnie market image credit - Mount Gnomon Farm

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Feb
04
2012
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If you are lucky enough to be heading to Tasmania this month, it would be well worth trying to find time in your itinerary for Festivale, the al fresco celebration of fine food and wine at Launceston's historic City Park.

This wonderful event began in 1988 as a multi-cultural street party? – and has continued to expand over the years to become one of the truly iconic showpieces of the Tasmanian summer calendar. You may be interested in other events in the Launceston area.

The emphasis has always been on quality local produce, with island state residents and visitors from around the country enjoying a magnificent selection of wine, beer and gourmet foods.

Festivale won Tasmanian Tourism Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010, attracting around 40,000 guests every year for three days of total indulgence.

There will be over 65 stalls for patrons to wander past or stop at for a tasting session.

Among the feasting is a host of live entertainment including dance, music, street theatre and art as related by Think-Tasmania.

If you have an eye for photography, why not capture an image that represents Tasmanian produce or entertainment in some way and go in the running for a $500 cash prize in this year’s Festivale Photography Competition?

Festivale takes place from February 10 to 12, with doors opening at 5.30 pm on the Friday 10th.

Festivale Launceston image credit - University of Tasmania

Festivale Logo :: image credit - Think-Tasmania

Festivale in the Park Launceston

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Feb
03
2012
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For a slice of old-fashioned family fun this weekend why not make your way out to the Ross Rodeo in east central Tasmania?

The wonderful annual event takes place Saturday February 4 at Badajos Street in Ross, with gates opening at 08:00 and the major drawcard of the day – the big rodeo event – getting underway at midday.

A comprehensive list of events is on the schedule including bull riding, bareback bronco riding, saddlebronc, steer wrestling, roping and barrel racing.

Spectators of all ages are bound to have a wonderful day out as there will be a huge variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.

There will be the historical machinery club of Tasmania, Eddie Freeman chainsaw sculptures, the Australian miniature horse registry, a whip cracking display and the always popular dog high jump.

When the summer sun comes out over the local fields Ross is a delightful place to spend the afternoon – and every year this event brings the whole region to life with excitement and a great carnival atmosphere.

The rodeo is strictly no BYO and unfortunately no dogs are permitted either, but with free admission this is definitely one Tasmanian event not to miss this February.

Rodeo action at Ross - image credit Ross Motel (2010)

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