Feb
02
2012
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Are you looking for a laugh in Tasmania next week?

If a little bit of comedy is just what you need after a big weekend of hiking through mountain ranges or exploring national parks, then get along to the Kingston Comedy Bar at the Southern Lights Hotel on February 8 for a great night of humour, drinks and socialising.

This monthly event is one of the best stand-up comedy nights in the island state, always a drawing a top-class bill full of local talent along with a special guest headliner.

Expertly hosted by comedian Gavin Baskerville, the show has gained a big reputation around the region and always attracts an enthusiastic audience.

With plenty of free parking on offer and hearty pre-show meals served in the hotel restaurant, this is definitely the place to be next Wednesday evening for anyone who enjoys a mid-week chuckle.

The actions gets underway at 20:00, so book your dinner early if you don't want to miss out as the dining area and live stage are located in different parts of the hotel.

Tasmania attracts some excellent comedy acts – not to mention terrific theatre and live music shows – meaning there is always plenty to do when the sun goes down on the picturesque townships and landscapes.

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Feb
01
2012
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If wandering among historic streets filled with delightful architecture is your idea of a perfect weekend getaway then Perth – just outside of Launceston in northern Tasmania – should be at the top of your list of destinations when you next visit the island state.

This quaint town offers a glimpse into the past with its beautiful traditional homes, shopfronts, inns and churches.

With a National Trust brochure available at the local post office you can navigate your way to more than 40 historic buildings, including the stunning Baptist and Methodist churches.

The Leather Bottle Inn is the town's oldest building – dating back to 1830 – and upon closer inspection you will notice the handmade nails used in its construction.

For an afternoon picnic visitors and locals often like to head down to the old bridge and relax by the river.

Perth is also scenically situated on the region's spectacular plains, with views out to the impressive Great Western Tiers mountain range.

It takes just over 15 minutes to drive from central Launceston out to Perth, making it an ideal destination for a day trip as part of your Tasmanian holiday.

The weir across the South Esk River coming into Perth Image Credit - Nick Osborne

Honey Shop at Perth Image Credit - Nick Osborne

Perth Historic Property The Stone House

Perth engraved antique print from Willmore after Skinner Prout  approx 1873 image credit - heatons UK catalogue_all rights reserved

Installation artwork by Hazell Bros for Ten Days on The Island

Fishing for trout in a local stream near Perth

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Jan
31
2012
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Festival enthusiasts looking for a different type of experience would do well to consider the virtues of a trip into the northern part of lush central Tasmania, where the bi-annual Jockeys Marsh Forest Festival will take place early next month.

While this is not the place to come for wild partying, few festivals in Australia can rival this event for an idyllic setting or pleasant atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy.

Held over three wonderful days from February 3 to 5, it is a smorgasbord of music, art, food and workshops – all indulged upon whilst maintaining a keen sense of the surrounding environment.

Spectacularly situated by Quamby Bluff and the Great Western Tiers, this is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the delicate beauty of the region and take part in the numerous activities or forest walks.

With an eclectic mix of folk tunes, instrumentalists and a few good old-fashioned rock bands at night there is always something happening for the music lover, while visitors with children will find the venue caters superbly to kids' entertainment as well.

The largely volunteer-based and community-run event can be found in the valley of Jackeys Marsh, 16 kms from Deloraine and about a 50-minute drive from Launceston and Devonport.

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Jan
30
2012
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A wonderful new play for all ages – performed by one of Tasmania's most experienced actors Iain Lang – takes to the stage this week at Theatre Royal in Hobart.

The Boy with the Longest Shadow tells the fascinating story of twins with very different approaches to life and the challenges they face. Along the way tension builds between the boys, with Atticus always appearing to live in the shadow of his brother Adam despite their similar appearance.

Audiences will wondering how Atticus plans to change the situation and what impact will it have on Adam?

Although the tale was originally written for children aged between nine and 12, the quality and themes of this production will engage the whole family.

Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and directed by Annette Downs, the young boys' journey is imaginatively brought to life by the exceptional Lang.

Theatre lovers can see The Boy with the Longest Shadow from February 1 to February 4, with both morning and evening performances costing $19 for adults, $9 for children and students, and $38 for a family.

Tickets to this great Tasmanian production can be purchased directly through Theatre Royal.

The Boy With The Longest Shadow website header

Theatre Royal Hobart Exterior

Theatre Royal Hobart Interior montage

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Jan
29
2012
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What Arthur River lacks in size it certainly makes up for in beauty, with this tiny north-west coast settlement indicative of the spectacular surroundings this corner of Tasmania is known for.

While the town acts as the northern entry point to the great Western Explorer hiking track and Corinna, Arthur River also stands alone as a destination worth spending some time at during your visit to the island state.

This wild and remote location is home to lush green forests and tall eucalypts, nearby secluded beaches and of course the majestic river that runs through the region.

From here you can make your way into the Tarkine Wilderness Reserve forests or join a cruise of the river's lower reaches.

Adventure-minded travellers might be drawn to a four-wheel-drive beach and forest exploration tour, which guarantees up close and personal viewing of everything the local landscape has to offer.

Other activities visitors can enjoy include fishing, boating, canoeing and a tour of Woolnorth wind farm.

Nestled alongside the Arthur-Pieman River Protected Area, the town is an ideal base for camping, picnics and barbecues among the abundant wildlife and bird species including Tasmanian rosellas, orange-breasted parrots and wedge-tail eagles.

After a day or two of relaxation in Arthur River you can head off on the Western Explorer, an unsealed route taking you to Corinna on the Pieman River – just over 100 kilometres to the south.

Arthur River as featured in the Take the EDGE campaign by NorthWest Tasmania

Driftwood at Arthur River Beach Image Credit - Smithton Medical Centre

Arthur River on the Edge of the Tarkine Image Credit - Joe Shemish

Edge of The World at Arthur River West Coast Tasmania Image Credit - Rob Schneider

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Jan
28
2012
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Dover is a picturesque fishing village nestled at the head of Esperance Bay on Tasmania's south-east coast – and is a delightful destination for the idle traveller looking to spend a day or two by the water in total relaxation.

Overlooking the islands of Faith, Hope and Charity, it the second southernmost town in Australia and well worth basing yourself at when visiting some the region's nearby tourist attractions.

Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs is one of the most popular attractions of the region and ideal place to spend a serene afternoon.

At Hartz Mountains National Park you will discover rugged mountain peaks, lush rainforest and pleasant lakes to sit by and enjoy a snack or refreshing beverage.

While the southwest of Tasmania is generally affected by Antarctic winds, Dover's position on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel helps to keep it relatively insulated.

However, it is still wise to bring a warm jacket and wet weather gear on a trip to Dover no matter what time of year.

The fishing industry in Dover thrives with Atlantic salmon, abalone and cray fish just some of the delicacies you should try at local restaurants. Explore some more at site for the area – Far South Tasmania.

Dover looking across the bay with mountains to the south

Dover peaceful morning scene with craft at anchor

Dover aquaculture Image Credit - Garry Moore

Dover amazing water scenes and coastline

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Jan
27
2012
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While this Australia Day weekend is a chance for many families and groups of friends to get together and enjoy a barbecue, picnic or day at the beach, for some energetic individuals it will be a completely different story as they embark on a challenging cycling adventure around the island state.

The Pure Tasmania Wildside Mountain Bike is an amazing four-day, 140-km competition – as well as 60 km of cruising – along the most exciting tracks in Tasmania's diverse and spectacular west coast.

Taking place from Saturday January 28 to Tuesday January 31, this epic journey gets underway beside the Cradle Mountain World Heritage Area and concludes in Strahan – two of the region's major adventure tourism icons.

While some participants will be elite athletes, most riders are likely to possess a reasonable level of skill and fitness, along with the determination to make the distance.

From the rugged mountains to the pristine sea, it is bound to be one of the most scenic cycling routes this year's group of enthusiasts have ever experienced.

The event is set to draw riders from all across the country, with Mt Isa resident Ron Whitehead planning to head a long way south for the chance to be part of something special.

"I will be treating the race as fun, it is a fantastic chance to get to explore a beautiful place where not too many other people get the opportunity," Whitehead told The North West Star yesterday (January 26).

"I'm sure my competitive nature will definitely come out but I won't be killing myself and I think I'll stop for the odd photograph."

The race is made up of seven stages – passing locations such as Rosebery and Zeehan – giving cyclists a chance to recuperate in between their daily efforts.

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Jan
26
2012
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Penguin is a quaint town on Tasmania's north coast, settled in 1861 and named after the small seabirds that Robert Campbell Gunn discovered living in coastal rookeries.

Although originally a small timber and mining town overshadowed by Burnie and Devonport, it has developed into a popular holiday destination in its own right.

Perhaps Penguin's most remarkable trait is the transformation it undergoes from sleepy weekdays to vibrant weekends, when the scenic esplanade comes alive with pedestrians and charming seaside cafes.

The nature of your stay here really does depend entirely on timing. From Monday to Friday you will feel like you have escaped the hustle and bustle of everyday city life to a remote, picturesque rural township.

But when Sunday rolls around and the Penguin Market is in full swing, suddenly the atmosphere shifts to one of activity – buying, selling, eating, drinking and socialising with the local community.

As Tasmania's largest undercover market, more than 200 stalls await your perusal – offering everything from fine wine to handmade woodcrafts.

Between September and March you can join a penguin tour and watch as these unique creatures make their way up the beach to nest.

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Jan
25
2012
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Hobart will play host to one of Tasmania's biggest ever sporting events in just over six weeks, when two world title fights take place at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Tasmanian product Daniel Geale beat Nigerian-born American Eromsele Albert on home soil last August – and will now return for his mandatory IBF middleweight title defence against Osumanu Adama on March 7.

And as if these massive bouts – held just seven months apart – were not already enough to put Tasmania on the international boxing map, history will be made with a second world title fight appearing on the undercard.

Sydneysider Billy Dib will look to defend his IBF featherweight belt against promising Mexican fighter Eduardo Escobedo shortly before the highly popular Geale enters the ring.

30-year-old Geale labelled the upcoming event a little slice of Las Vegas on Monday (January 23), with both Australian champions scheduled to box against credible opponents with strong records.

"Two IBF world title fights, it doesn't happen very often, it doesn't happen in Tasmania. To be able to make it happen down here is unbelievable," he said.

"This sort of stuff sometimes happens in Vegas so to bring it down to Tassie is a pretty decent thing."

The Derwent Entertainment Centre is a wonderful venue for live sport – and what is sure to be a packed house will be privileged to witness a top-notch card.

Geale says his opponent is likely to be the most difficult he has faced in his illustrious career, but believes he will emerge victorious in front of enthusiastic local support.

"It's going to be my toughest fight to date. This guy is strong," Geale asserted.

"I definitely realise I have to step things up again and to be honest, I can't wait."

The same can almost certainly be said for Australian boxing fans, who are bound to be lining up for tickets as soon as they become available.

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Jan
24
2012
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When you take a trip around Tasmania it is wise to bear in mind that with so much to see in a relatively small area, proven itineraries might offer you the best chance to get maximum value out of the time you have available.

Throughout the beautiful island there are established routes that have been followed and enjoyed for decades. All it takes is a little bit of planning and you can embark on an unforgettable multi-day adventure with your friends or family.

One of the best itineraries is without doubt the Heritage Highway, a journey that reveals a fascinating history of convicts, bushrangers, farmers, painters, writers and Aboriginal culture over two incredible days.

From the ski fields of Ben Lomond, through Tasmania's idyllic rural countryside and right down to the capital city Hobart – this is a drive filled with old colonial town discoveries and important farmlands that date back over 200 years.

Towns such as Longford, Ross and Oatlands offer the chance to check out historic buildings and delightful antique stores, while in between you will cruise past Georgian villages and friendly locals.

The Heritage Highway represents the major link between Tasmania's northern and southern population centres, meaning it is easy to veer away from the road at your leisure to explore rural life, stop in at quaint local stores or feast on a country meal.

Regional Tasmania is a smorgasbord of wonderful sights, sounds and aromas.

From the colourful arts and craft market at Evandale on a Sunday to Ross Bridge – an elegant and intricately carved showpiece of convict stonemasonry built in 1836 – there is so much to explore for the first-time visitor.

bothwell - 1st hole ratho australia's oldest golf course / image credit ausgolf

oatlands historic building Image credit tripadvisoroatlands callington mill />

ross convict built bridge

Ross Image credit - Australian Traveller

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