While brief weekend sojourns tend to be dominated by visits to major attractions in the region, sometimes it's nice to expand your holiday to include smaller, more intimate destinations.

If you have time on your hands – perhaps a few weeks' leave to immerse yourself in Tasmania's heritage and wilderness – why not take a step off the beaten track?

One of the holiday townships you might like to consider is Orford, which sits at the mouth of the Prosser River opposite stunning Maria Island on the state's east coast.

As a picturesque fishing destination with a population of just 500, it is the type of place that can make you forget about your worries and lose yourself in the laid back atmosphere.

Casting a line into the bountiful waters of Prosser Bay, the Mercury Passage and just off Maria Island can yield a wonderful selection of fresh seafood including flathead, abalone and crayfish.

Maria Island itself offers visitors the chance to explore its magical national park and surrounding marine reserve. You may also be tempted to try scuba diving at the artificial reef one kilometre off-shore.

Orford is a convenient one hour drive from Hobart and the ideal stopover on a journey north.

Prosser River, Orford - Image Credit: Rick Eaves

Three Thumbs State Reserve Lookout, Wielangta Forest overlooking Orford - Image Credit: John de la Roche

Spring Beach East Coast near Orford - Image Credit: Rick Eaves

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Located in the picturesque north-west of Tasmania around a 90-minute drive south of Burnie, Rosebery is a quintessential Australian mining town with an extra touch of beauty.

While the town's roots are clearly indicated by the dominant presence of the mine, there is unexpected visual charm to be found among the surrounding hills.

Gold was found in the region in 1893, with discoveries of zinc, lead and copper soon following and Rosebery has operated as a fully-functioning mining town since around 1905.

The mine has produced more wealth than any other on the west coast and visitors can take a fascinating Pasminco Mine tour both above and below ground or drive the scenic loop to the top for wonderful views and photo opportunities.

Rosebery's other major highlight is Montezuma Falls, the highest waterfall on the island and a pleasant daytrip destination.

You can make the easy three-hour return walk along the old tram route or travel in comfort on a four-wheel-drive tour.

A great idea for any holidaymaker to this corner of the world is to hire a car and explore some of the quaint Tasmanian towns that are easy to reach.

Beautiful Lake Rosebery

Lake Rosebery panorama image source credit: panoramio

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Renowned singer and stage performer David Campbell is coming to Tasmania next week for one night only in what promises to be a special performance at the Country Club Casino in Launceston.

One of country's most popular entertainers, Campbell has also made his mark internationally as a multi-platinum selling recording artist and star of the screen, theatre and cabaret.

Very few Australian musical theatre performers have extended their success to New York the way Campbell has and audiences are bound to jump at the chance to see him live and up close on home soil.

Radio king Alan Jones says Campbell, the son of rock legend Jimmy Barnes, is "as good, if not better, than anything you will see on Broadway or London's West End".

If you're planning a trip to the island state, why not mix up daytime hiking and outdoor adventures with an evening of musical class?

The show takes place next Friday November 25 so if you're interested it might be time to book your tickets.

There is also plenty to do and see in and around Launceston, so it is the ideal place to base your Tasmanian holiday.

The many faces of David Campbell in performance

Launceston River Port - stylish living, stylish dining.

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The work of two respected popular Tasmanian Aboriginal artists has been selected to appear in a prestigious US exhibition – a fantastic and highly-deserved acknowledgement of the vast cultural talent emanating from the island state.

Aunti Corrie Fullard and her daughter Jeanette James are shell necklace makers who have made a real impact internationally, with their invitation to join the Forces of Nature exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC a highlight of their burgeoning careers.

It runs from November 16 until February 2012, meaning the pair’s superb creations will have time to make a mark on thousands of visitors.

As an elder of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in Tasmania, Fullard learnt the art of shell stringing that has passed through many generations of her family and thousands of years of her people’s culture.

James said yesterday (November 15) that exhibitions such as this can help to educate the world about what Tasmania and its people have to offer, as well as Aboriginal culture and practices.

“My mother and I were excited when we were invited by the curator to be a part of this exhibition and we are very honoured to be considered two of Australia’s most significant artists working in the field of jewellery and small sculpture,” she said.

Their work can be seen (and is for sale) at Bett Gallery, Hobart.

Shell Necklaces by Fullard and James : image from Bett Gallery Hobart

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Are you planning a trip to beautiful Tasmania this summer?

If the answer is yes, there is surely no better time to visit the island state than late November when the weather is fine, the cultural scene is thriving and the Launceston Christmas Parade is lighting up the streets with its festive cheer.

Every year the delightful city celebrates Christmas with a day of floats, marching bands, street performers and most importantly an atmosphere of goodwill.

In 2011, the event takes place on November 26 throughout the picturesque CBD and culminates with the highly-anticipated arrival of Santa Claus.

Immaculately robed in his red suit and entering the parade aboard his sleigh, Santa is accompanied by little helpers in a scene that will excite the kids and give a laugh to the adults.

There is no entry fee and everyone is welcome, so it is a wonderful opportunity for travellers spending time away from home this Christmas to feel a part of the fun.

Launceston itself, in the north of the state, is one of Australia’s oldest cities and home to some magnificent historic architecture and quaint streets well worth exploring.

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Teamwork and fundraising will combine in Tasmania this week when the 2011 Share the Road Tour (STRT) takes cyclists to some of the most spectacular and diverse scenery the island state has to offer.

The event is a unique corporate ride through some iconic locations such as the Tamar Valley, Sheffield, Mount Roland and Cradle Mountain, with money being raised to help fund a new national road safety campaign.

It was established on the back of the successful A Metre Matters campaign – launched at the Canberra to Melbourne Corporate ride in November 2009.

The Amy Gillett Foundation plans to use this event to make a positive impact on the 16 to 24-year-old-male driver demographic responsible for 20 per cent of the deaths and serious injuries that occur around Australia annually.

From this Thursday November 17 until Sunday November 20 participants will take on either the Sprinters challenge of around 60 to 80 km per day, or the Rouleurs challenge of 120 to 160 km per day.

Current and retired professional cyclists will also be involved, helping amateurs with advice, encouragement and inspiration to reach their daily targets.

Participants are bound to take pride in their personal achievements over the four days, as well as their significant contribution to a worthwhile cause aimed at saving Australian lives.

As well as meeting like-minded people and enjoying amazing views throughout the journey, riders will experience the adrenalin rush of the Ben Lomond descent – a thrilling downhill portion of the course in stark contrast with some of the more gruelling hill climbs.

The STRT invites managing directors, partners and directors to donate to the cause and join what promises to be a truly memorable beginning to a summer fitness program.

Share The Road Logo - Amy Gillard Foundation

Jacobs Ladder Ben Lomond - a truly memorable stage and descentRolling Hills of the stage near Mole CreekMt Roland back to Launceston Stage

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Queenstown has had a facelift and they are celebrating!

There are many new shops and art galleries to explore and they have lots of specials and events planned over the weekend of 18-20 November. You can download a copy here.

On the Fiday night you can crawl a gallery or two – you thought we were going to say pub! Well you can do that too! Saturday brings up tours of the Lake Margaret Power Station. In 1914 the Lake Margaret Power Scheme was an innovative development to deliver electricity for the Mt Lyell Copper Mine and the third largest in Australia at the time. Like many from the time, its main feature was the wooden staves used to construct a pipeline to bring water to the station. This in time created a maintenance headache and it was not until 2009 that the power station re-opened. Much of the original generation equipment has been retained and it is a unique working ‘slice from the time’.

On Sunday Market Stalls and Lions Club BBQ will take over part of Orr Street. On both days however it is also possible to explore the West Coast Wilderness Railway with special prices and increased departures. Perhaps you could make it more of a spectacle by turning up in Period Dress? The Penghana Gardens have two Open Days and the Galley Museum is open right through until 9.00pm at night for a gold coin donation.

So if you’ve never been to Queenstown or want to revisit, come and join in for a lively weekend of celebrations!

Lake Margaret Power Station interior - generating room with the control room to the left overlooking.

A journey through ancient rain forest and ferns

Two heritage engines facing off

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In just over two weeks the Vintage Motor Cycle Club of Tasmania's Ross Motor Cycle Rally will celebrate another year with a the showpiece annual event for the sport on the island state.

Having evolved over the years into a wonderful celebration of motorcycling in Tasmania, it is an opportunity for enthusiasts from around the state and mainland Australia to come together and share their passion for one exciting day.

There will something for everyone, with bikes on display from the early 1900s right through to brand new models.

Although the main focus of the event is to admire the machines, for some it is also a serious competition. Trophies will be awarded for all 16 categories across the different classes including sidecars and custom bikes.

Those with a knack for DIY are bound to revel in the swap meet – a chance to either turn unwanted parts into cash or vice versa.

As always there will be just as much attention on the bikes in the parking area as the ones officially in the show.

The rally took place in 2011 and we have been advised that the date for 2012 is 25 November at the Ross Oval and will go ahead rain, hail or shine.

Bikes montage Ross Bike Event image credit: SR 500 Forum

Ross Township Image Credit: Ross Motel

Ross Motorcycle Rally from 2007 Douglas Stand Image Credit: Douglas Forum

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The Bicheno Food and Wine Festival in Tasmania is one of the best of its kind, with an intimate venue hosting an exciting variety of stalls and activities.

Set on the island state's beautiful east coast the event allows visitors to meet, greet and buy goods from leading local wine makers, food producers and chefs.

It might be a refreshing change to not only taste the delicacies, but also gain an understanding for how they were created from those who have dedicated their lives to supplying first-class produce to the public.

Whatever your culinary preferences, you are bound to find something that takes your fancy from the selection of award-winning pies, scrumptious game burgers, cheese-tasting exhibitions, pancakes, fresh locally-caught seafood and more.

Adults will enjoy activities like wine tasting and cooking demonstrations, while face painting and other entertainment will occupy the kids.

The 'Toast to the Coast' festival takes place at Bicheno Memorial Hall from 11:00 to 18:00 on Saturday November 19.

Bookings are not required so if you're in the region that weekend why not stop by? Just make sure you arrive on an empty stomach.

Bicheno Food and Wine Festival

Bicheno Blowhole

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Tasmanian festivals of all varieties are making a splash this season, consolidating the island state's reputation as a hub of cultural activity as much as an outdoor enthusiasts' paradise.

In two weeks the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival begins and both locals and interstate visitors are sure to enjoy the mix of unique short films and selections of the region's internationally-acclaimed food and wine.

The theme of the event – a breath of fresh air – focuses on the deeper meaning of this everyday expression such as freedom, new ideas and innovative methods of creating change for the better.

BOFA is Australia's newest and freshest film festival featuring world-class cinema, The Fusion Film contest, Big Ideas Series and a Digital SLR Short Film competition.

Set against the spectacular backdrop of beautiful Launceston in the fertile Tamar Valley, the festival brings together film-lovers, writers, directors, producers and other industry professionals from around the world to showcase contemporary issues on screen.

It runs from November 23 to 27 in Invermay and represents a chance for people to be a part of something special.

Whether you're taking a long holiday in Tasmania or just stopping over for a few days of R&R, why not see what BOFA has to offer?

BOFA main event theme image

BOFA supplementary image 1

BOFA supplementary image 2

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