Nov
08
2011
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Rugged landscapes and exciting outdoor adventure activities help put Tasmania on the map, but what happens when a rainy day interrupts your holiday or you’d just rather spend a day indoors?

Fortunately, the island state is also well known for its rich history and diverse culture, so there is plenty to see away from the craggy mountains and pristine coastlines.

Tasmania’s museums and art galleries are spread right across the state and are home to some truly remarkable pieces along with special exhibitions that update regularly.

The many small museums offer visitors a glimpse inside the land and its people, from past to present.

10,000-year-old stone carvings can be viewed at Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre – a wonderful chance to learn more about fascinating indigenous history.

Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart both hold exhibitions that offer an insight into the region’s heritage, along with superb displays of local artworks.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in January 2011 and has already built a strong reputation as the nation’s largest private art collection.

Most public galleries and museums in Tasmania offer free admission, so there’s surely no better way to while away an afternoon.

 

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Nov
07
2011
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The Cradle Mountain Chateau Kentish Triple Top Mountain Run is back in 2011 and once again promises to be a highlight of the many fantastic summer events in Tasmania.

Established by the Lions Club of Kentish, the fun run on Sunday November 13 is a great way to enjoy some of the island state’s glorious views whilst testing yourself in a tough physical challenge.

Both casual walkers and serious joggers are welcome to join the fun, which takes place over a 19.7 km course along some of the most picturesque walking tracks of the region.

Commencing at the Oliver’s Road end of Mount Claude, the route crosses the traversing peaks of Van Dyke and Roland and finishes at the Claude Road Hall.

A number of elite runners will be competing strongly for line honours, but for most participants the event is all about getting involved, doing some exercise and enjoying the atmosphere of the day.

Slow walkers may spend around six hours on the course, so there is certainly no pressure to do any more than stroll and take in the surrounding beauty.

Money raised goes directly back into the Kentish community, so entrants and spectators will be providing support to the locals and helping the future running of such wonderful events.

As well as Cradle Mountain Chateau, major supporters of the day include the Kentish Council and the Kentish State Emergency Service.

It is a magnificent opportunity for visitors from the mainland and around the world to become lost in the local culture.

If you plan on entering the challenge, why not make a hotel reservation and spend the next day or two resting in comfort?

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Nov
06
2011
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Australia's Got Talent Banner

Seasoned professionals and enthusiastic novices of all ages and skill sets are preparing themselves for what may be the biggest moment of their careers – the Australia's Got Talent auditions in Launceston.

Auditions kick off on Saturday November 12, presenting an amazing opportunity for undiscovered singers, dancers, magicians, instrumentalists, comedians, animal acts and virtually any other type of solo or group performance to show the nation what they can do.

Amateurs and experienced performers are encouraged to take part in the program, ensuring an exciting combination of brilliant and hilarious – often disastrous – displays of live chaos.

Audiences are guaranteed to witness some of the best, worst and most surprising of Tasmanian talent in this one-off spectacular.

Network Seven's hit show is a proven ratings winner and last year's grand final decider saw over 3 million viewers marvel at 14-year-old singer Jack Vidgen's winning performance.

The young star walked away with a cash prize of $250,000 and an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music.

Prospects sometimes also travel from other auditioning locations to achieve profile, or maybe if they have missed out getting in in their home states.

And with this season set to be the biggest yet now is the time to start rehearsing or maybe even buy tickets to the show. 

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Nov
05
2011
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Tasmania is renowned for its adventure sports, with pristine waters, rugged mountain ranges and beautiful forests combining to create a haven for outdoor thrills.

One of the most exciting options visitors have on a journey to this spectacular corner of the world is a day of jet boating.

This is a completely different way to explore the plethora of rivers tracing their way through the scenic countryside of the island state.

Your adventure will combine picturesque views with an extreme adrenalin rush you are bound to remember for a long time.

Gripping your seat tightly, you will feel the spray of water on your face and the wind in your hair as an experienced jet boat operator guides you down the river at exhilarating speeds.

If racing through rapids is not enough excitement for you, most drivers are also likely to throw in some 360 degree spins and breathtaking turns.

During the quieter moments, your guide will talk about the history of the region.

Trips can be organised on the Derwent, Huon or mighty King rivers among others.

Best of all, jet boating in Tasmania is suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness and experience on the water. 

Huon Jet Boat in Full Tilt

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Nov
04
2011
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Consisting of 52 separate landmasses off Tasmania's north coast at the eastern end of Bass Strait, the Furneaux Islands are visible reminders of the bridge of land that once connected the island state to the mainland.

At the end of the last Ice Age – roughly 12,000 years ago – this separation was completed, leaving behind a beautiful archipelago that to this day still amazes visitors.

Flinders Island is the largest and most famous of the group, with about one-third of its area covered by mountains. Granite ridges run the entire length of the island and the coastal zones are dominated by sandy dunes.

The island's highest peak is Mount Strzelecki in the south-west, which stands at 756 metres, but
there are many others that have also proven popular destinations for travellers from around Australia and the rest of the world.

With its limestone pavement and granite intrusions, Badger Island is of great geoconservation significance. It is over 1,200 hectares of land extensively grazed by cattle, sheep, wallabies and pademelons.

Babel Island is home to abundant seabird breeding and contains the largest short-tailed shearwater colony in the world. It also regularly plays host to colonies of little penguins, large crested terns and silver gulls, as well as a magnificent variety of reptiles and birds native to the region.

In terms of the number and diversity of species, Chalky Island is also a highly-regarded location for seabird populations.

Some of the breeds you may be lucky enough to see during your time on the islands include the white-faced storm petrel, Pacific gull, sooty and pied oystercatcher, black-faced cormorant and Caspian tern.

Fairy terns are perhaps the most precious inhabitant of all, as they are highly vulnerable to disturbance and therefore listed as rare under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. 

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Nov
04
2011
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We see many photos and much footage come across our desks from amateur and professional photographers. Images provide the visual clues to our spoken and written words; the things we need to get the message out there about Tasmania.

A facebook page and blog however has featured the most awe inspiring and well filmed (video’d) footage of a family group doing Tasmania’s famous Overland Track. Mentioned by trekkers the world over as one that has to be ‘knocked off’ from a redoubtable bucket list of incredible walks on this globe, this video exposes the beauty, the incredible changes of vista, the green, the wide open spaces, the austerity, the challenging and the wistful. Everything that this track throws at people – good and bad.

So thanks to this blog and facebook page.
(http://ourhikingblog.com.au/2011/11/overland-track-cradle-mountain-lake-st-clair.html and http://www.facebook.com/OurHikingBlog)

Here’s the video:

Overland Track from rfphotographics on Vimeo.

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Nov
03
2011
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As Australia's most mountainous state, abseiling in Tasmania is difficult to beat.

Even the most experienced outdoor adventurers are bound to be impressed by some of the amazing and diverse landscapes that inhabit this beautiful part of the world.

From coast to coast, Tasmania abounds with natural highlights worth exploring, climbing, descending and photographing.

The gorges and crags of the island state are some of the most spectacular in the world and offer abseiling and rappelling opportunities that will challenge and excite people of all levels.

You can either head out on your own or hire a qualified instructor – either way it is guaranteed to be a fantastic day out.

Skilled guides have been conquering these cliffs for years and offer a wide range of abseiling adventures in stunning locations across the island.

Popular natural locations include Mount Wellington's Organ Pipes which tower over Hobart, White Water Wall and the Hazards at Freycinet, the cliffs of Cataract Gorge in Launceston, the truly spectacular sea cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula – which tower 300m above the ocean. Repeat 300m!

For the utmost in adventure the man made Gordon Dam abseil is the world’s highest commercial descent – 150m/450 feet!
All of these locations have two words associated with them: heart pumping! ARGHHHHH!

If you're tentative about testing your skills outside early on, it might be a good idea to warm up at one of the great indoor climbing gyms found in Hobart or Launceston. These are ideal venues for meeting local climbers and other beginners who may wish to join you on a visit to the local crags. 

dam high abseil

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Nov
03
2011
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The Tasmanian landscape is internationally renowned for its awe inspiring national parks and waterways and there is no better example of its uniqueness than The Nut, a large flat-topped headland that forms the shape of a circle jutting out from nearby pristine waters of Stanley.

Driving westwards along the island state's picturesque north coast, visitors approach the historic small town and are increasingly impressed by its stunning natural feature.

The sheer-sided bluff is all that remains of an ancient volcanic plug, providing a chance to witness a distinct formation up close.

You can either climb to the summit via a walking track or take the chairlift – either way you will enjoy spectacular views across Bass Strait beaches and the quaint town below.

Stanley is also an ideal location to base yourself for tours of the region and whether you choose to stay at the excellent campground or in a boutique hotel, the forests and coastlines to the west are readily available by car.

Local operators can take you on an exciting observation tour to spot penguins, seals and other wildlife frequently seen in Tasmania.

It is also possible to visit Highfield House – the stylish 1830s home built for the managers of the Van Diemen's Land Company – to gain a greater understanding for the lives of people who once inhabited this remote and scenic region.

The Nut Image Credit: SporlederArt

Ruins at Highfield Image Credit: SporlederArt

Stnaley Township with quaint cottages and retail/food outlets Image Credit: SporlederArt

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Nov
02
2011
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The Tasmanian summer events program is in full swing and one of the best this month will be the Roberts Estate Point to Pinnacle run and recreational walk.

Taking place on November 20, it offers fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers a wonderful chance to join friendly and like-minded people on a visually spectacular route.
Stretching 21.4 km from Wrest Point Boardwalk to the pinnacle of Mount Wellington – two iconic destinations – participants will take in some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the world.

It is a physically demanding track,however, so make sure you have trained sufficiently if you plan on testing yourself against the island state’s elements.

The path follows Sandy Bay Road, passes Hotel Soho, heads along Huon Road and up Pillinger Drive to the top of the mountain – an elevation of 1,270 metres.

Buses leave at 07:30 to take spectators to the best vantage point near the finish line.

It might be a good idea to arrange a day or two of rest after completing the race and visitors are encouraged to book accommodation in one of the nearby towns and enjoy some well-earned R&R.

One of the best views in Australia; just 20mins by car from downtown Hobart - it is also the reward for those that do the Point to Pinnacle 21km. Image Credit: Jen Mealing

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Nov
01
2011
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Tasmanian sport is getting bigger and better every year, with local athletes and teams making their mark in a variety of competitions around the country and the world.

But it’s not just the sportspeople that are achieving remarkable success – the island state itself is garnering a reputation as a great location for hosting exciting events.

The cricket season has just got underway and whether you’re a huge fan or casual follower of the game, it promises to be an exciting summer for the Tasmanian team in all forms.

Having started the 2011 Ryobi Cup – the domestic limited overs competition – with one win and one loss, Tasmania will be hoping to rise to the top of the table with consecutive home matches in the first half of November.

On Wednesday November 2 they play Victoria at the picturesque Bellerieve Oval in Hobart.

Renowned for being one of the most enjoyable grounds internationally to watch cricket, a day at this venue is a wonderful opportunity for both locals and visitors to relax under the summer sun and be entertained by some of the country’s best talent.

Then on Sunday November 13 the side hosts South Australia at Burnie’s West Park Oval. While it doesn’t hold the international reputation of Bellerieve – an official Test-match venue – spectators are bound to appreciate the intimate setting and proximity to the pitch.

With former and current Australian representatives such as Ben Hilfenhaus, Xavier Doherty, Jason Krejza and George Bailey in the squad, Tasmania appear set for a great season and are likely to be highly competitive, especially in front of passionate home supporters.

Tickets for Ryobi Cup matches are available at the ground on the day, so it is a hassle-free way to spend an afternoon with friends or family.

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