Oct
21
2013

Tasmania is an extremely photogenic state and you'll be hard pressed to find a prettier place to take a few snaps than along the Overland Track!

You'll find this track in the world famous Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. It's known for its unsurpassable beauty that's evident in every type of the area's varied terrain, from dense bush to volcanic plateaus.

The Overland Track stretches on for 65 kilometres, and is home to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania's highest peak. You can climb this peak, which reaches heights of 1,617 metres.

Short walks for great snaps

While the Overland Track spans 65 kilometres, that doesn't mean you have to hike the whole trail to view some of its highlights and make some fantastic memories. You can still see some great landmarks and natural beauty on a short walk.

It's also a great idea to stay a while in the region and do multiple short walks, as this can break up your adventures and means if you don't like camping you don't have to go bush to see this beautiful part of Tasmania!

If you would rather embark upon a shorter walk, why not head for a leisurely stroll along the Enchanted Walk? This is a 20 minute circuit walk, but it can take much longer if you decide to stop and gaze at the gorgeous views.

Take the whole family on this walk and check out the beautiful winding river and ethereal rainforest environment. Even though this is only a short walk, there is a huge variety of things to see, including moorland and even wombat burrows.

You will find the wombat burrows along the western bank of the Pencil Pine Creek, which will be signposted on the walk. Your best chance at catching sight of a wombat will be around dusk and dawn – so get your camera at the ready!

If you embark upon this walk, also get  your camera out for the beautiful variety of colourful plants and trees. Look out for the pandani, which looks a little bit like a palm tree! You will also want to take a few snaps of the plentiful beech trees, especially if you're walking the trail during autumn when the leaves turn gold and red.

The Crater Lake Circuit is a slightly longer walk – a two hour round trip. Hike the steep slopes that lead to Crater Lake with its mystical, dark waters. The tree life in this area is particularly atmospheric, bursting with colour and providing the perfect backdrop to family photographs.

Make sure you stop for a while at the Crater Falls, located in a cool temperate gully with sassafras and myrtle-beech trees. The kids will love exploring here, so it's great for a day out – bring a picnic lunch!

Lake Lovers will also want to traverse the Dove Lake Circuit. This is a two hour round trip, heading right around Dove Lake beneath the points and pinnacles of Cradle Mountain.

Make sure to stop off at Glacier Rock, where you can witness the remnants glaciers of days gone by through markings in the stone. Check out the scratches and striations left in the rock caused by glacial movements of the Ice Age.

The Ballroom Forest is another highlight of this walk, full of ancient trees, mossy forest floors and beautiful views of wide open skies.  

So why not head out on the Enchanted Walk, the Crater Lake Circuit or the Dove Lake Circuit? Remember that even though these walks are just day walks, conditions can change quickly, so always bring warm clothes and plenty of food and water. 

cradle mountain pencil pine creek walk - image credit: travelfolio

Enchanted walk Cradle Mountain - image credit: cradlemountain.net

View on the walk - image credit: 5downunder

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Oct
20
2013

Head to Tas­ma­nia where there are plen­ty of lesser-known surf­ing hotspots, and since sum­mer is swift­ly com­ing up, there’s no bet­ter time to plan sum­mer surf­ing adven­tures.

Tas­ma­nia’s south has the best waves for expe­ri­enced surfers. Ship­stern Bluff will offer you the heav­i­est wave you’ve ever surfed, although it is not for amateurs – you will have to get to know and have the support of the local surfing community before venturing out. Cloudy Bay, locat­ed on Bruny Island, gets huge breaks as it faces the South­ern Ocean.

South Cape Bay is also a spot for huge waves, if you’re will­ing to carry your board on a seven kilo­me­tre bush­walk to get to the beach! It is a gor­geous walk, how­ev­er, through World Her­itage Area scenery.

Other local favourites are the beach­es close to Hobart, Park and Clifton Beach­es. The east coast from Orford to Bicheno is always pop­u­lar, and Eagle­hawk Neck on the Tas­man Penin­su­la is also a favourite and probably the most popular with regular breaks coming into Pirates Bay.

You could also try beach­es along the Bass Strait such as Tam O’Shanter or Mersey Mouth or swing over to the North West at Marawah, a leg­endary beach and for­mer site for the Ripcurl Cold Water Clas­sic, attend­ed by surfers from all over the world. It was used just a few weeks ago by the Red­bull World Extreme Sport Storm Chas­er Wind­surfers!

One of the great things about Tas­man­ian beach­es is that, unlike many oth­ers around Aus­tralia, these are never crowd­ed. Remem­ber to bring your wet­suit and trav­el with a fel­low surfer for safe­ty.

If you’re a begin­ner or you’re not will­ing to go at it alone for the moment, then why not head out on a surf­ing class?

That means you have the safe­ty and con­fi­dence of being with a group and a pro­fes­sion­al instruc­tor, while at the same time you’ll have a fan­tas­tic expe­ri­ence and will learn some new skills.

There are var­i­ous providers of group surf­ing expe­ri­ences, such as Coastrid­er, so get ready to jump in the water and have a great time!

All the Surf Spots in Tasmania - Image Credit: Wannasurf-dot-com

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Oct
17
2013

If you're a supporter of active living and excitement, then you will want to be in Launceston for October 27.

On that date, the Launceston Cataract Challenge will be held at the Cataract Gorge. The Challenge is a multi-sport event, designed to promote active living to the community.

The spectacular Cataract Gorge is only minutes from Launceston, a rare site of adventure and beauty so close to the town. It's full of dramatic waterways, jagged cliffs, valleys and rock formations – the perfect place for sightseeing and adventure.

The five different legs of the event are sure to challenge and delight even seasoned outdoor enthusiasts – but you don't need to be experienced to enter.

The first leg involves cycling in a time trial?, the second mountain biking around a challenging circuit in the Trevallyn Reserve, while the third event involves a run with several ascents and descents on varied terrain.

Then there will be a kayak challenge in the First Basin, and finally, a ropes course including zip lines, bridge and cliff climbs! On one of the zip line's high speed descents, you might even reach speeds of 50 kilometres per hour!

Past participants have noted the ropes course as something that sets this event apart. Your harness, helmet, slings and carabiners will be supplied and you don't need to have previous experience.

If you don't want to actively take part, you can still be a spectator. Head down to the gorge and there will be plenty of action in every direction. This is definitely a day that Launceston gets behind wholeheartedly.

Why not combine this event with a break in surrounding Launceston, or maybe even explore more of Tasmania? Let your inner adventurer shine.

Cataract Gorge website screen shot

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Oct
16
2013

There are a huge amount of beautiful Tasmanian destinations that take a little extra effort to find.

But if you want an extraordinary experience, it may pay to hire a four-wheel drive vehicle and get to know these off-road regions.

Before you head off the beaten track and into the wilderness there are some things you will need to be prepared for.

Choosing your track

Remember to pay attention to the difficulty grading of each track. 'Easy' off-road tracks are usually accessible with a two-wheel drive vehicle if caution is taken. Some easy tracks include those around Bruny Island, Fortescue Bay, the Tasman Peninsula and Wielangta Forest Drive.

A 'medium' graded track is suitable only for trail bikes and four-wheel drives and some experience of off-roading is recommended. Examples of medium tracks include Jefferys Track, Patons Road, Ocean Beach and Mt McCall Track.

Tracks graded 'hard' should only be traversed by experienced four-wheel drivers or trail bike users. They will include deep bogs, soft sand and steep slopes that will challenge you. Never travel here alone.

Some hard tracks are Wellington Park Fire Trails, Peron Dunes, Arthur River to Sandy Cape and Mt Huxley.

Remember how important it is to choose a track that is suitable to your skills, vehicle and experience.

Prepping for an off-road adventure

Before you leave for a road trip, make sure you have a valid driver's licence and a registered and safe vehicle. Get your hands on a current map or GPS system to help you keep your bearings. Tell someone trustworthy where you are going and when you expect to be back, so in case of emergency they can raise the alarm.

Make sure you check with authorities before you attempt any off-road track, as some may require permits or special conditions. Some areas may be closed due to bad conditions or fire danger, so find out before you go to avoid disappointment.

You'll also need to be aware of historical Aboriginal sites, especially in coastal and dune areas. There are many ancient campsites that are protected by law. You will need to be careful to preserve these areas.

If you would like to cross private land, you will also need permission from the owner and you will need to be respectful of their property.

Remember, only drive on and off beaches at correctly designated points – stay away from vegetated dunes! To avoid getting stuck or damaging bird eggs, drive over the damp firm sand below the high tide mark. These eggs are hard to see from the car, so take our word for it.

Obey any signage you see along your journey and stick to tracks that are already worn into the terrain. Make sure you drive to the conditions and don't take any risks. This is especially important when it comes to crossing streams and creeks. Always use existing exit and entry points.

Camping while on the road

If you decide to embark upon a multi-day journey, you will need to camp. Avoid creating a new campsite if at all possible, and instead camp at established spots.

Modern tents are best, as these mean you don't need to cut tent poles.

To preserve the quality of the water, always wash at least 50m away from creeks and only use a minimal amount of soap. Always take any rubbish you generate back to civilisation with you!

Off-roading can be an extremely exciting and adventurous way to take a break from the city, so make sure you're prepared and then all that's left to do is enjoy it.

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Oct
15
2013

Many people realise that Tasmania is home to some stunning wine, but did you know that there are also a bunch of delectable breweries as well? Not to mention the state's delicious distilleries, and places where our cider is made – what are they called?.

It's time to put your trust in Tasmanian beers, as its ales and lagers receive international awards regularly. Why not take a tour of one of the breweries to see where all the magic is made? Of course, along the way you'll get to taste plenty of the old drop yourself!

Explore the finest Tasmanian breweries

To begin your brewery bonanza, head to the Cascade Brewery which looks more like a castle than a factory. Australia's oldest continually operated beer making centre is found in South Hobart on the foothills of Mount Wellington. On a two-hour tour you can see how the beer is made from scratch right up to the packaging stage. Straight after you've learnt about this fascinating process you'll be able to enjoy all the tastes on offer! 

Don't miss out on the Brewery's bar and restaurant either, where the meals are perfectly complemented by the range of tasty beers.

Next, make your way to the Moorilla Estate, not far from central Hobart. While this is actually Tasmania's oldest contemporary vineyard and is famous for its wines, there is an on-site micro-brewery called Moo Brew. Here, you can sample chilled beers, completely free from additives and preservatives  and that are also unpasteurised! When beer finds a way to be healthy, you know you're onto a good thing.

To find the next point on the beer trail, head up north to Launceston and visit James Boag's Historic Brewery. In the Tamar Hotel you can visit Boag's Centre for Beer Lovers, three-floors full of brewing memorabilia and merchandise.

Tours will also take you through the brewery where you can gain an understanding of the traditional process – and of course, you'll get to sample a few varieties!

If you're really enthusiastic you might even want to purchase an Amber Ticket, which will allow you to taste the entire range of Boag's beers!

Destinations for whisky lovers

Fine whisky is produced all around Tasmania, which benefits from pure mountain water, great barley and Tasmania's wild flavours!

Hobart's Lark Distillery is definitely worth a visit. Its specialties are a multi-award winning single malt whisky, apple schnapps, cherry max, pepperberry vodka and gin and bush liqueur! The flavours are extremely unique, from the use of native mountain pepper berries. This creates an inimitable Tasmanian flavour not to be found anywhere else.

Don't forget to head to Hellyers Road Distillery, Australia's largest distiller of Australian single malt whisky. Not only can you try the famous whisky, you might even want a sample of its boutique vodka and whisky cream liqueur. Here, you can embark upon a 'Whisky Walk' where you'll get to see the inner workings of the distillery, experience a product tasting and enjoy the on-site restaurant.

This restaurant is enjoyable not only for its great selection of meals, snacks and drinks. It also offers beautiful views from a repurposed mill across the Emu Valley, with its gently sloping green hills and wide skies. It's certainly the right place for a leisurely meal, complete of course with some of the distillery's fine produce.

So there you have it. Tasmania isn't just a haven for wine lovers, it's a dream destination for beer and whisky enthusiasts, not to mention those who enjoy other delicious liqueurs and liquor.

Head to these destinations and enjoy what they have to offer – maybe even take a few bottles back home to spread the word.

We haven’t even touched on the craft beer and smaller beer and cider producers, that will have to wait for another time.

Cascade Brewery - Image credit: Tailored Tasmania

The Beautiful Boags Visitor Centre in Launceston - image credit gdaypubs-com-au

Lark Distillery in Hobart - image credit: Australian Traveller

Hellyers Road Distillery - image Credit: Trina & Gav from Instagram

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Oct
14
2013

If you're into music, adventure, food, wine and fun, then the North East Rivers Festival is something for you to look forward to.

This year, the festival takes place from October 18-27 and features the Derby River Derby. It celebrates the rivers of the area and the communities situated along the riverbanks.

The Derby River Derby includes an opening night, golf challenge, markets, Pipers Brook Vineyard gig, art exhibitions, movie nights, history walks, music and so much more! It's one of the events of the year and draws not only North East Tasmanians, but residents from around the state.

There will be a focus on country music for parts of the festival, and then at the Pipers Brook Vineyard concert, Simon Meli and the Widowbirds with Reuben Koop will perform.

Don’t forget that adventurous souls also head into the Ringarooma River, infamous for its tough rapids, with the winners receiving a prestigious trophy. Make sure you catch this particular event on October 26.

Not to mention, 2013 is bringing a new, thrilling event – the Legerwood Lane Hill Club. At this event, some of Tasmania's fastest hill-climb cars compete on a closed section of road. Head along to the spectator areas to check out various classes of vehicle vie for the fastest times.

The Springfield Bush Dance is also destined to be a fun night out. The Bottom Pub Ceilidh Band will be playing at this family-friendly event where everyone is encouraged to hit the dance floor and have a good time.

So make sure that you head along to a few of this festival's celebrations. With so much going on, there is bound to be something for everyone.

North East Rivers Festival excitement on the Derby

River Walking Track at Bridport

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Oct
13
2013

When people think about travelling to Tasmania, one of their most common questions is – what's the weather like?

Here is some information about the different seasons in Tasmania and what you can expect when it comes to the weather.

Tasmania's weather

Tasmania has a different kind of climate to many other parts of Australia. Its temperate, maritime climate means that extreme temperatures in either direction are a rarity, but common enough to prepare for.

Seasons are quite defined. The winter can bring a chilly breeze and would likely be cold for many mainland Australians who experience milder weather on average year-round. Winter months span from May to August, and tend to be felt more on Tasmania's higher peaks and anywhere near them – hence areas around Hobart, near Cradle Mountain and the road through to Queenstown sometimes copc an icey blast.

Winter temperatures tend to stick between three and 11 degrees Celsius. Many people do enjoy hiking during the cooler months, but need to be prepared for highly changeable conditions with the right clothing (layers) and equipment.

You might want to go whale watching in winter’s later months, as southern right whales and humpbacks glide by on their migration down the East Coast.

Summer temperatures, in December, January, February and March, tend to fluctuate between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius. Tasmania's long summer evenings shouldn't be missed! These are perfect for heading to the coast in search of Little Penguins, or to the National Parks for wombats and other easily accessible wildlife. Summer is also a great time for diving with its abundance of marine life in the warmer water.

Autumn is a particularly stunning time to visit Tasmania, as oaks, elms, birches and beech turn red and gold before they fall. It also tends to be a sunny time of year and many enjoy hiking at this time, although it's a good year-round activity.

Spring is also a beautiful season to visit Tasmania, when wildflowers are in bloom and the light changes. It's also the perfect season for fishing – think inland lakes and trout or along our coasts; it is a favourite time for family groups to be seen dropping a line from wharves at St Helens and Triabunna.

But spring is also when all the trees bud up again, when green erupts everywhere, tulips and other flowers from bulbs hit their peak and new season’s produce such as the unique and sought after South Arm pinkeye potato appears on plates – they are worth asking for.

The summit of Mt Wellington 14 Oct 2013 / Snow can happen any time

Emu Rhododendron Gardens - Image Credit: Think-Tasmania Blog

Tulips at Cable Cape near Wynyard

Amazing blooms in season

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Oct
08
2013

One of Tasmania's many attractions is that it is a great spot for a fishing vacation. With rivers, streams and oceans providing fertile ground for your fishing expedition, you are bound to make a great catch or two.

Not only is the fishing great, but you'll be casting your rod in the most naturally magnificent areas. Lush forest, picture-perfect waterways and awe-inspiring mountains are the backdrop for this state's fishing expeditions.

It's no surprise that locals love to get in on the action, with more than one in four Tasmanians partaking in saltwater fishing each year.

Popular and commonly found species include Australian salmon, flathead, tuna, rock lobster, bream and scallops.

Of course, if you come to Tasmania to fish, you'll need to be aware of basic fishing rules and regulations and make sure you follow them, otherwise you risk receiving penalties. For example, size, bag and possession limits apply to everyone in order to prevent overfishing.

The general 'Tasmanian way' of fishing requires that you only take what you need, use good and humane fish handling techniques, and remain considerate of the environment and others.

Now that's all out of the way – let's get down to business! Here are some of the best fishing areas in Tasmania.

Tasmania's top fishing spots – trout, saltwater and game

If you're fond of trout, then you'll be happy to know that Tas has over 3,000 rivers and lakes fantastic for finding this fish. Crystal clear waters mean that sighting them can be very easy – look out for the big brown and rainbow trout swimming right by you!

Specific popular locations include the lakes of the Central Highlands, also abundant with remote streams and shallow waters that are great for wading and sighting leaping trout. The Great Lake is also a winner for fishing, and Arthurs Lake on the Central Plateau is known as a thriving trout hotspot.

Don't forget Brumbys Creek. Here, the water is particularly clear and pure, so you're bound to make a catch and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings.

If you're a beginner, you can head out on a tour or with a knowledgeable guide to help you find your footing. Not to mention, they will be able to provide you with all the equipment you need.

Game fishing is another of Tasmania's strengths, considering the island state has over 20 national game fish records! Head anywhere from Flinders island down the east coast to the Tasman Peninsula and find broadbill swordfish, yellow and Bluefin tuna, striped marlin, albacore tuna and mako sharks. Some lucky fishers have made catches of over 200kg!

If you'd rather avoid the mako sharks and enjoy some pleasure fishing, then estuaries and coastal lagoons will satisfy all your needs. Catch some bream, sea-trout and salmon – and there are some big ones! Bream are most found around natural or man-made structures that have some surrounding current so keep an eye out for these areas.

If you need any fishing advice once you're in Tasmania, have a chat at the local tackle shop or head out on a charter boat tour so you get the weather, tides and conditions right!

Tasmanian weather can be unpredictable, so if you are new to fishing or to these kinds of conditions, you're better off safe than sorry. Local experts can be the ones to help make sure that your fishing experience is enjoyable and memorable. Make the most of the expertise that's available to help you.

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Oct
07
2013

For many people, Tasmania is a dream destination for a working holiday. Well, this certainly is a viable option!

Australia has Working Holiday Maker (WHM) arrangements with many foreign countries, so that people who meet the right visa criteria can find temporary work in Australia – including Tasmania!

If you're from the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Italy and many other countries, and are between 18 and 30 without dependent children, you might be eligible for a working holiday, which can last up to 12 months from date of entry. You can't work for more than six months with one employer, so if you want to work the whole year, keep in mind you'll need to find two different workplaces.

You might end up working as a casual labourer or a grape picker at a vineyard. There's no doubt that your surroundings on this beautiful island state will be magnificent!

Seasonal work is often a popular option, with visitors eager to work amongst nature at orchards. Maybe you'll end up harvesting fruit, collecting vegetable crops, trimming trees, collecting flowers, sowing seeds or more!

Think of all the things you can do on your weekends off! Try surfing at Wineglass Bay in the summer, or enjoy hiking up Cradle Mountain in autumn as some of the leaves and floiage change colour.

You can spend fun nights out with your friends in Hobart, or enjoy some activities out on the water.

In addition to this, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about Australia's heritage. Historic sites like Port Arthur give huge insight into the nation's convict origins, with fascinating buildings and ruins offering a window into the past.

So enjoy a working holiday in Tasmania, for an experience you'll cherish and never forget!

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Oct
06
2013

With the rise in afford­able SLR’s, the new crop of fan­tas­tic mir­ror­less cam­eras and even phone cam­eras, those post­ing into Social Chan­nels will def­i­nite­ly want to take bet­ter shots and learn new tech­niques.

If you have wit­nessed the rise of Insta­gram and have explored the recent ‘Great Tassie Insta­gram Jour­ney‘ on Dis­cover­Tas­ma­nia’s Insta Chan­nel, some of the pho­tos were, (and are) incred­i­ble. Tas­ma­nia has a vibrant set of pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers who are often seen post­ing across our face­book page; but did you know there are spe­cif­ic cours­es and tours you can do as part of your hol­i­day in Tas­ma­nia?

Luke O’Brien runs pho­tog­ra­phy tours in Hobart and to Freycinet, Cra­dle Moun­tain and Mt Field Nation­al Parks. You will get expert tuition, a work­shop for­mat, meals and accom­mo­da­tion. Cen­tre your hol­i­day around one of these lim­it­ed num­ber tours and you will not only emerge a bet­ter user of your gear, but see Tas­ma­nia through dif­fer­ent eyes – your’s, awak­ened.

Anoth­er great teacher using both down­town and out of town loca­tions is Shut­ter­bug Walk­a­bouts. As the name sug­gests tours explore city loca­tions in new ways. Close up pho­tog­ra­phy, night time, and nature shoot­ing all fall into these per­son­al tutes. Always with small num­bers, the instruc­tors pass on real life tech­niques you can­not learn online or from books, and when the loca­tion is as spec­tac­u­lar as Hobart’s docks or the slopes of Mt Welling­ton or the Tahune Air­walk in the Huon Val­ley, you will come away with an appre­ci­a­tion of Tas­ma­nia’s light, clear air and scenery.

Fancy wilder­ness pho­tog­ra­phy? Cameron Blake runs Over­land Track Pho­tog­ra­phy Tours – expe­ri­ence a breath­tak­ing hike through the World Her­itage Tas­man­ian wilder­ness and world famous Cra­dle Moun­tain coun­try­side. Tours last 5/6 days and the expe­ri­ence is immer­sive; into tech­niques and into the amaz­ing sur­round­ings. Avail­able sched­uled tours for the sum­mer are Tour #3 – 2014 – Feb­ru­ary 14th to 19th “The Young at Heart” and Tour #4 – 2014 – April 25th to 30th “The East­er Egg Hunt”. Great Names too.

Astonishing light and a masterful Instagram shot by Matt Glastonbury

wilderness settings which will blow your mind and lens

Inspiring Coastal Scenery way beyond a snapshot - Image Credit Luke O'Brien

Close up nature - Image Credit: Shutterbug Walkabouts

Stirring night time city vistas - Image Credit: Luke O'Brien

Amazing light and layers at dusk Photographing - Image Credit: Shutterbug Walkabouts

Apple Blossom

Shafts of light

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