Aug
01
2011
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Tasmania reigns supreme when it comes to gourmet travel, particularly if you are planning to stay on the welcoming Bruny Island.

Australian Traveller writer Elisabeth Knowles recently hailed the island for being home to some of the nation’s “best regional food producers”.

The island is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city – only 620 permanent residents are based here year-round and outside of the summer months, you’ll find few tourists .

In particular, Knowles has high praise for Bruny Island Game Meats – a unique venture set up by Richard Clarke where you can sample possum, wallaby and rabbit, to name a few – and the organic produce at Bruny Island Berry Farm, where you can pick your own berries and which she also commended for its “great coffee”.

And of course, no visit to the island would be complete without a stop at the Bruny Island Cheese Company, where you can feast on a delicious cheesemaker’s platter for $20.

Here, you’ll find incredible products made from cow’s and goat’s milk, inspired by owner Nick Haddow’s travels and training across Europe – you’ll want to make sure you leave room in your bag to bring some souvenirs of your visit to Bruny Island when you finally make your way back home.

Bruny Island Cheese selection

Bruny Island Cheese Club selection

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Jul
31
2011
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Theatre lovers and musical fans who are planning a trip to Tasmania next month will not want to miss out on a performance of the much-loved show Chicago in Burnie.

The Encore Performance Arts Studio is hosting the production at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre, which is directed by Helenmarie and choreographed by Carolyn Hasenkam, from August 5 to 13.

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is a regular feature on the Broadway and West End stages and was made into a 2002 Oscar-winning film starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs and Queen Latifah.

The musical tells the tale of a pair of murderesses – Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly – who meet while they are on death row together. The pair team up as a musical act in an effort to become famous – and therefore avoid a grisly fate.

Popular songs from the production include And All That Jazz, Cell Block Tango, When You’re Good to Mama, Roxie and Razzle Dazzle, among many others.

Six performances have been scheduled, with all set to get underway at 20:00 local time. Dates are August 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13.

Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone (03 6430 5850) or in person from the Burnie Arts and Function Centre, which is located at 77-79 Wilmot Street. Full-price adult tickets are available for $28 and reduced entry is available for pensioners, full-time students and groups of ten or more people.

Anyone interested in the local arts scene will not want to miss out on a trip to the Makers’ Workshop during your time in Burnie. You’ll be able to see how boutique paper is made by hand, sample the wares at the cheese tasting centre and take in the smells and tastes of the whisky distilled here.

During your visit to Burnie, you may also wish to explore the city’s beautiful waterfront – evening penguin tours are available and you may even spot a platypus at Fernglade.

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Jul
30
2011
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If you are looking for a unique experience during your next trip to Tasmania, you may want to investigate what is believed to be the island state’s smallest licensed premises.

Burnie is home to the tiny Quaff and Gobble wine bar, which has a seating capacity of 20 and is run by the owner, accountant Neale Gillet, purely as a hobby and a way for him to share his passion for wine.

The facility was identified by the Sydney Morning Herald recently as one of Tasmania’s “undiscovered gems” – but you’ll want to plan your visit here carefully, as the bar is only open for six hours each week.

Open only on Thursdays and Fridays from 17:00 to 20:00, you’ll find the Quaff and Gobble offers an excellent range of unique and unusual wines.
Of course, you’ll be met with a characteristically warm Tasmanian welcome – and some 1970s music to set the mood.

Earlier this year, Gillet told Hobart’s The Mercury that a visit to the Quaff and Gobble is a “quiet and personal experience” and added that outdoor tables are also available for customers during the warmer months of the year.

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Jul
30
2011
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Food-lovers planning a trip to Tasmania will find plenty to savour during their trip to the island state.
Tasmania is developing quite a reputation as one of Australia’s top food destinations, with plenty of emphasis placed on organic and locally-grown produce.

During your visit, you might want to sample one of the famous cheeses made on the island – brie and camembert are popular local varieties, although you’ll find plenty to choose from – or try some of the acclaimed wine produced from cool-climate grapes.

In fact, James Halliday’s 2011 Wine Companion ranked Tasmanian wines as some of the highest-quality – and most reasonably priced – beverages to be found in the country, including chardonnays, pinot noirs and rieslings.

If you are planning to travel to Hobart, you’ll find plenty of local fare at the numerous eateries at Salamanca – and you may even wish to browse through the market here for fresh produce. And if you travel further afield, you’ll find you are treated to gastronomic delights right across the state.

From salmon farms at Mole Creek to the Nant Whisky Distillery at Bothwell – only a short drive from Hobart – you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious taste of Tasmania wherever you choose to visit.

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Jul
29
2011
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With the highly-anticipated Underbelly: Razor set to explore the lives of some of Australia’s most notorious female criminals when it premieres next month, you may feel inspired to learn more about the country’s most notorious female offenders during your next visit to Tasmania.

The fascinating Femme Fatale: The Female Criminal exhibition is currently on show at the Inveresk Precinct in Launceston offers intriguing insight into some of the country’s most infamous historic figures.

While female criminals are often portrayed as seductive, vicious vixens, the depiction of their time behind bars tells a different story.

This exhibition, which is presented by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, explores both extremes when it comes to women and crime – their glamorous portrayal in pulp novels and popular culture, as well as the stark reality of their true stories.

Inveresk has been developed on a former heritage industrial site and also features a number of other insights into what life may have been like in the area a century ago. It is an excellent destination for anyone looking to learn more about Australian and Tasmanian art and history, including Launceston’s old rail yard and blacksmith shops.

As you make your way through the Femme Fatale exhibit, you’ll be able to learn more about some of Australia’s most notorious female offenders, including poisoner Yvonne Fletcher, Eugenia Leigh – known as the ‘man woman murderer’ – and sly grogger Kate Leigh, who is the subject of the newest Underbelly series.

Underbelly: Razor stars Danielle McCormack as Leigh and Chelsie Preston Crayford as her nemesis, vice queen Tilly Devine and is set to run for 13 episodes.

Jo Horsburgh, head of drama at Nine, remarked that the “ambitious” drama will transport viewers back in time.

“It is a fascinating glimpse into back alleys, bedrooms and grog shops, where the good, the bad and downright naughty battle it out for supremacy in a post-World War I Australia.

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Jul
29
2011
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The striking and dramatic scenery of Tasmania will be on show to the world later this year when it makes an appearance at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

Titled ‘The Hunter’, the film stars Frances O’Connor, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill and tells the story of a European mercenary who has been sent to the wilderness of Tasmania on a search for the last Tasmanian tiger.

The Hunter is one of the most exciting films to be shot in Tasmania to date, and showcases Tasmania’s breathtaking landscape. It is hoped that the Academy Award-nominated Dafoe may make a return trip to Tasmania to promote The Hunter.

The film, based on the Juliet Leigh novel, is directed by Australia’s Daniel Nettheim and was shot completely in Tasmania.

It is set to be released in cinemas nationwide in early October.

The Hunter - poster

See the movie preview at the film’s website.

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Jul
29
2011
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A new addition to a total chocolate experience is being planned for rural Tasmania as part of a national initiative to boost tourism in rural regions.
The House of Anvers, which is situated in Latrobe, north-west Tasmania, is open seven days a week and promises visitors a “total chocolate experience”.

Set in a historic property dating back to 1931, the House of Anvers was formerly known as Wyndarra Lodge and visitors will find an incredible collection of trees from around the world in its 1.12 hectares of gardens.

Now, new grant funding has been announced to support the construction of the House of Anvers multi-purpose conservatory and chocolate experience.
The developments at the House of Anvers are set to increase the length of visitor stays in the region and enable more holidaymakers to experience the new facilities.

A huge range of fine confectionery is produced onsite – including truffles, fudges, pralines and chocolates – and organised tours can be booked in advance. Chocolate has been produced in the Belgian style at the House of Anvers since 1989.

Visitors to the confectionery can also make chocolate purchases at the House of Anvers retail shop – and can even order their favourite chocolate indulgences online after their visit.

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Jul
28
2011
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Cadel Evans, who this week became Australia’s first winner of the Tour de France, isn’t the only fella who looks good in yellow.

Tasmanian Rob Pennicott is on a circumnavigation of Australia. He and his crew are raising funds for Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. Two months into their philanthropic quest they’re in Albany (WA) and well past the half-way mark of their voyage.

Rob’s two dinghies are yellow. Not a lot of men can wear yellow well but, like Cadel, he looks good in the colour does Rob. Not that he is overly fussed by appearances. Not at the minute anyway. Apart from raising millions of dollars for the End Polio Now campaign Rob has the challenge of negotiating the moody and mighty Southern Ocean on the way to Adelaide, Melbourne and the home waters of Tasmania before returning to Sydney where the voyage began.

It’s too early yet to say Rob’s on his home turf but this former rock lobster fisherman who now runs cruises from Bruny Island knows the Southern Ocean well. Let’s hope his long run home to Tassie, and his ultimate finish line, is as incident free as Cadel’s ride into Paris.

At follow.theyellowboatroad.com you can donate to the campaign and follow Rob’s circumnavigation. More donations will be gratefully received.

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Jul
28
2011
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Two new eateries in Hobart from acclaimed chef Iain Todd are well worth a visit by food lovers on their next visit to the Tasmanian capital.

The 2011 national finalist for Elextrolux Young Restaurateur operates two distinctive establishments in Hobart – the Battery Point Steakhouse and Ethos Eat Drink.

At the Battery Point Steakhouse, an upscale dining establishment located on the premises of Todd’s previous Piccalilly venue, the chargrilled dry-aged beef is sourced locally from providers that adhere to ethical farming practices.

The grass-fed beef is paired with high-quality local ingredients and all organic waste is composted on the site to provide fertiliser for the organic garden.

Meanwhile, Ethos, which has a capacity of 70 diners, is Todd’s newest venture and is a brilliant place to grab a bit of tapas if you are out and about in Hobart’s CBD – although you’ll also find a number of excellent breakfast options and takeaway coffees to sample if you have to be out and about in the morning.

Located at 100 Elizabeth St in one of the city’s most historic buildings, Ethos offers a varied small-plate menu in the evening, which has been designed to share. You’ll find a wide selection of wines are available by the glass – catering to many different tastes and matched to the creative menu options.

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Jul
27
2011
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July onwards is Tasmania’s whale season and whale spotters are out in force, reporting numerous sightings of southern right and humpback whales.

The ocean giants are on their way north from Antarctic feeding grounds to breeding areas off Queensland and Western Australia.

Wildlife biologist Rachael Alderman told ABC there have been sightings in Great Oyster Bay, Tasman Peninsula, Recherche Bay and Fredrick Henry Bay.

Sighting have increased in Tasmania including in areas such as the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Tamar River, where there is high vessel traffic.

Some of the southern right whales will stay to give birth in Tasmanian waters and can be spotted throughout the May to August whale migration season before they return south for the Antarctic summer.

Catching a glimpse of these spectacular creatures is possible from boats and sometimes from the shore.

The Department of Primary Industry Parks and Environment provides guidelines for safe and responsible whale watching, including keeping to a recommended distance and adopting a slow speed.

You can assist with information gathered each year and whale sightings in Tasmanian waters should be reported to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment’s 24-hour Whale Hotline to enable further study of the migratory behaviour of these amazing creatures.

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