Apr
15
2011
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The 20th Targa Tasmania is now over but the event has left behind great footage of what it is like to be in the cockpit sharing the inner workings and the close partnership between navigator and driver.

Pay some attention too to the speed at which all this is going on; the immense concentration and teamwork. With public roads closed and special stages for the event, Tasmania is an amazing location for this rally. Viewing these – particularly the first one, you can appreciate why Tasmania is also emerging as a favourite motorcycle touring destination.

What happens when it doesn’t go quite so well !!

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Apr
14
2011
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With Tasmania taking a mighty soaking over the past few days … in Hobart the heaviest overnight deluge in 50 odd years, and the East Coast region once again thrown nature’s fury, we got to think about the creatures living under water.

The River Derwent estuary, where it fans out to become Hobart’s harbour has one particular bottom dwelling, totally unique amazing little fish – the handfish. These small, unusual, slow-moving fish prefer to ‘walk’ on their pectoral and pelvic fins rather than swim. These fins are leg-like, with extremities resembling a human hand.

Five of the eight currently identified species of handfish are endemic to Tasmania and Bass Strait. They are generally found on sandy sediments.

One favourite haunt is just 20 minutes from downtown at Tinderbox. In her 20 dives to photograph the handfish, Sue Wragge (who operates a local dive tour business) has become especially fond of these little creatures.

During breeding the mothers tend the eggs for the 6 weeks from spawning to hatching staying nearby and protecting them. With their intense blue eyes, they almost project a personality way beyond their humble size.

Handfish with egg cluster

Handfish with egg cluster Photo Credit Sue Wragge


Handfish with egg cluster

Handfish with egg cluster Photo Credit Sue Wragge


Handfish with egg cluster and new tiny baby

Handfish with egg cluster and new tiny baby Photo Credit Sue Wragge

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Apr
12
2011
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Did you catch the quite excellent Tasmanian feature in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend (weekend) newspaper insert? We had an 8-page wrap-around describing one of the most breathtaking places on earth.

Contributing travel writers, well known Tasmanian Bob Brown, and author Danielle Wood profiled their love of the island state, describing ‘the essence’, a favourite spot, the best taste and the most under rated attraction.

Where to eat, where to stay, what to do, our culture, our nature and simply put, the good life!

Travel writer Kendall Hill introduced the articles with a brilliant lead-in …

“If fate had placed Tasmania in the northern hemisphere – just off the coast of America or Britain, for example – its quaint country lanes and glorious countryside would be well known around the globe. Everyone would rave about the quality of light and the crispness of the air (the freshest in the world), its phenomenal wine regions would be feted widely and its food would be a beacon for gourmet travellers.

In recent years Tasmania has received a chorus of approval from prestigious foreign publications such as Travel + Leisure (one of their “top five favourite islands”), Condé Nast Traveller (“world’s friendliest island”) and Outside magazine (one of “the world’s 10 best beaches” – Wineglass Bay).

All this attention seems to be turning Australian heads as more and more mainlanders discover our southernmost state.

It only takes one visit to Tasmania to become a convert to its laidback lifestyle and uncommon beauty.”

Good Weekend Feature Screenshot 2 April 2011

Good Weekend Tasmanian Feature Screenshot 2 April 2011

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Apr
11
2011
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More than 9000 hectares have been added to Tasmania’s reserve system to increase the representation of coastal heathland, wetlands and coastal scrub habitats along Tasmania’s north coast and on the Bass Strait islands.

Significant areas of threatened blue gum forest on King Island have also been reserved as well as habitat for a wide range of threatened plants and animals.

This has been an important project over recent years with 78,000 hectares of land in 1357 parcels being identified and assessed from the Crown Land Asssessment service and now formally included as conservation areas.

The new reserves for the State are:

  • Boobyalla Conservation Area (2014 hectares)
  • Single Tree Plain Conservation Area (1298 hectares)
  • Counsel Hill Conservation Area (1212 hectares)
  • Colliers Swamp Conservation Area (1090 hectares)
  • Anderson Islands Conservation Area (749.8 hectares)
  • Sea Elephant Conservation Area (731.3 hectares)
  • Five Mile Bluff Conservation Area (681.47 hectares)
  • Vansittart Island Conservation Area (673.8 hectares)
  • Arthur Bay Conservation Area (558.3 hectares)
  • Porky Beach Conservation Area (442.4 hectares)
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Apr
08
2011
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Have been having a Friday fiddle with our USA and Canadian sites. You didn’t know that we have multiple sites? We sure do!

The list is (*primary) *Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, India, Japan and Korea. We address our audience in-market with slightly different messages with a few core ones being of course the same. We have English sites and foreign language ones.

So for the United States and Canada sites we have done the old ‘left-right’ swap.

Which do you like best?

Leave a comment here … we’d be interested to have your views.

Canadian Site - supplementary on left


United States site - supplementary on right

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Apr
07
2011
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Local regional marketing group – the Cradle Coast Authority, has launched another new site to provide a distintct identity for this Tasmanian area. Following on from yesterday’s new site (Western Wilderness), this completes the establishment of two strong and regionally focussed sites from the one original composite site.

It’s all about strolling beautiful white beaches, exploring scenic fishing villages, taking in mountain views and savouring fresh produce from rich, red soils. It’s all here in Tasmania’s North West, unique in Australia.

North West Coast Site

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Apr
06
2011
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A new site to help you discover all the details, all the stories, and in depth information about Tasmania’s Western Wilderness has been launched by the local regional marketing group – the Cradle Coast Authority.
From Corinna to Mole Creek, from Tarraleah to Strahan this area has so much to explore.

History, vistas, underground wonders, wildlife, world heritage, wilderness, luxury, a wild coastline, some of the quietest places in the world, the cleanest air in the world (fact – it is measured north of here), vast harbours and of course Cradle Mountain and the Overland Track.

Western Wilderness Site

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Apr
05
2011
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A feature on Flinders Island made up a good chunk of the travel pages of last week’s  Sunday Tasmanian newspaper. We were particularly taken with this passage [see below] about a boat builder, a tip on how to avoid the necessities of boat-moving permits and Whitemark’s carols by candlelight celebrations. The price of the boat charter isn’t bad either.

Fishing Business

Mike Nichols runs Flinders Island Dive. Mike’s a former school teacher who came to the island, embraced the islanders Can-Do attitude and built  himself a beautifully crafted steel boat even though he had never welded so much as a billy-cart before. The boat took him five years to build. When the time came to launch it the local police officer suggested to Mike he would need a permit to move the boat. Mike told him that wouldn’t be necessary as he’d tow the 12metre boat from the paddock to the launch site when no-one was around. Mike chose quiet Christmas Eve to launch and immediately drove into Whitemark’s carols by candlelight celebrations.

Diving instructor Mike is a laid back fella and 4hours in his company is a pleasure, fish or no fish. Still on the morning we spent fishing with him we began trolling at 10.55am. The first pike was on the line at 10.57am. During the charter we watch dolphins off the bow, catch more pike and a salmon and then go skin-diving for abalone and flathead. Later we cooked two abalone for an entree while Mike cooked up the flathead for dinner for his partner and child.

Mike will take out a family of four people to some of the other Furneaux Group islands for up to five hours for $500. He also sells and hires dive gear and takes divers to some of the Furneaux Group’s wrecks.

Contact Mike on 0428 598 529 or flindersdive@activ8.net.au

Mike Nicholls in command

Photo Credit: David Scott - Mike Nicholls in control


Flinders Island Fishing Vessel

Photo Credit: David Scott - Flinders Island Fishing Vessel

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Apr
03
2011
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William Gould was transported to Tasmania in 1827 for stealing a coat, and then spent his sentence on the utterly treacherous Sarah Island Convict Settlement. Whilst there, and with encouragement from the medical officer, he embarked upon recording in a series of drawings the fish found in those Tasmanian waters.

These humble beginnings have produced an undoubted artistic and scientifically important triumph ‘Gould’s Sketchbook of Fishes’. Award winning author Richard Flanagan, himself a descendant of Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840’s, was later to base his book ‘Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish’ on those drawings.

Now the orginal has been inducted on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register, the equivalent of world heritage listing. The painstakingly produced water colours captured with extraordinary accuracy fish from the time, and are still used as essential reference by scientists today. That the work also transitions to be regarded as fine art is even more intriguing.

Extraordinary hardship was the norm for Gould, who as an individual not given to blind obedience (or perhaps a proven sense of rebellion brought on by alcohol), spent most of his life serving time doing successive sentences. He died at around 50 years of age.
Examples of his still life studies and botanical work are displayed in the National Gallery of Victoria, Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Gould’s Sketchbook of Fishes was acquired by the avid collector Henry Allport some time last century.
When he died, it was left to the people of Tasmania as part of a large collection now on display in Hobart’s Allport Library.

Gould’s artistic achievements were varied: he sketched landscapes, plants, and birds as well as his exquisite fishes.

(Crested) Weed Fish - William Buelow Gould, c1832

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Apr
01
2011
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Are you a footy fanatic or do you spend your time driving kids to training and games? Maybe you’re a team of volunteer umpires deserved of a break or simply keen to lock in a family holiday as soon as the final whistle blows! Whatever the reason, gather your team of up to six members and make sure you tell us why YOU deserve to win your own Ultimate End of Season Tassie Experience.

Look for this on Facebook

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