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Tasmania’s Stories

Hobart Xmas for Princess Mary

Edition 191_Mary

Tasmania's living, breathing fairy tale — Crown Princess Mary of Denmark — was home for Christmas for the first time in six years and behaved like most visitors.

She rushed to Salamanca Place soon after flying in with Crown Prince Frederik and their four children and set off for Port Arthur on her first full day in the State of her birth.

Admittedly there were royal trappings. The family was accommodated in Government House during the "private visit" and had three security guards during the Christmas-rush outing to the Salamanca retail precinct.

But there were nice homely touches as well.

The princess embraced a male acquaintance she encountered outside the shops and enjoyed being introduced to two border collies by their proud owner.

Accompanied by her sister, Patricia Bailey, and friend and former bridesmaid, Amber Petty, Princess Mary shopped at Aspect DesignHandmark (owned by Brand Tasmania councillor Alannah Dopson), the Faerie Shop, the Spindle Tree, Hammer & Hand and Plato's.

Glenda Armstrong of Aspect Design told The Mercury: "She's a regular when she's down here. She's lovely, very polite — and the children are gorgeous."

Crown Prince Christian, 12, apparently pulled rank as the eldest child and senior heir to escape the retail trial, but the other three children, Princess Isabella, 10, and the 6-year-old twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, were enthusiastically involved.

Tasmania Police liaised with the Court of the Royal House of Denmark to ensure a safe visit by the family.

“Their trip to Tasmania is a personal visit by the royal family, and we ask that the community respect their request for private time with their family while in our State,” Inspector Jo Stolp, told the media.

The royal family's Australian holiday began on 11 December when they flew into Sydney.

The following day they were guests of Sydney businessman Sandy Oatley on board his celebrated Sydney-to-Hobart-winning supermaxi Wild Oats XI.

Skipper Mark Richards had to hose down rumours that Prince Frederik, an experienced sailor, would join him for the blue water classic.

“That’s not right — not this year,” Mr Richards told The Mercury.

“They were on board today for the Big Boat race, which is a bit of fun, but he definitely won’t be [on board] for Hobart.”

Prince Frederik had sailed on Wild Oats XI’s little sister, Wild Oats X, during Queensland's Hamilton Island Race Week in August, building connections with the Oatley team.

“They are great people,” Mr Richards said.

“Mary — she’s a great lady. Hobart should be very proud of her.”

The family also enjoyed a luxury cruise on Sydney Harbour and an Aussie-style day at the beach at Palm Beach, where the adults were seen jogging.

When Princess Mary emerged from the water with blood dripping from a cut to her elbow, Prince Frederik quickly applied a Band-aid.

The children enjoyed body boarding and swimming and the twins enjoyed kicking a football on the sand before the family left for lunch in a nearby café.

The Hobart-born UTAS graduate married Prince Frederik in 2004 after meeting him at a party during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

It was a love story to eclipse anything in the rich world of romantic fiction and it has continued to delight Danes as much as it does Tasmanians.

Through it all, "our Mary" has been poised, diplomatic, composed, and, yes, regal.

The couple last visited Australia two years ago, but did not make it to Tasmania.

Princess Mary's sisters, Jane Stephens, 49, and Patricia Bailey, 47, both live in Hobart, as does her father, John Donaldson, a former UTAS lecturer and one-time captain of Tasmania's rugby team.

Princess Mary's brother, also John Donaldson, lives in Perth.

Footnote: Crown Princess Mary isn’t Tasmania’s first or only princess. Pauline Curran married Prince Maximilian Melikoff, of the exiled Russian royal family, the Romanoffs, in 1926. She became Princess Melikoff and is remembered for bequeathing a substantial legacy in 1988 to "save the whales and the baby seals." Subsequently, a king’s child or Anak Agung in the Balinese kingdom of Denpasar, Lindy Rama, grew up in Hobart before marrying Olympic swimmer Michael Klim in 2006.

Image courtesy of The Mercury

8 February 2018, Edition 191

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

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