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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

Hotel history shines

Set amongst the sandstone history of Salamanca Place is the latest jewel in Hobart’s tourism crown. As winter visitors crowd into the waterfront area for Dark Mofo, a new boutique hotel has quietly opened its doors nearby. The Moss Hotel is a welcome addition in a city struggling to keep up with demand for beds.

20 June 2019, Edition 206

Floating a dream

A hotel that floats on water? Hanging off the banks of Hobart’s River Derwent? It sounds like an impossible dream. But, with Tasmanian architectural maestro Robert Morris-Nunn steering this project, it could just become reality.

20 June 2019, Edition 206

Shipstern spectacular

It doesn’t get any more spectacular, or more dangerous. And on a wild May day, Tasmania became the hottest surf spot in the world as big wave legends tackled the monster swells off Shipstern Bluff. 

26 May 2019, Edition 205

Fagus fields of gold

One of autumn’s most colourful spectacles – The Turning of the Fagus - is about to unfold in Tasmania’s national parks attracting thousands of visitors. For a short time from late April, the fagus, a small ground-hugging tree found only in Tasmania, turns incredible hues of gold, orange and red before dropping its leaves. And, there is evidence that Australia's only cold climate winter deciduous tree has been part of Tasmania’s landscape for some 40 million years. The ‘Turning of the Fagus’ is an annual pilgrimage for many, with Cradle Mountain and Mount Field the two fagus viewing hotspots. In fact, on April 27 and 28 the fagus will be celebrated at Mount Field with live music and roaming rangers on hand to educate visitors. The best spots for viewing this spectacle on foot at Mount Field is at the Tarn Shelf, and at Lake Fenton, where glacial lakes will be fringed with ‘fagus gold’, or if you prefer the comfort of your heated car, head to Lake Dobson.

23 April 2019, Edition 204

Global visitor record smashed

A record number of international visitors once again places Tasmania as Australia’s fastest growing tourism destination. International visitor numbers jumped by 11 per cent in the 12 months to December, with a total of 309,000 overseas guests enjoying our hospitality during that period. The tills were also ringing as the visitors spent $549 million. Tourism Industry Council Tasmania boss, Luke Martin, told The Mercury the figures were extraordinary, especially as the state had no direct international flights. He added that overseas visitors were crucial as the domestic tourism market was softening: “People shouldn’t look at this and think that tourism is out of control. International growth is really holding us up because we’ve been softening in the domestic markets.”

23 April 2019, Edition 204

Surfing to success

Surfing Australia’s new boss is excited about the potential of the sport in Tasmania. During his first visit to the state, new chief executive, Chris Mater, described surfing as an "exciting proposition" which is still in the "development stage" in Tasmania when compared with other states. He told The Advocate, our coastal lifestyle and "good waves" give the island state great opportunities. "In terms of increasing participation it is exciting. In terms of high performance and athlete development, Tasmania is doing well on the Australian and world stage. It has a lot of potential – and that is on top of the great events they have here … we are in the process of looking at our strategic outlook, including Tasmania." The sport will be given a major boost from its inclusion in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Tassie guide to motorcycle heaven

Tasmania’s tourism boom is still running hot, and now it is motorcycle enthusiasts who are getting a good run. A popular motorcycling guidebook has been given prominent national coverage in the popular Just Bikes magazine as it caters to a growing market segment. And, for those keen to experience the Island State on two wheels, Throw Your Leg Over Tasmania could well end up being your most valuable travelling companion. The guide is described as a ‘Lonely Planet for motorcyclists’. It highlights 16 “awesome ride routes” and comes with detailed maps and directions. There is also a comprehensive directory of places to stay or camp. The creators, Alan Cox and Bridget Hallam, were inspired after they recently headed south: “We toured Tassie in October 2017 and again in April last year to find the best riding roads – pretty easy to do in Tassie – it’s a motorcycling nirvana!”

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Boost for latest Mountain bike adventure

The Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails is set to be completed after an $850,000 federal grant. Tasmania’s newest mountain bike drawcard will offer a network of more than 100 kilometres of track connecting the north-west towns of Sheffield, Railton and Latrobe. Much of this will be through wilderness areas offering stunning views. The mountain bike trails will cater for all levels of ability. Gentle riverside tracks will suit beginners and families, while steep rocky trails are designed for those seeking an adrenaline rush. The Wild Mersey project builds on Tasmania’s growing reputation as a world-class mountain biking destination. Stage One of the project which offers 15 kilometres of track near Latrobe, is now open. The Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails is expected to be a major tourist drawcard for the region, with economic modelling suggesting 138,000 new visitors will travel to the North-West each year for the experience.

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Taste of Huon rises from the ashes

This year’s Taste of the Huon has taken on a very special importance by providing invaluable support to a community still reeling in the wake of summer’s devastating bushfires. The annual two-day celebration of food, drink, arts and entertainment drew a crowd over the March long weekend, providing a boost for businesses hit hard by the fires. Festival manager, Roger Oates, told ABC News that the 2019 festival is a pivotal one in the event’s 27-year history. “This year the importance is so much greater on the stalls, and we’ve got stalls from Dover, Geeveston and Franklin which didn’t do any business for three weeks. It’s massively important to really reinforce that the valley’s not burnt out … in the last two to three weeks they [businesses] are starting to turn around and they’re starting to make money.”

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Hidden jewel to shine

One of Tasmania’s hidden natural jewels is about to become much more accessible. Beautiful Crescent Bay, on the Tasman Peninsula, will be easier to reach when plans to upgrade the walking track from Remarkable Cave to Crescent Bay and Mount Brown go ahead. The track will be closed from May until October, as 3.7km of improvements are carried out. It is expected that this will add another attraction for walkers hiking on the nearby Three Capes Track. Tasman Mayor, Kelly Spaulding told The Mercury: “The multi-day Three Capes Track experience brings in big numbers and spending, but there’s a huge market down here for shorter day walks. There’s huge potential at Remarkable Cave and Crescent Bay that hasn’t been discovered yet.”

14 February 2019

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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 Brand Tasmania © 2014–2019

Brand Tasmania

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