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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

What a year!

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It’s been a great year for Tasmania. David Attenborough showcased our stunning island to a global audience of millions, a deal was struck for new Bass Strait ferries, while our whisky and wine shone on the world stage… and that’s just the start.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

Tassie Kangaroos bounce into history

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No Christmas rest for the stars of Tasmania’s first AFL team – The North Melbourne Tassie Kangaroos – with training in full swing as they get ready to create history in the New Year.

10 December 2018, Edition 201

Young gun for new tennis festival

Tasmania’s summer of tennis just got hotter, with news that one of the sport’s rising stars is heading south. World number 31, Australian Alex de Minaur, will visit Hobart later this month for the inaugural Tasmanian Festival of Tennis. The new event launches a big summer of tennis, including the Hobart International (January 5-12) the Burnie International (January 21-27) and the Launceston International (January 28 – February 3). De Minaur will meet fans at Hobart’s Domain Tennis Centre, on Sunday December 16. The 19-year-old had a breakthrough 2018 season reaching two ATP finals and making the third round at Wimbledon and the US Open. De Minaur told The Advocate: “I competed in the Launceston International in 2017, but this will be my first visit to Hobart, so I’m looking forward to being part of the Tasmanian Festival of Tennis.”

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Sydney Hobart ready to set sail

The fleet in this year’s 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been labelled as one of the strongest line-ups ever. It will be a tight tussle between record-holder Comanche, which took line honours last year, and Wild Oats XI which was stripped of a win after being handed a time penalty. Black Jack, InfoTrack and Scallywag are also contenders to win the race. A total of 91 yachts will head south on Boxing Day, including entrants from China, France, Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, Poland, Russia, the UK and US. Round the world sailor, Stacey Jackson, will skipper a professional all-women’s crew. It is also the 20th anniversary of the deadly 1998 race, which claimed the lives of six men. The solemn event will be marked with a minute’s silence the second day at sea. The same words spoken at a dockside memorial service in 1998 will be read over the radio to sailors competing in this year’s blue water classic.

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Parliament passes Brand Tasmania Bill

History has been created. The Brand Tasmania Bill was passed with strong tri-partisan support, so, Brand Tasmania is now a Statutory Authority. This is an Australian first, and the start of an exciting era, with Premier Will Hodgman saying: “The passage of the Brand Tasmania Bill 2018 through Parliament marks a major point for one of our most important and valuable assets, our brand. The Bill establishes the new statutory authority, Brand Tasmania, which, with more resources and capacity, will have a stronger ability to promote and protect our brand, and ensure Tasmania continues to stand out from the pack.” The Premier added that his Government is committed to expanding international markets to assist local businesses in exporting their world-class goods and services globally: “This is an exciting time for our State, and the Government is committed to promoting Tasmania to the world, to open up new markets, support local business, and create even more local jobs.” Brand Tasmania Executive Director, Robert Heazlewood, is thrilled that all three Tasmanian political parties enthusiastically supported the new statutory authority. He said across-the-board agreement shows that this is the right move to take Tasmania’s precious brand into the future: "It builds on the work of a small team who did an amazing job with limited resources, and the plan is to move forward developing new partnerships while strengthening existing relationships." It is also history in the making. Tasmania is the first Australian state or territory to have a statutory authority devoted to its brand, and only the second in the world.

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Bicheno prepares for gourmet extravaganza

As the weather heats up, Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast is the place to be, and for lovers of gourmet delights, next weekend is the time to visit. The Bicheno Food and Wine Festival is the region’s biggest event and is now in its 12th year. The festival is again expected to draw bumper crowds seeking out the finest local food, wine, and beer, with highlights including cooking classes run by top chefs, and wine appreciation lessons. All the wonderful local fare aside, the scenery alone would be enough of a drawcard, with the three-day celebration overlooking beautiful Waubs Bay. And as befits the location, this year’s festival will also feature a display of classic surfboards. The Bicheno Food and Wine Festival runs from November 16 – 18.

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Launceston airport flying high

Launceston airport has recorded its strongest first quarter growth to date, by welcoming more than 300,000 travellers between July and September. That represents a five per cent growth on the same period last year. The Sydney-Launceston route proved the most popular. Launceston Airport General Manager, Paul Hogan, said: “Our buoyant first quarter figures are pleasing, particularly against a background of continued constrained domestic aircraft capacity. In Launceston, we continue to experience strong demand across all of our routes, and with the competitive commercial arrangements in place with our airlines, we are confident that more aircraft will be deployed to Launceston, the tourism gateway to Tasmania.” Last month, the airport was also named as a finalist in the 2018 Tasmanian Tourism Awards for the fourth time. Launceston airport facilitates travel for almost 1.4 million people every year.

9 November 2018, Edition 200

State ready for polo action

Some of the world’s best polo players will descend on Tasmania in January for one of Australia’s premier events - The 2019 Barnbougle Polo Tournament. The high-level action will see Australian and international polo players face-off on the world-class links in the state’s North East. This year will also mark a historic return for Tasmanian bred ponies, with Wickford Polo Ponies, based in the Northern Midlands, providing 25 horses for the tournament. Wickford’s has been breeding polo ponies for more than 25 years with many competing internationally in the UK, Argentina, Dubai and the USA.  Last year’s Barnbougle Polo Tournament attracted crowds of more than 3,500 people, and event organiser Penny Sattler, said: “This event is quite unique for Tasmania. I think it is just a great day out to have with the family, in a beautiful part of the state, at a great time of year.”

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Rocks challenge Tasmania’s origin

The striking similarities between the geology of Tasmania, and the USA’s Grand Canyon, has led scientists to challenge theories about how Tasmania was formed. After five years of research, Dr Jack Mulder – a University of Tasmania graduate and now researcher at Monash University – believes Tasmania may have been connected to the west coast of America hundreds of millions of years ago, when the two landmasses were joined as part of the super-continent, Rodinia. After years of examining the rocks around Tasmania’s north west, Dr Mulder found them to be very different to those of a similar age on the mainland. An international search eventually led the research team to the Grand Canyon, where they discovered a perfect geological match. Dr Mulder theorises that when Rodinia started to break up around 700 million years ago, Tasmania travelled from the US to Australia. He told The Advocate: “We think that probably happened when the Pacific Ocean began to open, and Tasmania got plucked off the US.”

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Taste of Tasmania birthday cake-off

The Taste of Tasmania is gearing up to celebrate a milestone birthday with cake – lots of it! The iconic Hobart festival turns thirty this year and is celebrating with a special bake-off. The Great Tasmanian Cake Off will attract the best bakers in the state all vying for the honour of producing the ultimate cake. Along with a stunning array of Victoria Sponges presented to the judges, the waterside event will also present a cross-section of other food and beverages from the island state. This festive season well-known chef, Luke Burgess, will be serving up an array of dishes. He will be joined by Templo’s Matt Breen, who is slated to present a masterclass in Italian peasant food. The Taste of Tasmania runs from December 28 to January 3 at Hobart’s Princes Wharf, and a full festival program will be released later this month.

9 November 2018, Edition 200

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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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