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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

A ‘great’ vintage is looming

Edition 188_Van der Reeste

The local wine industry had a good story to tell about this year’s vintage at Wine Tasmania’s recent VIN Diemen 2017 promotions in Sydney and Melbourne.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Film making draws a talent home

Edition 188_Grieve

Tasmanian-born author Bradley Trevor Greive, whose varied adventures include selling 30 million books, is back home and looking to keep up the pace of local film-making.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

The legend of Jimmy Possum

Edition 188_Epworth

The legend of a reclusive bush carpenter named Jimmy Possum persists in craft-minded Deloraine – and his chairs are treated with respect by knowledgeable collectors far beyond the town.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Taste House opens at Woodbridge

Edition 188_Smokehouse

The Woodbridge Smokehouse, famed for its traditionally smoked ocean trout and salmon, has opened a Taste House for the coming tourism season.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Tassie trifecta on Gold Coast

Tasmania took out three top awards at the Australian Hotels Association’s 2017 National Awards for Excellence at the Gold Coast in September. Riversdale Estate at Cambridge was judged Best Regional Restaurant; while Hobart’s Henry Jones Art Hotel was named Australian Hotel of the Year in the accommodation division and Launceston’s 9/11 Bottleshop was best retail liquor outlet. Tasmanian hospitality spokesperson Steve Old said: “For Tasmania to claim to have the Best Regional Restaurant in the country just goes to show the quality of food and operators we have in our State. The judges were impressed by the quality and presentation of the food at Riversdale Estate and commented on the friendly and professional staff. It was also great recognition for Henry Jones … on the national stage and for 9/11 Launceston City.”

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Rustic eateries right on trend

Edition 187_AgrarianKitchen

The recent opening of two paddock-to-plate eateries in the Huon and Derwent valleys is right on trend in the national food scene.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

North-west greets its own ‘MONAs’

Edition 187_CradleMountain

A $160-million upgrade to the Cradle Mountain World Heritage Area and a $90 million luxury cliff-top resort at Table Cape have both been described as regional MONAs.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Astronaut puts our brand in orbit

Edition 187_Hadfield

Canadian astronaut and digital media superstar Chris Hadfield told the world in August about his passion for Tasmania.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Eden plans an icy shocker

The Eden Project is in an advanced stage of designing its Antarctic eco-experience for Hobart’s Macquarie Point, according to founder Tim Smit. “It will be in a warehouse and it could be life-threatening,” he told British media. “If you don’t grease up properly and dress warmly enough, the low temperatures and the ferocity of the wind could kill you.” Dr Smit was launching Eden Project International Ltd, which also has three projects planned in China and another in Christchurch, New Zealand. “Hobart itself is a rapidly developing city which has an alternative side which has been brought to the fore by MONA,” Mr Smit explained. “This project fits with Eden’s ethos and it will transform a polluted, discarded site.” Eden has engaged Grimshaw Architects, the British firm that designed its famous eco-domes in Cornwall, to develop its plans for Macquarie Point’s proposed Antarctic precinct. Grimshaw has offices in Melbourne and Sydney. An Eden spokesperson told The Sunday Tasmanian the project would adopt a similar approach to the Cornwall Domes which use interactive technology to make people think differently about the world in which they live.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Tassie sealife’s winning image

Edition 187_Octopus

An encounter in Mercury Passage between a predatory octopus and a swarm of spider crabs has won the 2017 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year prize. Justin Gilligan, a diver and freelance photographer from NSW, snapped the winning image on a sandy seafloor between Maria Island and the coast of the Tasmanian mainland. “I wish I could say it took weeks of planning and days in the field to capture the shot, but … it was a total surprise,” he said. “A completely unexpected encounter with a group of hundreds of spider crabs, down off Tasmania. In their midst was a giant Maori octopus, which is the largest species of octopus in the southern hemisphere. “It was acting like an excited kid in a candy store, moving amongst this swirling mass of spider crabs.” Mr Gilligan was diving with researchers from the University of Tasmania who were experimenting with the cultivation of kelp on artificial reefs when he snapped the image which earns him a trip to Antarctica and $10,000.

Image courtesy of Australian Geographic

6 September 2017, Edition 187

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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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