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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

Interferry sailing to Hobart

Global maritime association, Interferry, will hold its 45th annual conference in October 2020 in Hobart. Interferry has more than 230 member companies – operators and suppliers to the world's ferry industry – in 37 countries. Interferry's CEO Mike Corrigan confirmed the decision following a Board meeting in Atlanta in the United States. He said: “We felt it was important to go back to Australia – we have a strong base of members there and they have always been very supportive. It’s also another strategically significant opportunity to extend our influence and membership in the Asia-Pacific region following our 2016 conference in Manila." Tasmania's TT-Line will be host company for the conference which will enable the Bass Strait line to update delegates on two new Spirit of Tasmania ships due to enter service the following year. Capacity on the replacements will be around 40 per cent higher, with room for 2,000 passengers and more than 4,200 lane metres for cars and trucks.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Maze honours Richie Porte

Edition 192_Maze

World-class Tasmanian cyclist Richie Porte has had a complex crop maze cut in his honour at Rupertswood Farm near Hagley. Farmer Rowan Clark, who cuts mazes after each annual harvest, told The Examiner: “I have been thinking of a Richie maze for some years now. We are huge fans and love watching him race, particularly in July when the Tour de France is on." An image of Porte leading a peloton up the French Alps was designed by international maze specialists, Mazescape, for Mr Clark. Its execution, using a farm tractor and GPS, turned into a challenge. “A lot of things worked against me that night — I blew a tyre, ran out of petrol, lost a fan belt — however, I thought of Richie’s grit, dug deep, and eventually finished at around 2am.” The design includes a primary maze depicting the cyclist and a mini maze made up of Porte's front wheel for younger visitors. The maze opened for five weekends on Saturday, 24 February. Visitors are encouraged to go to www.rupertswoodfarm.com.au when planning their visit.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Line honours to Comanche

Wild Oats XI, the winner of eight previous Sydney to Hobart yacht races, was first across the line for the ninth time this year and broke its own race record only to lose the winner's crown to arch rival LDV Comanche. In dramatic post-race deliberations in Hobart, Wild Oats was found by a five-person international jury to have breached race rules when it tacked aggressively on Sydney Harbour soon after the race start. A one-hour penalty cost the super-maxi line honours and gave Comanche its first win. It was only the third time in the event’s 73-race history that a yacht had lost line honours due to a penalty. Skipper Mark Richards said Wild Oats' crew accepted the jury’s findings and penalty. "Not very often do you smash a Sydney to Hobart record and then get it taken away from you, but it’s happened to us today,” he said. "We’re very disappointed but we have to cop it on the chin.” Much of the yacht's electronic gadgetry had to be replaced in a hurry after a bolt of lightning hit the top of its 45-metre high carbon fibre mast during a pre-Christmas storm in Sydney. Revised times gave Comanche a winning time of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes, 24 seconds, more than four hours inside the previous record. Handicap honours in the blue-water classic went to the 52-footer Ichi Ban. There were 102 starters and five retirements, but the fleet's adventures didn't end in Hobart. Ninth placer Hollywood Boulevard was disabled after colliding with a huge sunfish off Flinders Island during a return voyage to Sydney. Following a mayday message, six crew were winched to safety by two air ambulance helicopters. The following day two New Caledonians were winched from the rocky shore of Cape Raoul on the Tasman Peninsula when their yacht Claire de Lune was grounded on its return voyage.

In the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster, line honours went to Lawrence Ford's Spirit of Downunder, while Peter Cretan's Tilt out-raced Fork in the Road to win the Launceston to Hobart race, ending a five-year winning streak by its rival. The three big races brought around 1,000 yachties into the city.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Luxury ferries by 2021

TT-Line has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, for the construction of two new Spirit of Tasmania ferries, worth about $460 million each. The ferries will be crossing Bass Strait by 2021 and will be customised “floating hotels”, according to TT-Line's Chief Executive, Bernard Dwyer. "Technology will be cutting-edge and the look and feel and colour will be inspired by Tasmanian experiences, from timber panelling, to imagery, to art and sculptures," Mr Dwyer told The Mercury. "The entire seventh level of the new ships — from stern to bow — will be all public space, which will be up almost 50 per cent on the current Spirits. There’ll be lounges, bars, dining areas and movie theatres. You might walk into a Tasmanian whisky bar, or a bar serving Tasmanian gins. Up forward, level seven will have panoramic views out over the bow to Bass Strait, something that is blocked out these days ... There will be more retail outlets and shop fronts for Tasmanian tourist operators, entertainment areas for families, quiet nooks for reading and relaxing, and maybe even fitness areas." While internal specifications for layout and design have not been finalised, TT-Line's vision is to offer increased comfort and enjoyment to passengers, Mr Dwyer said. The ships will take 2,000 passengers (up 40 per cent) and 70 per cent more cars.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Tetsuya’s tops nation again

Tetsuya’s, the Sydney restaurant owned by Tasmania's Brand Ambassador, Tetsuya Wakuda, AO, has been named 2017 Restaurant of the Year at the National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence in Melbourne. It was the fourth time the Japanese-born Australian master chef has taken the award's top gong. He said: “I’m very grateful, of course - it’s a real privilege, from the bottom of my heart. But it’s not me. It’s my staff. I congratulate my staff. The team won this, not me.” Restaurant critic Simon Thomsen said: “Tetsuya is the epitome of the Japanese concept of takumi - craftsmanship. He’s always stayed true to his standards; his Japanese sense of excellence.” Tetsuya has remained at the pinnacle of his profession for 25 years, earning comparisons with tennis great Roger Federer. His Singapore restaurant, Waku Ghin, was awarded two stars in the 2017 Michelin Guide, Singapore, making him the first Australian chef to have two Michelin stars. "There's no such thing as perfection," the great chef said. “But we try to be close.”

8 February 2018, Edition 191

$20m lodge for Crescent Bay

Baillie Lodges plans to build a $20 million luxury resort on a 43ha site it owns at Crescent Bay on the Tasman Peninsula. Owners James and Hayley Baillie have built a reputation for quality in the top-shelf eco-tourism market, using architect-designed buildings and serving fine food and wine. The 20-suite Remarkable Lodge is expected to offer Tasmanian wine, spirits and other produce in its guests-only restaurant and bar. Mr Baillie said: “After many years in the planning, Hayley and I are very excited to be adding the remarkable Tasman Peninsula to our collection of unique wilderness destinations around Australia.” The pair, who have developed resorts at Lord Howe Island, Kangaroo Island and Uluru, first considered a project on the Tasmanian site in 2005. A 70-minute drive from Hobart, the Tasman Peninsula offers travellers the chance to see dolphins, seals, albatross and migrating whales. The Remarkable Lodge site adjoins the Tasman National Park and has sweeping views to Tasman Island. The Port Arthur historic site is a short drive away, or guests will be able to opt to travel there by boat. The increasingly popular Three Capes Walk starts at Port Arthur. Tasmanian architects, Craig Rosevear (noted for work at Moorilla Estate) and Stuart Tanner, will oversee the lodge's construction, using timber and stone, as well as concrete. Building is scheduled to start next year. The State Government will spend $1 million on infrastructure for the project.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Floating hotel plan in Hobart

Inspired by an outcry against proposed high-rise hotels, celebrated architect Robert Morris-Nunn has proposed a floating hotel on the River Derwent off Hobart's Regatta Grounds. Professor Morris-Nunn, who designed the floating Brooke Street Pier in Hobart's CBD and has also proposed a floating hotel for Recherche Bay in southern Tasmania, said: "The massive public outcry ... was enough to convince me I should add my voice as a designer and work to offer a positive alternative." Hobart City Council alderman, Helen Burnett, said: "I think it's an innovative approach to find solutions to keep the height down and I look forward to the discussion around the idea." The proposed hotel, constructed along similar lines to the Brooke Street Pier, would have capacity for about 270 rooms, as well as restaurants, shops and bars. Hobart Not Highrise founder, Brian Corr described it as a brilliant idea. The council is waiting for plans to be submitted.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Devil of a show at TMAG

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is using three galleries for an exhibition exploring the ecology and biology of the beleaguered Tasmanian devil, along with changes over time in the public perception of the largest surviving marsupial carnivore. The Remarkable Tasmanian Devil exhibition took two years to assemble and will continue until 6 May. Senior Curator, Kathryn Medlock, said "The history of the animal is quite interesting because it really was perceived as being a pest, a threat to livelihoods and agriculture, fierce and nasty. Over time that's changed. I'm really hoping the public will gain a new respect of this animal and broaden their perspective on why it is such a remarkable species that has overcome the odds." Wildlife biologist and TMAG Honorary Curator, Nick Mooney, said it was important that a new attitude towards devils was consolidated in light of their survival struggle against Devil Facial Tumour Disease. "Now that they've had a brush with extinction and they're very rare, people are more interested," he said. An educational program has been created alongside the exhibition and school programs are planned.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Campaign to lure Sydneysiders

Residents of Australia's biggest city, Sydney, are being targeted in a new State Government campaign encouraging people living interstate to move to Tasmania. Launching the $700,000 You in a Year social media campaign, the Minister for State Growth, Peter Gutwein, said the initial focus would be on expat Tasmanians, as well as Sydneysiders. He said market research had shown Sydney residents were the most motivated to move elsewhere. "The campaign is designed to make Sydneysiders sit up and think about what their life would be like — how much better it could be — if they lived in Tasmania,” Mr Gutwein said. “In Sydney, the median house price is almost $1 million — it’s around half that much in Tasmania.” The campaign aims to target people, such as skilled trades workers, health specialists, hospitality and tourism employees, with the skill sets needed to help build the State’s workforce. You in a Year forms part of the Government’s population growth strategy, which aims to increase the State’s population to 650,000 by 2050.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Chromy named tourism champion

Tasmanian tourism titan, Josef Chromy, OAM, was inducted as a Tasmanian Tourism Champion at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards in November. He was recognised for his contribution to the State’s tourism industry and on-going investment in accommodation projects. The CEO of the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, Luke Martin, said “Joe’s impact on the wine industry in Tasmania is nothing short of remarkable. Throughout the '90s he purchased, cultivated and on-sold vineyards throughout the Tamar Valley that are now home to some of Tasmania’s most celebrated labels. His signature wine label and wine centre ... is among the finest wineries in Australia and has established a truly iconic wine experience on the doorstep to Launceston. Joe’s impact on the tourism industry in Launceston is unrivalled.” Josef Chromy Wines also won a gold medal in the awards' Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category. Port Arthur Historic Site was judged top Major Tourist Attraction.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

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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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