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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

Mini-facelift for Art Hotel

An old favourite has been given a little face-lift. The Henry Jones Art Hotel, on Hobart’s waterfront, opened with great excitement 15 years ago. It was ahead of its time as Australia’s first dedicated art hotel, but time caught up, and $1.7 million has been invested to keep its look up to date. Over the past two years money has been spent upgrading all of the rooms with new carpets, lights and shutters. Two new restaurants – 'Peacock and Jones' and the 'Landscape Restaurant and Grill' – have also opened adding to the dining experience. All this just in time for the hugely popular Dark Mofo which has just burst into life right on the Art Hotel’s doorstep. The award-winning hotel showcases local artworks. It even has a full-time curator who oversees the rotating collection of more than 400 pieces that adorn the walls. Built within a row of historic warehouses that date back to the early 1820s, the hotel also preserves the atmosphere of its original inhabitant –  the old IXL jam factory. Rough-hewn sandstone walls and old timber beams add to the heritage feel.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

Running festival races ahead

Bold new plans could see Launceston’s Spirit of Tasmania Running Festival become one of Australia’s premier running events. Festival Director, Wayne Larden, wants the 12-year-old festival to expand and introduce a half-marathon that would also be an Australian title. He told The Examiner: “If we had a half-marathon we would hope to have that as the Australian championship. That will bring all the good runners down [to Tasmania] because all the elites want an Australian title and that will put the event on the map.” Mr Larden believes Launceston is ideal for a half-marathon with a long flat course along the East Tamar Highway. The festival was held in early June and attracts a top-quality field that often includes Olympic runners. The centrepiece is the Launceston 10 which organisers proudly describe as Australia’s flattest and fastest 10k race. “It’s fast and has good prize money – the prize pool is very good compared to other events,” Mr Larden explained.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

$700m Bass Strait Ferries Coup

Edition 194_GraingerFuchsTT

A landmark $700 million deal has been signed for two new Bass Strait ferries in Tasmania’s ‘biggest ever infrastructure investment’.

7 May 2018, Edition 194

East Coast mega resort

A $100m mega-resort proposed for the East Coast has been labelled as potentially one of Tasmania’s biggest ever tourism developments. The Cambria Green proposal covers 3185ha of land at Dolphin Sands, near Swansea. Touted as an eco-resort, plans include a 100-120 room luxury hotel, other tourist accommodation in 70 villas and 240 units, venues for conferences and weddings, health retreat, village centre with shops and restaurants and two golf courses. The resort would be built around the historic 182-year-old Cambria homestead. The Melbourne based developers are backed by an international syndicate including Chinese investors. Cambria Green CEO, Ronald Hu, told The Mercury the development would cost between $50 and $100 million adding that while the East Coast had experienced good growth over the past 10 years, facilities are still basic: “This will attract a certain type of high-end tourist as there isn’t really the target market opportunity there.” Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief, Luke Martin, said Cambria Green could potentially be the biggest tourist development in the state adding that the East Coast region is “crying out for investment.” The Cambria Green proposal has been presented before the local Glamorgan Council and is now undergoing a public consultation process.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Navy ship bid

The Bay of Fires is already a tourist drawcard with its stunning beaches and orange lichen-covered boulders. But it is hoped this East Coast destination could soon have a new attraction – under the water. The Tasmanian Government has made a bid for the decommissioned navy ship, HMAS Darwin, which had its final voyage last year. It is planned that the ship would be sunk a few hundred metres from the shore, with the wreck used as a dive site. Peter Paulson who has been leading the campaign for an old navy ship to sink in the Bay of Fires for the last 17 years, told ABC News this would be “a fantastic asset to the community.” He added the stunning location, combined with proximity would make it “one of the most accessible dive sites in Australia. We’re probably only three minutes from the boat ramp, probably 800 metres…onto the dive site, so it doesn’t get any closer than that.” If Tasmania does secure HMAS Darwin it will be scuttled 30 metres under the ocean in Skeleton Bay. In 2016 Tasmania missed out on securing HMAS Tobruk for the Bay of Fires.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Myer revival excites Hobart

After it was destroyed by fire more than a decade ago, Hobart’s Myer is fully back-in-business with thousands flocking into the CBD for the store’s long awaited expansion on April 19. This second stage of the Myer re-development greatly increased the current store size. It is now operating at full-capacity and covers an impressive 12,500sqm over five levels. The expanded store has also attracted new brands including high profile names such as Calvin Klein, Pilgrim and Peter Alexander. The first stage of the Myer re-development was completed in November 2015, and Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff said it “breathed life back into Hobart’s CBD.” Myer has been trading in Hobart since 1936, but the massive blaze which gutted the store in 2007 was also devastating for city retailers with shoppers deserting the city. However, a number of recent developments, such as the Cat and Fiddle upgrade, have led a CBD revival. As Mr Rockliff said: “Tasmania’s retail sector is booming, growing for 40 consecutive months and helping to create new jobs. Myer’s new building will add to that and will not only be a major drawcard to Hobart’s CBD; it will support and increase jobs.” Sixty new staff have been added to the current 250-strong workforce at Hobart’s Myer store.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Eco tourism hut

Eco-tourism in Tasmania has been given another boost with the opening of the 24-bed Tahune Hut which will provide overnight accommodation for bushwalkers on one of Tasmania’s toughest treks. Each year around 2,000 people hike to Frenchmans Cap, which is in the Wild Rivers National Park on the West Coast, but now they have added comfort with a new public hut which replaces the one built 45 years ago. The energy-efficient hut sits under the shadow of Frenchmans Cap and was partly funded by a donation from philanthropist, Dick Smith. He has a special love for the area and during Tahune Hut’s official opening he recounted that he and his wife Pip tackled the Frenchmans Cap walk shortly after they were married 50 years ago. Mr Smith also used the occasion to offer advice to Tasmania’s tourism operators suggesting they put their prices – up. He said this would attract wealthy holiday-makers, which in turn meant fewer tourists needed to generate the same revenue thus helping to preserve Tasmania’s natural assets.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Hobart is hipster heaven

In an announcement that will surely put the noses of Australia’s ‘coolest’ places out of joint, Hobart has been called-out as one of the hipster hotspots – even beating Melbourne as a more happening place. A survey has named Hobart Australia’s number three hipster city. Only the Gold Coast, which took out top spot, and Cairns have greater hip credentials. Geelong ranked fourth, with Melbourne coming in at fifth spot. The Hipster City Index was compiled by a global relocation conglomerate which keeps tabs on the hippest places to live. The index compares population density with indicators of cool such as vintage boutiques, tattoo studios, artisan coffee shops and vegan eateries. And if you are looking for the ultimate in hipster living you will need to head north of the equator. English cities Brighton and Hove along with Portland and Salt Lake City in the US, apparently have no peer when it come to the ‘cool’ barometer.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Mountain bike bliss

Mountain bike enthusiasts will soon be even more spoilt for choice, with the next stage of the Blue Derby mountain trails underway. Dorset Council has lodged a development application for a suspension bridge which would access a new trail specifically designed for families and less mobile riders. The 63m bridge would cross the Ringarooma River, linking the small village of Derby with the Briseis Tin Mine Dam. The new trail would circumnavigate the Briseis Dam, as well as potentially using the old tin mine for cliff-face climbing and zip-lining. Gentle pathways would also provide new lookouts. World Trail Director, Glen Jacobs, who is constructing the new trail, told The Advocate, the route would unlock Derby’s “rare gem” of the Briseis Dam. Mountain bike tourism has been a major boon for Tasmania’s north-east, with the world-class Blue Derby trails now attracting more than 25,000 cyclists every year and generating $30m for the Tasmanian economy.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Top Tassie experiences

A prestigious luxury magazine has praised Tasmania as “the most diverse and curious place you’ll ever discover.” Luxury Travel Magazine also listed its top five Tasmanian experiences describing the state as: “A place of wild landscapes, friendly people with a relaxed island lifestyle, delicious food and wine, and a rich history evoked by local stories and convict ruins.” The magazine lists the ultimate Tasmanian experience as the Great Eastern Drive taking in the “faultless curve of Wineglass Bay” and “mighty boulders covered in bright orange lichen at the Bay of Fires” along with Maria Island, “a national park and wildlife haven set amongst convict ruins.” The state’s wildlife – led by our unique Tasmanian Devils – comes in next, while Tasmania’s wild alpine peaks and lakes take out third place: “Cradle Mountain safeguards ancient alpine landscapes and many a waddling wombat.” Tasting Tasmania’s fresh produce described as, “so fresh it’s likely to be unearthed, plucked or caught that day,” is also a must. Finally, the magazine urges readers to head to Barnbougle Dunes – in the north east – or King Island where you can, “tee off to the sound of crashing waves on Tasmania’s coastal golf courses where sweeping beaches, farmland and manicured greens mix effortlessly.”

11 April 2018, Edition 193

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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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