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Visiting Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to visiting Tasmania

Golfing heaven

Golf’s arbiter of where to go, play, and stay – Links Magazine – has singled out two Tasmanian courses in its list of the world’s ‘Top 25 Golfing Islands’. This is the first time that the magazine has ever compiled a list of the best golfing islands and Australia, “the world’s largest land mass”, came in at third spot with special mention made of “the two Tasmanian stunners Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm”. Barnbougle is a twenty-hole links golf course on the north east coast. Lost Farm is right next door but a world away with significantly steeper sand dunes. Links Magazine also highlighted the “glittering collection of courses in the Melbourne Sandbelt and Mornington Peninsula”. Great Britain, “with more golf courses than any island on the planet” took out top spot. Second is Ireland where “navigating the winding roads can at times be a challenge, but the journey usually ends at a course with jaw-dropping views".

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Heavens on show

It was all eyes to the heavens for TAStroFest, the celebration of all things celestial. Held in Ulverstone over the first weekend in August, this festival of the heavens aimed “to teach everyone, no matter what their background or level of knowledge, how to enjoy the night skies". Organisers also highlighted that: “Tasmania has some of the cleanest and clearest skies in the world. It just stands to reason that we celebrate our location with a festival of astronomy.” They also pointed out that as the state extends from the 40th to the 44th parallel it has “the unique gift of being an excellent location for Aurora Australis spotting during most of the year". An added bonus being the roaring forties winds which also “push those clouds pretty efficiently and can enable a great night viewing when least expecting it".

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Gone fishing

The Tasmanian trout season has opened, and it is shaping up as a good one. Inland Fisheries Service Director John Diggle told The Examiner the forecast for the season was positive: “A lot of the lakes are spilling which means the outlook for the next year is quite good. The lower Derwent system, Mersey-Forth and Pieman River all have plenty of water, which is nice.” Tasmania’s world class brown trout fishery opened in early August for the 2018-19 season. The state’s inland fisheries attract more than 26,000 recreational anglers every year. Minister for Primary Industries and Water Sarah Courtney said: “The opening of the new trout season is keenly anticipated by thousands of anglers, and good lake heights and strong river flows are expected to create excellent fishing conditions right from the start.” Wild brown trout were first introduced to Tasmania in 1864, and the fishery is now one of the best in the world, attracting more than 5,000 interstate and overseas anglers every year.

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Tassie to host women’s rugby elite

Hobart will welcome some of the world’s elite female rugby players this month as the city hosts the national women’s Uni 7s Rugby series. This year’s competition has grown to include 10 universities and reflects the booming popularity of the sport. Women’s 7s is one of the world’s fastest growing team sports increasing from 200,000 to 1.7m participants in the last three years alone. Unlike traditional rugby, Rugby 7s involves 7 players on each team playing seven-minute halves, producing a fast-paced and exciting game. Following on from their inaugural season in 2017, the University of Tasmania Lions will return with local players joining top international recruits, Eilidh Sinclair (Scotland) Kiki Morgan (USA) and Sydnee Watanabe (USA). The tournament kicks off on August 25 at the University of Tasmania Sandy Bay campus oval.

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Tassie timbers for USA classic

It’s a fascinating collaboration. A team of wooden boat builders from the USA is preparing to travel to Tasmania where they will spend months crafting a keel-boat out of our beautiful timber. This will be one of the star attractions at the 13th MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in February. The seven boat craftsmen are all alumni of the renowned North West School of Boat Building in Washington. They will be arriving in Tasmania in November to begin their mission to build a classic American keel-boat, the Haven 12.5. In the meantime, specialty timber for this project is being sourced and prepared. Hydrowood – reclaimed from the cold depths of flooded hydro lakes where it has been preserved for decades – is being donated for the task. Celery-top pine, a popular wood used in boat building for centuries has been selected as the timber of choice. It is a rot-resistant old-growth timber that bends well and can be used for either structural timbers or planking in boat building. To view the finished product, put a note in the diary for the 2019 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival which will be held on 8 – 11 February along the Hobart waterfront. For more information visit www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au.

10 July 2018, Edition 196

MONA coup for Launceston

A coup for tourism in the north. MONA’s popular summer festival, Mona Foma, has been locked-in to be staged in Launceston for the next three years. After successfully trialling Mona Foma in the city last January, the State Government has announced a $6 million funding package to support events and arts in the north, including Mona Foma. Premier Will Hodgman said: “Mona Foma made an impressive debut in Launceston earlier this year capturing the imagination of locals and is truly a world class event… Mona Foma has the capacity to be a transformative event for Northern Tasmania.” MONA’S summer celebration will also continue to be staged in Hobart. Meantime, MONA co-chief executive, Mark Wilsdon, told The Examiner: “We’re working closely with Launceston’s arts, tourism, education and business communities as we plan for our next festival, and it seems that everybody is up for it.” He adds, MONA “has already commenced talks with the broader Launceston arts community about major projects for festivals in future years”. Local tourism identities applaud the move. They point out having Mona Foma on the calendar will boost the influx of visitors over the holiday season.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

Tassie architects scoop INDE awards

Tasmanian architects Taylor and Hinds snared the greatest accolade at the 2018 INDE Awards in Singapore. They won the ‘Best of the Best’ award for their ‘standing camp’ at wukalina (Mount William National Park) in the north-east. Their ‘krakani-lumi’ – which means resting place – was developed in conjunction with the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. Sitting on the fringe of the Bay of Fires it consists of stunning timber structures that provide accommodation and communal facilities for trekkers on a 4-day guided walk from wukalina to larapuna (Eddystone Point). It’s the first walk in Tasmania entirely owned and operated by the Aboriginal Land Council. Poppy Taylor and Mat Hinds only set up their architectural practice in 2013, but beat an impressive field of 400 contenders from 14 countries to win the coveted INDE award. Meantime, accolades also for local architects, Liminal Studio. They have been shortlisted as finalists in the World Architecture Festival awards, which are being held in Amsterdam this November. Against a record number of entries, Liminal Studio has been nominated in the Hotel and Leisure category for their Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge on the East Coast. The nine pavilions, which are nestled amongst the bush, opened for guests in March and feature outdoor tubs and private decks.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

$30m for Cradle cable car

The proposed cable car at Cradle Mountain National Park – one of the state’s biggest tourist drawcards – has been given its largest boost yet, with a $30 million injection from the Federal Government. As he made the funding announcement during a visit to Cradle Mountain, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “This is a cableway to get people up here, to deliver 60,000 more visitors and many more jobs in Tasmania.” The cable car would take visitors high over Tasmania’s world heritage wilderness, transporting them from Cradle Mountain Village to Dove Lake where an impressive new viewing shelter would be constructed. Tasmanian Premier, Will Hodgman, said work on the cable car would begin as soon as possible. The cable car is the central plank of an ambitious $160 million Cradle Mountain masterplan which aims to position the region as Australia’s premier wilderness destination. Under this masterplan, the addition of an impressive new visitor centre together with extra accommodation would create a new village hub. Cradle Mountain is widely considered as the gateway to Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness and it underpins our brand as a global destination for nature-based tourism.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

Hobart hotel tops luxury list

Luxury magazine Gourmet Traveller has released its highly anticipated list of best Australian hotels – and Hobart’s MACq 01 is at the top. The striking waterfront hotel managed to stave off stiff competition to be named Large Hotel of the Year. As the magazine glowingly wrote: “Large hotels needn’t be predictable. Hobart’s MACq 01, designed by heritage experts Circa Morris Nunn to resemble a riverside wharf, has a distinctive personality…everything feels custom-made and handpicked for this inn beside the Derwent River.” The magazine was most impressed that MACq 01 encapsulated the island state’s unique personality: “It is Tasmania writ large in wood, steel and glass; a 114-room hotel that pours its island soul into every detail.” The hotel, which opened its doors a year ago, is also known as the ‘storytelling hotel’ with each of its rooms telling the tale of one remarkable Tasmanian who influenced the state. Champion cricketer, Ricky Ponting, is included in that honour roll.

12 June 2018

USA contingent for Boat Festival

A large contingent of overseas enthusiasts is preparing to head down under for The MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in February. The four-day celebration on Hobart’s waterfront is one of the biggest dates on Australia’s maritime calendar. The biennial event attracts bumper crowds from both interstate and overseas, and festival General Manager, Paul Cullen, said: “Dozens of wooden boat enthusiasts from the festival’s next featured nation, the United States of America, are already making plans to join us.” He revealed that 45 enthusiasts from North America have confirmed their involvement in next year's festival, and will be bringing two large containers of unique American wooden boats. First staged in 1994, the festival brings together the largest – and most beautiful – collection of wooden boats in the southern hemisphere. However, as well as celebrating Tasmania’s rich maritime history, it also showcases our stunning food and beverages to the world. The MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival will be held on Hobart’s waterfront from February 8-11 next year.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

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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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