Tassie On My Mind, April 2012
- extraordinary Tasmania

Welcome to the April 2012 issue of Tassie On My Mind, a free monthly newsletter keeping you informed of the latest news on what makes Tasmania such an attractive travel destination.

What makes Tasmania extraordinary? Every month when I gather information for this newsletter I'm astounded by the natural wonders, the remarkable history, the shining talent, the amazing events and more... that you can find only in Tasmania.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Life-changing wilderness
  • She's 175
  • Not a bird, not a plane
  • Scholarly brilliance
  • Sporting brilliance

Plus... your chance to be a part of tasmania-attractions.com!

Life-changing wilderness

I just read about someone who was so stunned by Tasmania's natural wonders that he underwent a life-changing experience..

A few years ago, when Erin Hibberd weighed 152 kg, his workmates took him to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park for a three-day walk and mountain climb.

From that point he was hooked. Over four years, he returned to the Tasmanian bush for more. He even took to rock climbing. He became a new person losing 72 kg along the way.

Erin likened the experience to "escaping from prison".

"You've just got to put the boots on," he said. "I didn't change anything else. If your life is filled up with positive things, the detrimental things are squeezed out."

I love hearing about how people change their lives for the better and are so much happier as a result. Well done Erin!

I can certainly understand how the natural beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness would have such a positive effect on a person's well being. Which is why I recommend bushwalking as one of the top things to do in Tasmania.

She's 175

Who is? I'm speaking of Australia's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal in Hobart. She's turning 175 and the occasion will be marked by a couple of special presentations.

Namatjira tells the story of an Australian icon and indigenous artist, renowned for his watercolour landscapes. His grandchildren are third generation watercolour artists and assist with telling his life story.

We have Tasmanian Scott Rankin’s Big hART to thank for this very special production.

A Night of Stars
Have you heard of Garry Mcdonald? You may know him from his role as Arthur in the TV series Mother and Son.

McDonald will host A Night of Stars featuring Australian Ballet dancers, television entertainer Col Joye, John X and a mass choir performance. The production will be followed by a gourmet supper featuring Tasmanian produce prepared by a celebrity chef and an opportunity to meet the stars.

Did you know that the theatre was almost demolished in the 1940s? Thank goodness for people like Laurence Olivier who helped save it. He must have meant it when he called the Theatre Royal "a beautiful little theatre".

Not a bird, not a plane

Late one Sunday night in early March, many Tasmanians did not know what to think when they witnessed what looked like a fireball in the night sky.

No, it wasn't a bird or a plane.

Did someone say UFO?

Also seen in Victoria, it was believed to be a comet.

Tasmanians described the sight as

"a huge bright light shaped like a cone with a tail"


"an orange light with a tail going at some ungodly speed. Then there was a brilliant white light, then iridescent green and blue".

That would have been quite a sight.

It brings to mind Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights. With some planning and a little luck, winter in Tasmania might reward you with a glimpse of that!

Scholarly brilliance

Tasmania has loads. Fulbright scholarships have just been awarded to three Tasmanians.

Have you heard of the Fulbright program? It is one of the most prestigious educational scholarship programs in the world. It aims to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States.

The three Tasmanian Fulbright scholars are:

Jessica Walker
Dr Walker will go to the US Naval Academy. She wants to learn more about how to harness the power of the tides. Such power would be very valuable as renewable energy.

I do think we should be exploring more sources of renewable energy, don't you?

Sue Baker
Dr Baker will join the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in the field. She wants to find out more about how retention forestry can improve biodiversity. She will study how species recover following an environmental event like a volcanic eruption or logging work.

I've heard that even after events like bushfires, trees and animals are able to make a comeback. Living things can be so resilient.

Richard Adams
A lieutenant commander with the Royal Australian Navy, Dr Adams will go to Yale University. He wants to study expectations in military doctrine that soldiers subjugate their will to command.

Now that's interesting. Over the past decade I've been hearing about soldiers who have decided not to subjugate their will to the powers that be. Such actions seem to be the result of soul searching and a healthy conscience. Of course these soldiers have had to face the military consequences of their "disobedience.

Here's to our three Tassie Fulbright stars - may they bring about great positive change with their work!

Sporting brilliance

Again, Tasmania has loads.

Tasmania's own awesome foursome of Tom Gibson, Blair Tunevitsch, Sam Beltz and Anthony Edwards got Tasmania yet another win at the Australian Rowing Championships at Champion Lakes, Perth. They did it in 6 minutes 26.22 seconds.

This was Tasmania's 11th victory since 1999. Well, Tasmania has owned this award for quite a few years!

Not a sport I follow too closely, but let's give it up for Tasmanian boxer Daniel Geale. He has successfully defended his IBF middleweight world title against Ghanan Osumanu Adama at the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart. Geale defeated his opponent in 12 rounds. The judges were unanimous in giving Geale the higher score.

Apparently Geale likes to patiently wear down his opponents and is selective with his attacking thrusts. Sound like boxing does require you to use your mind, not just your muscle!

Well that's it for this issue.

It's that time of the year again for two major sporting events in Tasmania - Hydro Tasmania Three Peaks Race (6 Apr to 9 Apr) and Targa Tasmania (17 Apr to 22 Apr). Tasmania will definitely not be lacking in sporting action this month.

I also recommend the terrific program of activities at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

See you in May!

To contact me, click here.

Here's your chance to be a part of

One Day In Tasmania

What if you had just one day in Tasmania? Where would you go? What would you do?

Share your dream with us. If selected, your dream will appear as a page at tasmania-attractions.com

It doesn't matter if you have never been to Tasmania. I would love to hear your thoughts too. It's easy to find out about Tasmania, at tasmania-attractions.com or elsewhere.

This is your chance. Join in the fun. Share your thoughts with us.

We all gain so much from each other's ideas.

Hit us with your best shot

Your best wildlife shot, that is...

Have you ever been in just the right place at just the right time and snagged a great wildlife photo?

Share that photo with us. We would love to see it. Not only that, we would love to get your tips on how you got the photo.

How did you manage not to scare the animal away? What did you do to prepare for the shot?

If selected, your photo and story will appear as a page at tasmania-attractions.com

This is your opportunity to shine. Let's share our stories around.

Subscribe for free to
Tassie On My Mind

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Tassie On My Mind.

What if you had just
One Day In Tasmania?

Share your wildlife photo
on this site!