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Tassie On My Mind, December 2012 -- Tasmania has the best
December 03, 2012

Tassie On My Mind, December 2012
- Tasmania has the best

Welcome to the December 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.

The best of what nature has to offer, the best in human achievements and inspirations - you can find all this and more in Tasmania.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Nature's best
  • Whales and dolphins
  • Tasmanian winners
  • Tasmanian inspirations
  • Ricky Ponting

Plus... your chance to be a part of!

Nature's best

This is what you will find in Tasmania - the best of what nature has to offer.

Best beaches
A scientifically compiled and researched book "101 Best Australian Beaches", has confirmed what we already know. Some of Australia's best beaches are located in Tasmania.

Authors Andrew Short and Brad Farmer visited over 11,000 beaches as part of their research for this book.

What makes Tasmania's beaches so outstanding?

According to Professor Short,

"...because they are pristine and there is so much variety...They range from ... sheltered beaches ... to ... beaches which are great to look at and for surfing but not as suited to swimming."

World's tallest flowering plant
Where would that be? It's located in the Arve valley, near the Tahune Airwalk tourist attraction, 80 km south-west of Hobart.

Tasmania's tallest tree and the world's tallest hardwood tree is a eucalyptus regnans named Centurion. It is 99.6 metre tall and 405cm in diameter. Alongside Centurion is another giant swamp gum named Triarius, standing 86.5 metres tall with a 390cm diameter.

I must say I really enjoyed walking through the tree tops on the Tahune Airwalk. And Centurion and Triarius side by side would be quite a sight to behold!

Whales and dolphins

Tragically, many whales and dolphins have been beaching themselves recently. Courageous wildlife officers and volunteers on King Island did manage to help some of the creatures. However many of them, including whale calves did not survive. Apparently whales were even screaming for the dead calves.

Understandably it was distressing for many of the helpers involved. It's distressing for me, just thinking about it.

Why whales and dolphins beach themselves is not fully understood. According to marine biologist Rachel Alderman of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, it's likely to be a combination of factors. Tide and currents could be confusing the navigation systems of the animals.

The good news is - there has been a record number of sightings of southern right whales in Tasmania.

According to biodiversity monitoring manager Rosemary Gales of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, this is a good sign for breeding in future seasons.

"Tasmania used to be the stronghold for southern right whales in Australia for breeding," she said.

This is very encouraging, in view of the whaling history of places like Bruny Island.

Tasmanian winners

Now let's focus on a couple of Tasmanian champs.

National Surf Lifesaver of the Year
And the winner is ... Chris Jacobson, training officer at Ulverstone Surf Life Saving Club, also vice-president of Lifesaving Tasmania. He's only 21, but already has 14 years surf life saving experience. Plus he has saved the lives of 5 people.

Prevention is better than saving lives, says Jacobson, and he wants more people, especially children, to be taught how to swim and stay safe in the water.

National Apprentice of the Year
Tasmanian James Gamble received the National Apprentice of the Year award at the 2012 Master Builders National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards.

Gamble works for local construction company Fairbrother.

Judges were struck by the wide range of tasks Mr Gamble completed while working on iconic projects across Hobart, plus his commitment to his trade.

Fairbrother fast-tracked his apprenticeship by six months in recognition of his accomplishments.

Tasmanian inspirations

Now let's applaud Tasmanian Australian of the Year award winners - Andrew Hughes, Anna Crotty, Holly Barnewall, and Gwen Egg. They are also Tasmania's four finalists for the Australian of the Year Awards, to be announced on January 25.

Let these Tasmanians inspire you!

Australian of the Year finalist
Andrew Hughes does great work to educate and inspire school students, regarding the importance of the natural environment. In his Expedition Class course, students keep track of his wilderness adventures. These include kayaking in rough waters, exploring Papua New Guinea and surviving on a desert island.

Senior Australian of the Year finalist
Anna Crotty is a human rights lawyer and trade unionist. After retiring, she set up Tents4Peace, providing life-saving shelter at short notice in troubled regions of the world. She is credited with saving more than 11,000 lives.

Young Australian of the Year finalist
Holly Barnewall is a teacher who helps children bridge the gap between high school life on Flinders Island, and college on the mainland. With this purpose in mind, she developed a transition subject and rewrote some programs.

Australia's Local Hero finalist
Gwen Egg set up the Southern Beaches Landcare/Coastcare to deal with the impact of residential development.

All the best on January 25th, Andrew, Anna, Holly and Gwen!

Ricky Ponting

Last but not least, a big cheer for Tasmanian, Australian and international cricket great - Ricky Ponting, who just announced his retirement from test cricket. A former Australian captain, Ponting has achieved 168 Test matches, the most in the history of Australian cricket.

The highest Australian run-scorer of all time, Ponting has been described as the greatest Australian batsman since Sir Donald Bradman.

Ponting says that the decision was based on recent results however, his passion and love for the game have not changed.

According to Cricket Tasmania chairman Tony Harrison, Ponting has had an "immeasurable" impact on lifting the brand of the game in Tasmania. He said:

"... Tasmania got a hell of a lot of respect because of Ricky Ponting ... A lot of young players are playing cricket now because of Ricky Ponting."

Ricky Ponting is indeed a famous Tasmanian.

Well that's it for this issue.

Now it's time for me to send you best wishes for the end-of-year festive season. Do stay safe while you enjoy your celebrations. And remember the Sydney to Hobart race, commencing Boxing Day!

See you in 2013!

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

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 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

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

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