Tassie On My Mind, November 2012
- call of the wild
Welcome to the November 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.
I must be experiencing the call of the wild because I am drawn to dolphins, blue whales, eagles, albatrosses and devils this month. I'm also wild with enthusiasm over a couple of top Tassie towns and some exciting events coming up.
Read on to see what I mean...
- Doing OK
- Keeping birds safe
- Travel tails
- Keen on Hobart and Queenstown
- Exciting events
Plus... your chance to be a part of tasmania-attractions.com!
I'm referring to dolphins and blue whales. It's nice to know they're doing OK, isn't it? But how can we know that?
Well I just read about some dolphins spotted swimming in the Derwent River. There were about twelve of them. According to Rosemary Gales of the Department of Primary Industries Wildlife,
"...from all reports they seem in good health and functioning normally."
Meanwhile, scientists from the Australian Antarctic division are hoping to use military devices to track the movements of blue whales in Bass Strait.
The devices, called sonobuoys, detect whale song. This helps scientists locate the animals and calculate the rate of population growth.
As Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke put it, this is quite different to
"so-called scientific whaling where the alleged research begins with a harpoon."
I must say I agree!
Keeping birds safe
It was sad for me to read about the cause of death for many albatross chicks. Mother birds mistake plastic junk for food, and feed it to their chicks.
According to Jennifer Lavers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, the junk collects in the stomachs of the chicks and eventually cause them to die.
Items like cigarette lighters, golf balls, plastic toy soldiers and tooth brushes are carried by mother birds to their chicks.
The good news is - hardworking Tasmanian school kids are trying to do something about the problem.
Thanks to Bookend Trust, the Tasmanian Education Department and their supporters, the Expedition Class program is getting teachers and students involved in beach clean-ups. Not only is marine debris (including plastic junk) being cleared off beaches, counting and recording is also being done to help get a better picture of the hazards being faced by wildlife and the environment.
For more information, visit the Expedition Class and Bookend Trust websites.
Recently, a lucky eagle got to go home and some Tasmanian devils got to go to Denmark!
Eagle goes home
A sea-eagle had been trapped in a fish-farm net. By the time a diver arrived on the scene, the eagle was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia.
The eagle still had some fight in it though - it dug a talon into the diver's leg and hand!
Fortunately, the fish-farm crew had already been caring for the eagle as best they could. Hence the bird only needed a few days rest following rescue.
Craig Webb of Kettering's Raptor and Wildlife Refuge released the bird back into the wild. He commented that it was awesome seeing the eagle taking flight again, as it headed home.
Devils leave home
Four captive-bred Tasmanian Devils have been sent to Copenhagen Zoo. This will help keep yet another population of healthy devils safe from the deadly devil's facial tumour disease, which has caused the deaths of many devils.
According to Androo Kelly of Trowunna Wildlife Park, devils sent to Copenhagen and other overseas zoos helped raise global awareness of the species and the fight to save it. He added
"Copenhagen Zoo is world renowned and is active in safeguarding several endangered species."
In fact, devils were sent to Copenhagen Zoo in 2006 as a gift to Tasmanian-born Princess Mary of Denmark, in celebration of the birth of her first child, Prince Christian.
The devils are a popular attraction at the Copenhagen Zoo reminding the Danish public of their Tasmanian link.
Keen on Hobart and Queenstown
Why am I keen on these towns?
Top 10 rating
Hobart has made Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013 - Top 10 cities list. At number 7, it's the only Australian city on the list. That's a great result for the capital of Australia's island state.
According to Lonely Planet, Hobart's a case of "harbour town becomes hip". Events, culture and food were highlighted as top attractions. Hobart's world-class MONA (Museum of New and Old Art) was named as a key drawcard. Much awaited is 2013's Theatre of the World exhibition, a collaboration between MONA, a private institution and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
West coast wonder
Queenstown, located on Tasmania's west coast, has made number one on RP Data's list of the top 25 most affordable suburbs around Australia.
With a population of about 2200, Queenstown was founded in the late 1800s as a service centre for gold and copper mining operations.
According to Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Adrian Kelly, an increasing number of fly-in, fly-out mining workers and the loss of eight-hour working days have led to a drop in demand for property in Queenstown. As he put it,
"It is not about the quality of the homes...There are a lot of homes in Queenstown which would be valued higher but have not been on the market, which means the median price is lower."
Sounds like a great opportunity for young families and people wanting to make a good start in life. Plus you'd be close to all those wonderful West Coast attractions!
Yes, I'm pretty excited about these upcoming events.
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Gala Ball - Ice Symphony
What do you think about enjoying fine food and wine, plus beautiful music performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra? It's also an opportunity to get dressed up and raise money for a good cause. Appealing? Then don't miss the TSO Gala Ball on Saturday 10th November at Wrest Point.
The one and only Sir Elton John is coming to Tasmania! He will be performing in Launceston on 20th November at the Silverdome. This performance is part of his Australian tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of his hit song Rocket Man.
Last but not least, Tasmanian comedian Josh Earl will be performing on 22nd November at The Burnie Arts and Function Centre. He has been described by Australian Comedy Review as "dryly acidic, knowingly exasperated and bluntly honest". On Earl's own website, he refers to himself as a "comedian/ librarian/ cake enthusiast and ageing hipster".
Well that's it for this issue.
Another outstanding Tasmanian is Todd Hodgetts. He is the 2012 London Paralympics shot put gold medallist, also a world champion, holding the world record. Born in Launceston, Hodgetts was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at a young age. I was just reading about how he has endured bullying all his life. In spite of all this, he has come out a true winner - in sporting achievements, but most importantly (to me) in his winning positive attitude. Go Todd!
See you in December!
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