Tassie On My Mind, December 2011
- Tis the season

Welcome to the December 2011 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.

Well we know what happens at this time of year don't we? Shopping, parties and holidays. Those end of year yacht races and festive celebrations. But there is even more than that going on in Tasmania.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Beer or bear?
  • Mary's back in town
  • Rediscover Antarctica
  • Not most famous but oldest
  • Set your dreams afloat

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

Beer or bear?

Which would you prefer? Making beer or making bears?

Either way head to Tarraleah village to learn how...

Beer Making with Todd Mazur
Never made beer before? No worries. Come along and learn with Todd Mazur.

You'll find out about many types of beer - Australian styles, German pilsners, pale ales, brown ales, porters, Irish stouts and more.

Plus you'll get your own home-brewing kit.

Find out more about beer making with Todd Mazur.

Bear Making with Linda Benson
World renowned award-winning bear designer and creator Linda Benson will have lots of bear making tips to share, I'm sure. Creating a bear from scratch would be lots of fun and very rewarding.

You do need some basic sewing machine experience though.

As with the beers, you will have many styles to choose from. I'm referring to mohair colours and styles.

How wonderful, creating your very own heirloom bear. It would make a lovely gift for someone. Or you could keep it for yourself, in a place of honour at home.

And after the bear making there's a bear photo shoot!

Find out more about bear making with Linda Benson.

Mary's back in town

I'm speaking of Tasmanian born Crown Princess of Denmark, Mary. She and husband Prince Frederik have recently become the proud parents of twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. They also have two older children Prince Christian, 6, and Princess Isabella, 4

The royal couple have been attending official engagements in Australia since late November. Mary and Frederik have already visited Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Broken Hill (NSW). After fulfilling official duties on the mainland, they are expected to be stopping in Hobart for a visit with Mary's family.

West Hobart butcher Shane Mundy is hoping the royals will drop by at his shop, as they have done before, when they purchased rump steak and gourmet sausages.

Mundy has created a honey and macadamia gourmet sausage in honour of the Princess. According to Mundy, honey is sweet like a princess and macadamia signifies Mary's Australian roots. I think that's lovely!

An important anniversary

I'm referring to the 100th anniversary of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Douglas Mawson.

To mark the anniversary, a special exhibition has just opened at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery - Traversing Antarctica: the Australian Experience.

The exhibition includes:

  • original documents, such as diaries used by members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition
  • objects, such as original equipment used by the expedition team
  • innovative touch-screen displays and
  • stunning imagery
Traversing Antarctica showcases Australia's connection with the Antarctic. To me, Antarctica is certainly connected with Australia, but in particular, with Tasmania.

Find out more about the Traversing Antarctica exhibition.

Not most famous but oldest

The most well-known yacht race would probably be the Sydney to Hobart, watched by fans everywhere on Boxing Day.

But do you know which is Australia's oldest ocean race in the world, and the world's fifth oldest?

It's the Melbourne to Launceston race, also known as M2L. This year it will be taking place for the 104th time.

Hosted by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV), vessels will depart from Portsea at 12.30pm on 27th December. The finish line will be at Beauty Point, Launceston, where Tamar Yacht Club will take over with hosting duties.

At the ORCV website, I read an interview with Tony Bull of Bull Sails, Geelong. According to Bull, there is "a certain appeal about the Melbourne to Launceston race". The appeal has to do with, amongst other things, the outstanding destination at the end. As he put it:

"Today, it (Georgetown/Low Head) is still a very idyllic place. The wineries up and down the river provide a fantastic backdrop, as well as great food and beverage. Ocean racing is much more welcoming with a good destination."

Why not head over there to greet the yachts as they come in? Maybe get over there a few days in advance to visit the wineries and taste the local food and wine. I think it would be an amazing experience...

Set your wishes afloat

What are your plans for celebrating the New Year? How about heading to Devonport, gateway to Tasmania's north?

Welcome 2012 by taking part in the Lantern Dreams Festival which will be held on 31st December from 6pm at Roundhouse Park on the foreshore of the Mersey River.

When I read about the event, I was struck by the unique yet meaningful way this festival will mark the New Year.

People will be invited to decorate a "dream lantern" with a personal message, dream, wish or special note to loved ones past or present. All lanterns will then be set afloat on the Mersey River.

According to Devonport City Council events officer Geoff Dobson, the idea came about while he was at a conference. People were asked what New Year meant to them.

As Dobson explained:

"And after thinking about it I realised that New Year's to me was a time to enjoy and celebrate with friends, family and the community."

I love the lantern idea. To me, reflecting on our past and thinking about the future is just the thing to be doing at the start of a New Year. I hope you have a special New Year.

Well that's it for this issue.

Recently I watched an interesting TV show about a beautiful old house in Battery Point, Hobart. The current owners got the help of an archaeologist to find out more about the history of the house and previous occupants. What they learnt was very moving. I love that people who lived in the past can still touch us today.

While you're thinking about your past, get excited about your future too. It may be unknown but we always hope for the best.

I wish you happy holidays. Travel safely and have special times with your loved ones.

See you in 2012!

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.

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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.

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