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Tassie On My Mind, January 2014 -- what a kick-off
January 02, 2014

Tassie On My Mind, January 2014
- what a kick-off

Welcome to the January 2014 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.

It's a terrific kick-off to 2014 for Tasmania with some wonderful events to look forward to.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • World support
  • To the rescue
  • Learn with a ranger
  • Fun with Robin Hood
  • TSO celebrates Pixar

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

World support

I just read an article about how the world is rallying around our Tasmanian Devil to battle the threat posed by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

With the idea of building "insurance" devil populations outside of Tasmania, there are already 23 devils living overseas. The following zoos have 4 devils each:

  • Wellington Zoo in New Zealand
  • Albuquerque BioPark Zoo in the USA
  • San Diego Zoo in the USA
At Denmark's Copenhagen Zoo there are 4 devils too, plus seven joeys which have been born there.

According to Save the Tasmanian Devil program director Howell Williams, zoos had to meet strict criteria:

"What we're trying to avoid is any expansion beyond what can bring a benefit back to Tasmania and any notion of trading in the animals".

The zoos sign a legal agreement ensuring Tasmania retains full control over management of the devils.

Overseas zoo staff are trained at Tasmania's Trowunna Wildlife Park by owner Androo Kelly. Since 2005, he has trained 75 zookeepers, curators and vets from around Australia and overseas in handling the animals.

May we succeed in keeping devils safe!

To the rescue

Have you heard of Australia's Tasmania-based Antarctic flagship Aurora Australis?

It is named after an amazing atmospheric phenomenon (also known as the Southern Lights) that can be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere.

This ship is specially designed for marine science and oceanographic work, as well as research and resupply to teams working in the Antarctic.

Working in this part of the world, what do you think the ship needs to be able to do? Break ice of course! And it is very capable of doing just that. It can break ice up to 1.23 metres thick!

The Aurora Australia is now being called upon to assist in a rescue mission to save a tourist ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in Southern Ocean pack ice, since Christmas Eve. Aboard the ship are 74 people, including scientists attempting to recreate the voyage of Sir Douglas Mawson a century ago.

According to Russian ministry statements, all on the ship are safe and in good health.

Australasian Antarctic Expedition leader Chris Turney (aboard the tourist ship) has sent the following messages via social media services:

"Wind picked [up] and it's snowing as forecast for this am. Good news: Aurora making attempt from E!"


"High winds this am; sorry for limited comms. Set up tent on top deck. All well. Aurora making good progress. Waiting game."

Sounds like the Aurora is making good progress. In any case, plans are being made to evacuate the ship by helicopter if it becomes necessary. Let's hope the rescue mission will be a thorough success very soon!

Learn with a ranger

Over summer, rangers from Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania are running some terrific programs - offering free fun and educational activities at locations like Bay of Fires, Freycinet, Cradle Mountain, Maria Island and Bruny Island.

For example, up to 10th February, you can join in the following activities at Maria Island National Park:

  • Whale Tales
  • Devil Detectives
  • Tracks and Scats
  • Tassie‚Äôs Special Shorebirds
  • Rockpool Rambles
  • Kids Capers
  • Slideshows
  • Quiz nights
  • Guided walks
  • Spotlight walks
Sounds like a great way to spend summer, for kids and adults alike!

Find out more about the Discovery Ranger Program at the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania website.

Robin Hood

You have probably heard of Robin Hood - a popular heroic outlaw from English folklore. He is well known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor".

There have been many books written and movies made about this famous figure, so I imagine most of us would have heard of him.

And now you have the chance to attend a production of Robin Hood, in the beautiful setting of Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

Instead of reading a book or watching a movie, you'll be in the Botanical Gardens with the characters of the story. It will be almost like you're right there in Sherwood Forest where all the action took place!

And if you're heading that way, why not plan to take in some of the attractions of the Botanical Gardens?

Find out more about Robin Hood at the Botanical Gardens.

TSO celebrates Pixar

The amazing Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) again has something wonderful in store for us. This time, it's a celebration of the beautiful music we have grown to love, watching Pixar movies over the years.

The TSO will perform hits from some of the best Pixar movies including:

  • Toy Story
  • Finding Nemo
  • A Bug's Life
  • Monsters Inc
  • Brave
  • Up

You'll also get to watch scenes from the films while enjoying the music!

Don't miss out! Visit the TSO website for more information.

Well that's it for this issue.

Here's hoping the people on board MV Akademik Shokalskiy will be rescued soon...

A very happy and peaceful 2014 to you!

See you in February!

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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