Tassie On My Mind, June 2011
- Tasmania lights up

Welcome to the June 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.

The skies may be getting dark, the days shorter and the nights longer but Tasmania continues to light up - and I do mean that literally. But Australia's beautiful island state shines in more ways than one. Read on and see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Southern light show
  • Circus that dazzles
  • Sparkling Antarctic celebrations
  • Another Tasmanian star
  • Sunrise in Antarctica

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

Southern light show

In the May 2011 issue of Tassie On My Mind, I mentioned how Australia's Tasmania-based Antarctic flagship, called Aurora Australis, finally broke free after being stuck in ice for a few days.

Well recently I was very excited to learn about the real Aurora Australia making an appearance.

One Saturday night in May, bright green and red lights flashed across the sky to the delight of some very fortunate Southern Tasmanians.

What is the Aurora Australia? It is an awe-inspiring atmospheric phenomenon (also known as the Southern Lights) that can be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to Bob Coghlan of the Astronomical Society of Tasmania, the Aurora of that Saturday night was the brightest seen in seven years! He explained that this natural wonder is caused by photon oxygen emissions in the Earth's upper atmosphere reacting against strong solar winds.

To give yourself a good chance of seeing it, make sure:

  • you have an unobstructed view (no buildings in the way) of the southern horizon
  • there is no cloud in the sky
  • the sky is very dark (away from the city lights, not during a full moon or close to full moon time)

Of all the seasons, winter is the best time for viewing the Southern lights. Why? Because you have the most hours of darkness at this time of year.

According to Mr Coghlan, the Aurora could light up the skies again over the next few weeks!

Circus that dazzles

And now to another kind of show - the Cirque du Soleil. This unique group of performers took the world by storm many years ago. They showed that it was possible to go to the circus and thoroughly enjoy yourself even if all the performers are human, and no animals are involved! A new kind of circus was born.

It's hard to describe if you've never seen it before. Whenever I see Cirque in action, I find it to be a breathtaking, jawdropping and eye-popping experience, almost all at once!

At their website Cirque describe themselves as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment". But they are much more than that.

The good news for Tasmania is - Cirque will be presenting their performance named Saltimbanco at the Derwent Entertainment Centre from 15th to 19th June. This will be the very first time that Cirque due Soleil will be performing in Tasmania. What a special treat...

Sparkling Antarctic celebrations

There are some wonderful events being held in Tasmania to mark Antarctic Centennial Year, such as:

Down South Exhibition
At this exhibition you can find out about many of the brilliant people who have traveled to and worked in Antarctica. You will see portraits and learn some amazing true stories.

It all started 100 years ago when Douglas Mawson led the first Australian Antarctic Expedition.

So it's very appropriate that the exhibition will be held from 16th to 20th June at Mawson’s Place Waterside Pavilion in Hobart.

The Longest Night Film Festival
The State Cinema will be screening the following:

  • Programme 1, "Australian Antarctic Explorers"
  • Programme 2, the "International Polar Exploration"

Isn't it great that Tasmania and Antarctica are connected in so many exciting ways?

Another Tasmanian star

From 17th June to 3rd August you can see the art works of Micheal McWilliams at the Handmark Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart.

I had a look at some of his work on the Internet and was very drawn to it. He seems to love painting animals. Looking at some of the paintings, I felt like I could see the personalities of the animals as they seemed to look out at me. Often they are placed in scenes in humorous ways which make me smile. Sometimes I picked up a stirring message in the art too.

Not only is McWilliams a gifted painter, he decorates furniture in beautiful ways.

McWilliams was born and educated in Tasmania. He has won many awards for his work. He is yet another Tasmanian shining star!

Sunrise in Antarctica

Have you heard of the Extreme Environment Photographic Exhibition? It showcases photographs taken in the extreme environments of polar and sub-polar regions. And of course that would include Antarctica!

Tasmanian Rob Kilpatrick won the $2000 Wayne Papps Prize awarded for best image from an amateur photographer.

His photo, entitled Sunrise RV Aurora Australis shows the view of the beginning of a new day, looking out from the ice-breaker ship, the Aurora Australia.

Kilpatrick was doing research work at the time, with the Australian Antarctic Division. He took the photograph at the Shackleton Ice Shelf, on the east coast of Antarctica. According to him, cameras were placed on the sea floor and even under the ice!

A friend convinced him to enter the competition and we are so glad he did!

Well that's it for this issue.

Have you ever seen the Aurora Australis phenomenon? Or maybe you've seen photos? On my computer, the desktop wallpaper is actually a beautiful image of the Aurora. I find it very inspiring. It would be wonderful to actually see the Aurora live one day though. Especially in Tasmania...

See you in July!

To contact me, click here.

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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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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.

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