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Tassie On My Mind, November 2013 -- on land or on water
November 06, 2013

Tassie On My Mind, November 2013
- on land or on water

Welcome to the November 2013 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.

Unlike any other state, Tasmania is an island. So Australia's beautiful island state can be enjoyed in unique ways on land or from the water.

Read on to see what I mean...

This issue:

  • Whales at play
  • Cruising Tasmania
  • Glorious gardens
  • On a mission
  • Surf, beer, food and wine

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

Whales at play

I was happy to hear of whales being seen frolicking off Tasmania's east coast, at Bicheno, just a few days ago.

In fact there have been hundreds of sightings of humpbacks as well as Southern right whales since about a month ago when the southerly migration of these mammals began.

According to East Coast Tourism chief executive Stuart Perry, the whales could been seen from Bay of Fires down to Maria Island.

He said:

"The humpbacks seem to take delight in the rougher water...the whales just seem to revel in those conditions and leap from the water, slap their tails in the waves and roll on their sides and flap their pectoral fins."

Wish I could enjoy rough water like that!

It warms my heart to hear that whales are doing well now. I know the fight is still on to keep them safe today. But when I think about the whaling history around Australia, I'm glad those days at least are long gone now...

Cruising Tasmania

A great way for humans to enjoy being at sea is by cruise ship. And in fact, the first cruise ship of the Tasmanian season has arrived at Hobart.

The Sea Princess was the first ship to use Hobart's new cruise ship terminal at Macquarie Wharf.

A total of 64 cruise ship visits are expected at Tasmanian ports this year. Hobart is expecting 36 visits, Burnie 12, Port Arthur 9, Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay 3 each and Devonport 1.

According to a study, each passenger spends about $113 a day in Tasmania, and that's great for the local economy of course.

Have you ever considered traveling by cruise ship? What a great way to enjoy Tasmania's beautiful landscapes! The Sea Princess for example travels past the spectacular cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula to moor just offshore from the Port Arthur Historic Site, before heading down to Hobart.

According to Anne McVilly, Tourism director for the Port Arthur site,

"Every vessel that visits Port Arthur is adding a day to its Tasmanian itinerary, so the economic benefits are cumulative and spread around the region,"

You can view the full cruise ship schedule at the Tasports website.

Glorious gardens

If you prefer to have your feet planted firmly on the ground, why not visit a magnificent garden this spring?

Open Gardens Australia opens private gardens and organises garden themed events for public enjoyment around the country.

According to their website,

"The greatest knowledge and inspiration comes from seeing the work of other gardeners and being able to talk to them. Whether you are a novice or an expert, garden visiting is the best way to get new design ideas, to discover new plants and rediscover old favourites".

Whether you have a garden or not, I find gardens can be such pretty, relaxing places to visit.

I just read about two private Tasmanian gardens that were recently opened to the public.

One had been crafted over three decades to reflect the enduring nature of a marriage. It is filled with roses, Shirofugen cherries, rhododendron bushes and English box enclosures softened by ponds and waterfalls. There is even an arbour seat made from wagon wheels which once helped cart logs from South Riana to Penguin on the coast.

The other garden has the house surrounded by roses, hardy perennials, box hedging, crab apple, maple, lilac and Mt Fuji cherry with an outer park-like section filled with trees and native shrubs chosen to withstand the windy conditions. It is now a haven for birds!

View the Open Gardens Tasmania calendar.

On a mission

I'm referring to Menzies Research Institute epidemiologists Laura Laslett and Kylie Smith, two Hobart scientists who have just won major research grants.

This will allow them to carry out research into better treatments for osteoarthritis and understanding why some obese people are "healthy".

According to Dr Laslett, osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability and there are no approved treatments that change the course of disease.

Eight per cent of Australians have osteoarthritis, a condition that can cause severe pain and stop people from being able to do everyday things. Dr Laslett hopes to be able to reduce pain and reduce disability.

Dr Smith will focus on treating obesity issues. According to Dr Smith 30 per cent of Australian adults were obese, 30 per cent of whom had normal blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose metabolism.

She will be seeking to understand whether healthy obesity is a result of behaviour or genetics. As she put it:

"...we might be able to help [develop] new treatments for obese people that don't focus on weight loss because it's really hard to lose weight when you're really obese."

I know people who are in these very situations so I'm very happy to hear of this research. I thank both scientists for their amazing work and wish them every success!

Surf, beer, food and wine

No, I'm not recommending that surf and beer go together! It's just that among all the exciting events taking place in Tasmania, I have chosen a few and tried to refer to them in one line!

Surfing in Tasmania
Find out how surfing in Tasmania has been shaped by the weather, the native timbers and the Tasmanian coastline at the Burnie Regional Museum.

Tasmanian International Beerfest
Enjoy Australia's biggest beer festival in Hobart.

Bicheno Food and Wine Festival
Last but not least, join in Bicheno's celebration of food ,wine,music and art on Tasmania's east coast. While you're there, see if you can spot a whale or two or maybe check out the Bicheno penguin tour!

Well that's it for this issue.

Maybe you're more of a film buff in which case you may be interested in the Tasmanian BOFA Film Festival - featuring 40 of the world's finest feature films and documentaries. BOFA stands for Breath Of Fresh Air... and I'm sure the festival is just that...

See you in December!

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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