Tassie On My Mind, February 2011
- the fun's not over yet

Welcome to the February 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.

Here comes February! The school holidays are over and we are well and truly into 2011. But summer's not over yet. And the fun's not over yet...

So I thought I'd celebrate with a new logo for the newsletter (above) - just in case you didn't notice!

This issue:

  • Wooden boats and more!
  • Outdoors in the evenings
  • A dangerous sport?
  • Tassie winners in Targa Wrest Point
  • Tasmanian excellence in research

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

Wooden boats and more!

Once again it's time to celebrate Hobart's rich maritime heritage. The Australian Wooden Boat Festival will be held from 11th to 14th February. And admission is free!

Apart from the wonderful wooden boats, you can look forward to enjoying:

  • cooking demonstrations and food tastings
  • replica Japanese and Indonesian villages
  • an Alan Villiers photographic display
  • quilting and stitching displays
  • a display of maritime art including scrimshaw handiwork
  • activities for kids
and lots of other events.

OK, anyone know what scrimshaw is? Full marks to you. I had to look it up. Here's some enlightening (for me at least) information I found about scrimshaw at the website of the State Library of Tasmania:

"Scrimshaw" is the name given to carved or etched items made from whales’ teeth or whalebone, or from other ivories such as walrus tusks. Tasmania has the richest collections of scrimshaw in Australia.

As you can see, Tasmania has a rich maritime heritage in more ways than one!

Outdoors in the evenings

Summer is a lovely time to be outdoors in the evenings. By then, the day has cooled down a bit.

A picnic with family and friends out under the stars enjoying some beautiful classical music - does that interest you?

Come along and enjoy the glorious sounds of The Tasmania Symphony Orchestra (TSO) as they pay tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland, described as the "Voice of the Century". Performances will be held in Hobart on 19th February and in Launceston on 25th February.

This is a terrific opportunity to see the TSO perform. And it's free!

Do you prefer Shakespeare?

Then you'll love Shakespeare in the Gardens at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

For many years now, Directions Theatre have performed a Shakespeare play at the Gardens - and this year, it's The Tempest.

I learnt this play at school. I remember it's about magic and fairies and romance. The Gardens are a superb setting for celebrating the 400th anniversary of The Tempest, don't you think?

Or maybe you love film? In that case you won't want to miss viewing the Tasmanian Tropfest entries in Hobart on 20th February. Another free event!

I used to love attending Tropfest in Sydney. I'd bring a picnic, settle myself down on a comfy blanket on the grass, then just sit back and be entertained by a series of outstanding short films. Each one is about 5 minutes long. Every year they have a theme which has to be featured in each film entry somehow. For example one year I remember the theme was "Chopsticks" so you'd see that depicted somehow in each film. Great fun and a great night out!

A dangerous sport?

I'm talking about bushwalking.

Bushwalking dangerous? How can that be?

Yes, it can be dangerous if you're not careful, don't consider what could go wrong and don't take the necessary safety precautions.

I was thinking about this lately when I was putting together some bushwalking tips.

And again I thought about it when I read an article about a Hobart man and 2 others needing to be rescued by police from a challenging track in Tasmania's South West. In this case, the man had fallen ill. He waited some time to get better but when that did not happen, decided he needed to get help. Thank goodness they had a distress radio beacon that they were able to activate so as to send out a distress signal.

You can't know what's going to happen in the future. But being prepared is the best you can do.

What happened to the sick man? He was flown back to Hobart in a satisfactory condition. His friends continued on their journey.

There is some breathtaking bushwalking to be had in Tasmania for sure. But always take care...

Tassie winners in Targa Wrest Point

Good news for Tasmania! Defending champions Jason and (uncle) John White have won again at Targa Wrest Point. They raced in a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. I'm no racing car buff but I do know what a Lamborghini is - what a ride that would be!

"There won't be any time to relax, that's for sure."

That's what Jason White said about the race. Just imagine the high speeds they must have been hitting, for them to win! And certainly those are the sorts of speeds these cars seem to do whenever I've caught a glimpse of them on TV.

Tassies did well in all the categories. Taken from the SportCom website, here are the other Tassie results after day 2:

Early Modern (Provisional)
3. David Ayers (TAS) / Max Griffiths (TAS), 1997 Nismo 400R, +3m19s

Early Classic handicap (Provisional)
3. Scott Kent (TAS) / Wayne Kent (TAS), 1965 Ford Mustang, +3m42s
4. Russell Clark (TAS) / Melanie Clark (TAS), 1965 Ford Cortina, +16m27s
5. David White (TAS) / Deena White (TAS), 1963 Austin Mini Cooper, +17m12s

Late Classic handicap (Provisional)
1. Geoff Duggan (TAS) / Leon Duggan (TAS), 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports
5. David Cooper (TAS) / Jason Dann (TAS), 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +5m10s

Classic Outright (Provisional)
2. David Cooper (TAS) / Jason Dann (TAS), 1977 Holden Torana A9X, +17s
5. Scott Kent (TAS) / Wayne Kent (TAS), 1965 Ford Mustang, +5m48s

Showroom 2WD (Provisional)
1. Brendan Reeves (VIC) / Simon Vandenberg (TAS), 2009 Mazda3 MPS

TMR Performance 4WD Showroom (Provisional)
2. Tony Warren (TAS) / Natasha Deniese (VIC), 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, +43s
4. Ben Newman (TAS) / Crichton Lewis (TAS), 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +4m46s

The last round of the Australia Targa Championship is Targa Tasmania, which will be held from April 5 to 10.

Tasmanian excellence in research

Have you heard of The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative? It is an initiative of the Australian Research Council (ARC). ARC advises the Government on research matters.

Back to the ERA initiative - it assesses research quality within Australia's higher education institutions.

Guess which University was found to be exceeding world standards in 71 per cent of disciplines?

Tasmania's very own University of Tasmania (UTAS)! Research standards in horticultural science, oceanography, analytical chemistry, sociology and visual art and craft at UTAS were found to be particularly outstanding.

Interested in any of these fields? As for me, many years ago I studied sociology. I found it a fascinating subject. Well we know which Uni to go to if we want to learn from some of the world's top researchers!

According to Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Patrick Nixon of UTAS, the ERA assessment result is great news for a one-university state.

That's exactly what I think!

Well that's it for this issue.

As we all know, Australia has been having to deal with some extreme weather patterns lately. My thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone affected in any way, directly or indirectly, by the recent floods, cyclone and other severe weather conditions.

Wherever you are, stay safe and take care...

See you in March!

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.

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 tasmania-attractions.com

This is your opportunity to shine. Let's share our stories around.

Subscribe for free to
Tassie On My Mind

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Tassie On My Mind.

What if you had just
One Day In Tasmania?

Share your wildlife photo
on this site!