Tassie On My Mind, July 2009
- Tasmania, the place to be
for weddings, wine and whisky!

Welcome to the July 2009 issue of Tassie On My Mind, a free monthly newsletter keeping you informed of the latest Tasmania travel-related news.

Weddings, wine and whisky - that's 3 Ws isn't it? Could we refer to Tasmania as the land of the 3 Ws? Not quite the same ring as "your natural state" which is still my favourite slogan for Tasmania I think...

This issue:

  • Tasmania bucks the trend in tourism figures
  • Tasmania, a perfect wedding destination
  • Tasmanian is one of Australia's top eight winemakers
  • Tasmanian whisky anyone?
  • Why are Tasmanian wallabies so famous of late?

Tasmania bucks the trend in tourism figures

Tourism is on the decline all around the world as the global financial crisis continues to play out.

Not for Tasmania though.

According to the Tasmanian Visitor Survey, just under 900,000 people visited Tasmania in the year to March 2009. This is a 7 percent increase over the previous 12 months.

The strongest growth was found in interstate visitor figures.

Sometimes it's the tough times that lead you to open your eyes to the treasures that are right on your door step!

I'd like to think that my website played a role, however small in attracting visitors. In any case this wonderful news encourages me to keep working on that content...

Tasmania, an ideal wedding destination

Newly weds Jamie Robinson from Montana in the US and Smee Mathias from Bangalore in India would certainly testify to that.

Why marry in Tasmania? On such a special day they wanted to be away from home and yet still be reminded of home.

I'll let the groom speak for himself:

"We wanted to come to Australia to start life together. We wanted to come to Hobart because it reminded us of home".

"We had rainbows today. How many rainbows can you get on your wedding day? I wanted to go somewhere, an island, where you can go skiing [water and snow], fishing and boating".

"It reminds us of home. Everything is outdoors. The cool weather reminds me of Montana".

"I wanted to settle in Hobart, originally". (Due to work commitments, the couple live in Adelaide instead).

"I'm a country boy and I met a country girl from another country."

The wedding took place in historic Richmond, and was followed by a reception at Hatchers Manor. The day brought some wet and windy weather, but being in beautiful Tasmania more than makes up for that. I'm sure Jamie and Smee would agree...

Tasmanian is one of Australia's top eight winemakers

According to Gourmet Traveller Wine, a Tasmanian winemaker is in the finals of the prestigious 2009 Winemaker of the Year competition. Julian Alcorso was the only Tasmanian selected.

What a terrific way to recognise Mr Alcorso for his valuable contribution in raising the quality of Tasmanian wines.

"I'm happy that finally Tasmanian pinot noir, sparkling chardonnay and particularly our rieslings are now getting the recognition that they deserve and I'm pleased to be playing a part in that," he said.

Mr Alcorso's wines won seven out of the 14 trophies at the 2009 Tasmanian Wine Show and all six Tasmanian trophies at the 2008 Royal Hobart International Wine Show.

Not a bad showing considering that Tasmanian wine makes up less than 1 per cent of Australia's total wine production.

Tasmanian whisky anyone?

"Why isn't someone producing whisky in Tasmania?"

That was the question Bill Lark asked himself way back in 1992.

That simple question has led to:

  • Bill Lark building a small Tasmanian industry around single-malt whisky.
  • His whisky being judged the best in the world outside of Scotland and Ireland.
  • His being commissioned as a consultant to establish a new whisky distillery in Scotland.

I find that truly inspiring.

You will find Bill and Lyn Lark's popular whisky cafe at Davey St in Hobart. Yet another exciting adventure waiting to be had in enchanting Hobart I'm thinking...

Another recent achievement for the Larks is helping to form the Tasmanian Distillers Group along with five other whisky distilleries, namely Sullivans Cove at Cambridge, Nant at Bothwell, Hellyers Road at Burnie, Casey Overeen's Old Hobart Distillery at Blackmans Bay and Damien Mackey's Mackey's Distillery at New Town.

Why are Tasmanian wallabies so famous of late?

Now for something, um, a little different.

Tasmanian wallabies have been making the news around the world recently, and perhaps not for the reasons we might expect. They have been entering Tasmania's opium poppy fields, eating the poppy heads, and well, experiencing the effects.

According to Attorney-General Lara Giddings, the wallabies had been found hopping around in circles as a result of being under the influence.

Tasmania is the largest producer of legally grown opium in the world. Around 500 farmers grow the crop contributing about 50 percent of the world's supply of morphine and related opiates.

While Tasmanian poppy stocks are considered some of the most secure in the world, stories like these do raise concerns. Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff agrees that the number of poppy thefts are low. He still believes however that security protocols should be reviewed.

We love that Tassie wallabies are featuring in the news. But let's hope it will be for all the right reasons very soon!

Well that's it for this issue.

I just thought of something - if you count the wallabies, then it's 4 Ws isn't it?

OK that's enough Ws for now - sounds like I'm under the influence myself!

See you in August!

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