Tassie On My Mind, March 2010
- Famous ones of Tasmania

Welcome to the March 2010 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.

While watching the Winter Olympics I learnt about "The Great One". This is the name Canadians have come up with for their legendary ice hockey player, Wayne Gretzky.

In this issue we look at some of the famous ones of Tasmania - people as well as places.

Find out what a couple of famous Tasmanians have been up to. Yes, they have both been in the news but for quite different reasons! You'll see what I mean.

Do you love any of these:

  • chocolates
  • natural attractions
  • history
Then you'll be interested in my new pages about some wonderful places in Tassie. Read on to learn more...

This issue:

  • Tassie royal's home reno
  • Chocolates, chocolates everywhere
  • Where is Australia's oldest bridge?
  • No getting past the dogline
  • Bruce battles for Tassie devils

Tassie royal's home reno

Have you heard about famous Tasmanian Princess Mary 's home renovations?

Copenhagen's 250 year old Frederik VIII palace is the not so humble abode of Princess Mary, Prince Federik and their children.

Palace renovations have been going on since 2004. They are now completed and the palace is currently open to the public. We commoners have the chance to check out the changes until 30th May. After that, the royal family will be moving in.

Well just in case you don't get to Copenhagen in time, here is a list of some of the additions:

  • upgraded heating and water systems
  • energy efficient windows
  • modern artworks
  • swimming pool
Those are the sorts of renovations you might expect in any regular home, right?

There are other additions which might tell us more about the personal tastes of the royal family:

  • images of Bambi - how cute!
  • album artwork from Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin and Powderfinger - how revealing!
What pleased me most of all were the murals featuring a map of Australia, and a larger one of Tasmania. Nice to know Princess Mary remembers her roots. Lucky Mary to have begun her journey in beautiful Tasmania.

Chocolates, chocolates everywhere

All you chocolate lovers will be pleased to know that you can now read about my visit to the Cadbury chocolate factory.

Not only was I thrilled about all the free chocolates being handed out, I learned heaps. There is a lot of interesting history behind Cadbury chocolate. For example, I found out why Cadbury chose to focus on the Asian market.

Plus we got to do some chocolate tastings. I discovered that while some do, some don't - like the taste of cocoa mass that is... Cocoa mass is about as pure as chocolate can get. It sure tastes different from the end product, I can tell you that.

Did you know that Cadbury chocolate was included in lifeboat rations during World War II? I certainly didn't expect to learn that at the factory.

I was very pleased to find out that Cadbury Fairtrade Certified chocolate will be arriving this year! I think that's a good move for Cadbury.

Where is Australia's oldest bridge?

That honour goes to Richmond Tasmania.

Having see the almost two hundred year old bridge for myself, I can tell you it's gorgeous. Seeing pictures is one thing but getting up close to it is something else. I thought about all those convicts at work on the construction of this lovely piece of work. I wonder if they thought about travellers admiring their handiwork in the 21st century? Probably not.

As I walked around Richmond I did feel a little like I'd stepped back in time. As I moved from one historic structure to another and read the information on the signboards nearby, I could imagine the scenes being described. I'm so glad these historic buildings have been preserved.

I was very impressed by St Luke's Anglican church. And then of course there is St John the Evangelist church, Australia's oldest Catholic church. Richmond sure has done a great job of looking after its historic beauties.

No getting past the dogline

If you were a convict trying to escape back in the 1800s that is.

During my visit to Eaglehawk Neck, I learned about the dogline and how hard it was to get past it. But there were actually a few who did manage it somehow - oh yes.

Not only is there fascinating history to learn at Eaglehawk Neck, there are some stunning natural formations to admire. Names like The Blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devil's Kitchen might help you get the picture.

I think the formation I found most intriguing was the Tessellated Pavement.

Every one of these rock formations blew my mind though. Especially when I thought of all the years they have been in the making. Wow!

Bruce battles for Tassie devils

I came across an amazing story in the Reader's Digest about British born Bruce Englefield and his family. They have done some incredible work to help save our beloved Tasmanian Devils.

It all started when Bruce and his wife decided to buy a wildlife park near Bicheno, on Tasmania's east coast.

Bruce came across a sick Tasmanian Devil that eventually had to be put down. He soon found out about the dreadful Devil Facial Tumour Disease and how it was endangering the future of the Tassie Devil population.

Bruce went on to build "Devil Island", a double fenced 11 hectare enclosure on his own land. To raise funds, he and the "Devil Islanders" ran the London Marathon. Thanks to the support of sponsors like Australian champion swimmer Shane Gould, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as well as many other people and organisations, $170,000 was raised.

In recognition of his outstanding work, Bruce was chosen as 2008's Tasmanian of the Year and as one of 2010's Australian of the Year finalists.

I like what Bruce has said about the Devils: "They're made up of the best parts of other animals".

We must continue the fight to save them...

Well that's it for this issue.

Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? That's what's been taking up a lot of my time lately! It was great to see Australia win a few medals of course. At the end of the day though, I enjoyed watching so many of the Olympic participants and events. So many stories, so many dreams. We all have them.

And that will never change...

See you next month!

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