Tasmania's journal of discovery

Somebody has to do it

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Roger Butler’s working life was once ruled by figures. As an advertising executive and accountant, he was feeling the pressure for a change. He found it by launching Red Tag Trout Tours. Today he enjoys showing clients from Europe, Asia and the Americas why Tasmania has some of the world’s best wild brown trout fishing. Read more here.

Portfolio: Sheila Smart

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In her own words:

My husband and I have lived in Australia since 1974 but it was not until 2004 that we decided to visit the only State we had yet to see — Tasmania.

It was long overdue and was very much an eyeopener for both of us.

We were immediately struck by the beauty of the countryside and the friendliness of the wonderful people.

Enjoy Sheila’s portfolio here

Tasmanian DVD journey

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Huon Valley couple Mike Sampey and Ros Barnett, are the creative force behind this evocative visual and musical journey celebrating Tasmania’s unique scenery, people and spirit.

They took their cameras underwater, into the skies, and along road, rail and wild rivers to capture the essence of our island state.

Their Tasmanian Journey DVD covers Tasmania’s eclectic scenerey, from rustic rural, to urban byways, to inaccessible wilderness … more here

Shipstern Bluff plays up

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Writer Dustin Hollick and photographer Stuart Gibson drop in on the fanatical surfers who take on the massive power of the big ones at Shipstern Bluff — a surfing mecca in southern Tasmania that delivers some of Australia’s biggest waves. There’s lots more , including some amazing video footage here.

Don Stephens portfolio

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Outstanding Hobart-based photographer Don Stephens started his career on The Mercury in 1953 as the temporary replacement for an employee sent to London for nine months. Nine months ended up being 38 years.

His interest in photography began when his father bought his schoolboy son a Box Brownie, and later the plastic Baby Brownie. Don would walk around the streets of Hobart snapping away enthusiastically. More here.

Memento Mori

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The new Port Arthur museum reeks of atmosphere — dark, oppressive, gloomy, some say Gothic.  Located in a former dormitory of the Lunatic Asylum, it loudly proclaims itself a new museum while whispering of its past use says Julia Clark. More here.

Rob Blakers portfolio

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In his own words:

The further west that one travels in Tasmania the wilder it becomes. There is, in the tangled forests, wild rocky coastlines, tumultuous rivers, wild coastlines and untracked ranges an ever-present sense of rawness and untamedness.  Being open to the full force of the Roaring Forties, rain and storm prevail.

From Cape Grim in the far north, to rugged Southwest Cape, Australia’s wildest seas crash upon a coastline which is largely devoid of human habitation. Eight to ten metre swells are not uncommon. Wild weather shapes the landscape.

View Rob’s amazing portfolio here

The last wilderness

Southwest wilderness Tasmania

Editor Allan Moult shares images from a 22-day walk through the Southwest National Park, a journey he says he could easily have extended for another 22 days.

See more here.

Painted wall

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Hobart photographer Steve Lovegrove says he has always been interested in “found” objects, and photographing everyday scenes and places that people don’t ordinarily notice — especially trying to find the beauty in subjects that might normally be considered ugly in the conventional sense.

This, he says, “is achieved by looking for a detail or angle, or by choosing a film that will isolate or enhance what’s already there. In many cases there is no technique required, just the eye to see”.

Enjoy the results here.

Blue ice

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Doug Thost’s beautiful portfolio was the perfect introduction to our new section on Antarctica. Indulge yourself here.

Doug is a glaciologist with the Australian Antarctic Division, based at the University of Tasmania.

His current research interests include developing energy balance models for the Heard Island region, and applying the limited weather data available to reflect observed changes in the extent of Brown Glacier.

The Umbrella Shop

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It may not be a secret for Launcestonians, who know the landmark shop at 60 George Street from their earliest days as the very place to run to if it starts to rain when you’ve forgotten your umbrella.

Visitors are always intrigued to come across this sweetly old-fashioned shop filled with umbrellas, teatowels of the kind that make great packable lightweight souvenirs, some stunning aprons, too, with matching padded oven cloths, and gifts with a Tasmanian provenance. 

Continued …

Chinese masterpieces

imageA remarkable collection of ceramics and other artefacts spanning the history of China from the Neolithic era to today has found a permanent home in Tasmania. In 2003, Professor Wong Shiu Hon and his wife Nancy gifted to the people of Tasmania their extraordinary and comprehensive collection of Chinese art objects and antiquities. Some 117 pieces were included in the first gift &emdash; there is more to follow.  Feast your eyes here.

Wait, there’s more

imageA specialty beer brewed in Tasmania has snared the coveted title of the world’s best amber lager.

Cascade Autumn Amber, a seasonal drop produced at the historic brewery in Hobart owned by Carlton and United Breweries, received the accolade at the World Beer Cup 2004, held in San Diego, California.

Much more than froth and bubble, the event attracted some 1,500 entries from more than 390 breweries across 40 countries.

As well as taking gold for Autumn Amber, Cascade also bagged bronze in the American-style wheat beer category for its Summer Blonde - part of the brewery’s Four Seasons range.

Top travel rating for Tasmania

Tasmania has done it again, coming fifth in an international survey showcasing a “destination stewardship index’ conducted by National Geographic Traveler.

The researchers surveyed 200 specialists in sustainable tourism, destination stewardship, and related fields.

Tasmania scored 77 on a 100-point scale, being narrowly beaten by Cape Breton Island, Canada (78), South Island, New Zealand (78) and Torres del Paine, Chile (78). Norway’s fjords came in first with 82 points.

Continued …

American Patriots

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In 1837 in an ill-starred attempt to spread the message of Independence, a Patriot army launched an invasion of Canada, hoping to provoke a general uprising. It failed to light the fires of rebellion and the British captured 92 mostly American citizens, members of the American Patriot Army fighting with Canadian republicans for independence from Britain. Military courts smartly and highly illegally banished them in 1839 to Britain’s remote and wild new island colony of Van Diemen’s Land. Find out more here.

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Land for sale at Windgrove
Roaring 40s

Meadowbank Wines
Tasmanian Jobs
Elizabeth College
Ray White Hobart
Book City Hobart
Stanton Bed and Breakfast
The magnificent convict-built country manor, Stanton, was built in 1817, and is situated on one of Tasmania's first land grant sites — 16 acres of pasture and orchards at Magra, in the heart of the historical and beautiful Derwent Valley.

Red Tag Trout Tours
Roger Butler leads this one-man Tasmanian guiding operation which caters to flyfishers, from all over the world, who share a common goal: getting a wild brown trout to hand.

Cobbers: mates on a mission
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Diamond Island