Tasmania's journal of discovery

We’re on the move …


Leatherwood Online is preparing for a big move, and a name change.

As you can see from our new logo above, we’ve become thisTasmania — a name that more easily identifies our sense of place.

It wasn’t an easy decision, the Leatherwood title has a proud Tasmanian publishing history. But, it was time to move on.

The ‘official’ launch is Sunday, July 1, but you can enjoy thisTasmania from today.

When you get there please update your bookmarks, or better still subscribe [you’ll find easy-to-understand instructions on the front page].

Thanks to everyone, readers and advertisers, for your ongoing loyal support.

We have a lot of surprises in store on thisTasmania and a rigorous publishing schedule is in place. There’ll be something new every weekday from now on. See you there. The Editors

Half century for Beatle killers


Bands come and bands go — and a few keep on keeping on. The Kravats have been entertaining Tasmanians for 50 years, a longer career than the grandads of rock, the Rolling Stones. In the early days they supported legendary Australian and international stars in Hobart, including Col Joye, Conway Twitty, Lloyd Price and Johnny O’Keefe.

Continued …

Tassie’s weather confuses all


There’s an old joke about Tasmania: ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes’. How true. In recent weeks our weather has done it all. We’ve gone from heatwaves and roaring bushfires [see below] to deadly frosts [which wiped out half the fruit crops in southern Tasmania] to widespread snow yesterday [October 27] and overnight. Keep an eye on our webcam focussed on Mt Wellington day and night for updates.

Rivers of fire


RIVERS OF FIRE | Hobart photographer Ian Stewart captured an amazing panoramic photograph of the fires that ravaged the Eastern Shore this week. The image above is just a small portion of the whole scene. Click here to see the full panorama. Ian has a gallery of his creative images on his web site.

A Tassie vote needed


Since our launch nearly three years ago, Stuart Gibson’s stunning surf portolios have been among the most viewed features on Leatherwood Online. The young photographer’s dedication to his vocation is now beginning to pay off, and he can do with a little help.

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Cornerstone of history

By PATSY HOLLIS | Slicing like an arrowhead where Forest Road splits left from Goulburn Street in West Hobart, Pendragon Hall is outwardly a church, with mind-blowing leaded windows, a steeple and tall lancet-shaped heavy wooden doors. Inside it has been adapted for private living, though still retaining charming ecclesiastical detail. This 150-year-old landmark is now on the market again. Read more here …

Spring Equinox show time


Leatherwood Online’s webcam feed [courtesy of Rose Bay High School] captured some typical Spring Equinox weather on the morning of September 23. In less than four hours Hobart and Mt Wellington saw gales, snow, rain, sleet and bright sunshine, but not necessarily in that order. Enjoy the volatile show here.

“We are making a new world”


"Cruel Tasmania, an island of secrets, threats, lies; of an often pitiless exploitation of both its own land and its own people, has wounded Richard Wastell into an extraordinary response — a series of beautiful paintings and drawings inspired by the ongoing clear-felling of Tasmania’s old growth forests.” There’s more here …

Coasting through Tasmania


The perfect way to travel Tasmania’s lovely East Coast is on a bicycle. That’s the promise behind Bicycle Victoria’s Great Tasmanian Bike Road in February, 2007.

The ride starts at the Launceston Festival on Saturday, February 10, and finishes in Hobart the following Sunday. The route winds through Pipers Book, Branxholm, St Helens, Bicheno, Swansea, Orford and Richmond. 

Continued …

Tasmania’s wild foods

Tasmania's wild foods

By LIZ McLEOD and BERNARD LLOYD | A country’s cuisine, like its culture, emerges from its forests; from the things that grow in that place and the way they grow, especially the things that grow only in that place: the endemic ingredients. Explore Tasmania’s wild foods.



Only in Tasmania. Regular contributor Maria Fletcher sent us her delightful photograph of ‘Strawhenge’ taken recently along the Midlands Highway. Who needs crop circles?

Leatherwood Online welcomes readers’ photographs of Tasmanian subjects. Email them to us at .

The Mary Phenomenon


By Lia Vaughn | A strange thing happened when Tasmanian-born and bred Mary Donaldson met her prince in a Sydney pub and, after a courtship of three years, married him with pomp and ceremony to become the Crown Princess of Denmark.

Most of us think she’s doing a cracker job under difficult conditions. Sure, the conditions include several castles, a fleet of cars, knockout jewellery and fab outfits that make grown women weak at the knees from sheer envy.

The downside is she no longer has freedom to do, and certainly not say, what she likes and to have her every public utterance and gesture dissected by the media.

In addition, for all that the well-loved Danish monarchy is one of the more relaxed in the world, and the amiable Frederik, heir to the throne, is known for his informal manners and ability to knock back a beer, his marriage to Taroona Mary has thrust her into a world that could also be called a nightmare.

Crowds that just might be cover for a gunman, security men at every turn, and the threat of terrorists, make those public meet-and-greets daunting. Our Mary has coped with this admirably.  

The strange thing is the polarisation of Australians over the Mary phenomenon. While she is admired by the majority of her homegrown audience for her charm and poise, some people go positively apoplectic if her name is mentioned.

But mentioned it is, whether one likes it or not. The facts: the Mary Donaldson that was is today a princess, should all things being equal will become a queen, and has already produced an heir as is required by successful female royal consorts.

Which also makes her prime material for a book. Two such have just been released.

Read the reviews on Tasmanian Times and in Creative Tasmania

Southern Aurora alert


The giant sunspots that brought on the dramatic Southern Aurora displays a few weeks ago are back and look like entertaining Tasmanians again. According to Shevill Mathers, our resident planetary expert, “the giant sunspots that caused the wonderful ‘light show’ a couple of weeks ago, have survived their journey around the sun and are now facing earth again. The spot group will soon vanish around the western limb of the sun’s disc, and it is near the same position when it caused the last brilliant aurora. Read more here

Tiger cloning experiment revived

A key player in the plan to clone the Tasmanian Tiger from DNA recovered from museum specimens says the project is back on track.

The bold plans hatched in 1999 by scientists at the Australian Museum, in Sydney, to bring the thylacine back to life were abandoned earlier this year when researchers said the DNA they had recovered was too poor in quality.

Now, the museum’s former director has told Guardian Unlimited that a team of Australian and US researchers were restarting the project and hoped to use new techniques that could lead to the sequencing of the entire thylacine genome.

Continued …

Celestial alignment


By SHEVILL MATHERS | There has been a lot of interest from the general community about the bright objects low in the western evening sky. These close gatherings of celestial objects in the night sky are not common sights and to have two clear nights in succession to record their changing positions is a real treat. The photograph above was taken about 6.30pm on September 6.

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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
We've been looking at the future and it isn't working. But we can fix it, one blog at a time.

Bed and breakfast in Tasmania
Ruth Waterhouse jewellery
Slim Ink Book Rental
Mayfair on Cavell
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Diamond Island