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From the category archives:

Tasmanian Tales


The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is sorting through a treasure trove of antiques and artefacts at a house in Hobart.

The 1920’s Battery Point home was left to the museum by wealthy benefactor Henry Baldwin, who died in 2007.

It was his dying wish that his home and contents be transformed into a museum.

He also donated another two properties and two million dollars, making it one of the largest bequests to an Australian museum.

The Director of the Museum and Art gallery Bill Bleathman says his staff are cataloguing thousands of items and have found rare china, historically significant furniture and unique book collections.

“It really reflects early colonial life in Tasmania right through to current day.”

Read more here. Photograph above by ABC-News.

Right on schedule on Monday evening, Venus, Jupiter and a three-day-old crescent moon have appeared as a smiley face above the western horizon.

Photograph: Shevill Mathers.

Princess Mary

Our man on the spot, Paul County, captured a winning smile from Tasmania’s own ‘royalty’ when Princess Mary took her children for a stroll through town.

Missing in action was Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who was probably still in recovery mode after a wild last night in Beijing, dancing and drinking at a nightclub where the theme was Hugh Hefner’s raunchy magazine and mansion.

ABC News photograph

Tasmania’s Derwent Valley Concert Band has cleaned up at the World Marching Band Championships.

The band was judged the winner over 14 other outfits in the open event in Germany.

The conductor Layton Hodgetts has told ABC Local Radio the award took everyone by surprise.

“And to cap it all off they decided to give me the gold medal conductor award, so we’re all feeling pretty excited over here tonight, it’s been an amazing outcome,” he said.

Vet Alex Kriess with Cedric the Tasmanian devil

A Tasmanian devil by the name of Cedric may hold the key to the future of his species.

He is an extraordinary devil, guinea pig and possible saviour, who is naturally resistant to the contagious facial tumours which have already killed half the devil population in Tasmania.

Cedric was caught by scientists this time last year. Now it seems he is the best chance yet scientists have to developing a devil-saving vaccine.

By working with their colleagues at Sydney University, Hobart scientists have discovered it is Cedric’s genes that are protecting him from the cancer.


Great Lake is at record low levels. (Andrew Fisher photograph. ABC)

Recent rain has done little to replenish Hyrdo’s Tasmania’s storages.

Storages fell to around 18 per cent over the summer period, the lowest in over 40 years, and Hydro’s energy resources manager, David Marshall, says the Basslink power cable and the gas-fired Bell Bay power station are being used extensively.

He says he does not expect power rationing this year.


A fire that has blackened 17,000ha on the West Coast was started from a car accident on the Western Explorer Highway, a controversial road damned for its scarring of the Tarkine, home to Australia’s largest temperate rainforest.

Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt said conservation groups had warned that the road would prove a source of destructive activity and an ignition point.

‘The Greens are now warning that no further roading into remote Tarkine wilderness should be allowed, although the Government is actively pushing such an agenda via Forestry Tasmania,’ Ms Putt said.


Alex Wade of Surf Nation reports:

Alex ‘Alfy’ Cater won the Oakley Surfing Life Biggest Wave Award. He took home $20,000 and a Sea-Doo personal watercraft.

Marti Paradisis bagged the ‘best overall performance’ award — this shot of him at Shipstern Bluff on the Tasman Peninsula shows why.

(Via Surf Nation)

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Found on Flickr. Taken by Hobart photographer Andrew Skeggs who says “I am happy to live in a world where people do this kind of thing.”

And regular contributor Peter Daalder managed to get a photograph before the flags disappeared.


The background:

An enterprising Northern Midlands farmer has built a giant grass castle out of hay bales.

Philip Osborne builds a hay bale structure each year at fairfield near Epping forest on the Midlands Highway.
Last year Mr Osborne, in his fifties, made a straw version of the ancient Stonehenge, called Hayhenge which proved popular with passing motorists.

The farmer uses a loader to put each 300kg bale in place based on a sketch made by his wife Louise.

‘I do it for my own amusement,’ Mr Osborne said.

‘Farmers are miserable sods but we do have a lighter side.’

(Via The Mercury)

Here’s his version of Stonehenge which kept Midlands Highway motorists amused last year.

Photograph: Maria Fletcher



mary-2.jpgTasmania’s very own royal, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has enrolled in the Danish Home Guard.

The Crown Princess will learn how to handle and fire a weapon, first aid, marching drills, signal training, fire-fighting and rescue skills while she attends elementary training at the Home Guard training centre.

When she finishes her training, Princess Mary will be attached to the Home Guard ‘total defence’ region in Copenhagen.

She continues a long line of family tradition by joining the Home Guard.

Her mother-in-law, Queen Margrethe, reached the rank of Major in the Home Guard Women’s Flying Corps.