Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The Tasmanian Devil is in the Detail

They say Tasmania (the island state of Australia south of Victoria), with its population of just half a million, has the highest rate of interfamily breeding in the country. I have to say that after spending the last six days here – for a mate’s wedding in the middle of the state and in Hobart for New Years – that it is not obvious that brothers and sisters have a high predilection for mating each other. In fact, people look pretty normal here and I must say I have been pleasantly surprised… sure, perhaps they are not as glamorous and made up as in Sydney, Paris or New York, but that is to be expected for a smaller city.

There a couple of interesting facts about Tasmania:
1. It has the deepest landlocked water body in Australia - Lake St Clair by Cradle Mountain
2. The oldest brewery in Australia – The Cascade Brewery – just on the outskirts of Hobart
3. Two animals that are unique to Tassie – the Tasmanian Devil (endangered) and the Tasmanian Tiger (Extinct, although some crackpots claim citings)
4. Port Arthur was the place the convicts were held upon settlement of the Australian Colony… sadly, this was also the place were a deranged gunman shot 27 people about 10 years ago
5. The second greatest cricketer of all time – Ricky Ponting
6. David Boon - The batting mainstay of Alan Border’s side and world record holder for drinking 52 beers on a flight from Sydney to London - http://www.geocities.com/topaussieguide/Page1.htm
7. Eddie Jones – the greatest technical rugby coach of all time

In Hobart, we spent most of our time at the Taste Festival, the annual wine and food tasting exhibition. Wine was very good, food was average, but it served our purposes well.

We stayed in Montgomery’s "Hotel" (read: youth hostel), which was two blocks from the finishing marina for the Sydney to Hobart and three blocks from the Taste festival. After the initial hiccup of being overcharged and given the wrong room, the stay rate was good value for money and the proximity a bonus.

Overall, I would give Taswegia a thumbs-up and say it is well worth a visit.
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