Fiction Map of the World – Tasmania

by Travelbag on 30 September 2014, 15:09PM

As we continue on our Fiction Map of the World tour, we land at our next destination, Tasmania.

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Tasmania offers up an abundance of options from national heritage sites steeped in history and geographical beauty, to books, films, music, and cuisine to satisfy even the most seasoned foodie.

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Notable Tasmanian Books
Tasmania may be small when it comes to geography and population, but it has made its mark on the map with its literary offerings. Many authors have set up residence in Tasmania and there are a number of titles set in the island state, but there are also a number of award winning Tasmanian novelists and poets.

Notable Tasmanian authors and poets include Richard Flanagan, a descendant of Irish convicts and the critically acclaimed writer of The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1998), Wanting (2008) and The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013), Amanda Lohrey, author of The Reading Group (1988), Camille's Bread (1995) and The Philosopher's Doll (2004), and poet Stephen Edgar author of Lost in the Foreground (2003), Man on the Moon (2005) and History of the Day (2009)

The Tasmanian government does its part to promote Tasmanian talent by providing funding in the form of literary awards, prizes, events and grants such as the Tasmania Book Prize, Margaret Scott Prize and the University of Tasmania Prize. There is also local support from bookshops that become the venue for literary events and book launches.

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Tasmanian Film Industry
As well as having its own thriving film industry that dates back to the silent era, a whole host of features have been filmed in Tasmania, such as The Hunter directed by Daniel Nettheim in 2011.

Screen Tasmania is the leading State Government agency that can assist in acquiring permits, and well as cast and crew. Tasmania also celebrates film during the BOFA (Breath of Fresh Air) film festival where you can watch documentaries and feature films made by local and world filmmakers.

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Tasmanian Music
Music is an important part of Tasmanian culture, and there are a variety of music festivals celebrating this fact throughout the year. January sees the start the festival year with MONA FOMA, a contemporary music and arts festival, in February there is the Rosebery Festival that features live music, art and culture, June sees the midwinter arts and music festival Dark MOFO, July features both the Festival of Voices and Devonport Jazz Festival, finally New Years Eve sees the Falls Festival music festival that’s held at Marion Bay.

No matter what kind of music you enjoy, Tasmania has a varied musical scene from local live music, to a world-class symphony orchestra. As well as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra based at the Federation Concert Hall, there is also the Tasmanian Composers Collective that includes notable composers such as Constantine Koukias, Maria Grenfell and Don Kay.

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Tasmanian Art and Culture
Tasmania is a hive of arts and culture. There are a whole host of festivals and events that celebrate local art in all forms, from crafting to traditional boat building. The Tasmanian Living Artists' Week is a ten-day biennial festival that celebrates Tasmania's talented visual artists.

As well as small artist-run spaces and design shops dotted around the island, there are also world-class museums and art galleries on offer in Tasmania. One of the largest privately owned museum complexes in Australia is The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Berriedale. Mona is home to various exhibitions, but also offers wine and beer tasting sessions as well as helicopter and Par Avion tours.

Other notable spaces include The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart that encompasses art, geology, history, and photographic collections, and The Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston that features visual arts and design, history, natural sciences and physical sciences.

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Tasmanian Heritage Areas
Mark Twain once said, “truth is stranger than fiction”, and in the case of Tasmania this island provides an exciting array of geographic and heritage sites that reflects Tasmania’s rich and colourful history.

A staggering 40% of Tasmania is dedicated national park and world heritage area. 5 of the 11 Australian convict sites given United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage List status can be found in Tasmania.

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These well-preserved convict-era ruins include the Woolmers and Brickendon Estates near Longford, the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart, Port Arthur Historic Site and the Coal Mines Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula, and Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island.

UNESCO also considers Tasmania's wilderness to be a World Heritage Listing. The wilderness area is made up of six national parks, the coast, reserves and conservation areas, islands, button grass plains as well as some of the island’s rivers, peaks and valleys.

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Tasmanian Food
In Tasmania, cuisine is an art form itself. The Wall Street Journal has recently dubbed Tasmania as being “the next foodie destination”. Tasmanian food attracts foodies from around the world. Local delicacies include seafood such as scallops sushi, meats such as salt-grass lamb and Angus and Hereford beef, as well as a variety of wines and alcohol. Much of the food here is organically and sustainably farmed and can be sampled at locations such as farmers markets, roadside stalls, local eateries as well as pubs and restaurants.

You can combine your trip with some of the fantastic food festivals that take place on the island, or sign up to a master class where you can learn how to make some Tasmanian delicacies that you can recreate at home.

Due to Tasmania’s cooler climate, it produces some of Australia’s best pinot noirs and sparkling wines. Tasmania also produces cider, whisky and gin. As many of the breweries and distilleries can be easily accessed when on the island, you can go directly to the source and meet the makes and sample their creations.

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