Ricky Ponting is in town and his visit has nothing to do with cricket. The former Test captain of the Australian cricket team was present at The Taj Land’s End in Bandra last week along Will Hodgman, Premier, Tasmanian Government and John Fitzgerald, CEO, Tasmania Tourism to talk about Tasmania’s potential as a tourist destination. The event was preceded by the launch of ASAM Executive Leadership Program which is a unique Flagship 5 day residential executive leadership program in Tasmania in 2017 where participants will learn from Australia’s most successful leaders.
Although he lives in Melbourne now, Ponting returns to Tasmania every chance he gets. Talking about why his hometown has such a special place in his heart, he says, “I still travel around Australia and the world a lot. But nothing beats home. The beautiful clean air, breath-taking scenery, the incredible food and wine, brilliant golf courses, lifelong friends and of course, my family make it special.” As one of the internationally best known faces of Australia, Ponting is a well thought-out choice for Tasmania’s brand ambassador. “I am so humbled to be an ambassador for Tasmania. Every day I do my best to promote all the incredible parts of my home state and now to have an official role means so much to me,” he says.
We have all heard about the Tasmanian devil. But there is so much more to this island state located off Australia’s southern coast. Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth, Tasmania, elaborates, “It’s Australia’s best kept secret, it’s got the cleanest air and water in the world, half of Tasmania is protected, including a World Heritage Area which is spectacular. It’s got beautiful food and wine, recognised as among the best in Australia. And it’s a very warm and welcoming place. So Tasmania is a great option for anyone contemplating an Australian holiday.”
The state’s best known mascot, the Tasmanian devil, a carnivorous marsupial, has been endangered in recent times. But Groom says its condition has improved, “The Tasmanian devil is our national animal and we’re making great strides in saving it since it suffered a great disease that impacted its population. We’ve been undertaking research with institutions around the world to save the Tasmanian devil and they’ve been very successful. But we have plenty of them still in the wild, along with lots of other interesting animals.” Another strange species unique to this island is the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, distinguished by its stripes.
If you’ve seen the cult show Lost, you’ve heard John Locke wax eloquent about bushwalking, an activity specific to Australia that broadly involves walking experiences in natural or green areas. Bushwalking is a popular activity in Tasmania as well, thanks to its mountainous landscapes and rich biodiversity. But if you do plan to embark on a bushwalk, make sure you have a local guide along because it’s all too easy to get lost in the wilderness. You can also camp overnight at state parks and nature reserves for an unforgettable travel experience.
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