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Discovering Northern Tasmania

Meet an expat with a new found love for Tassie

The Adventure All Stars cast and crew visited Northern Tasmania in October 2023 with the support of local tourism operators and Visit Northern Tasmania. Adventure All Stars is a reality TV series that sees real people take on adventure activities in stunning destinations. The show captures real emotion as the cast challenge themselves to a new activity each day, often facing their fears with the support of other cast members and crew alike.

Adventure All Stars isn't just about creating a television show, the production is committed to working with charity and all profits from the show go to charity. Each cast member is required to meet a fundraising target for their charity to qualify and be selected to join the show.

Surprise is a key element - the cast do not know where they are headed until boarding their flight, and each day they don't know what adventure activity awaits them until they arrive at the activity location.

Paula Barnes of Truly Expat was one of the lucky cast members who visited Northern Tasmania in October, raising much needed funds for her chosen charity, Mindful AUS. It was her first visit to Launceston and a special week as she celebrated a milestone birthday. During filming she faced her fears head on, challenging herself with abseiling, confined spaces with a caving tour, and riding a Penny Farthing. She loved the experience so much, she is now showcasing the region in her blogs, encouraging other expats to come down for air and make Northern Tasmania their next holiday adventure.

We caught up with Paula to find out more about why she loves Tassie, what is her favourite spot and how she got started as a travel writer.


Northern Tasmania is the hidden gem

Tell us a bit about your background and what got you started as a travel writer.

I am an Aussie Expat who has called Asia home for the past 18 years. With seven postings under my belt, the love of travel came as part of the package of moving from country to country and grew over time as my kids got older, moved away, and I became an empty nester.

When I moved to Kuala Lumpur 9 years ago, I started writing a blog about expat life, and with that came many requests to write about my travel destinations, so I did! Now living in Singapore, I still write about expat life, but my love of travel has taken me all over the world, given me the opportunity to speak on many podcasts, including my own, opened up doors to write for countless travel websites and allowed me to take many others on the journey with me through my social media channels.

You recently visited Northern Tasmania with Adventure All Stars. Tell us a little about your week here.

My recent trip to Northern Tasmania with Adventure All Stars was unexpected. Why? Because what I didn't expect was that Northern Tasmania doesn't have hidden gems; it is the hidden gem! Move over Queenstown (NZ) this part of the Southern Hemisphere has got you covered!

With an entire week full of adventure, from abseiling down cliffs to mountain biking through the beautiful landscapes, it is the perfect location for adrenalin-seeking adventurers. But what I loved most was not just the constant surprising adventures but the fact that just around the corner you have some of the best cool climate wine in the world being produced alongside some excellent gin distilleries.

It just does not stop there; the history of this region, with the fantastic food, numerous outdoor activities, beautiful landscapes and native animals on your doorstep, makes me believe that everyone needs to add Northern Tasmania to their itinerary!

Some of the best cool climate wine in the world
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What is your hot tip for someone travelling to Northern Tasmania?

My hot tip for travelling to Northern Tasmania is to give everything a go! From ziplining to river sledding, it is all one big great adventure waiting to put a smile on your face.

What did you love the most in Northern Tasmania?

What I love the most about Northern Tasmania is that it caters for every type of visitor. Whether you want to explore the City of Gastronomy, delve into Australian history, or head out on a week of non-stop adventure, Northern Tasmania caters for it all. With breath-taking landscapes, friendly people, and locally sourced menus, Northern Tasmania is truly Australia's hidden gem.

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