An Interview with Susanne Ball from Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Were you born and raised in Tasmania? Where in Tasmania did you live as a child and where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Launceston and have lived in the same two suburbs all my life.

You have some gorgeous pictures of the beach at Bridport, can you tell us about spending your childhood summers there?

Bridport was a great place to spend summer holidays, my Mum and I would be there together most of the summer. We would walk the beach, collect shells, and sometimes get caught with the tide coming in, and Mom couldn't swim. :) And on rainy days we would play monopoly in the small caravan. :) The best memories of a great place where I need to get back to soon.

We would walk the beach, collect shells, and sometimes get caught with the tide coming in.

What are some interesting things you can tell us about Tasmania that the rest of the world probably doesn't know?

Most people know Sydney is the oldest city in Australia. Hobart is actually the second oldest, and Launceston is the 3rd oldest city in Australia. I only found out a few years back when we turned 200. Not even a lot of Tasmanians know that. We don't celebrate enough things like that unfortunately.

How are the seasons there? Can you give some tips about traveling in Tasmania during different times of the year?

Wow, good question. Things are happening in the state at different times of the year, so any time really is a good time to come. There is the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht race that starts Boxing Day every year. So to be in Hobart in the New Year is a nice time (I have never been myself). In a small town in the north every year in early November there is a wonderful craft fair where people come from all over the country to show their handmade crafts and a very popular thing to see all over the town. So to answer that question, any time of the year is a good time to come here.

Have you been to the capital city, Hobart? Can you give some suggestions for things that travelers there shouldn't miss? What are the best things to see and do?

Things not to miss in Hobart and southern Tasmania in particular are:

Port Arthur - In the early 1800s the convicts from England came and were sent there. Today it is a tourist place and a very beautiful place, a lovely place for photographers of all kinds. Unfortunately, I have not been there since I was in school (a long time ago), but I really want to go back soon. So if anyone is thinking of coming here very soon, I would love to take you there. :) Tasmania is a well-known place for growing apples of all kinds and most are down south as well. And also the very popular Huon Pine, a beautiful wood for tables, chairs, etc. And the Tahune Airwalk is a beautiful place to discover, too.

But don't forget my beautiful City of Launceston. The Gorge which is only 5 minutes from the centre of the City is a beautiful place to discover, walking tracks, rock climbing, river rafting, chair lift, and the swinging bridge.

Here is a great article on terrific things to do in Tasmania:
Lady and the Tramper - 10 Reasons to Add Tasmania to Your Australian Road Trip -

How long does it take to travel from the capital of Hobart on the south to Launceston and Bridport in the north? How many days would you recommend for visitors to be able to see everything?

Hobart is roughly 2 and a half hours south of Launceston and Bridport is about an hour northeast of Launceston. Most people think because of our size you can see the whole state in 2 days, but you will need a week at least to see and enjoy out beautiful little island.

Everyone knows the name Tasmanian Devil, but can you give us a quick description of them? And what is some other wildlife tourists should see? Is there a specific zoo or wildlife sanctuary that you recommend?

The Tasmanian Devil is a little black Marsupial, slightly larger than an average house cat, but a lot heavier and angrier. They are endangered and dying of a facial tumor.

Facts about Marsupials:

There are about 100 species of American marsupials including opossums.

There are about 200 species of Australian marsupials including the Tasmanian Devil, kangaroos, wombats, kangaroos, koalas, and bandicoots.

Marsupials -

Save the Tasmanian Devil -

Tasmanian Devil National Geographic -

We don't have any zoos to speak of in Tasmania, but there is a place in Richmond called Zoo Doo and one in Northern Tasmania called Wings Wildlife Park, both have Australian animals and of course close ups with Tasmanian Devils.

Have you visited other parts of Australia? If not, where would you like to go?

I have not seen that much of Australia so to speak, mainly just Melbourne in Victoria.

What are some suggestions and tips you have for taking travel photos in Tasmania?

For me personally, just enjoy the place you are in and then take a few photos of the same place in different angels so the photo will show everything you are seeing. I never take only one photo. And I never take a normal angle photo. Never be normal when taking a photo.

Stanley and the Nut

St. John Catholic Church in Richmond, the oldest Church in Tasmania.

In Richmond you will also find the oldest bridge in Tasmania.

Have you visited the United States and what are your thoughts about it? What are some of your favorite places to visit? Tell us about some of your adventures.

I have actually seen more of America than I have of Australia. Disneyland is in my heart, and it is actually a beautiful place to photograph. I also have a soft spot for Yomemite National Park and have an enlarged photo I took there on my lounge room wall. Walking over the Golden Gate Bridge with the fog rolling in is also a great memory. And my first sunset on the ocean was at Huntington Beach, California. Even though I live on an island and have grown up going to the beach, California was my first sunset on the ocean. :)

Facts about Tasmania:
  • Tasmania is an Australian island and state.
  • About 37 percent is National Parks, World Heritage Sites, and reserves.
  • The Capital is Hobart.
  • Prisoners from Ireland and Great Britain were housed in the Port Arthur prison. It contains the most complete ruins of a convict settlement.
  • A Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, was the first European to explore Tasmania in the 17th Century.
  • The Houn pine tree grows only in Tasmania. It is one of the oldest plants on Earth.
  • Because it is in the Southern Hemisphere, Tasmania - and all of Australia - has seasons in the reverse of the United States, winter is June and July, and summer is from December to February.
  • Tasmania is a major apple producer for the world.

Links to Susanne's Photo Albums:

Links of Interest:

Discover Tasmania Official Site -

Tasmania, Australia on Lonely Planet -

Tasmania - The Official Australian Tourism Website -

Tasmanian Government -

Tasmania Wikipedia -

Launceston Wikipedia -

Hobart Wikipedia -

Australia's oldest bridge and the oldest Roman Catholic Church -

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