What’s hot right now in Tasmania? Adventure racing and challenges, with two international events planned for late 2011. Here’s what we’ve learned lately.

Tasmania Adventure Racing World Championships

Described as an expedition length adventure race, this team competition will attract extreme sport enthusiasts to Tasmania from around the world. In groups of four, entrants will hike, ride and paddle a 700km course. Yes, I did mean to write 700km! Can you imagine that? The organisers use the word endurance, but I’d be more inclined to substitute torture.

Tasmania Adventure - Racing Kayaks
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Racing kayaks, Tasmanian adventure (photo by Dan Fellow)

For those who dare enter the event and travel to Tasmania, adventure racing starts October 31 and continues until November 11. Racing day and night, that’s almost a fortnight of pushing the limits of adrenalin-fuelled endurance. I hope they recover in time to enjoy Christmas. And I hope to see some of these awesome human machines in action.

Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Adventure Challenge

Tasmanian Tourism Minister Michelle O’Byrne has recently announced a sponsorship deal allowing this adventure challenge to return to Tasmania. Adventure on steroids, the event is the brainchild of Australian Formula One driver and adopted Tasmanian Mark Webber.

Tasmania Adventure - Mark Webber Challenge
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Pure Tasmania Adventure Mark Webber*

Raising money for charity (including the Tasmanian Devil Fund) as they power through breathtaking Tasmanian regions and towns, the event is endorsed by the state government as a tourism showcase for one of the world’s best adventure playgrounds – Tasmania.

The last challenge was held in 2008 and exposed the iconic and rugged Tasmanian outdoors to global media coverage. It also ended with a broken leg for Mark Webber. During the mountain bike section at Fortescue Bay on the Tasman Peninsula, Webber challenged a car head-on, and came off a little worse for wear. No wonder it’s taken him three years to venture back!

Elite athletes, celebrities and adventure sports enthusiasts from around the globe will tackle mountains, reserves and waterways over five days from December 7. Apparently the course might even include rock climbing and caving. Gotta love that.

Tasmania Adventure - Pure Event
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Pure Tasmania Adventure Event*

So the exact sporting components of the 2011 Mark Webber Adventure Challenge are yet to be finalised, but one thing is certain. Tourism Tasmania, adventure and extreme sports nuts will have all bases covered. Who knows what sort of crazy activity will be inspired by the adoring public.

Tasmania Adventure - Rafting
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Inspiring Tasmanian adventures (photo by Dan Fellow)

Anaconda: Adventure Starts Here

We’re not extreme sports enthusiasts by any stretch, but we do like to dabble in some outdoor activity in Tasmania.  Adventure does start at Anaconda for us! We go there a lot, and we also like shopping in the huge camping stores near the Hobart CBD. But we’ll cover them in more detail another time.

Tasmania Adventure - Outdoor Activity
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Sedate Tasmanian adventure: still-water kayaking

Tasmania’s Anaconda store is located at Cambridge Park near the Hobart Airport, part of the Homemaker Centre.

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Store
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Cambridge Park, Tasmania: Anaconda Adventure Store

On our last venture to the Cambridge Park shopping centre, we met a group of teenagers loading their Combi Van with camping equipment from Anaconda, and other supplies from nearby discount outlets Chickenfeed and Shiploads.

They were enroute to celebrate New Years Eve at The Falls Music & Arts Festival. Judging by the amount of packet noodles they bought, their meal plan included very little nutritional value! Camping on a beautiful farm nestled on the Tasmanian east coast near Maria Island and Hell Fire Bluff at Marion Bay (to quote the Falls Festival website) is just another version of adventure in Tasmania.

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Camping
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Camping in Tasmania? Adventure camping store, Anaconda

We’ve even taken interstate visitors along to Anaconda as a stop-over on a trip to Richmond, so the kids could clamber up the rock wall. It’s a one-for-you/one-for-me deal: a good bribe when planning to visit one of the Tasmanian wineries, vineyards or cellar doors in the area.

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Rock Wall
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Anaconda rock wall, Tasmania. Adventure, indoor style!

But I’m sure Anaconda would rather be remembered as the adventure store than for bribery. So if you are contemplating either of the elite adventure experiences planned for later in the year (and you don’t come to your senses beforehand) you might need to buy equipment. Anaconda sell:

Kayaks

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Kayaks
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Tasmanian adventure store Anaconda: kayaks

Mountain Bikes

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Mountain Bikes
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Mountain bikes from Anaconda for Tasmanian adventures

Water Safety Gear

Tasmania Adventure - Anaconda Life Jackets
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Anaconda Tasmania: life jackets, water safety equipment

We wish you adrenalin-junkies luck. We’d love to see any photos from either the Adventure World Racing Championships or the Mark Webber Adventure Challenge.

Contact us and we’ll publish details of your experience online.

This article is written for general interest purposes only for Think Tasmania. Adventure is undertaken at your own risk!

Tasmania Adventure – Photo Credit

Thanks again to Kylie Jones, Marketing Services Coordinator, Federal Group for the use of the above images*.

Please see the Pure Tasmania website for more information about the experiences displayed.

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