Dara Simkin and Catherine Fleming, two friends from Florida, USA, will take on Tassie in the fourth leg of the 13,000km, year-long, around-Australia Van-Tastic Adventure, hitting Devonport on December 23 (after taking the ferry across the Bass Strait).
Taking the baton in Melbourne from Briton, Tim Akroyd, who completed the Victoria leg and posted a host of quirky videos, Dara and Catherine will drive Geoff, the Van-Tastic van on a six-week adventure through the Apple Isle, dropping him off in Melbourne on January 27.
The girls won their free, six-week adventure on the basis of their application video – it’s their task to showcase Tasmania through their blogs and videos, which will be posted on the Van-Tastic Adventures website.
Tourism Tasmania, Van-Tastic and the Tasmanian tourism industry have teamed up to provide Dara and Catherine with a swag of adventures to report on during their trip. Although it’s Australia’s smallest state, the girls will have their hands full kayaking on the gorgeous Freycinet Peninsula; mountain-biking Mt Wellington; hang-gliding over Launceston’s Cataract Gorge; cruising the magnificent East Coast and Gordon River; camping in the pristine Tarkine; rafting the rapids of the Franklin River; discovering the state’s convict heritage at the Port Arthur Historic Site; sampling Australia’s premium beers at Boags and Cascade; exploring some of the famous walking trails, such as Cradle Mountain, and a dozen other adventures, including coming face-to-face with a Tasmanian Devil. Along the way, the girls will be enjoying the hospitality of the Cradle Mountain Chateau, Strahan Village and the Art Hostel to name just a few.
They’ll be in Hobart in time for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race – one of the world’s great ocean races, the Hobart Summer Festival, from December 26 to 30 and MONA FOMA (January 8-24)– the ground breaking urban arts festival curated by Brian Ritchie (formerly of the Violent Femmes). New Year’s will be welcomed in partying at the Falls Festival (December 29 to January 1).
Applications are still open for the final two legs of the Van-Tastic Adventure, a competition designed for enthusiastic and adventurous travellers who are willing to tackle – and capture on video – one leg of an Australia-wide road trip.
The winning teams of one or two travellers will be flown from wherever they live to Australia and will spend six weeks driving across the country in Geoff the Van-Tastic van, which is fuelled up and kitted out with camping equipment and all the technology to enable them to capture their adventure on video and in blogs.
Applications for the Van-Tastic Northern Territory leg close on January 17, 2010. The last leg, Western Australia, closes for applications on February 28. The Van-Tastic Adventure finishes in Perth in June, 2010. At the end of the adventure, the viewing public will vote for the best video produced during the year-long, 13,000 kilometre adventure – and the winning team will take home $10,000 cash.
To apply for the remaining legs, and to see how the first teams fared on their holiday of a lifetime, visit: http://vantastic.worldnomads.com