Sharing airtime with Hollywood superstars in the slightly mythical true journey of Saroo Brierley, Tasmania the actress provides seductive glimpses of her pristine coastlines, uncrowded beaches, and untouched wilderness on the world stage. Premiering at the Toronto Film Festival to a standing ovation, the film is expected to collect a swag of Oscar nominations and has been nominated for four Golden Globes (Best Film, Best Supporting Actress – Nicole Kidman, Best Supporting Actor - Dev Patel, Best Original Score - Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka).
In Lion, based on the bestselling book by Saroo Brierley A Long Way Home, Tasmania's landscapes perform as the backdrop for Saroo's extraordinary story of survival and unwavering determination. As the story unfolds, keep an eye on the rugged splendour of this relatively unknown actress. She's dramatic, providing colour and life without words. She needs no script.
Tasmania has long been known for her pristine wilderness, bountiful produce and inspired cultural offerings, but there's far more to her. She's not predicable. She has a trove of enchanting stories to be uncovered. Delve a touch deeper.
She's due to open MACq 01, a storytelling hotel on the Hobart waterfront that is going to reveal all sides of her - each room offering insight to Tasmania's current and former characters. She has also just laid a path touted as Australia's finest coastal walk, the Three Capes Track. Keep an eye on Lion's silent actress and you'll see one of those capes playing her role.
This supporting actress is no stranger to the stage. Travel + Leisure in recent years has named Tasmania amongst the world's top ten islands. Lonely Planet sang her international praises, naming her the hottest destination on the planet a few years back and one of the world's top 10 regions to visit last year. Her other accolades include world's best whisky and best golf links course, along with the revered Saffire Freycinet, picking up best boutique hotel in the world.
Not that she likes to boast. But Tasmania is also home to that highly acclaimed private art gallery known as Mona and arguably the cleanest air on the planet, just for good measure. When you visit her, be sure to bring your appetite. Tasmania is bursting with passionate artisans producing organic, heirloom produce and locally distilled and brewed drink.
WANT TO KNOW HER BETTER?
kunanyi/Mt WellingtonThis beauty is featured when Dev Patel and Rooney Mara sit atop the mighty peak, taking in Hobart city below. It's a local fave, ever-watching over the city. Just 25 minutes from the CBD and one can watch the sun sink or rise, with the city and River Derwent sparkling below. Create your own mountain story with walking trails that range from short hikes under the Organ Pipes to more challenging climbs including Cathedral Rock. Stop for a coffee at the Springs or pack a picnic for the summit.
Recherche Bay & Cockle CreekThere's a taste of South West Tasmania in Lion that is unmistakable. As the film ventures down to South West National Park and Cockle Creek, the farthest point south one can drive in Australia, note the ruggedness of the landscape. Explore by foot from Cockle Creek, or take to the air with Par Avion for far-reaching views of this vast wilderness.
The Candlestick and Cape HauyYou can't miss this towering spire and accompanying cape in the film - the dramatic manner it stands narrow and tall, defiant across a swirling Tasman Sea. Build your own story on the Tasman Peninsula, just 90 minutes from Hobart, by taking a four-day trek along the Three Capes Track or see the Candlestick from water level on a Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Cruise. There's plenty of shorter walks on the peninsula, part of the 60 Great Short Walks series, including a return day walk to Cape Hauy.
The Bruny Island NeckThere's a glorious isthmus in Lion. The isthmus joins North Bruny and South Bruny – the north has open pastures and is drier while the south is home to thick rainforest and South Bruny National Park. See The Neck for yourself on a day trip to Bruny, just 40 minutes south of Hobart, and be sure to climb the stairs - every single one is worth it for the 360 degree views. Take a guided tour, fly over The Neck or visit at dusk for a parade of Little Penguins.
Marion BayThis stunning, uncrowded bay, with Cape Hauy as its backdrop is a visual stunner in Lion. Come New Year's Eve, it's not so quiet at Marion Bay, on the Tasman Peninsula when folk descend for the Falls Music and Arts Festival. Pack your tent for tunes, or visit at a quiet time of year - its only 90 minutes from Hobart CBD. The surf is great, as are the nearby vineyards and the turquoise waters and pristine beaches.
Sailing and fishing around the Tasman PeninsulaThere are scenes of Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham sailing and dropping a line in and around the Tasman Peninsula. Tasmania's waterways range from calm channels and clear highland lakes to one of the world's deepest harbours - our maritime history runs deep. Exploring the Lion's waterways might include diving, a fishing charter, high-speed cruise or boarding a former Sydney to Hobart yacht ready to set sail on a day trip or overnighter.
WANT TO MEET TASMANIA?The story of Saroo is undoubtedly touching and resilient, already touted as an international screen triumph. Although Tasmania may be in a support role, her presence offers a theatrical landscape for the story to unfold. And she wouldn't mind meeting you.
She understands that her island, no bigger than West Virginia, is at the other end of the world. But that's what adds to her intrigue.
If you ever wanted to meet a star in person, your search is over. Delve curiously when you're here, and get to know her. Versatile and instinctive, yet unpredictable and fiery. The next moment, friendly and generous. She'll draw you in, make you at home and show you who she is.
She's waiting… And she's ready to star in your next memorable story.