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Villa Talia: Tasmania’s Ultimate Holiday Escape

Villa Talia: Tasmania’s Ultimate Holiday Escape

Tasmania is a wild island, packed with powerful landscapes both tranquil and pure, yet at the same time untamed. And it’s one of the safest places in the world to travel right now.

Set in the peaceful Huon Valley atop a hill overlooking Southern Tasmania, Villa Talia is a stunning holiday home which presents as an unassuming Australian homestead, though is packed with treasure in the form of opulent furnishings, contemporary fixtures, and tempting adult luxuries.

It’s an adult kinder surprise, and it’s best to be warned that no matter how much you love your own home, from the moment you step through the door, Villa Talia will forever become the home of your dreams.

It’s like running into the celebrity crush you have a free pass for, and discovering they’re just as eager…

You no doubt love your own home and understand the reality of needing to return, but a few nights with Villa Talia is the ultimate fantasy escape; a home you’ll never want to leave.

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A Craft Whisky Distillery in an 1840’s Coaching Inn: Touring Old Kempton Distillery Tasmania

A Craft Whisky Distillery in an 1840’s Coaching Inn: Touring Old Kempton Distillery Tasmania

Tasmania is world famous for its pure air, clean water, and crisp climate. And if you landed here without context, to our ‘lush crisp landscape battered by chilly seas’, pulled up to an imposing 19th century Coaching Inn, and were handed a single malt whisky, we’d forgive you for drawing parallels to Scotland.

After-all, you need a very stable, cool climate to brew the perfect malt whisky (not even modern climate controlled warehouses are as good as brewing in the perfect natural climate), and some of the purest air and water in the world.

Which is why Scottish Whisky has become so famous.

While both superb locations for making whisky, the difference of Scotland and Tasmania is that the distilling of spirits was outlawed here from 1838 to 1991. Though since the law was overturned Tasmania has experienced a craft malt Whisky revival, and the artisanal Whisky movement has earned the reputation of ‘Scotland Down Under’.

150 years was a long time for Tasmanians to wait between drinks, but the State’s pure ingredients and passionate distillers have more than made up for it since.

And that 19th century Coaching Inn? It exists! It sits at 26 Main St Kempton. 40 minutes from Hobart, the Coaching Inn is now a cellar door, with a distillery you can tour in the convict brick stables.

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Rathmore Tasmania Farmstay: Stay on a Historic Australian Sheep Property (in Luxury!)

Rathmore Tasmania Farmstay: Stay on a Historic Australian Sheep Property (in Luxury!)

Australia has a long history of sheep farming, and within 50 years of their arrival in 1788, sheep had become the main source of income for Australian industry.

29 sheep arrived in Australia with the British First Fleet. 230 years later, wool markets around the world are dominated by Australian exports, and our country has more than 27 million sheep; raised largely for wool over meat.

Humble farming has defined Australia for centuries, and sheep are considered the iconic Aussie flock; farmers continue to work sheep stations throughout the country to feed and clothe the nation.

A true-blue producing nation, there are now 85,681 farms across Australia, and many sheep properties invite you to stay; to swap those white sneakers for gumboots and experience country life in a real and authentic way.

One such property is Rathmore, an hour from Hobart in Tasmania’s Central Highlands; a historic sheep property settled in 1828, which is unique in offering a choice of accommodation.

Choose to stay in the beautiful sandstone homestead with the land owners, with grand bedrooms and period furniture, or in the historic shearers’ quarters, recently revived to offer a country experience that is rustic chic.

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Cygnet Retreat: An Ultra Modern Base for the Wild Nature of the Huon Valley

Cygnet Retreat: An Ultra Modern Base for the Wild Nature of the Huon Valley

Restricted to Tasmania during the pandemic, Mike and I have made an effort to explore our home state. Though being ‘confined’ to such a naturally beautiful island with a number of world famous wilderness destinations free of crowds and chaos is far from limiting!

Our experience in the Huon Valley was the perfect balance of wild exploration, while still being able to relax in luxury after days full of dramatic adventure; a balance made possible by checking into the ultra modern Cygnet Retreat.

Nestled in Southern Tasmania just a short drive from Hobart, Cygnet is now known as the place to escape the fast-paced stresses of our modern day to day.

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The Cape House: Our Stay in a Turn of the Century Luxury Farmhouse in Southern Tasmania

The Cape House: Our Stay in a Turn of the Century Luxury Farmhouse in Southern Tasmania

Growing up in Hobart, I have many fond memories of heading to our family shack along the coast of Southern Tasmania. It had been years since I had returned to this southernmost part of Australia and I was eager to share the area with my American husband.

Basing ourselves in Dover, this region is defined by a culture of holiday homes; you won’t find high-rise cookie-cutter hotels here; it’s authentic living in seaside towns, from cosy waterfront studios, to beach-side bungalows, and locally owned villas in forested surrounds.

Surrounded by wilderness and relaxation, we were fortunate to stay at what must be Dover’s most unique and stunning property, a turn of the 20th century farmhouse that has been very much renovated into a luxury holiday home.

Known as the Peninsula Experience, this unique and secluded property actually boasts two separate houses which includes The Cape House and The Boat House. This is our experience at The Cape House.

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Things to do in the Huon Valley: A 4-5 Day Itinerary for Southern Tasmania

Things to do in the Huon Valley: A 4-5 Day Itinerary for Southern Tasmania

The Huon Valley has long been a popular day trip option from Hobart. After-all, just a 30 minute drive south of the city and you’ll be at the source of some of the finest food and freshest ingredients in the country.

Apple growers, craft cider makers, boutique winemakers, salmon producers, and other homegrown produce means even many locals make the drive just for lunch.

But this is a region defined by more than just its food excellence, and if you’re visiting the State, the traditional day trip from Hobart won’t even come close to doing the region justice.

Because on top of the apple cider, salmon sushi, and mouthwatering apple pie (trust me, you’ll order two servings), the Huon Valley also serves up incredible natural beauty, and a huge range of adventure. And they serve it to you on a platter!

The Huon Valley is full of beaches, caves, thermal springs, and is the gateway to the southern forests and World Heritage Wilderness Walks. You can explore by jet boat, hang glider, foot, or car, and if you’re hungry inbetween, fuel up on produce from local roadside stalls.

The Huon Valley is not a day trip destination. It’s worthy of far more time. We recommend at least four to five days for exploring the region.

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Stay Back in Time at Leisure Inn Penny Royal (A Hotel in an 1840’s Corn Mill)

Stay Back in Time at Leisure Inn Penny Royal (A Hotel in an 1840’s Corn Mill)

In 1798, European explorers Bass and Flinders sailed along the northern coast of Van Dieman’s Land, known today as Tasmania. They took a colonial sloop and proved that it was indeed an island, separated from mainland Australia by a strait (today called the Bass Strait).

Rowing up the Tamar River to where Launceston is today, their exploration laid the groundwork for some of the first European settlements in the country, and in 1806 Launceston became a township.

It’s easy to first think of Hobart or Sydney when seeking out colonial heritage in Australia, though Launceston has a rich and vibrant heritage, and one of the finest early cityscapes in the country.

Defined by Georgian buildings and Victorian gardens, Australia’s third oldest city is today a shining example of adaptive reuse; with fashion boutiques, bars, banks, and high-tech offices sitting inside colonial churches, town halls, and towers.

And as far as historic hotels? The Leisure Inn Penny Royal is a boutique, family-friendly apartment hotel, set in an 1840’s corn mill.

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Reasons to Visit Kangaroo Island This Year

Reasons to Visit Kangaroo Island This Year

In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a wildlife rich island off the coast of South Australia, in the Southern Ocean / Great Australian Bite.

A natural, rugged island where native animals like kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, and penguins roam freely, through an interior of sand dunes, bush-land, and pink lakes; one surrounded with impeccably clear waters where you can swim with wild dolphins, while feasting on mouth-watering food and wine at the end of the day.

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island, and while it feels like you’re a million miles from the rest of the world, the SeaLink Kangaroo Island ferry takes only 45 minutes from the mainland.

Australia’s very own Galapagos, this is one of the world’s greatest nature based destinations, and this year is the perfect time to visit!

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Will Casino Tourism in Australia Recover?

Will Casino Tourism in Australia Recover?

Australian figures from the recent pandemic are looking much more positive, and as the country starts making its way out of lock-down, smaller workplaces are returning to work, and state wide restrictions are starting to lift.

But while the country is opening up to domestic tourism, and family businesses can open up shop, international tourism is far further off, and larger Australian industries like casino resorts are still under lock-down.

Casino tourism had recently become travel’s largest sector, with casinos like Crown Melbourne attracting more tourists per year than the likes of the Sydney Opera House!

Supporters of the online gaming industry speculate that the pandemic will be the final blow to traditional gaming; one of the serious implications of the coronavirus at Australia Casinos is the cultural shift towards online gambling.

So with this significant source of revenue and employment suddenly out, the question then becomes: will casino tourism in Australia recover?

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The Studios by Haus: The Perfect Adelaide Hills Accommodation

The Studios by Haus: The Perfect Adelaide Hills Accommodation

Did you know that South Australia is home to the nation’s oldest surviving German settlement? Set in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is what you get when early German migrants travel to Australia on a Zebra!

Yes, you read that correctly! Though the migrants fleeing religious prosecution in 1839 didn’t saddle up on the black and white kind, rather a ship named Zebra which was captained by Dirk Meinerts Hahn.

The slice of heaven in the Adelaide Hills where the passengers and crew would eventually settle would end up being named after the Captain. Today, visitors to Hahndorf experience a traditional European village blended with Aussie spirit.

Set along leafy Main Street in the heart of town are three unique properties by The Haus Group. We stayed at the award-winning The Studios by Haus this past autumn (boutique self-contained apartments), and were totally charmed by this historic yet contemporary Australian town.

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How to Visit and Support Bushfire Affected Regions of Australia – Use Your Tourism For Good

How to Visit and Support Bushfire Affected Regions of Australia – Use Your Tourism For Good

When we embarked on our ‘Road Trip for Good‘ at the beginning of March, the purpose was to visit bushfire affected parts of the country, and do our bit to support struggling local economies.

The start of 2020 saw unprecedented bushfires rip through Australia; millions of people were affected, but the devastation wasn’t just limited to property, wildlife, and land. It also decimated local economies across the country, as travelers cancelled their plans.

Summer is peak season for tourism in Australia, and many small businesses rely on the visitor economy. Even if the fire didn’t reach their doors, the sudden drought of tourism was a heart aching pill to swallow.

Our gratitude can’t be expressed deeply enough for the outpouring of love, donations, and support which flooded in from around the world, and from around the country. But the bushfire recovery is far from over, especially for those who have lost their income.

By mid March a pandemic swept in, and we were forced to rush home. But as Australia went into lockdown and we cut our trip short, the residents of bushfire affected Australia had a clear message:

‘Please don’t forget about us’.

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How to Have an Epic Time on the Gold Coast (Without Theme Parks or Surfers Paradise)

How to Have an Epic Time on the Gold Coast (Without Theme Parks or Surfers Paradise)

Southeast Queensland’s Gold Coast has a reputation as a gaudy family friendly holiday destination with theme parks, beaches and wild nightlife.

While it is indeed all of those things, for those that venture outside of the usual tourist hotspots, it has so much more to offer, from great food to endless outdoor activities.

Locals feel that just by living here, it’s like winning one of those giant American lottery jackpots – there’s a reason so many Aussies move to the Gold Coast, though it’s not for the typical tourist haunts!

Check out our list of things to do on the Gold Coast beyond the theme parks and Surfers. You may find that you’re the next person wanting to move!

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Dear Casino Tourists: Here Are 5 Things to Know About Gambling in Australian Casinos

Dear Casino Tourists: Here Are 5 Things to Know About Gambling in Australian Casinos

From Vegas to Macau, and channeling James Bond in Monte Carlo, casino tourism has become one of the biggest travel trends around the world.

We’re living in the age of the casino tourist now, where, just as travelers head overseas to enjoy architecture, history, or nature, gambling is a very real, and very relevant interest that motivates people to jet off to another country.

While there are many bucket-list worthy casinos, and in fact whole casino cities, Australia is emerging as a surprising hot spot for casino tourists. In fact, Australia’s most popular casinos attract more visitors than the Sydney Opera House!

If you’re heading to Australia to take in the casino scene, the following are things you should know about Aussie gambling culture, regardless of whether you’ve got your poker face on in Hobart, Melbourne, or Sydney.

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Things to Know About Perth Airport (Australia)

Things to Know About Perth Airport (Australia)

Flying into or out of Perth Airport?

Perth is one of Australia’s easiest airports to navigate; it’s small in size, close to the city, and doesn’t have the congestion of more popular airports like Melbourne or Sydney.

Though from the parking, to the airline lounges, connecting to Wi-Fi, and finding a place to sleep, we’ve put together the following tips so you can maximize your experience.

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Catching Your Breath in the Pristine Wilds of Tasmania: Corinna Wilderness Experience

Catching Your Breath in the Pristine Wilds of Tasmania: Corinna Wilderness Experience

Most visitors to Tasmania are searching for an escape from the congestion and stress of large cities. They come in search of wild landscapes, ancient rain-forests, and Australia’s cleanest, freshest air.

For those who fly into Hobart, they find a hub of history, arts, festivals, food, and modern culture. But for those seeking nature; truly untouched, untamed, and unexplored style nature; Tasmania’s west is one of Australia’s last true wilderness frontiers.

Secretly tucked away along the southern fringes of the Tarkine Wilderness Area, the Corinna Wilderness Experience is a wilderness retreat which offers an escape from places that are increasingly falling victim to overtourism.

Corinna is one of the most beautiful remote parts of the world yet surprisingly still easily accessible. While set within Australia’s largest area of Gondwanan cool-temperate rainforest, Corinna was once a historic gold mining town.

Positioned just steps from the pristine rainforest and beautiful silent Pieman River, there are a number of adventurous activities available to those modern day explorers looking for an epic holiday.

This article will dive into how you can escape to Corinna, and spend time exploring the pristine wilds of Western Tasmania yourself.

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Free Spirit Pods: Luxury Eco-Accommodation on Tasmania’s Bruny Island

Free Spirit Pods: Luxury Eco-Accommodation on Tasmania’s Bruny Island

One of the southern-most points in Australia, Bruny Island lies off the south coast of Tasmania. Though despite being just a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart, less than 10% of travelers to Tasmania visit, choosing instead to head to more famous parts of the State like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park.

Their loss!

While Bruny Island may only be 50 kilometres across, the unassuming island is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets, and while small in size, it certainly packs a heavy punch; think stunning natural beaches, elusive quolls and white wallabies, and sustainable luxury at its finest.

You’ll need at least 3 days to really do the island justice, and when it comes to accommodation, we can highly recommend Free Spirit Pods; gorgeous, fully self contained eco-pods set on the waterfront, backed by 8 acres of bushland on North Bruny Island.

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Salamanca Wharf Hotel Review: A Modern Apartment Hotel in Historic Hobart

Salamanca Wharf Hotel Review: A Modern Apartment Hotel in Historic Hobart

Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, Hobart is one of Australia’s most fascinating and history-rich destinations. It offers a unique culture that is much different than you’ll find on mainland Australia, and was one of the first regions of Australia to be explored; Sullivans Cove was the initial landing site for early British settlers in Hobart and Risdon Cove would become the first European settlement in Tasmania.

Hobart continues to showcase its long history to this day, having preserved much of its early landmarks and original buildings. And for those looking to be in the heart of it all, there’s no better place to drop anchor than Battery Point, one of the city’s most prestigious (and historic) suburbs.

Battery Point is the entertainment and cultural hub of Hobart, and it’s where most of the city’s major events take place, from the famed Salamanca Markets to Australia’s biggest and longest running food and wine festival, the Taste.

As far as accommodation goes, Battery Point’s Salamanca Wharf Hotel is where we choose to stay; a contemporary self-contained boutique apartment hotel, perfectly situated for easily exploring, just steps from Salamanca Place.

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Prospect House Private Hotel: A Luxury Experience in an 1830’s Colonial Manor

Prospect House Private Hotel: A Luxury Experience in an 1830’s Colonial Manor

Travelers to Tasmania have the chance to step back in history, and if it’s history that you’re after, there’s no better place to immerse yourself than the small town of Richmond. Built mostly by the hands of early convicts at the start of the 1800’s, the town’s many historic sandstone buildings remain on display to this day.

There has never been a more exciting time to explore Richmond’s fascinating sandstone heritage, and, for the first time in almost a decade, the town’s most exquisite historic estate is now open to the public.

Offering 12 contemporary-styled rooms on a property with many tales to tell, Prospect House Private Hotel has quickly become one of the most unique luxury hotel experiences in the State.

Having been blown away by the uniqueness of the experience, let me introduce you to a little of the history of Richmond and Prospect House, and why you should include both on your next visit to Tasmania.

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5 Ways to Enjoy a Local Aussie Summer

5 Ways to Enjoy a Local Aussie Summer

There’s nothing like an Aussie summer. You might think it’s all about the sun, beaches and beers, however there is much more Australia can offer in the summer months!

Want to join in the fun? The following are 5 ways to feel like a local Aussie this coming summer!

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The Green Cities Leading the Charge Against Plastic Pollution

The Green Cities Leading the Charge Against Plastic Pollution

As plastic pollution becomes a global environmental priority, governments and political establishments are working towards a greener way of life.

And as responsible travelers, we can show our support for the cities that prioritize responsible living by throwing our tourism dollars behind them, and visiting these destinations over destinations that continue to contribute to the problem.

Cities in USA, Scandinavia and Australia have introduced initiatives to motivate their citizens to start pursuing an environmentally friendly way of life in a sign of independent action against plastic pollution.

In the following article, Waterlogic covers a variety of urban initiatives aiming to overcome global warming. Why not consider your own independent action and install a bottleless water dispenser at home or at work?

Consider the following cities for your next vacation to show you support the fight against plastic pollution.

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Paradise Found: Five Pollution-Free Beaches Around The World

Paradise Found: Five Pollution-Free Beaches Around The World

We’ve all seen the images; what was once a pristine coastline, with sugary white sand, dazzling waters, and swaying palms, now littered beyond recognition.

From Hawaii’s Kamilo Beach, to Kuta Beach in Bali, and El Gringo Beach which has been nicknamed the “Dominican Chernobyl”, irresponsible human behavior has turned some of the world’s most beautiful beaches into trash heaps.

If we don’t act soon to curb single-use plastics, we are in danger of losing our coastlines beneath a sea of waste. So Waterlogic has put together the following list of the world’s most idyllic and unspoiled beaches to showcase what we are putting at risk.

Whether you’re visiting for their turquoise waters, bleached-white sand, or mesmerizing marine life, each spot deserves protection. Read on to learn about five remarkably untouched destinations.

And, when you visit, please keep them that way.

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Countries That Have Most Influenced Pop Culture

Countries That Have Most Influenced Pop Culture

We often talk of the most powerful countries in the world in terms of their military, political or economic might, but some countries are powerful due to their influence over our daily lives.

Whether it’s an influence on food, fashion or entertainment, the following countries have a considerable hold on pop culture; they might not influence the world with their tankers or drones, but they do send cultural waves across the globe.

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Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina: A Lavish Balinese Retreat in Northern NSW

Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina: A Lavish Balinese Retreat in Northern NSW

Tucked halfway between the energetic Gold Coast, and the zen town of Byron Bay you’ll find a hidden paradise; a collection of small beachside towns that offer respite from the usual hordes of tourists.

Three of my favourite sleepy beach towns along the Queensland-NSW border are conveniently lined up just south of Tweed Heads. Kingscliff starts off the trio, and a bit further south you’ll encounter Casuarina and Cabarita Beach.

Setting yourself up in this part of northern NSW allows you to enjoy three delightful beach towns for the price of one, though only one of these towns is home to a lavish Balinese-style retreat (hint: it’s Casuarina).

Smack bang in the middle of these three often overlooked beachside getaways, Casuarina is quite the hidden secret … and we got the distinct impression that locals prefer it stays that way!

This is where Gold Coast locals come to escape the tourism that floods into their city; and as soon as you step through the colossal automatic bamboo doors at Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina, you’re instantly transported to Bali.

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Elements of Byron: How to Experience the Luxury of Byron Bay

Elements of Byron: How to Experience the Luxury of Byron Bay

Chris Hemsworth. Matt Damon. Natalie Imbruglia. Pat Rafter.

The golden beaches, turquoise waters, and zen mentality are just some of the reasons celebrities from all around the world are drawn to the Australian town of Byron Bay.

Byron Bay overflows with both energy and beauty, while at the same somehow offering a place where a chilled out vibe takes centre stage. Though there are two very distinct and opposite experiences here: one backpacker, one luxury.

After the latter?

Situated far away from the backpacker chaos, yet just a 10-minute drive from the colorful boutique shop windows and trendy cafes, Byron Bay’s award-winning beachfront resort Elements of Byron provides the type of experience that draws the world’s biggest celebrities.

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Glamping in Spring Beach, Tasmania: Your Base For Discovering Maria Island

Glamping in Spring Beach, Tasmania: Your Base For Discovering Maria Island

One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.

Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.

One such gem is Spring Beach.

Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.

Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.

When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping!

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