Queen’s Baton gets a taste of Tasmania

THE Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton received a special taste of Tasmania when it made its second public appearance in Australia at the state’s iconic summer festival.

Now in its 29th year, the Taste of Tasmania was held on the Hobart waterfront from 28 December 2017 to 3 January 2018.

Hobart local Eddie Ockenden, an Australian Kookaburras player and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, delivered the baton to the gates of the event.

It was here that festival-goers were given the opportunity to see the iconic symbol of the Commonwealth Games up close.

“It’s absolutely amazing to have the Queen’s Baton here – it represents for me Australian culture and our love of sport,” Mr Ockenden said.

“I love entertaining people through sport. For me, the Queen’s Baton represents the love I have for hockey and it’s so great to have it here in Hobart.”

After travelling 288 days throughout the Commonwealth, the Queen’s Baton arrived on Australian soil in Brisbane on 24 December 2017, having shared the dream of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with more than one third of the world’s population.

From Christmas Day until 24 January 2018, the Queen’s Baton will be shared with thousands of Australians at popular summertime events, iconic locations and children’s hospitals around the country.

From 25 January 2018, the Queen’s Baton Relay will shift gears to a more traditional relay, where it will celebrate Australia Day before continuing in the hands of approximately 3,800 batonbearers through every state and territory.

The Hobart leg of the relay will be taking place on Friday 9 February.

The baton will start its journey at Franklin Wharf at 3.25pm, travelling by boat to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, before progressing along Sandy Bay Road between 4.45pm and 5.30pm.

Local residents are encouraged to cheer on the batonbearers – who are all local community representatives – as it travels through Sandy Bay and Battery Point to the forecourt of Princess Wharf 1 (PW1).

The baton will be welcomed at the end of the relay by a shared community celebration hosted by the City of Hobart.

The event, held at PW1 from 4.30pm–6.30pm, will include entertainment and official speeches.

Traffic will be disrupted in the greater Hobart area for most of the day as the baton starts in the Clarence municipal area in the morning, travels to Glenorchy and then on to Hobart in the late afternoon.

If you are leaving town for the long weekend, please be aware of the relay route and the road closures on Sandy Bay Road after 4pm.

For more information on the relay route or the shared celebration, visit www.hobartcity.com.au.

The Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast from 4-15 April.

For more information, visit www.gc2018.com.

Caption: Australian Kookaburras player and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eddie Ockenden delivers the Queen’s Baton to the gates of the Taste of Tasmania.