Last week, Zuleika and I headed North for three days to have a look at the Launceston and Tamar Valley accommodation properties that we sell here at TasVacations.
We saw a great mix of hotel, motel and apartment style properties ranging from 3 ½ star quality, right up to 4 ½ star quality and we were both very impressed with what Launceston and the Tamar Valley has to offer!
A trip to Launceston isn’t complete without a visit to the Cataract Gorge, so we had lunch at the Basin Café and enjoyed a short walk. We also stopped at Launceston Airport which after their recent refurbishments, was very impressive. Other highlights included Archie the onsite Labrador puppy at Peppers Silo who greets you at reception, a lovely dinner at Spice Lounge on the Seaport Boulevard and a stop at Old Kempton Distillery on the way home for the best Devonshire tea we have both had!
We both feel we have a great understanding of our Launceston accommodation and what properties will suit each individual traveller. Please get in touch and let us know if you have any questions about accommodation for your holiday in Northern Tasmania.Peppers Silo Hotel Innkeepers Tasmania
Today we were lucky enough to join the Go Behind the Label Experience at Josef Chromy Wines located just outside of Launceston. Arriving into the winery we were surrounded by beautiful farm land and greeted by our wonderful tour guide, Sandy. Sandy started the tour by offering us a glass of the Josef Chromy, Non-Vintage Sparkling, we then made our way outside to the manicured gardens to a special spot named ‘Joes Corner’. At ‘Joes Corner’ we were told the fascinating story of Josef Chromy and how he started one of Tasmania’s most well known wineries. We were then taken down the path to the lake located at the bottom of the garden that is not only a lovely spot to enjoy a glass of wine but also serves a purpose in keeping the grape vines in good condition year round. We then entered the area not available to the general public to view the winemaking process and saw the effort taken to produce every bottle of wine. After our tour we had the opportunity to sample a number of the local wines and taken into the restaurant to enjoy a 2 course meal with matching wines. We all chose the main and dessert option with a glass of the Non-Vintage Sparkling, with the restaurant overlooking the gardens and vineyard.
Overall this tour was very informative and made even more special by our guide Sandy who was very passionate about wines and Josef Chromy Winery. The restaurant staff were very attentive and made every effort to ensure we had an amazing dining experience.
After our tour we headed to our overnight accommodation at Mantra Charles Hotel in Launceston. We opted for the 2 Bedroom Interconnecting Room which has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This property is close to local restaurants and has free onsite parking for guests.Josef Chromy Wines - Go Behind The Label
Today we were fortunate enough to travel to Strahan with Par Avion to experience the award-winning Gordon River Cruise. Our day started early with our flight departing Cambridge Airport at 7am. With clear skies for the duration of the flight we had great views of the Central Highland area before descending into Strahan over Macquarie Harbour. Upon arrival at Strahan Airport we were given a warm welcome before being transferred into Strahan to board the Cruise.
We were fortunate to be sitting on the Premier Upper Deck, with leather recliner seats and full-length windows. Inclusions for this seating type are complimentary drinks throughout the cruise, morning and afternoon tea, along with canapes are served, as well as a long table lunch including fresh local seafood. A special mention to Michelle and Candice who did a wonderful job making sure we were well looked after on the cruise and provided great insight into the history and tales surrounding this UNESCO World Heritage Area.
The cruise departed Strahan at 8.30am, first travelling to ‘Hells Gates’, the mouth of Macquarie Harbour before cruising past local salmon and trout farms. We then headed up the Gordon River to ‘Heritage Landing’, our first stop for the day. We enjoyed a short walk through the rainforest surrounded by ancient Huon Pines. As we headed back up the Gordon River, we enjoyed our delicious lunch. Arriving at Sarah Island we disembarked the boat again and took a guided tour of the penal settlement where convicts laboured under the hardest conditions. The cruise arrived back into Strahan at 2.30pm and with a little time to spare before our transfer back to Strahan Airport we had a walk around the Esplanade, visited the local information centre and the Wilderness Woodworks centre.
Our journey back to Hobart was a short 50-minute flight, landing around 5pm. The Gordon Wild Rivers Explorer tour was a fun filled, relaxing day experiencing some of the best sights, views and food that Tasmania’s West Coast has to offer.Get Airborne To Strahan Package
On the long weekend we decided to do a day trip to Mount Field National Park, located approximately 1 ½ hour drive from Hobart. To gain entry to the park a National Parks Pass is required and will allow access to all walks within Mount Field. On arrival we parked at the visitors centre and grabbed a coffee from the onsite café, we then made our way to Russell Falls track which is accessible from the visitors centre. This particular walk is perfect for everyone and allows easy access for prams and wheelchairs. We enjoyed the walk with our 3 year old son who was able to walk the track easily and loved the local wildlife we saw along the way including fish and a Potoroo.
Our son was then keen to climb the stairs to the Horseshoe Falls located roughly another 10 minutes’ walk from Russell Falls accessible by mostly stairs. This walk takes you up to the top of Russell Falls and to view the smaller Horseshoe Falls which are also spectacular.
We didn’t get a chance to enjoy any other activities on this day however I would also recommend visiting Lake Dobson which is located a further 16km from the visitors centre on a gravel road (check your car hire conditions for details on driving on this road including snow cover). If you are staying in the area glow worms can also be seen at night during certain times of the year on the Russell Falls track.Overall Mount Field National Park makes a great day trip or a pit stop if you are driving between Hobart and Strahan.
Over winter our staff are out experiencing all of our wonderful Tasmanian products, and Maddy and Caitlyn were lucky enough to join the popular Bruny Island Safaris tour. This is a one day tour that departs from Hobart and gives you the chance to experience everything Bruny Island has to offer.
Our day started with the drive to Kettering where we boarded the ferry over to Bruny Island. Once on Bruny Island we enjoyed morning tea consisting of freshly shucked oysters from the popular Get Shucked Oyster Company and delicious Bruny Island Cheese on the beach at Adventure Bay. We then went looking for the albino wallaby which is unique to Bruny Island.
Our morning was completed with a drive to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse where we joined a tour to the top of the lighthouse – this was very spectacular, and is exclusive to the Bruny Island Safari company and not available on any other Bruny Island day tour.
We then had lunch at Hotel Bruny – again fresh and locally sourced food and the choices were endless. After lunch we enjoyed a cider tasting of local Bruny Island Ciders, followed by a stop at the Bruny Island Chocolate Company for fudge tastings. From here we headed to the famous Bruny Island Neck Lookout which offers amazing views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel on one side, and the Tasman Sea on the other side.
To finish the day, we visited the Bruny Island Honey Farm, before boarding the ferry back over to Kettering.
It was a great day with a good mix of the fresh local produce that Tassie is famous for, spectacular scenery and a few short walks. Our tour guide for the day was a Bruny Island local who knew so much about the area and had a genuine love for the island, which made the tour have an authentically local feel. This is a great tour for anyone who loves a small family run business and finding those small hidden secrets. Thanks to Bruny Island Safaris for having us for the day!Bruny Island Safaris
I was lucky enough to have some free time to head to the North East coast of Tasmania with my family for a 2 night escape. Travelling from Hobart along the Midland Highway we stopped at the historic town of Ross for morning tea at Bakery 31, which has some very tempting treats on offer including savoury pies and a variety of sweets. We travelled further up the Midland Highway then took the turnoff to the east coast passing through towns of Avoca and Scamander before arriving into the seaside town of St Helens. After a short rest we headed to Jeanneret Beach, a secluded beach located a 20 minute drive from St Helens in the Bay of Fires area. This beach was amazing with its beautiful blue water, orange-hued granite rocks and white sand which my son thoroughly enjoyed making sand castles with. We then headed back to our accommodation for the night.
Our next day was spent travelling to St Columba Falls, one of Tasmania’s tallest waterfalls, a must see if in the area. The walk took approximately 20-30 minutes return with a moderate uphill walk to return from the falls, a little slippery in some areas so I would recommend wearing suitable footwear. After our walk we drove down the road to Pyengana Dairy Farm, which offers award winning cheese. After tasting some of the cheeses we enjoyed a delicious morning tea in the onsite café including milkshakes and coffee with Pyengana milk, along with freshly baked scones served with jam and clotted cream. Outside you can view the working dairy farm with automatic milking machines and beautiful views of the countryside. On our way back to our accommodation we stopped at Swimcart Beach, another outstanding beach located in the Bay of Fires area.
After 2 nights it was unfortunately time to return back to Hobart, this time via the coast road which has amazing scenery including ocean views. I am definitely planning my next holiday to the north east coast and can’t wait to go back again and explore more of what the area has to offer.
On Sunday afternoon we headed to Riversdale Estate situated in Cambridge, located a 10 minute drive from Hobart International Airport and 18 minutes from Hobart CBD. The estate family is the largest Tasmanian privately owned vineyard in the Coal Valley region and offers stunning gardens along with amazing views of the water and country side. On arrival to Riversdale Estate we were able to view one of the onsite French Provincial cottages which are set up perfectly for a couple or family wishing to stay in the area. The cottages offer a well-equipped kitchen making it easy to prepare your own feast or a simple cheese platter with local ingredients found in the region. After dinner you might wish to relax in the traditional clawfoot bath.
After viewing the onsite accommodation we took a short walk to the French Bistro which is open for lunch, wine tasting and High Tea. We chose the traditional High Tea option set in a beautifully decorated themed room named ‘The Orangery Conservatory’. Once seated we were offered a glass of Riversdale Estate sparkling (optional extra) to enjoy and selected our preferred cup of specialty brewed tea off the ‘tea menu’. We all felt very special once our tea and treats arrived, this included sandwiches, scones, savoury and sweet treats.
With our bellies full of delicious treats we then visited the onsite ‘Peter Rabbit Garden’ shop that has something for every Peter Rabbit lover from homemade jewellery, books, cooking and gardening accessories. The estate also includes its very own Peter Rabbit Garden (fees apply).
Whether you have half an hour or a couple of days spare you will be sure to find something for you at Riversdale Estate.Find out more about Riversdale Estate
Tarraleah Estate is the perfect half way stop between Hobart and the West Coast with a range of accommodation options to choose from. From motel style rooms, self-contained cottages and luxury lodge suites there is something for every budget.
I stayed overnight in a Lodge room which had all the amenities you need when away from home. The room itself was large with modern furnishings and a garden view.
Whether staying overnight or basing yourself at Tarraleah Estate for a few nights there are a number of activities to do whilst there including bush walking, playing golf, feeding the highland cows, whisky tasting, bike riding tours, kayaking tours and guided fishing tours just to name a few.
The onsite restaurant and café are the perfect places to grab a bite to eat (closed during the Winter months).
You can spend your time relaxing with a good book or exploring the surrounding wilderness – the choice is yours, but a stop at Tarraleah is a must on your Tasmanian holiday!Find out more about Tarraleah Estate
Today my family and I headed to the historic town of Richmond located a leisurely 20 minute drive from Hobart CBD. Arriving into Richmond we headed to the Richmond Bakery for morning tea which has a wide selection of freshly baked goods including gourmet sandwiches, pies and sweet treats. After our coffee fix we made our way to Old Hobart Town Historical Model Village, located a short stroll from the bakery. Designed and built from actual historical plans of Hobart in the 1820’s, the model offers a unique glimpse into the early history of both Australia and Tasmania. On arrival we were provided with a hand-drawn map assisting us to navigate the different areas of the village. There are also well placed signs around the model which helps set the scene of what is was like in early Hobart days. I visited the Village with my parents and young child and we all enjoyed our time and stepped away intrigued with the story told by the Village.
We then headed back towards the Richmond Bridge, Australia’s oldest surviving bridge built by convict labour. Under the bridge runs a river which is always full of local birdlife and is a great spot for a walk or picnic. We chose to bring some bread from home and our little one had much enjoyment feeding the ducks from the viewing platform.
As a local we visit Richmond quite regularly and you could easily spend a whole day browsing the local shops, taking a tour of Australia’s oldest gaol or simply strolling down the streets and taking in the local history.View Accommodation In Tasmania's South View Attractions In Tasmania's South
A couple of weeks ago, I headed up to the sunny East Coast of Tasmania to stay a night at the Scamander Sanctuary with my sister. On our way to Scamander we decided to stop into the town of Bicheno located 2 – 2 ½ hours from both Hobart and Launceston, where we started our morning with a takeaway coffee on the beach. Afterwards we decided to visit the blowhole at Bicheno and then headed north to Falmouth for a stop at the Iron House Brewery. We couldn’t help but stop at quite a few of the beaches along the coast as well.
We were lucky enough to stay a night in the Glamping Bell Tent at Scamander Sanctuary. The tent was very impressive! It had beautiful rustic décor, all the amenities you would expect including electric blankets, an inside heat pump and a television (which was perfect to watch the AFL prelim final on!). The facilities at the park were all great and it was only a short walk to the stunning beach at Scamander!
Sunday morning we had a great breakfast in Scamander at the local coffee shop, followed by a delicious lunch at one of my favourite places in Tassie – Devils Corner Vineyard. No matter how many times I visit here, the views over to the Freycinet Peninsula always blow my mind – the food and wine are always prefect there too.
It was little cold this weekend to swim, however had it been a bit warmer we would have stopped at Douglas Apsley National Park for a swim in the waterhole.Overall it was a great weekend, I just needed a little longer than one night to see everything I wanted. View Accommodation On Tasmania's East Coast View Attractions On Tasmania's East Coast
During the Winter months, our aim is to get out and about to familiarise ourselves with our beautiful state. For this trip we were lucky enough to be heading to the north west coast of Tasmania and were very much looking forward to experiencing the areas natural scenery, breathtaking views and of course the local food trail. We made our first stop at Devonport where we stayed overnight at the Quality Hotel Gateway. Debbie the Hotel Manager made us feel very welcome by showing us what the property has to offer including the onsite cider bar and restaurant, onsite parking and comfortable rooms. We then headed to Mrs Jones for dinner where we relished in fresh local produce by the beachside.
On the Saturday morning after breakfast we travelled along the coast, stopping at a number of our partner accommodation properties located in Devonport, Ulverstone, Burnie, Wynyard and Stanley. The area has an assortment of accommodation options with fantastic hospitality, clean and comfortable rooms and great facilities. During the day we made a lunch stop at Boat Harbour Beach which was voted one of Australia’s top 10 beaches. The café located right next to the beach offers a great range of dine in and takeaway meals.
We finally made our way to Tall Timbers Tasmania located in Smithton, which offers guests a number of facilities including indoor pool and gym, bottle shop, sports bar and on-site restaurant 'Kauri Bistro'. After dinner we headed back to our hotel rooms which were well equipped for the Winter weather including wall heaters and electric blankets. Car parking is also located right outside your room.
On the last day of our travels we made the most of the north west food trail with stops at House of Anvers chocolate factory, Ashgrove Cheese and a lunch stop at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, which offers a mixture of savoury and sweet dishes. All were highly recommended by the entire team who stocked up on local treats!
Overall the north west coast is a must see with its amazing local produce, breathtaking scenery (including ‘The Nut' at Stanley) and easy to drive roads.View Accommodation In Tasmania's North West View Attractions In Tasmania's North West
Making the most of the June long weekend myself and my partner headed to Tahune Airwalk located an hour south of Hobart’s CBD. Tahune Airwalk is famous for its elevated walkway which is 30m above the forest floor with the final section of the airwalk sitting 50m above the Huon River.
There are two other walks at Tahune – Swinging Bridges Walk (allow one hour return) and the Huon Pine Walk (20 minute return) both are fairly easy walks for anyone with a moderate fitness level. If you were to do both walks including the Airwalk itself this would take around 2 hours to complete.
If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous Tahune also offers Eagle Hang Gliding – Thrill Seekers definitely shouldn’t miss this. Another option is the Twin River Adventure including a 2.5 hour trip with 4kms of fun mixed between excitement and laid back enjoyment. These 2 tours are available at an additional cost above your entry fee.
There is also a café located onsite which offers local produce, wines, ciders and beer with dine in and takeaway options available.Find Out More About Tahune Airwalk
A 30 minute drive from the Hobart CBD, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary offers guests the opportunity to see local Tasmanian wildlife and other Australian species up close.
Upon our arrival at Bonorong we were given a complimentary bag of Kangaroo food to use in “Kanga Land” and information regarding the inclusive daily tours which run at 11.30am, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. We were met by our friendly and enthusiastic guide Melissa and provided with an informative talk including Wombats, Tasmanian Devils and Koalas. After our guided tour we were then able to explore the sanctuary at our own leisure.
Bonorong is a 24/7 wildlife sanctuary with their main focus being to rehabilitate injured animals and orphans back to health before releasing them back into their natural habitat. Bonorong have recently opened their own Wildlife Hospital on site where you are able to view what is going on inside with the sick or injured animals from a special viewing deck inside the sanctuary, fitted with one-way glass.
Departing Bonorong we took the 20 minute drive to the historic town of Richmond for some morning tea at the Richmond Bakery, famous for its pastries and treats. We then headed to Riversdale Estate located a short drive from Richmond in Cambridge. The estate is the largest Tasmanian privately owned vineyard in the Coal River Valley and embraces the magnificent views from its cellar door, French restaurant and onsite cottages. Onsite there is also a Peter Rabbit Garden and an amazing area within the restaurant to enjoy high tea.Find Out More About Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Find Out More About Riversdale Estate
Making the most of the beautiful weather in Hobart I decided to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens with my family. Located close to Hobart’s City Centre the 14 hectare gardens include a Subantarctic House, Tasmanian section, Herb Garden, Japanese Garden and much more. The newly renovated Lily Pond platform is a must see. There is also a visitors centre, restaurant and takeaway area onsite. The gardens are a great attraction for all ages and the staff at the main gate are happy to provide a map on arrival to help you navigate your way around. Entry is a gold coin donation.
If you are looking for a day filled with fun, food and wine/whisky then look no further than the Bruny Island Traveller day tour.
Zuleika and myself had the pleasure of spending the day on Bruny Island and experiencing the delicious local produce the Island has to offer.
After a leisurely bus ride from Hobart to Kettering we made our way to Bruny Island via a short 15 minute ferry ride.
During the day we stopped at Bruny Island Cheese, Get Shucked Oysters, Bruny Island Berry Farm (morning tea stop), Bruny Island Premium Wines (lunch stop), Bruny Island Chocolate Company, Bruny Island Honey and finished at Bruny Island House of Whisky.
We were fortunate enough to see some of the famous and rare White Wallabies, a unique species of wallaby that can be seen around the Adventure Bay area. During the day we also got to see the best view of Bruny Island at The Neck, a narrow strip of land which connects North and South Bruny Island (climbing 279 stairs to the top is the best way to make sure you work up an appetite for lunch!).
Our day was filled with so much food and fun thanks to our tour guide Tim who was extremely friendly, very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions asked.
Whilst in Tasmania make sure you put aside a day to do this tour, with the lovely scenery you see and the gourmet food and wine you will taste, you wont be disappointed!Find Out More About Bruny Island Traveller
With an early morning start from Hobart’s Franklin Wharf we headed for the Bruny Island ferry located in Kettering, a 40 minute drive south of the city. After the short ferry ride across the channel we headed to Adventure Bay where we arrived at the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Booking Centre for morning tea which included a delicious Blueberry Muffin with a tea/coffee or cold drink.
After morning tea had settled it was time to board the three hour Eco Cruise with the lovely and enthusiastic tour guides.
We happily sat at the front of the boat taking in the view of the beautiful tall sea cliffs, powerful blowholes and even baby seals!
Three hours later we stepped foot on shore and sat down to an amazing pumpkin soup and salad roll in the café located at Adventure Bay.
A quick stop at Get Shucked Oysters drive through, it was then full steam ahead back to Hobart City.
All in all, this tour is one of the Must Do’s whilst in Hobart.Find Out More About Bruny Island Cruises
In March I had the opportunity to join the Blue Derby Pods Ride based around the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails on Tasmania’s North East Coast. Whether you are an avid bike rider or haven’t been on a bike for years the guides will cater to your needs.
A 90 minute beginners lesson is on offer the night before the tour departure giving you the chance to get to know the bike you will be riding throughout your tour as well as shake any nerves you may have. This lesson also gives you the chance to learn the basic do’s and don’ts while riding through the Blue Derby Mountains.
Perfectly built and maintained trails are not the only thing you experience while on this tour - the fresh Tasmanian produce and luxurious accommodation is like nothing I’ve experienced before.
By the end of the Blue Derby Pods Ride I am almost certain you would have felt the “flow”.Find Out More About The Blue Derby Pods Ride