Warm up the engine and wend your way right into the western wilderness.
3 Day itineraries
- Cradle Mountain
- Bay of Fires
- East Coast
- Freycinet Peninsula
- Heritage Highway
- Hobart and Beyond
- Hobart and Port Arthur
- North West
- Launceston & Tamar Valley
Launceston to Cradle Mountain
Set out towards Cradle Country and take your first break at Sheffield – also known as the Town of Murals, for obvious and picturesque reasons. Order a local lunch with a glass of Tasmanian wine from Mountain Mamma’s.
Next stop is a place called Promised Land (it’s really called that!). There, in the foothills of Mount Roland, you’ll happen upon the tiny Village of Lower Crackpot – a miniature township hidden deep inside the hedges of Tasmazia. Owner, Brian Inder, has spent 20 years transforming his dairy property into a 20,000-plant lavender farm and the world’s largest complex of winding mazes.
Now it’s time to embark on the Enchanted Walk. This is not part of Brian’s wonderland – it’s actually a riverside walking track in the nearby Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The 20-minute loop starts at Cradle Mountain Lodge and winds leisurely through the button-grass plains alongside Pencil Pine River.
Check into your Cradle Mountain accommodation and get ready for a dusk dinner among the trees at Hellyers Restaurant, Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village.
Cradle Mountain wilderness
Spend the morning exploring one of Tasmania’s most beautiful walking tracks: the six-kilometre Dove Lake Circuit. It’s a leisurely stroll, so the toughest part will probably be trying to peel your eyes away from the craggy Cradle Mountain skyline. But try – if you keep a careful lookout at foot-level you might spot some furry fellow wanderers.
After lunch (and a pool game or two) at the Cradle Mountain Lodge Tavern Bar and Bistro, ‘soak’ in more of the pristine wilderness at the Waldheim Alpine Spa. If you book a private hydrotherapy session in The Sanctuary you’ll enjoy floor-to-ceiling vistas of the Pencil Pine River from your hot tub (optional extra: chocolate-dipped strawberries). Or, if your legs don’t need rejuvenating just yet, go for an indoor nature walk at the nearby Wilderness Gallery. Exhibiting an ever-changing array of environmental photography, the building is actually a series of interlinked galleries built around an enclosed native garden.
Keep an eye on the clock because the Devils@Cradle feeding tour happens at 5.30pm sharp – or the devils get mad. Not true, they’re actually far cuter than their name suggests. This is a rare chance to observe these unique animals in the company of some fellow carnivorous marsupials – the eastern and spotted-tail quoll.
Then enjoy the truly unique Dine with the Devil experience offered by Devils@Cradle. You need to book ahead so you don’t miss out as this popular option offers up close and personal encounters with the animals, delicious canapés and drinks, and a two-course dinner.
Alternatively you can choose your own dinner from the seasonal buffet at the bustling (and appropriately named) Quoll’s Restaurant at Cradle Mountain Hotel, part of the amazing Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail.
Cradle Mountain to Launceston
Kick off with a tour of the freshwater ponds at 41° South Tasmania, a salmon and ginseng farm just outside Deloraine. The property’s wetlands were created to act as a natural bio-filter but this comes with the added bonus of birds – which visit to feed, breed and nest. Take your complimentary bag of fish food and wander the boardwalk to Montana Falls, then head back to the farm.
There’s a lot more to see in Deloraine, including the studio and gallery of watercolourist Tony Smibert. With a view right down to the Great Western Tiers, he shares the space (and inspiration) with his wife Carmel Burns – whose prints are available to buy alongside limited editions of Tony’s landscapes and contemporary abstracts.
For lunch don’t go past the Deloraine Deli – a local favourite for baguettes, salads and gourmet pantry supplies. As you prep for the trip home, the café and gift shop are reliable sources of espresso and Tassie-made gifts.
On your way back to Launceston you can take a detour if you feel like visiting a vineyard – Josef Chromy at Relbia. Here you can enjoy some tastings at the cellar door in the estate’s original 1880s homestead and take in the idyllic landscaped gardens.
Availability of experiences in this itinerary may be subject to opening times,
seasonal operation or booking requirements, please call ahead to plan each day.
Photo Credit: Tourism Tasmania. All rights reserved @Tourism Tasmania and
Michael Walters, Lynette Graham, Rob Burnett, Kathryn Leahy, Devils@Cradle, George Apostolidis.