3 DAY NORTH WEST COAST TRiP
Spring is a terrific time to hug Bass Strait (and your travel buddy) while breathing the world’s cleanest air. Chairlifts at The Nut and buzzy local markets full of irresistible food are a few of the tantalising attractions in this pocket of paradise.
Launceston to Stanley
Arrive at Launceston Airport, collect your hire car and drive for breakfast in Sassafras. The Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory serves mainly locally sourced food, wine and whisky. Ask the café owners where your free-range eggs came from and they’ll probably know the name of the farmer that collected them that morning. Once breakfast is finished, drive directly to House of Anvers Chocolate Factory for heavenly mid-morning chocolate tastings.
Next up a couple of stops for a couple of stiff shots. If you can handle it Southern Wild Distillery will pour you gins that tap into the fresh ingredients of the season. Every bottle of gin, whether it’s the Meadow, Ocean or Mountain, starts with water from the wild Dasher and Fisher Rivers.
In Burnie, Hellyers Road Distillery will take you on a tour of the working distillery and show you the secret to making fine single malts. You can even pour and wax-seal your very own bottle of whisky. Further up the coast is local hideaway Boat Harbour. Have lunch on the beach at Harvest and Cater.
Walk off lunch at Rocky Cape National Park on a seaside ramble to North Cave and the Rocky Cape Lighthouse, with sweeping views of Bass Strait from the dramatic cliffs and coastal caves. Then head to Stanley and check into your accommodation for the next two nights. Explore the town on foot before dining in former customs bond store, Stanley’s On The Bay.
First up head to Moby Dick’s epic breakfast bar. After breakfast, explore the town and its curious looking volcanic plug, rising from Bass Strait, referred to as ‘The Nut’. Take a chairlift ride to the top or get those legs moving and choose the more active route by walking the invigorating zig-zag track.
Forage for picnic hamper supplies at Providore 24 before heading off on a scenic drive to Mawbanna where you can visit one of Tassie’s most awarded apiaries, Blue Hills Honey. Owners, Nicole and Robbie Charles (and their busy bees), quietly make some of the world’s best honey. Their flagship product is leatherwood honey, containing some of the highest antioxidants of any honey in the world. Up against over 3,500 entries around the world, they took out a grand gold Monde Award, placing their leatherwood honey in the top five food products in the world.
Dinner is at Stanley Hotel Bistro, where the menu is sourced from the local fishermen that pull seafood from surrounding waters and the farmers that raise the Cape Grim beef in nearby paddocks.
Tonight head out to Highfield House for a chilling ghost tour to hear stories as interesting as they are tragic. Why learn about history through books when you can be transported back to the 1830s and soak up the experiences of the past in a grand, slightly spooky colonial manor?
Stanley to Latrobe
After breakfast, drive inland and tour Gunns Plains Caves, renowned for its fascinating calcite shawls, flowstone formations and glow-worms. The cave was formed by an underground river which still flows, and contains freshwater crayfish, fish and eels. It was accidentally discovered during a hunting trip after, it is said, hunting dogs fell into a hole that formed part of the cave.
Drive back towards the coast to Ulverstone, and settle in for lunch by the water at Pier01 Restaurant and Café to enjoy a menu of regional produce right on the Leven River.
Next stop is Spreyton, where Spreyton Cider Company offers a crisp bite within each lightly fermented bottle of delicious cider. It’s the ideal spot to spend the afternoon. Continue to Latrobe to the Cherry Shed for plump, flavourful cherries. Latrobe is the self-proclaimed platypus capital of the world, and there’s every chance you’ll see the webbed water-lover down by the river at Bells Parade.
Finish your trip at Ashgrove Cheese. Owned for generations by the same family, the Ashgrove farm continues to churn out award winning butter, milk, cream and many varieties of their famous cheese, including traditional styles as well as unique creations made with uniquely Tasmanian ingredients. From Ashgrove, it’s less than an hour to Launceston Airport for your flight.
3 Day North West Coast Trip
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: Graham Freeman, Heidi Sze and Wai Nang Poon