The roads less travelled in Tasmania

Peppers Silo, Launceston.

By Kylie Mitchell-Smith

Tasmania is on the radar for travel and real estate with a surge of Mainlanders relocating to enjoy all the Island has on offer. We take a trip around some of the lesser-known towns out from Hobart, through the Midlands to the rugged Northwest and across to Launceston.

Landing in Hobart all the Tasmanian feels come back, renowned for cobblestone streets, artisan markets and cultural festivals, the city is enjoying its time in the sun or any weather really.

We uncover some of the newest gems in Hobart and choose to stay at the Movenpick Hotel, ideally located next to Franklin Square, a short stroll to Salamanca and the stunning harbour.

The hotel unfolds from street level to magnificent views across the water and mountains beyond. Movenpick Hobart is all about the charm, from sculptured artworks that adorn the entrance to the plush interiors and earthy tones.

The friendliest of staff ensure impeccable hospitality which includes delicious chocolate hors d’oeuvres handed around each afternoon in the hotel foyer.

The restaurant Tesoro deservedly receives rave reviews from locals and visitors alike. Tesoro means treasure in Italian and this beauty delivers, from their aged Cape Grim beef to a daily chocology served from wooden treasure chests.

We try the Burrata with pea, lemon and pine nut crumb and Tasmanian oysters with pink granita, followed by a fresh paradelle, beef brisket paired with a Pinot Noir from Tamar Valley.

That’s the thing about Tasmania, almost everything is sourced locally from the nutrient rich soil and clean Island air. There is said to be up to 100 distilleries creating an array of spirits including gin, vodka and of course whisky.

Visit local favourites like Mezethes Greek, Preachers, Society Salamanca and new kids Sonny who are raising the Hobart bar. Take a ‘Posh Pit’ ferry ride to Mona, dusk cocktails at MacQ1 and coffee at the newly opened ‘Rosie in my midnight dreams’ at Brooke Street Pier.

A five-hour drive through the picturesque centre of Tasmania to Stanley in the Northwest, we stop off to explore country towns like Rathmore and Kempton along the way.

Rathmore House, Shearers Quarters and Cottage is a dreamy place to stay, complete with platypus, campfire meals and home-made cakes to entice. The friendly owners welcome you into their rustic farm stay with open arms and hearts.

Further along the way we discover Old Kempton Distillery, iconic in Tasmania for award winning spirits, and of course the grandfather of whisky Bill Lark. A cellar door and providore wall are housed in the historic manor and the distillery is in the farm sheds.

Heading over the hills through the Great Lakes we arrive in Stanley as the sun goes down, a charming town set on a sliver of land next to the ocean. There’s a romance to Stanley, with its preserved colonial buildings and quaint cottages set under ‘The Nut’, a 150-metre-high volcanic plug that rises from the water’s edge.

We stay at the historic Ship Inn, formerly a guest house with many a seafaring tale to tell. The owners have an eye for detail and have reimagined the Inn to a decadent hotel with all the trimmings. (AHA National Award Winner for Excellence 2021)

Ship Inn is a storytelling hotel, each room is aptly named to tell the tales hidden behind the century old walls. The mustard facade is complimented by dark hues and clean line interiors with an eclectic mix of artworks and antiquities.

The sweeping gardens are impeccable, horse stables have been converted into a gym and yoga studio, there’s a separate guest lounge, dining area, sculptured walls and garden feature waterfall.

We head across the picturesque, gravel roads to Corinna to stay in an original minor’s cottage. Renovated with all the comforts from home, with a historical general store and restaurant that serves hearty meals and locally brewed beverages.

Take a tour of the Pieman River to the rugged coast with Corinna Wilderness Experiences aboard the heritage listed Arcadia 11, exploring the ancient rainforest, pristine river, and native flora along the way. Corinna is naturally beautiful and well worth the drive into the secluded surrounds.

Last stop on our tour of the Northwest is Launceston, the second city to Hobart. Launie as the locals call it is known for its proximity to the mainland, but there is more to this city than meets the eye.

Launceston has preserved its historical buildings and is set on the picturesque Tamar River with the cascading Cataract Gorge beyond. The surrounding farmlands are bursting with local produce and there’s an array of vineyards producing some of the Islands best wine.

We stay at the iconic Peppers Silo, a contemporary hotel built into the large-scale disused Silos. The rooms are spacious and luxurious in design and boost views across the water to the rolling hills over yonder. The area has been gentrified to accentuate the river and surrounding parklands.

The award-winning restaurant ‘Grain of the Silo’ is a showcase of all the region has to offer, like the abalone skewers with black garlic and aged scotch fillet with silverbeet jus, paired with Tamar Valley’s finest wines.

Launceston is a foodies delight with iconic restaurants like Stillwater, set in a silo by the river (there’s something about silos). Black Cow, a steak house in an old butcher shop and the revered Barrel Collective a happening bar that only serves Tasmanian beverages.

Charles Street has an array of places to entice like Geronimo Aperitif Bar, Havilah Natural Wine Bar and Tandy’s Ale House focused on all things Tasmanian.

We take a stroll along the river to climb the rock path up to Cataract Gorge and soon realise Launceston is built in the middle of one of the most stunning natural landscapes around.

Tour and taste the roads less travelled in Tasmania, exploring the natural landscapes and food bowls along the way.

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