18 February, 2020

Jonah McLachlan - The Tasmania Road Trip Part Two

In March 2018, we were given a video produced by 15 year old Sydneysider Jonah McLachlan. The video was created on a family holiday in Tasmania and features the East Coast and Cradle Mountain.

Everyone loved it so much, we sent 17 year old Jonah and his family down to explore more and film our beautiful island.

Here is his full itinerary so you can check out all the beautiful spots too.

And if you're driving down to Tassie through NSW, VIC or SA, why not take a road trip for good and have a pit stop to support the fire affected areas.


Say g’day to Deloraine

Nestled by the Meander River, with a National Trust-classified streetscape and the Great Western Tiers mountain range in the background, Deloraine’s a picturesque place to linger. Refuel at a grand old pub, Deloraine Deli cafe or Cruzin in the 50s Diner, then explore this north-central town’s arts and crafts. It’s on show in shops, galleries and the Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail. If you’re crafty, visit during spring’s massive four-day Tasmanian Craft Fair (30 October - 2 November, 2020).

Raise a glass to The Empire

Ever since it opened in 1902, The Empire Hotel has been a handily located spot for travellers to pause for meals and drinks, or even stay the night. This heritage-listed red-brick pub in Deloraine retains many of its original features, including hand-carved wood, but has plenty of contemporary comforts too. The food’s also what modern travellers crave. In a former bicycle factory, classic pub grub meets international cuisine at Cycles dining room, where local produce like trout, steak and cheese star.

Amanda and Mark from The Empire Hotel
Amanda and Mark from The Empire Hotel

Escape to a higher place

Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the Central Plateau Conservation Area is as wild as anywhere in the state. The only major (but rarely travelled) road within cooee forms its eastern boundary: Lake Highway (A5), which hugs the Great Lake. Also called The Land of a Thousand Lakes, this elevated region of big skies and sub-alpine moor is freckled with puddles, ponds, little lakes called tarns and vast ones like the Great Lake, which at 400 square kilometres is Australia’s second largest. This is a place for getting away from it all, to hike, fish for trout and drink Tasmanian whisky by a fire – ideally at Thousand Lakes Lodge

Central Plateau and Thousand Lakes Lodge (Image: Eugene Hyland)

Live it up in Hobart

A 19th century red-brick flour mill on Hobart’s historic waterfront has been reborn as four apartments, with all the 21st century comfort, convenience and creativity you could want. LuXXe Waterfront Residences’ roomy accommodation, filled with natural light and materials including wood and wool, put travellers at ease. There’s an emphasis on what’s handmade locally, from luxurious beds to original art and gourmet supplies. Premium appliances and sound are also at your fingertips, with Hobart’s highlights – including the ferry to Mona – just steps away.

LuXXe Waterfront Residences
LuXXe Waterfront Residences

Step into colonial history

Australia’s most intact place of convict heritage, the Port Arthur Historic Site is a must for visitors to Tasmania. A 19th century penal colony infamous for harsh physical and psychological punishment, today its hauntingly beautiful sandstone ruins stand peacefully between water and woodland. Spend at least a few hours exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site, or get really immersed with special experiences such as a cruise to the Isle of the Dead cemetery and a guided ghost tour by lantern light.

Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur Historic Site

Say hello to Hobart’s peak attraction

Few cities have a mountain on their doorstep, where bushwalking, mountain biking, horseriding, abseiling, rock-climbing and even winter snow play await. Hobart’s Kunanyi/Mount Wellington offers all this adventure, plus awesome views that are especially dramatic at sunrise. Even visitors short on time or energy can enjoy the vista – just drive to the Pinnacle carpark. Walking doesn’t necessarily have to be hard yakka either: conquer trails in as little as 20 minutes, or try another Great Short Walk, the three-hour-return Organ Pipes circuit.

Kunanyi/Mt Wellington (Image: Cam Blake)

Get ready for an art attack

Expect to be surprised by Mona, the southern hemisphere’s largest private museum that has put Hobart on the international art map. In a deceptively huge, mostly subterranean space, what’s on display from the permanent collection of edgy art and antiquities frequently changes, plus there’s always a daring temporary exhibition or two. Take a swank Mona ferry from central Hobart so you can see this architecturally extraordinary place at its best, and also truly indulge at the bars and dining rooms. Why not start with a cheeky drink on board?


Come to rest among Hobart’s heritage

At the turn of the 20th century, what’s now The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel was built for handling wool to be shipped from Hobart’s port, just metres away. With its original saw-tooth roof and wooden floors intact, as well as equipment from its woolly days on display in public areas, this heritage-listed accommodation is a stylish blend of old and new. The modern, spacious accommodation ranges from studios to deluxe spa apartments. Relax in the restaurant and bar downstairs, or explore the heart of Hobart, right on your doorstep.

The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel

Get back to nature on Bruny Island

An isolated island off an island off an island and yet close to Hobart, this is a natural choice for getaways whether you’re into food or wilderness. Go to the source for Bruny Island-made wine, cheese, honey, chocolate and oysters fresh from Great Bay, or tuck into everything at seaside Hotel Bruny. See wildlife including little penguins, rare white wallabies, and an abundance of native birds. Explore Bruny Island’s secluded white-sand beaches and soaring fluted cliffs, and an 1838 lighthouse where there’s nothing but fresh air between you and Antarctica.

Settle in for a great escape on Bruny

After a not-so-hard day exploring Bruny Island, kick back with local produce and wine at Sunset Bay Escape. Watch the sunset or even the whole day slip by at this holiday house with a big deck and walls of glass that immerse you in panoramic views of Sunset Bay, nearby Satellite Island and the Hartz Mountains beyond. Exclusively yours for a romantic escape or leisurely group getaway, this modern, spacious home-away-from-home has everything required for self-contained bliss.

Sunset Bay Escape

Go wild on a Bruny Island Cruise

On Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ three-hour Bruny Island Cruise, expect epic views of the island’s wild southern coast and close encounters with aquatic wildlife. Custom-made eco-friendly boats are fast, manoeuvrable and give everyone on board a good look at towering cliffs, columns of rock and deep inside sea caves. Along the way you’ll also see seabirds, seals, dolphins and perhaps whales too. This is a truly wild ride. 

Bruny Island Cruise
Bruny Island Cruise

Take a short walk to wonderland

Think the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is too rugged and remote for you? Think again, because all it takes is an easy, 10-minute walk from the Lyell Highway to see one of its highlights, Nelson Falls. The trail, so easy that even wheelchair users can access it, follows the Nelson River through forest lush with ferns, moss, sassafras and myrtle. After admiring the beautiful 30-metre cascade waterfall, retrace your steps and tick off yet another Great Short Walk.

Nelson Falls (Image: Jess Bonde)
Nelson Falls (Image: Jess Bonde)

Ease into the wild west

With the vast Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on one side, and the Southern Ocean on the other, you might not associate the isolated town of Strahan with good living – until you stay at Strahan Village resort. Enjoy hilltop vistas across Macquarie Harbour, multiple restaurants and bars serving Tasmania’s finest, including fresh seafood, and a choice of accommodation, from motel-style family rooms to private waterfront cottages.

From the village, take an award-winning Gordon River Cruise across the harbour six times the size of Sydney’s, and deep into the western wilderness. Launched in 2018, the hybrid-powered Spirit of the Wild catamaran offers quiet, comfortable cruising with great views from every seat.

Gordon River Cruises
Gordon River Cruises

Experience a natural high in the Tarkine wilderness

Love hiking, boating and wildlife spotting, but not keen on cooking, washing and sleeping outdoors? Come to Corinna. This former mining town nestled in the Tarkine rainforest is now an eco-resort with a mix of heritage and new buildings. Immerse yourself in the wilderness outside your door, where fauna such as quolls, kingfishers and even Tasmanian Devils live among Huon pines, ferns and fungi. Walk or take to the water by kayak or a Pieman River cruise. Then relax at the old pub or self-contained accommodation in Corinna, where mobiles and the internet will never distract you.

Arcadia II at Corinna

Fall for Tasmania’s western wilderness

The walk to Montezuma Falls is arguably as much about the journey as the destination. It’s an easy 90 minutes along an old rail route and across a suspension bridge, among the temperate rainforest’s ancient trees, towering ferns and colourful fungi. Then you see it: a 104-metre horsetail waterfall – among the state’s highest – cascading over rock and through lush vegetation. No wonder this is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks.

Montezume Falls (Image: Nick Green)
Montezume Falls (Image: Nick Green)

Go nuts for nature and heritage in Stanley

Stanley is a picturesque place, so try to stay somewhere taking advantage of the scenery. Like the hilltop Stanley Seaview Inn, where you can look out across town to the Nut and Bass Strait, as well as the surrounding countryside and Rocky Cape National Park. What should be million-dollar views are actually very affordable, whether you choose a room, suite or self-contained apartment. There’s also an eye-popping panorama in the Nut View Lounge, where most drinks are only $5.

Stanley Seaview Inn
Stanley Seaview Inn

Stroll through spring fields of glory

Visit the north-west coast in mid-spring to witness Table Cape Tulip Farm’s kaleidoscope of living colour. Their gates open to the public from late September to late October, when 80-plus tulip varieties bloom in their thousands. A Bass Strait and heritage lighthouse backdrop perfects this dazzling scene. Feast your eyes, buy potted tulip souvenirs, and relax over Devonshire tea. There’s even more flower-powered pleasure during the annual Tulip Festival (10 October, 2020), which extends from the farm to nearby Wynyard.

Table Cape Tulip Farm
Table Cape Tulip Farm

Wing it at a wildlife park

Fabulous fish and farm animals including miniature horses. Rodents and reptiles like blue-tongue lizards. Exotic critters such as meerkats & marmosets and natives including wombats, kangaroos, echidnas and Tasmanian devils. Feathered friends too, from pretty diamond doves and king parrots to powerful birds of prey. Wings Wildlife Park has so many animals, some of whom you can meet during a special up-close encounter, then you’ll eventually need a break in the cafe. Still there at closing? Thankfully there’s on-site accommodation too.

Devil Encounter (Wings Wildlife Park)
Wings Wildlife Park


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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