QVMAG at Royal Park

History and Heritage in Northern Tasmania – Part One!

Tasmania has a rich history, a wealth of stories to tell, from the native Australian Aboriginals to the colonial settlers, mariners, convicts and bush rangers. We would like to highlight several significant places that may be of interest, located close to Beauty Point Tourist Park during your stay in Northern Tasmania, Australia.

“Perhaps the virtue of coming from a place like Tasmania is that you had the great gift of knowing that you were not the centre of things, yet life was no less where you were” – Richard Flanagan

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station
Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Peter Cox

399 Low Head Road, Low Head, Tasmania.

Who cannot resist a grand old light house? Standing majestically tall in her mysterious way with stories and sights locked away.

Dating back to 1805, the Low Head Conservation Area makes it the oldest Signal and Pilot Station in Australia!

Enjoy the fresh ocean air as you walk around the renovated cottages, lighthouse and surrounding area over looking the Bass Strait before you have a bite to eat and drink in the Coxwain’s Cottage Cafe. On site is also a Maritime Museum (entry fees apply, click on the link below to find out more), a worthy visit for all ages. The restored fog horn is also very popular with visitors and is only one of two operating left in Australia. It is sounded at 12 noon every Sunday.

Situated on the East Tamar Highway, on the Eastern Side of the Tamar River, adjacent to pilot Bay. Approximately 45 minutes drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park and approximately 40 minutes drive from Launceston.

For more information: http://lowheadpilotstation.com

 

Mt Direction Historical Site

Semaphore Station

From Beauty Point, 28 min (31.4 km) via W Tamar Hwy/A7 and Batman Hwy/B73
25km North of Launceston.
Free entry and easy access.

The Mt Direction Semaphore Station was one of several stations set up in the mid 19th Century in the Tamar Valley. One of the earliest in Australia; an example of the British military communication systems of that time, used for maritime and Government purposes. This particular one was central for communication between the stations situated between Launceston to Low Head.

Mt Direction is the only one in the area that was not demolished or built over, leaving several parts in place, such as the old residence.

A touch of history: “By the time the technology entered colonial Australia, the average speed of transmission was about 2 words per minute. Of course the system was limited by bad weather and could not be used at night, despite attempts to do so by putting lamps on the arms.” – Parks and Wildlife Services Tasmania website (link below).

For more information: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=19158

 

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Royal Park location).

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Sean Fennessy

2 Wellington Street, Launceston.
The closest public parking is at Paterson Street West car park.

The first thing worth mentioning to any unfamiliar visitors to the area is that the Queen Victoria  Museum and Art Gallery has two sites, this one at ‘Royal Park’ and another not too far away in Invermay, Launceston. Both are quite unique, so worth visiting both if you have time!

QVMAG holds a wealth of information, sharing the Tasmanian natural and cultural history currently recorded. We would like to highlight  the permanent exhibition on the local Australian Aboriginal History – ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’. This new addition is very much welcomed as many visitors (and locals) have highlighted over the years the lack of recognition and information regarding the indigenous custodians of the land in such a format that is easily accessed and made publicly available. ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’ exhibition is a continuing narrative addressing the 40,000 history like never before, including the rich ecological history as well.

For more information: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/qvmag/index.php?c=400 or Phone: 03 6323 3777. Opening hours and special events can also be accessed on the link above.

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Rock Vineyard

Cheers Tasmania! A Tipple or Two on the Apple Isle.

To follow on from our previous article last month highlighting the Cradle Coast Tasting Trail produce, this month we want to focus on celebrating the wonderful variety of wines, ciders and whisky that are developing a great reputation on this little island of ours.

North West Tasmania’s cool climate allows producers of fine food and wine to develop their products unique to each one’s aim, method and style. Discover for yourself what gems lie scattered about this small section of the island.

Hellyers Road Distellery

Hellyers Road Distillery

Hellyers Road Distillery    Credit: Tourism Australia and Graham Freeman

Hellyers Road Distillery is the largest distiller of single malt whisky in Australia. That alone may give you an idea of what can be discovered upon a visit here to this well established business. The Visitor Centre welcomes guests everyday of the week, with fully guided tours running for 30 – 40 minutes each session. Entry fee is $17.50 per person however children under 16 may accompany adults for free. Opening hours are 10am till 4:30pm. Contact (03) 64330439 for more information or visit the website below.

Where: 153 Old Surrey Road, Burnie, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: Approximately 1 hour drive
More Information: Hellyers Road Distillery website

100 Acres at Ghost Rock Tasmania

Ghost Rock Tasmania

Ghost Rock Tasmania    Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Heidi Sze

Less than one hour’s drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park, Ghost Rock vineyard and cellar door are open 7 days, 11am – 5pm and include a retail space, art exhibitors, plenty of parking space for the car or van AND can seat up to 70 plus people in one sitting. Perhaps the ideal location for that special event you would like to book? The spacious lawns also have a children’s playground and several designated picnic areas. The sweeping views across North of the Bass Strait make this an ideal location to visit and enjoy any time of year.

Where: 1055 Port Sorell Road, Northdown, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 50 minutes drive
More Information: Ghost Rock website

Spreyton Cider Co.

Spreyton Cider Co.

Spreyton Cider Co.

Hand crafted cider using 100% Tasmanian pears and apples and all natural ingredients. Spreyton Cider Co have based their recipes off traditional methods from France and England, and by drawing on family held recipes dating back to the 1800’s. Spreyton Cider Co have created a variety of ciders, utilizing a variety of apples to create the mix of flavours and dryness to suit different palates. They have also released a popular ginger beer that is light on sweetness, but strong on punch!

Cider tasting and sales are available along with cherry and juice sales 7 days per week, 12pm to 5pm all year round.

Where: 6 Melrose Road, Spreyton, Tasmania.
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: Approximately 1 hour drive
More Information: Spreyton Cider Co. Website

Prickly Mo

This is the new wine label kid on the block, open since November, 2015 and growing strong every since; including the recent renovation of a bigger cellar door to help fit all the eager patrons who just keep growing! Although Prickly Mo may not have a website, they do have a Facebook page that boasts 128 reviews, all of which are five stars. Reputation says it all. It may be the small selection of boutique wines on offer as well as the laid back vibe of his cool spot to hang. Either way, they are doing something right. Open from Thursday till Sunday 12pm – 5pm, with the exception of Fridays, opening at 12pm and closing at 10pm.

Where: 62 Lakeside Road, Eugenana, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 1 hour drive
More Information: Prickly Mo Facebook Page

Blustery Banks Vineyard

Overlooking the Bass Strait to the North, this cellar door offers visitors taste testing of their small, but award winning selection of boutique wines – 2015 Pinot Noir, 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 Rose and 2012 Blanc De Blancs. We think their website describes it best when they say: “This light to medium bodied Pinot Noir has a luscious soft texture, raspberry, spiced rhubarb and cherry fruit characters continue to linger on the palate. Secondary flavours from excellent oak use of mushroom, mint and whisky spice peaty-ness”.

The cellar door and shop are open Mon – Fri, 10am – 5pm and Sat’s 10am – 4pm. Also available to purchase are gift hampers pre-made or custom made, apples from the orchard and freshly sourced produce and Tasmanian gourmet products.

Where: 26 Sheffield Road, Spreyton, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: Blustery Banks website
Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail
credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Tasmanian Produce – A World Class Attraction

The Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail is a great guide to some of Tasmania’s finest produce, including award winning wines, nature’s sweet treats, savory delights or other delicious fare. There is something for everyone. All Within driving distance of Beauty Point Tourist Park, we have compiled a mere ‘taster’ of what is on offer during your travels, with a focus on the Bass Highway for that future road trip in the not-so-distant-future!

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm    Credit: Tourism Australia and Graham Freeman

Just 1 hours drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park this delightful farm café is open 7 days per week and situated overlooking a tranquil lake filled with water lilies. The grounds are easily accessible for a stroll to stretch the legs and take in the fresh country air. The shop has a variety on offer, from decadent chocolate coated fresh raspberries, gift packs, jams and preserves and much more. Have a browse of the café menu in the link below to help entice you even further.

Where: 9 Christmas Hills Rd, Elizabeth Town TAS 7304
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm website

Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm Cheese

Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm Cheese

Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm Cheese    Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Heidi Sze

Top award winning cheeses and milk. Take time out to watch and learn about the cheese making process during the hand crafted demonstrations Mon – Fri, 9am – 4pm. The Ashgrove Cheese factory and Tasmanian Farm Store are open 7 days per week 7:30am – 5:30pm. They also have on offer butter and cream to fill that picnic basket and ice cream made onsite to enjoy before you hit the road.

Where: 6173 Bass Highway, Elizabeth Town, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm Cheese website

Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory

Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory

Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory

Although not technically part of the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail this business is Tasmanian owned and operated, and quickly becoming THE place to go. Take a seat in the elegant conservatory whilst enjoying a fine Tasmanian wine and artisan produce from across the island. Serving breakfast and lunch Tuesday – Friday, 9am – 4pm and Saturday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm. Check ahead (alerts made on the link below) to make sure they are not closed for a private function which does occur quite regularly in the warmer months.

Where: 9 Conservatory Road, Sassafras, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory Facebook Page

The Cherry Shed Tasmania

The Cherry Shed
The Cherry Shed     Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

The Cherry Shed Tasmania offers visitors a café and gift shop available all year round. Products include both fresh in season (cherries are available dependant on the season, mid December to mid February), fruit ice cream, cherry wines, jams, preserves and more. Tastings are available. The children’s menu online will help entice all the family to visit. Open 7 days per week, 9am -5pm, with variant hours on public holidays.

Where: 243 Gilbert Street, Latrobe, Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: The Cherry Shed website

The House of Anvers

The House of Anvers

The House of Anvers     Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Graham Freeman

Set on 2.2 hectares of established trees and an old bungalow style house built in 1931, The House of Anvers brings delight to all the senses. Free entry and self guided tours are available. Open 7 days per week, from 7am – 5pm. Café, Museum, factory viewing, taste testing and plenty of onsite parking. If you haven’t done so already, make sure this place is on that itinerary!

Where: 9025 Bass Hwy, Latrobe TAS 7307
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: The House of Anvers website
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Caravanning Safety Tips for travelling in Tasmania

Tasmania’s beauty is unsurpassed, and one of the best ways to enjoy all of Tasmania is with a road trip. For many tourists, towing a caravan from destination to destination is the ultimate way to enjoy their long holiday. To keep you safe when caravanning across Tasmania, we have compiled this list of suggestions and safety tips.

Not all popular destinations are caravan friendly

There’s plenty to see in Tasmania, and some of Tasmania’s wonderful tourist destinations are situated well away from the major highways. For some destinations you will be required to drive along very narrow unsealed bendy roads that may only be suitable for a 4WD. These roads also tend to be one car width wide.

When planning your caravanning road trip, a wise suggestion would be to stop at a Service Tasmania shop to get advice for caravanning in the region. Service Tasmania also provide excellent maps and resources for sale at their shops as well as tourism information that will ensure you are safe and satisfied when touring.

Liffey Falls, Tasmania

Liffey Falls – Not a caravan friendly destination


An example of a destination not suitable for caravans is Liffey Falls in the north of Tasmania. The main access road to this popular tourist destination is only suitable for smaller vehicles, and an alternate route has been made accessible for larger vehicles such as RV’s and buses. If ever in doubt if the road is suitable, simply do not take the risk. Seek advice, and stay safe.

Tasmanian roads bend a lot

Windy roads in Tasmania

Windy roads in Tasmania

Tasmania doesn’t have a lot of straight roads. There are times you will drive around Tasmania and ask yourself why there is even a bend in the road at all! Roads that meander around small hills and mountains are common in Tasmania. When driving along our roads with a caravan, be sure to understand that a bend in the road will come sooner rather than later and drive accordingly. Use a GPS when driving to check for any upcoming bends in the roads.

Safety Check List

Before embarking on your caravanning holiday perform the following checks to ensure you’re safely prepared for your journey:

Vehicle Basics

  • Your Vehicle
    Check oil, water, brake fluid, the battery, and all other vehicle safety checks. Refer to your Vehicle’s User Manual for a full description of what particular safety checks you need to undertake.
  • Tyres
    Also inspect all tyres carefully and remember, when towing heavily loaded trailers your vehicle’s tyre pressures should be increased to the level recommended in the owners handbook or on the tyre placard. If in doubt, contact your local tyre dealer.
  • Wheel Nuts
    Check that your vehicle and trailer wheel nuts have been tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Hitching your Caravan

  • Couplings
    Ensure the coupling socket and ball match in size. Ensure that the coupling is correctly and securely fastened.
  • Safety Chains
    Check that the safety chains are correctly connected.
  • Lights & Indicators
    Check to ensure that the trailer brake and light connections are secure and that all lights work.
  • Plates & Registration
    Check that the towing lights, number plates and registration labels of your caravan are clearly visible.
  • Reversing Catch
    Disengage any reversing catch fitted to the trailer coupling (as used with over-run brakes).

Testing your Caravan

  • Test the brakes
    Make one or two test stops to check that the brakes are working properly.
  • Secure and balance your load
    Ensure your load is properly secured. Also, limit the amount of load in the boot of the tow vehicle. Check that the refrigerator door is closed securely.
  • Mirror Check
    Make sure the rear vision mirrors on the tow vehicle are properly adjusted.
  • Gas Cylinders
    Ensure the gas cylinders on your caravan are properly secured, and are turned off fully.
  • Awning
    Check that the roll out awning is stored away and locked in the travel position
  • Jockey Wheel
    Remove the jockey wheel from it’s clamp and store it in the boot of the car or RV, or if it is of the swivel mount variety, lock it in the travelling position.
  • Stabilisers
    Check that the front and rear corner stabilisers are in the up position.
  • Trailer Handbrake
    Ensure that the handbrake of the trailer has been correctly released.
  • Windows and roof hatches
    Check the roof hatches, windows and stone shields are secure.
  • Water & Electrical Cords
    Check that water, sullage and electrical cords have been disconnected and stored away.
  • TV Antenna
    Check that the TV antenna is in the travel position
Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails
credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Flow Mountain Bike

Mountain Biking – The Tasmanian Adventure

Tasmania is a magnificent destination for the outdoor enthusiast. In recent years, north east Tasmania has seen a big drive for mountain biking adventures, and local businesses have been making tracks (literally) to accommodate the latest outdoor trend. So, if you haven’t visited Tasmania yet, or if you have not considered Tasmania as a mountain biking destination, you would be forgiven for asking ‘Why ride in Tasmania?’
Tasmania is picturesque. The mountain bike trails take you through fabulous forests and river systems. You would be riding in regions steeped in history, not to mention stunning landscapes as well. If that doesn’t convince you, Tasmania’s fantastic cuisine and home grown wines are world class. And best of all, you can reach these destinations within a few hours of Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Hollybank Mountain Bike Park

Hollybank Mountain Bike Park

Hollybank Mountain Bike Park
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Flow Mountain Bike

As one of the newest mountain bike parks developed in Northern Tasmania, the Hollybank Mountain Bike Park provides different loops and alternating tracks to suit all levels of mountain bikers. Hollybank Mountain Bike Park is a great destination for the entire family to enjoy, and as an added bonus, is situated near Hollybank Treetops Adventure (more information on our previous article.).

Where: 24 Hollybank Rd, Underwood TAS 7268
Near Lilydale / near Launceston
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 45 minutes – 1 hour drive
More Information: Hollybank Mountain Bike Park on Facebook

Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails

Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails

Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Flow Mountain Bike

In recent years North Eastern region of Tasmania has developed sensational world class mountain biking trails commencing at the picturesque town of Derby. Derby has become a sort after haven for Mountain Bike enthusiast as well as for families with mountain bikes offered for hire at many of the cafés in the town. With trails graded from ‘Easy’ to ‘Very Difficult’ there is a ride suitable for everyone, with each track and loop meandering through lush Tasmanian rainforest. Enjoy the stunning views whilst experiencing one of Tasmania’s fastest growing sports.

Where: Derby – North East Tasmania
From Beauty Point Tourist Park: 1.5 hour drive
More Information: Ride Blue Derby website

Other Mountain Biking Trails to consider

Some reserves and park lands around Launceston are also ideal for mountain bike riding and are worth considering as well:

  • Trevallyn Reserve
    For a quick ride, consider the Trevallyn Reserve, an region directly next Launceston’s famous Cataract Gorge. The bike trails are suitable for easy riding with picnic grounds available at Hoo Hoo hut!
  • Kate Reed Reserve
    A decent Mountain Bike trail has been established at Kate Reed Reserve, offering experienced riders with a single track that will challenge the skills of mountain bikers. If you’re serious about the sport, Kate Reed Reserve, located near the suburbs of Prospect / Kings Meadows in Launceston is worthy to consider.
QVMAG at Inveresk

The Best of North East Tasmania

Tasmania has become a favourite holiday destination for many people, and in recent years, tourism to Tasmania has grown to record levels. With so much diversity to explore and see, it is impossible to see all of Tasmania in one small holiday. Every region of this island has much for you to discover and North Eastern Tasmania is no exception. Here are some of the things we recommend.


Hollybank Treetops Adventure!

Hollybank Treetops Adventure!

Hollybank Treetops Adventure
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Adventuring in Tasmania has never been more exciting! The award winning Hollybank Treetops Adventure provides zipline tours, ropes course and segway tours for the family to enjoy! Experienced operators will guide you through the treetops on a 3 hour high-wire canopy ride far above the forest floor. Hollybank Treetops Adventure boasts daytime and twilight tours that will leave you with a feeling of exhilaration – all within a magnificent Tasmanian forest.


Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

QVMAG in Inveresk

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Northern Tasmania is spoilt for choices for people wanting to visit museums and galleries. Whether it be the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania or the quirky City Park Radio Museum there is no shortage of choices for people to discover. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in stylish Inveresk is Northern Tasmania’s premier museum that often showcases new works from local and international artists, various collections and various events throughout the year.


Tasmania Zoo

Tasmania ZooTasmania Zoo is the only fully accredited zoo in Tasmania, and is the only zoo in Australia that exhibits the endangered Black Crested Macaque. Boasting the second largest primate exhibit of any private zoo in the country, Tasmania Zoo is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered animals from around the world. When visiting North Eastern Tasmania, Tasmania Zoo is the perfect place to visit and is suitable for the entire family.


Tamar Valley Wine Tours

Josef Chromy Wines

Josef Chromy Wines
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

The Tamar Valley is an idyllic setting for many vineyards producing world class wines for you to enjoy. Most vineyards in North East Tasmania have cellar door wine tasting and restaurants, and for anyone who appreciate wines, North East Tasmania is a perfect destination to give yourself a Tamar Valley Wine Tour. One of our favourites is Josef Chromy Wines on the outskirts of Launceston. Enjoy some of Tasmania’s finest wines on your tour of Tasmania!


Cataract Gorge and First Basin

Cataract Gorge and First Basin

Cataract Gorge and First Basin
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

North East Tasmania is naturally beautiful and Launceston is proudly home to the Cataract Gorge and the First Basin. Just a short walk from the CBD, Cataract Gorge and the First Basin is a magnificent natural landmark to discover. There are many small walks to do around the region, complete with a café and restaurant, barbeque facilities and a public swimming pool! You will enjoy seeing the peacocks, wallabies and abundant bird life when exploring the grounds of the First Basin!

vw-camper-hire-wiltshire

Campervanning in North East Tasmania

Northern Tasmania is a fabulous destination for campervanners exploring our gorgeous island. Now, every campervanner knows the challenges of driving in rural regions, and not all roads or places are accessible with a campervan. We’re here to help! We have compiled this guide of great places to see in North East Tasmania, easily accessible from the comforts of Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre

Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage CentreLocated in the heart of Beaconsfield, and a short 10 minute drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park, the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre showcases the Gold Mining history of the Tamar region. Learn the history of the region with interactive displays. Crawl through tunnels, and experience the essence of gold mining in Northern Tasmania.


Narawntapu National Park

Narawntapu National ParkFor lovers of the great Australian outdoors, Narawntapu National Park is the perfect destination to get up close to Tasmanian wildlife, dunes, wetlands, lagoons, and of course the sandy beaches nestled between Bass Strait and the small mountains of Asbestos Range. With the fabulous Bakers Beach within the National Park, Narawntapu National Park is fabulous place to experience when staying at Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Tamar Valley Wine Routes

Tamar Valley Wine RoutesThe Tamar Valley is world reknown for its quality wines, and there is no shortage of vineyards to visit on both sides of the Tamar River. Enjoy Tasmania’s produce in an easy drive from vineyard to vineyard where you can enjoy gourmet lunches, wine tasting, and that fabulous cellar door experience! With the region boasting breathtaking views, you truly can enjoy the finer things in life in a naturally beautiful part of the world, all from the comfort of your campervan.


Seahorse World and Platypus House

Seahorse WorldIn the heart of Beauty Point is Seahorse World and Platypus House. Both these world class venues get you up and close to these unique and gorgeous animals as well as showcasing other exotic animals for you to see. Great for the entire family, and with frequent tours each day, Seahorse World and Platypus House is a ‘Must Do’ when staying at Beauty Point Tourist Park.


Low Head

Low Head LighthouseOn the other side of the Tamar River is Low Head. Rich with historical significance for Tasmania and with lots to do and see, Low Head is a short 35 minute drive from Beauty Point in a campervan. Join a Penguin Tour at dusk, and see the magnificent Low Head Lighthouse at the same time. Visit the Low Head Historic Precinct and discover Australia’s oldest Pilot and Signal Station in Australia.