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
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!

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Why camping in Tasmania should be high on your TO DO list this summer

Summer is a sensational time to be out and about. This year hundreds and thousands of people will travel across Australia, leaving behind the stresses of work. They will escape to a new destination, carving out life long memories they will treasure. So, out of all the places in Australia that can be visited, why should Tasmania be high on your list? Here are 5 reasons we think you will love Tasmania!

1. Where else in Australia can you cruise the seas?

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Tasmania Cruises.
Credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

And by cruise, we literally mean getting on a cruise ship!  That’s right.  The Spirit of Tasmania I and II sail from Devonport, Tasmania and Melbourne Victoria daily with an enjoyable 9 hour cruise the entire family can enjoy. And, you can even bring your car with you!  Enjoy the stunning views from Port Phillip Bay looking back at the city of Melbourne, and enjoy the summer breeze of the sea air as you sail across Bass Strait!

2. Why suffer in blistering heat?

No where else in Australia are summers more pleasant than in Tasmania.  With Tasmania being that little bit closer to Antarctica, it does not suffer the sweltering heatwaves that every other state in Australia struggles with.  In fact, Tasmania’s summers tend to be so pleasant that hiking though it’s world class National Parks, and camping throughout Tasmania is more enjoyable and very much more comfortable.

3. The best hiking and camping experiences in Australia!

World class camping experiences

The Best camping experiences.
Credit: Tourism Tasmania & James Bowden

We always secretly knew that Tasmania’s world famous Overland Track was Australia’s best hike.  But in recent times National Geographic have declared Tasmania’s Overland Track one of the World’s Best 20 ‘Dream Trails’, and it is the only Australian featured hiking trail featured in their list. So why is the Overland Track so special? Quite simply, it’s a 6 day journey that commences at the magnificent Cradle Mountain, forcing you to walk up to the highlands of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. You will see stunning mountainous views on an open plateau filled with alpine lakes and tarns, grasslands and wildlife.  You will then pass through exceptional rain forest, regions with magnificent waterfalls, as well as pass numerous peaks that you can climb!  Climb to the top of Mt Ossa, Tasmania’s highest mountain, and continue your journey until you reach Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake.But if the Overland Track isn’t enough to entice you, the 3 Capes Track situated on the gorgeous Tasman Peninsula in the south should be on every hiker’s list. This 4 days / 3 nights hike commences at the historic Port Arthur on a boat that sails around the coastline surrounding, before disembarking on Tasman Peninsula, from where you hike around the coastline of some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking scenery. So whether it’s the mountain experience, or the rugged coastline experience you are after, Tasmania has your covered.

4. The best is all within driving distance.

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Touring Coles Bay
Credit: Pete Harmsen

Tasmania isn’t a small place, but it isn’t huge either, and you can reach any town well within a day. Why is this significant?  Because you can enjoy every town in every part of Tasmania with a car and caravan, or campervan, and enjoy a road holiday that does not limit you on choices to visit if you wish to change direction part way through your holiday! Tasmania caters for the motoring tourist brilliantly. if you prefer to enjoy your holidays travelling by vehicle, Tasmania is Australia’s best choice.

5. The Natural Beauty

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Tasmanian Devils, uniquely Tasmanian!
Credit: Kathryn Leahy

Tasmania is uniquely different from every other region in Australia for a number of reasons. Over 50% of Tasmania is protected, much of which is World Heritage, and is regarded as a living ecological laboratory. Boasting unique wildlife such as the Tasmanian Devil, and showcasing alpine vegetation that has survived for thousands of years, Tasmania is one of the last places on earth you can experience earth’s natural and untouched beauty as it could have been seen thousands of years ago.