Tasmania’s North West coast is known for being one of the state’s most prosperous agricultural and farming areas, but it’s becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination. There are huge areas of wilderness that are home to rare and endangered wildlife, scenic coastlines, and small towns packed with independently run shops and restaurants. This is the purest, greenest corner of Tassie; reliable rainfall, geographical isolation and lack of pollution mean that the air here is regularly monitored and recorded as being the cleanest in the world. Combine those environmentally friendly credentials with an abundance of fresh produce and outstanding scenery, and it’s no wonder the North West is thriving. Whether you’re more into boutique accommodation and gourmet food, or backpacking through the bush with your swag and snags, there’s guaranteed to be something that will interest you in the area.
A new café in an old church, with plenty of atmosphere and charm. The Chapel was founded as a Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1890, but has now been renovated into a beautiful food and live music venue with a mixture of communal and private tables. They roast their own coffee beans onsite, and do a great eggs benny.
A completely gluten free café with plenty of paleo and raw options, but no compromise on taste. Think dishes like Tassie quinoa risotto with veal chorizo and prawns, or orange and cardamom frosted doughnuts with fig and pistachios. Their juices and smoothies are bursting with colour, as are the artworks on the walls from local makers.
An upmarket steakhouse in an art deco building that formerly housed a butcher. Run by the same team as local favourite Stillwater, the bistro showcases premium dry aged, free range, grass fed Tasmanian beef. There are oysters and an excellent white fish sashimi available as starters, but as the name would suggest,this place is really all about the steaks.
A unique high-end hotel within the old stone surrounds of the VDL Company Store, built in 1843. Right on the waterfront, and just a short walk away from the historic town centre, @VDL offers two suites and a loft apartment with its own courtyard. Each unit has a spacious lounge area, large comfy bed and deep soak tub with luxury bath products.
Stanley is a restored Bass Strait fishing village full of brightly painted cottages. Built around the Stanley Nut, a 152m high solidified lava lake from an extinct volcano, it’s full of charm and character. Walk up the Nut or take the chairlift, before exploring some of the shops and galleries in the historic town centre. The Cow ‘n’ Calf Gallery of wilderness photography and The Angel’s Share whisky and gin merchants (www.theangelsshare.net.au) are both worth a look. For the best breakfast in town head to Moby Dick’s and for lunch or dinner try Xanders on Church.
There are 32 wineries within driving distance in the Tamar Valley, which is the oldest wine region in Tasmania. It’s beautiful scenery, with vineyards tucked up against orchards, forests and pastures. Highlights are the Josef Chromy cellar door and restaurant just fifteen minutes from Launceston, and the Jansz Wine Room at Piper’s Brook, showcasing one of Australia’s most respected premium sparkling wines.