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Tamar Valley
Tamar Valley
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Total 139 km

Tamar Valley

This drive explores the majestic Tamar River from Launceston to Bass Strait as it meanders for nearly 60 km through the heart of vineyard country past orchards, scenic pastures and forests. From here you'll drive east to Narawntapu National Park for panoramic views of Badger Head and Bass Strait.

Start: Launceston

Duration: 1-3 days

Print: Tamar Valley [PDF 439KB]

National parks:

Launceston - George Town

  • Depart Launceston and take a 15-minute scenic drive through the beautiful Tamar Valley to Hillwood and the Hillwood Berry Farm where you can pick your own berries, pick up some jam, quince, liqueur or wine or some of their beauty and relaxation products.
  • Sample premium wines at Native Point and Three Wishes Vineyard, the first two of over 30 vineyards available on the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
  • Back on the East Tamar Highway drive for 15 minutes to historic George Town.
  • On the way into town, stop at Mount George Lookout, an historic semaphore site and the best photo opportunity of the valley and surrounding districts.
  • George Town is one of the first Australian settlements and has a rich maritime history. Explore the town's history at the Old Watch House Museum, the former local lockup that's now an information centre and craft shop.
  • Visit the home of the replica sloop 'Norfolk' at the Bass and Flinders Centre and discover the stories of this fabulous vessel.
  • Enjoy all things special at Belle's Tea Rooms near the famous Eddie Freeman carving at Windmill Point.
  • Visit the many locations of the North East Arts Trail.
  • Drive on to Low Head, the most northern part of Tasmania and visit Australia's oldest continuously operated Pilot Station, Maritime Museum, Low Head Lighthouse and Low Head Fog Horn – still sounded every Sunday at noon and heard over 30 km away.
  • There are also beautiful beaches at Lagoon Bay and East Beach.
  • Watch the world's smallest penguins waddle in from the sea each night at nearby Low Head Coastal Reserve.
  • Drive back into George Town and dine at York Cove, overlooking the Tamar.

George Town - Beauty Point

  • Cycle or walk the kanamaluka/Tamar River Trail, leading from York Cove to Low Head. The open paths are edged by the Tamar River. Bikes are available for hire from the visitor centre.
  • Drive 5 km to the Pipers River turnoff and the start of the Tamar Valley Wine Route – named one of the world's top 10 wine routes by Essentials Magazine.
  • Six vineyards are found on the eastern border of the Tamar Valley Wine Route, all with cellar doors open for tastings and sales; Bay of Fires, Delamere, Sinapius, Dalrymple, Jansz and Pipers Brook Vineyards welcome visitors and are happy to share the stories of their wine.
  • Return to the East Tamar Highway and turn on to the Batman Bridge to get to the West Tamar region of the Tamar Valley. This is a pleasant scenic drive north en route to Beauty Point. On the way, stop at Lavender House at Rowella where more than 100 different kinds of lavender are grown, flowering between August and May.
  • Farther north is Beauty Point where families in particular will enjoy the award winning Seahorse World and Platypus House - the only place in Australia where visitors can watch Tasmanian platypus close up.
  • Overnight Beauty Point or return to Launceston.
  • .

Beauty Point - Launceston

  • On from Beauty Point, turn right at Greens Beach Rd and continue all the way to Greens Beach township and Narawntapu National Park where there are several beaches to choose from – Badger Beach, Shelley's Beach, Greens Beach and the more exclusive Nudist Beach.
  • Take an easy 270 metre walk from the park's western car park to the West Head lookout for spectacular cliff top views along Badger Head Beach and westward as far as Table Cape and the Dial Ranges behind Ulverstone.
  • Walk a circuit of the headlands - swim, fish or just relax.
  • Return to the Tamar Highway and continue north to Beaconsfield with its rich gold mining history. The Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre shows the workings of the old mine, recalling the boom days of gold.
  • Drive back toward Launceston, turn right onto Frankford Main Road at Exeter and visit the enchanting Notley Fern Gorge, a 10-hectare sanctuary for wildlife that includes a relatively easy one-hour walk through dense rainforest.
  • A few minutes farther along Frankford Main Road is Glengarry Bush Maze and Tearooms, a unique hedge maze set amongst beautiful natural Tasmanian bush.
  • Back on the West Tamar Highway and heading south towards Launceston, you're now in the geographical centre of the Tamar Valley Wine Route – home of some of the finest cool-climate wines in the world. Several have outstanding river views and because they're small and family-owned, the growers will often be there to chat about their wine.
  • The valley also has a growing cafe culture with boutique and eclectic coffee, food, produce and settings to cover all tastes.
  • Stop at Brady's Lookout between Legana and Exeter – home of the nineteenth century bushranger Mathew Brady - known as the 'Gentleman Bushranger' - for a postcard photo opportunity.
  • Complementing the wine route is the Tamar Valley Arts Trail from Clarence Point to Legana with the studios of ten local artists open to the public where you can meet the artist and talk about their work.
  • Stop at Grindelwald Resort, just north of Legana, with its Swiss-style shopping square and nine specialty shops offering Swiss chocolates, bakery items, crafts, souvenirs and more. For families it features mini-golf, paddle boats and canoes, a giant jumping pillow and bike hire.
  • A farther 10 minutes after Grunewald is the Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve and Interpretation Centre. Stroll along the boardwalk to picturesque Tamar Island and spot the birdlife along the way. The walk is one of Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks. There's an interpretation centre, BBQ, toilets and rangers are onsite in the summer months for day tours.
  • Arrive Launceston.
Leg Time / Distance
Launceston to George Town 39 min / 51 km
George Town to Beauty Point 36 min / 41 km
Beauty Point to Launceston 47 min / 48 km