NEW. FRESH. NICHE.
What's new in Tasmania.
From sauna steaming to island hopping, trail shredding to podcast hiking, hit the road to discover what’s new in Tasmania.
Walk and think
Science meets art meets nature in Sci Art Walks. Download a series of free podcasts – think of them as “audio escapes” - featuring talks by prominent Tasmanian scientists, artists and cultural figures, teamed with original music by local artists and paired with walking trails around the island, from Cataract Gorge to Cradle Mountain, The Nut in the north to Cockle Creek in the south. Food for thought on foot.
Floating Sauna Lake Derby
Embrace the extremes at Derby's newest sensation. An Australian first, the Floating Sauna Lake Derby is moored on a lake, a short walk or bike ride from town. Spend an hour alternating between the wood-fired sauna, relaxing behind a wall of glass, and repeated plunges in the chill lake outside. "It's not far from Derby but you become disconnected from the village. You become part of this beautiful lake - that's your new world," says owner (and sauna master) Nigel Reeves.
"My overall philosophy is to leave everything behind and enjoy an hour trying to reconnect to nature." Nigel Reeves, Floating Sauna Lake Derby
Tasmania's celebrated network of mountain bike trails is growing quickly. New in the trail arsenal are Dreaming Pools, a 27-kilometre backcountry trail past its namesake natural rock pools on St Helens Mountain Bike Trails, and the Iron Tor trail through the Dial Range near Penguin. Bunny-hopping between trail centres? Hire a campervan custom-fitted with bike racks and workshop tools from White Knuckle MTB.
After a day on the links at Barnbougle’s neighbouring golf courses Lost Farm and The Dunes, raise a glass at its dune-top restaurant, clubhouse or bar – or in Barnbougle Spa, where a vinotherapy session involves soaking in an antioxidant-rich wine bath (Tasmanian wine, of course).
On a secluded 100-hectare estate, The Keep's fantasy sandstone tower for two sits atop a rocky pinnacle with spectacular views of sky and forest to the larapuna/Bay of Fires and beyond. It’s kitted for maximum pleasure, with one-off Tasmanian furnishings and art, and a big stone bath among the boulders.
Enjoy royal treatment at two new luxury retreats. Leaving the bath's ocean view is the hardest job at Kittawa Lodge, but dinner awaits, prepared by your private cook. Glass-wrapped Ettrick Rocks, designed by Tasmanian architect Rosevear Stephenson, commands absolute waterfront. "We're sitting high on the dunes, taking the brunt of the winds," says owner Sam Giudice. "We wanted to give guests the feeling of the weather patterns of the Southern Ocean, but protected by all the glass."
Ship Inn Stanley
In the shadow of The Nut and overlooking the port at Stanley, the fully restored Ship Inn Stanley embodies the rich history of this fishing town. Each of seven boutique suites and a new two-bedroom apartment tells a story of shipwrecks, tumultuous conflict and salty maritime characters. A new guest lounge in the former billiard hall next door opens in early 2021.
Hotel Verge Launceston
The industrial luxe ambience of Hotel Verge Launceston, created by local architect Cumulus Studio in brick, glass, timber and concrete echoes the precinct's early industrial heritage. This new 86-room hotel is adjacent to Launceston’s celebrated community Harvest Market, open on Saturdays.
River Cabins Derby
Three light-filled cabins at River Cabins Derby overlook the Ringarooma River, close to Derby's mountain bike trails. They have high ceilings, well-equipped kitchens and deckside barbecues (and bike storage and cleaning space, of course). The lofts are great for couples, and the two-bedroom Ringarooma cabin has a fire pit for post-ride decompression.
Courtesy Moss Hotel
The botanically themed Moss Hotel has recently spread to a second Georgian sandstone warehouse on Salamanca Place. Central and secluded, it features shades of green throughout and a three-storey wall clad with thousands of native plants.
Cross a wooden bridge on the outskirts of Richmond for a grand entrance to Prospect House, an 1830s convict-built mansion. Eleven contemporary guestrooms occupy a courtyard wing beside the splendid main house. There’s seasonal dining in its plush rooms, and big country breakfasts in the conservatory kitchen.
Explorers Lodge B&B
Hamptons styling comes to historic New Norfolk at the Explorer's Lodge B&B. There are four guestrooms and two apartments. Meditate with river views from the deck or wander the gardens and orchard.
Eat and drink
New in Oatlands
In a virtual blink, the heritage town of Oatlands has gone gourmet. The Imbibers wine bar, in a former dispensary, serves wine, spirits and beer produced within 60 kilometres of town. The Kentish Hotel, meanwhile, has reopened after seven years as a bakery - stay tuned for its new microbrewery in 2021.
Stoney Rise Wine Company
Commanding lofty views over the vines and the Tamar River, the new Stoney Rise Wine Company cellar door at Joe and Lou Holyman's winery at Gravelly Beach features Stoney Rise's three labels - Stoney Rise, Holyman and No Clothes - as well as a selection of the winemakers’ favourite wines from elsewhere. Small share plates are also on the menu.
This cool new wine bar in Launceston has a warm vibe. Its wine list showcases hand-picked Tasmanian, Australian and international labels, matched to a short, produce-driven menu. On Sundays, the bar also operates as a cellar door for tastings of wines by Two Tonne Tasmania and Havilah, made by bar co-owner and Tamar winemaker Ricky Evans. "Our goal was always to create a space that gave context to Tasmanian wine,” says co-owner Chanel Parratt. “Across our bar and wine shop, you can experience wines that focus on the tight little sub-regions of Tasmania but also enjoy wines from much further afield."
The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery
Dine in or take-out at New Norfolk's celebrated Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, with casual, kiosk-style takeaways recently added to the offerings - bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on its lawns. And in the restaurant, the menus are now set. "They're a much better example of what we do - a real snapshot of our garden," says owner Rodney Dunn. "They allow us to tell our story a lot better, and are more representative of where we are in the world." Watch this space for a new market garden inside the former asylum's walled exercise yard as the Agrarian Kitchen's popular cooking school shifts to the Willow Court site.
Crowning the tower of the new Crowne Plaza Hobart is Aura, Hobart's first rooftop venue - part lounge bar, part events space and part restaurant with local produce at the fore.
Does food taste better when it's served in a World Heritage-listed setting? Find out at this new restaurant at Woolmers Estate. Don't be fooled by the colonial-era surroundings - this is modern Australian dining focused on seasonal local produce. Open for lunch Thursday to Sunday.
Bangor Vineyard Shed
What's old is new at storied Bangor Vineyard Shed, where a dedicated wine tasting room has opened beside the original vineyard shed. There are tastings of the farm's eight wines at the long bar or out on the tasting room's covered deck. Raise a glass and reflect on your proximity to so much vital Tasmanian history – Dutch explorer Abel Tasman made his only landing on the island along Bangor's coast, and it was later the site of first contact between Tasmanian Aboriginal people and European explorers.
In the spirit
Distilleries are the new black in Tasmania, and it's not all whisky and gin. A rum rebellion has started at New Norfolk Distillery, Tasmania's first rum distillery. Book ahead for a tour, or head to its pop-up New Norfolk providore and bar. Buy and try native gin, ruby vodka and single malt whisky produced by the new King Island Distillery at the King Island Hotel in Currie. And joining the party in mid-2021 will be the new Alchymia Distillery on Table Cape, on the north-west coast.
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