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The road less travelled across the Central Highlands delivers quirks of history, including the origins of Tasmania's hydroelectricity scheme and Australia's oldest golf course.

total distance

Day 1: Kempton to Bothwell

Settled in the 1820s by Anthony Kemp, a Rum Rebellion mutineer and pioneer of the Tasmanian wool industry, Kempton is lined with handsome colonial buildings that served this busy 19th-century coaching stop. The annual Kempton Festival Big Day Out features the unmissable Tasmanian Sheep Racing Championship.

Raise a glass at Old Kempton Distillery, inside an 1842 coach house, with an attached distillery school.

Tartan street signs indicate Bothwell's Scottish heritage, and the handsome town has more than 50 heritage-listed buildings. Take a walk through its streets, stopping at St Michael's and All Angels Church to find the rarest of ecclesiastical features – a fireplace.

Stay overnight at Bothwell. Take your place in history at Ratho Farm, with guestrooms in convict-built barns and stables, and at Whites Corner, with rooms inside restored 19th-century buildings beside the green town square.

Day 2: Bothwell to Thousand Lakes Lodge

Tee off at Ratho Farm, featuring Australia's oldest golf course, laid out by homesick Scottish settlers in the early 1800s. The farm's sheep do much of the green-keeping work.

Grab lunch and maybe a gift or two at little Sealy’s Cafe before heading north into the Central Highlands, Tasmania’s “lake district”.

Take the self-guided Highlands Power Trail and wander through the turbine hall of the century-old Waddamana Power Station, Tasmania's first hydro power plant.

Back on Highland Lakes Road, stop at the curious Steppes Sculptures, a stone circle populated with bronze sculptures of Tasmanian native animals. The Steppes Homestead, connected to the sculptures by a short walking trail, was home to the Wilson family for 112 years from 1863.

Stop for dinner at the Great Lake Hotel, a classic country pub on the shores of yingina / Great Lake in Miena.

Overnight in wilderness luxury at Thousand Lakes Lodge, a converted Antarctic training centre inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Day 3: Thousand Lakes Lodge to Launceston

Spend a morning fly fishing with a guide at Thousand Lakes Lodge. If fishing doesn't hook you, grab one of the lodge's e-bikes and pedal to Lake Ada, or take a walk around the surrounding lakes.

Linger at the lodge for a lunch of standout Tasmanian produce.

Detour into wide Liffey Falls, which pour through the rainforest slopes of the Great Western Tiers. Take a 45min walk from the picnic ground to the base of the falls.

Continue on to Launceston, and join a Northern Forage itinerary.

King Island coastline

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