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North East Trail

From Launceston, discover the beauty and pioneering spirit of Tasmania's north-east

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Total 204 km

North East Trail - Itinerary

Discover the natural beauty and pioneering spirit of Tasmania's north-east. Vineyards and rich farming areas contrast with forests and stretches of beautiful unspoilt beaches.

Start: Launceston

Duration: 2 - 3 days

Print: North East Trail [PDF 338KB]

National parks:

Launceston – Bridport

  • Drive 20 minutes from Launceston to the farming hamlet of Lilydale with its distinctive painted electricity poles that line the town's streets.
  • For the adventurous, stop at Hollybank Treetops Adventure, five minutes before Lilydale at Underwood. Apart from a three-hour zip-line tour of the canopy, they can take you on a Segway journey through the bush on a futuristic bushwalk. You can also gear up for one of the many mountain bike trails in the area.
  • Past Lilydale, look for signs pointing the way to the premium cool-climate vineyards of the Pipers River Region and the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
  • Sample the still and sparkling wines of Pipers Brook Vineyard and visit the Jansz Wine Room and Interpretative Centre, 20 minutes off the Trail along Pipers Brook Road.
  • Back on the Trail, visit Bridestowe Lavender Farm, the largest commercial lavender farm in the southern hemisphere for coffee or lunch in the café, then take a tour (December and January) and see how lavender is harvested and processed for its fragrant oils.
  • Drive 20 minutes north of Scottsdale to the coastal village of Bridport – a picturesque town and a favourite for saltwater fishing - equipment can be hired in town.
  • Play a round of golf at Barnbougle Dunes golf links, a challenging 18-hole championship course and Australia's No 1 public course. Barnbougle Dunes also has a club house with dining and bar facilities and accommodation.
  • Next door, Lost Farm is an alternate 20-hole golf course option that complements Barnbougle and has luxury accommodation, restaurant and spa.

Bridport - Derby

  • Chose one of several coastal walks at Bridport; the Wildflower Reserve is particularly pleasant and is spectacular in spring with views out over Anderson Bay.
  • From the centre of Bridport, there's also a pleasant 1 km foreshore walk along a series of small beaches to the popular Old Pier swimming beach.
  • Drive back through Scottsdale to Branxholm in the Ringarooma Valley. Before Branxholm, turn off to Ringarooma and follow the signs to the impressive Ralphs Falls in the Mt Victoria Forest Reserve.
  • At Branxholm, pause at the Red Bridge - a celebration of the significant Chinese mining heritage of the area.
  • Continue to Derby, once a thriving mining town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and today a pretty place to stop. You can learn about the history of the area at the Tin Mine Interpretation Centre and Shanty Town.

Derby – St Helens

  • On from Derby, enjoy a side trip via Herrick and Gladstone to Mt William National Park with its stunning coastline and brightly coloured rock formations. Wildlife is everywhere and close encounters with local wallabies, wombats and Forester kangaroos are frequent.
  • Visit Eddystone Point Lighthouse (1889) at the southern end of the park. The three houses at the lighthouse station are the oldest surviving lighthouse keepers quarters in Tasmania.
  • Back on the trail, continue to Weldborough and the Weldborough Pass Scenic Reserve. Just off this road is an enchanting 10 minute Rainforest Walk with tall myrtles.
  • About 10 minutes after Weldborough, turn-off to the Blue Tier Nature Recreational Area and a range of walks from 15 minutes to five hours duration.
  • The Big Tree Walk (one hour return or 90-minute loop walk) passes through a stunning sassafras and fern glade, descending through huge eucalypts, musk, myrtle, mosses and ferns to the Blue Tier Giant tree with its massive 19.4 metre girth.
  • The reserve also bears evidence of the region's tin mining legacy. On Australia Hill explore the remains of boilers and jockey wheels and explore the ruins of what was once a mountain mining village.
  • Continue on to the settlement of Pyengana and the Pyengana Cheese Factory and lunch at the Holy Cow Café. The factory is well known for its full-flavoured cloth-bound cheddar.
  • After lunch, continue on to St Columba Falls State Reserve and the magnificent St Columba Falls. It's only a short rainforest walk to the platform for an up-close view of this 90-metre waterfall crashing down from the Mount Victoria foothills. Pull up a table at the picnic area and have afternoon tea amid the rainforest before heading to St Helens.
  • On the way back, stop in at the famous Pub in the Paddock which served its first beer over 100 years ago.
  • Continues on to St Helens, the picturesque fishing port on the shores of Georges Bay.
Leg Time / Distance
Launceston to Bridport 1 hr 09 min / 84 km
Bridport to Derby 49 min / 54 km
Derby to St Helens 1 hr 03 min / 66 km