15 Fun Spots to Stay in the Derwent Valley & Central Highlands

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They say variety is the spice of life, and a getaway through the Derwent Valley to the very heart of Tasmania certainly offers up an array of landscapes! Experience the joy of peaceful rivers, rolling hills and farmland, giant forests, rugged mountain wilderness, and the fresh beauty of Lake St Clair. There are heaps of accommodation options, including luxurious wilderness lodges, historic estates, rustic cabins, cosy cottages, and relaxing farmstays. Here are our tips on special spots to rest your head.

Wilderness lodges & hotels

Thousand Lakes Lodge, in the heart of the Western Lakes region of Tasmania’s Central Plateau, is a luxurious haven from which to enjoy the beauty of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. Explore the rugged highland plains of this remote, otherworldly place, then refuel with amazing Tasmanian produce by the roaring double fireplace.

Pedder Wilderness Lodge was originally built to house Hydro employees working on the Gordon Power Station. Located amidst spectacular scenery on the shores of Lake Pedder, it’s the ideal getaway for couples, large groups, fishermen, bushwalkers and school groups. There’s even a fully licensed restaurant and bar in the heart of the chalet, featuring fresh Tassie produce.

Pumphouse Point is located on the Southern Hemisphere’s deepest lake. This little drop of luxury is quite literally on Lake St Clair, surrounded by some of the most dramatic natural landscape on the planet. Spend your days walking into the fjord-liked surrounds and explore the giant myrtle forests, then return to rest and refuel by the log fire.

Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel offers comfy family-friendly rooms, as well as budget bushwalker rooms, perfect for those emerging from the Overland Track. Refuel with hearty meals in the restaurant (try their signature ‘King Billy’ porterhouse) and relax with a fine wine.

Historic estates

As one of the oldest (and prettiest) towns in Tasmania, New Norfolk has a range of beautiful historic accommodation. Woodbridge on the Derwent is a Heritage-listed, convict built, beautifully restored 1825 riverfront mansion offering luxury accommodation. Enjoy walks and fishing at the adjacent riverside parklands (see if you can spot a platypus in the river), plus local seasonal produce and wine from award-winning local wineries.

Tynwald Willow Bend Estate, a stunning 1830s mansion set on 16 hectares, is now a bed and breakfast with a fine restaurant onsite. Explore the lovely gardens and discover the district’s first flour mill, dating from 1820, within the grounds. Imagine days gone by in the elegant rooms, which are all furnished with genuine antiques (but with modern comforts).

Hidden behind hawthorn hedges, overlooking the Derwent River, you’ll discover Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat – a 200-year-old convict-built mansion set amongst 5 hectares of park-like pasture and gardens. Choose from self-contained cottages and grand, antique-furnished bedrooms.

Nearby, in the rural village of Bushy Park, you’ll find Hawthorn Lodge – a Heritage-listed building that has been welcoming guests with warm Tasmanian hospitality since 1869. Hawthorn Lodge is famed as the home of hops, which were introduced by the Shoebridge family, and are still grown today. Guests can view the original hop houses, and also have full access to the gardens, lounges, farm kitchen and veranda.

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Cabins, cottages & chalets

If you want to get back to basics, the Government Huts at Mt Field National Park offer comfortable accommodation. The huts are nestled among snow gums, overlooking a beautiful alpine moorland. Don’t forget to pop outside and look up at the stars!

Highland Cabins & Cottages at Bronte Park are just 3.2km from the very centre of Tasmania! They offer warm, modern, affordable four star self-contained accommodation, with studio apartments, spa cabins and family cottages available. Enjoy the peace and quiet, explore the unique landscape (including eleven nearby lakes), bush walk in World Heritage National Parks, and have your heart melted by the local wombats.

Derwent Bridge Chalets & Studios offer quiet and comfortable self-catering units for couples, families and groups, looking towards a beautiful snow gum forest. Bushwalkers, this is the perfect place to soak your tired muscles and rest your weary head after conquering the Overland Track.

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Farmstays

This region offers a taste of country living at its best. Curringa Farm, near Hamilton, offer a memorable farmstay experience in their stunning self-contained accommodation. Enjoy the sweeping rural views, explore the farm, watch the farm dogs at work, and unwind in this country paradise.

At Heimat Chalets, hand feed and pat friendly alpacas, sheep, cows, miniature donkeys and goats. At 28 Gates Luxury Farm Stay, enjoy fly fishing, feeding friendly animals, wilderness walks, and amazing local food and wine. At Ratho Farm, stay in a beautifully restored colonial farm building or convict cottage, play some golf and try your luck at Highland fishing.

For more info, see: Five Local Farms to Visit This Spring.

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