Explore the Derwent Valley

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There’s not many places where you can order a Tasmanian beer on tap in a paddock. But in the Derwent Valley at Two Metre Tall Brewery you can do just that. Head Brewer (and clever wine-maker to boot) Ashley Huntington just happens to be two metres tall, hence the name. His on-site brewery is one of the many ripper stories you can share with friends after a trip through the Derwent Valley.

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Willow Court – former Insane Asylum (image courtesy of Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett)

From Hobart, it doesn’t take long to wind your way into the valley. And if you have a penchant for antiques, New Norfolk is a must-stop. Find yourself a treasure at The Drill Hall and venture through the grounds of a former mental asylum. As eerie as this sounds, the antique hunt through transformed Willow Court is worth it. Stop in at Patchwork Café for lunch or drop into Cheeky Little Place in town for crusty bread and soup.

It’s hard not to talk about the Derwent Valley without mentioning the Wall in the Wilderness. Sculptor Greg Duncan is on a ten-year-long mission to carve the Central Highland’s history in Huon pine. Each panel is painstakingly carved by hand. Pop in and see how he’s progressing and what period he’s reached as he shares a visual tale of bushrangers, piners and miners that have shaped the region’s past.

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Buttercup Grazing in the Derwent Valley (image courtesy of Tourism Tasmania & Veronica Youd)

If you’re staying in the Central Highlands there are plenty of options, each as varied as the next. Feel like waking to thousands of sheep out your bedroom window? Then accept the country warmth of Tim and Jane Parsons at Curringa Farm. The homemade scones are worth the drive to Hamilton alone, and we haven’t even mentioned the wood-fired barbie lunches.

If fine architecture and the idea of floating above Australia’s deepest freshwater lake takes your fancy, then book a room at Pumphouse Point. The much anticipated opening of this boutique hotel has seen travelers from across the globe descend on this remote outpost in the Central Highlands. Be sure to take a rowboat in search of the resident platypus.

Another option is the Giants Table in the upper Derwent Valley- a great stay in Maydena for families or Ratho Farm in Bothwell for those who enjoy their accommodation served up with history. Stay in Ratho’s convict-built cottages and swing a club on Australia’s oldest golf course. This is best followed up by a whisky in the homestead from nearby neighbour, Nant Distillery.

 

Header image – The view from Pulpit Rock, Derwent Valley, courtesy of Tourism Tasmania & Veronica Youd

Words: Alice Hansen

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