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North West Tasmania
North Western Tasmania
Full of colour and flavour, Tasmania’s north-west is the gateway to some of Tasmania’s most beautiful natural places. Exploring the north-west you’ll find classic coastal drives, food trails, stunning national parks and beautiful nature reserves.
Tasmania’s north-west is a great place for touring and offers spectacular views at every turn, from Mt Roland near Devonport, Table Cape near Wynyard and the famous Nut at Stanley. And some of Tasmania’s prettiest cities and towns sit right on the water’s edge on the scenic north-west coast, each with their own unique attractions and relaxed seaside atmosphere.
Stanley and the Nut
Stanley is a town of perfectly preserved colonial buildings, cafes and historical cottages. The area is most famous for the Nut, an immense flat topped, volcanic plug rising 150 metres straight up from the water’s edge, with a spectacular 360-degree view of the area. This is a great way to get some exercise if you are up for a walk or you can take the open chair lift ride, where you may see some seals basking in the sun during the day or at night, the local penguins can be seen coming in to nest. Stanley’s is famous for their fish and chips.
The north-west is also home to the Tarkine, one of the world’s last great wilderness experiences, Australia’s greatest expanse of cool temperate rainforest and the largest in the world.
There’s an ongoing tradition of agriculture here that’s evident in the rich red soils and patchwork fields found throughout the countryside. The ideal growing conditions have inspired growers and makers committed to producing the very best in fresh crisp vegetables, dairy products, wines, whiskey and sweet treats for the hungry traveller – the ultimate paddock to plate experience. Follow the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail and you’ll experience some of Tasmania’s finest producers.
There’s a wealth of stories here too, with great museums and significant Aboriginal heritage sites, while the region’s creative spirit is showcased in the many art galleries, public artworks, artisan shops and markets found along the north-west coast.
Tasmania’s north-west is also home to Cradle Mountain, one of Tasmania’s most visited icons, offering amazing nature experiences including forest adventures, great walks – easy and hard – and some of the best scenery in the world. Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, is a mountain in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania. At 1,545 metres above sea level, it is the sixth-highest mountain in Tasmania. This area provides the opportunity for adventure, also accessible with extensive board walks.
The vegetation is rich and diverse including grassland, rainforest and many ancient plants such as the King Billy pine and the unusual native deciduous beech. While in the National Park you may see amazing wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypus, echidna and several bird species. During late spring and summer can witness a brilliant display of wildflowers including waratahs, orchids, banksias, hakeas and leatherwoods.
A day trip to see Cradle Mountain from Dove Lake is worth the trip. You can take the two-hour walk around the lake or spend the day tackling Cradle Mountain’s summit. There are lost of short walks through the park area.
Cradle Valley and the surrounding areas contain many Aboriginal historic sites, identified by remnant stone tools, caves, rock shelters and stone sources. These can be explored on the Aboriginal Cultural Walk that departs from Lake St Clair at the southern end of the park.
The northern entrance to the park is 1.5 hours from Devonport and 2.5 hours from Launceston. The southern entrance at Lake St Clair National Park is 2.5 hours west of Hobart and a similar distance from Launceston.
Whichever way you explore the region, there’s no shortage of great places to stay, eat and enjoy in Tasmania’s north-west.