Published on 30th May 2017
by Melinda King

Where to stay and what to eat, see, drink and do in this winter wonderland.

The features of Tasmania’s North West make a wild and impressive tapestry. While many flock to Cradle Mountain, fewer make time to delve into the impressive and varied landscapes this corner of the island has to offer; from rainforests, mountain steppes, and rolling valleys, to rugged coastline and pastoral farmland that dramatically comes to life in winter.

The best way to experience this region is to drive at an unhurried pace, stopping at natural landmarks to hike and spend time in the natural wonders. Roam the Central Highlands an hour west of Launceston, where spectacular sunsets dip behind the Thousand Lakes, or drive a few hours north to Stanley and ride a chairlift down The Nut, the remains of an ancient volcanic plug jutting out into the tempestuous ocean.

In between there are cellar doors and eateries along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail that showcase the region’s natural produce. You’ll find small-scale producers; oyster farms and ocean fisheries; dairy farms; vineyards and hop growers. It’s just a matter of choosing where to start your winter adventure.

Welcome to Guide to the North West Coast of Tasmania

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From lush rainforests and snow-covered mountains to rugged ocean horizons and underground caves, the North West has a hike for every terrain.

Itinerary

Winter road-tripping through the Tasmanian North-West.

Chocolate, whisky and pinot noir by the fire make for some of the finest winter activities. To counteract any over-indulgence, take advantage of the many walks through the natural landscapes of alpine trails and rugged coastlines.

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7AM

Thousand Lakes Lodge

1247 Lake Augusta Road
Liawenee TAS
(03) 6346 1990
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Sunrise at Thousand Lakes Lodge

Clear the lungs and head with crisp alpine air and a morning bush walk along one of the Central Highlands’ many crystal clear lakes. Pull up a rock and admire the stunning sunrise over the Great Lake. Bring gloves.

9AM

Anvers Chocolate Factory

9025 Bass Highway
Latrobe TAS
(03) 6426 2703
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Anvers Chocolate Factory (part of the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail)

Work up an appetite for hot chocolate and Belgian waffles at this sweet stop in Anvers. Sample the range of handmade chocolates, truffles, fudge and pralines. Yes they do breakfast.

11PM

Gunns Plains Caves

Gunns Plains Cave State Reserve 46 Caves Rd
Gunns Plains TAS
(03) 6429 1388
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Gunns Plains Caves

Take a scenic drive through lush, green farmland to this 450 million year old cave. Join the 45-minute guided tour where you’ll descend down a steep flight of 54 steps into the 275-metre long cave. Don’t miss the glow-worm display.

1PM

Hellyers Road Distillery

153 Old Surrey Road
Burnie TAS
(03) 6433 0439
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Hellyers Road Distillery (part of the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail)

Head north towards Burnie and stop to taste some of the country’s finest single malt whisky on one of their guided tours. Stay for lunch and enjoy a tipple or two.

3:30PM

Stanley and The Nut


Stanley TAS
1300 138 229
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Stanley and The Nut

Drive west along the Bass Strait coast and you’ll arrive at the Nut, the remains of an old volcano jutting out into the sea. Take it in from the chairlift or walk the path that winds up the 143-metre-high landform. You’ll be welcomed with stunning 360-degree views of Tasmania’s North West.

5PM

Xanders Restaurant

25 Church Street
Stanley TAS
(03) 6458 1222
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Xanders Restaurant

Wander through the picturesque village of Stanley and head into Xanders Restaurant for dinner. Take advantage of the fresh local seafood on offer and order a dozen (or two) of natural oysters, seared scallops and a glass of Tasmanian pinot noir.

9PM

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge

4038 Cradle Mountain Road
Cradle Mountain TAS
1300 806 192
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Cradle Mountain Lodge

Get the wood fire blazing before settling into the secluded outdoor hot-tub on the deck. Pour a glass of red and immerse into complete relaxation.