Tassie high­lights reel

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFESTYLE - SEANNA CRONIN

YOU could eas­ily spend a month or more road trip­ping around Tas­ma­nia. But what if you only have a week?

In seven days you can tick some ma­jor land­marks and ex­pe­ri­ences off the must-see list, but you’ll have to be strate­gic.

The Ap­ple Isle may seem small with a pop­u­la­tion roughly the same size as the Gold Coast, but those half a mil­lion peo­ple are spread out over an area the size of Ire­land.

Work­ing off the the­ory that one night is al­most never enough in any one place, my part­ner and I plan out an itin­er­ary with two nights in three dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions us­ing a rental car for trans­port.

We ar­rive in the capital, and largest city, Ho­bart on a crack­ing spring day in Oc­to­ber.

Com­ing from a more pop­u­lated area, ev­ery­thing seems eas­ier in Tassie. Get­ting out of the air­port, where lo­cal artist

Ben Clif­ford has some stun­ning hand-drawn wildlife por­traits on dis­play, and to our ac­com­mo­da­tion is a breeze.

We head straight for the city’s his­toric water­front where we are stay­ing on the wa­ter, lit­er­ally, at Som­er­set on the Pier.

The gen­er­ously sized ser­viced apart­ments of­fer stun­ning views of the River Derwent and Sul­li­van’s Cove, and it’s just a short walk to dozens of restau­rants and shops.

Fresh Tassie seafood is at the top of the list so our first stop is Fish Frenzy where crispy cala­mari, bat­tered fish and chips are served in gi­ant cones.

The af­ter­noon is walk­ing, breath­ing in the crisp ocean air and pok­ing around the shops at Sala­manca Mar­ket be­fore we hit up the kitschy Drunken Ad­mi­ral for din­ner. Don’t let the over-the-top sea­far­ers’ decor put you off; the food is de­li­cious and they make a mean cock­tail.

Our sec­ond day in Ho­bart is ded­i­cated to the Tas­man Penin­sula, where we take in the breath­tak­ing coastal views, a fas­ci­nat­ing but heart-wrench­ing tour of the Port Arthur His­toric Site and learn about the ef­forts to con­serve the en­dan­gered Tas­ma­nian devil at the Tas­ma­nian devil Un­zoo.

It’s a busy day that leaves us hun­gry for, guess what, more Tassie seafood so we book into Blue Eye seafood restau­rant. Their fresh sashimi, seared scal­lops and nat­u­ral Pa­cific oys­ters melt in the mouth.

It’s an early start on day three as we em­bark on the four-hour drive from Ho­bart to Cra­dle Moun­tain. The scenery shifts to English-style gar­dens to farms and drier, sheep­graz­ing coun­try as you head north through the in­te­rior of the is­land be­fore mak­ing a sharp as­cent up into the cen­tral high­lands.

The long drive is worth it to visit this world-fa­mous world her­itage area, where I hope to see my first wild wom­bat. I don’t have to wait long. As soon as we get out of the car at Pep­pers Cra­dle Moun­tain Lodge I can see a furry brown lump wad­dling through the but­ton­grass.

Af­ter all that time in the car, walk­ing the 5.7km-loop cir­cuit around Dove Lake is the per­fect way to stretch our legs.

The board­walk at the Over­land Track de­liv­ers an­other wild wom­bat loudly munch­ing.

A three-course meal at High­land Restau­rant next to a crack­ling fire fin­ishes off a busy day.

The rain breaks for day four so we head back into the na­tional park for more walk­ing and the oblig­a­tory photo of Cra­dle Moun­tain’s two peaks, fol­lowed by a re­lax­ing treat­ment at Wald­heim Alpine Spa.

We hit the road for our fi­nal des­ti­na­tion, Launce­s­ton.

If Ho­bart felt re­laxed, then Launce­s­ton is more laid-back.

Pep­pers Sea­port, built on the site of an old dry dock, is a short walk from the CBD and over­looks the Esk River.

We check out Cataract Gorge be­fore quench­ing our thirst with a tour of the his­toric James Boags Brew­ery.

Then it’s cock­tails, oys­ters and a melt-in-your-mouth steak for din­ner at the Mud­bar – con­ve­niently lo­cated on the ground floor of our ho­tel.

We hit the road on day six for golf at the famed Barn­bougle golf cour­ses, about an hour away in the charm­ing coastal town of Brid­port. The two links cour­ses take ad­van­tage of the nat­u­ral sand dunes and grasses with stun­ning coastal views.

The drive back via the Ta­mar Val­ley Wine Trail is the per­fect end to the week.

Pic­tures: Seanna Cronin

WON­DROUS WALK: The spec­tac­u­lar scenery of Cra­dle Moun­tain and Dove Lake.

A pademelon at Cra­dle Moun­tain.

Some of the wonderful pas­tries at Ho­bart's Daci & Daci Bak­ery.

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