5 Nights in Tasmania
Nuggety, bracing and easy on the eye, Tasmania dishes up the wonders in quick succession, and five nights is perfect to get your teeth into some of its red-blooded adventures.
From Launceston Airport you’re heading south-west to Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Clair National Park, a 2½-hour drive to the northern fringe of Tasmania ’s World Heritage Area. Just inside the park boundary, Cradle Mountain Lodge looks like a stage set for a lumberjack town, a loose array of timber cabins, some with a twist of smoke curling from the chimney, set beside a frisky mountain stream. The cabins come in four basic versions, from the comfy Pencil Pine Cabins to the undiluted decadence of the King Billy Suites, with a hot tub planted on the deck as well as a two-person spa inside. A 20-minute drive from the lodge is Cradle Mountain, its jagged profile casting a mirror image across the waters of Dove Lake, surrounded by forests olive green beeches and amber-tipped King Billy pines.
After two nights at Cradle Mountain, you’re back behind the wheel with the Freycinet Peninsula as the destination, a 260-kilometre, 3½ hour drive. Dominated by the four granite peaks of The Hazards, the Freycinet Peninsula is barely 35 kilometres long and just a few across, yet in terms of scenery, wildlife, and sheer heart-wrenching beauty, Freycinet is a five-star performer. Essential to the Freycinet experience is a sea kayak trip along the peninsula’s sheltered inner coastline. Based at Coles Bay, Freycinet Adventures operates a series of sea kayaking trips – anything from a sunset paddle to an extended camping trip.
Recover at the luxurious Saffire Freycinet, which sits on the curve of Coles Bay, and where the architecture is designed to reflect the rippling sea at its feet and the soaring peaks of The Hazards across the bay. Built extensively from locally-sourced materials, guest suites are plush and comprehensively equipped for relaxation.
Stay three nights, with a possible detour to Port Arthur if time allows before returning your hire car at Hobart Airport.