Tasmania’s best wilderness hideaway
They even deliver freshly-baked bread to your door.
Words by Ute Junker
The air in Tasmania smells like nowhere else. Half the island is blanketed by ancient forests; breathe deep, and you will inhale the scent of the wilderness, crisp top notes of eucalypt above a pleasantly musty forest floor smell.
This scent lingers in the air at Pumphouse Point, one of the state’s most inviting wilderness retreats. Perched on the shore of the forest-fringed Lake St. Clair, this is the perfect base for exploring the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. On sunny mornings, you will spot your fellow guests heading out, kitted out with walking shoes and daypacks, to tackle one of the area’s memorable hikes. Whether you choose an easy trail, such as the 90-minute Platypus Bay Walk, or something more challenging – such as the Shadow Lake Circuit, which takes you through rainforest, moors and highland eucalypt forest – keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including kangaroos and echidnas.
As for rainy days… well, if anything, they are even more enjoyable. That’s when you get to kick back and soak in that view as you work your way through the stunning mini-bar, which brings together the best Tasmanian produce, from prosciutto and smoked salmon to cheeses and chocolate. Of course, there is plenty of fine Tasmanian wine to wash it down with, along with local gin, beer, cider and whisky. And if you need some bread to go with it, call reception and they will deliver a loaf fresh from the oven to your door.
A word of advice: exercise just a little restraint, if you can. The communal dinners, featuring large platters of farmhouse-style food, are another highlight.
Celebrating a special occasion? Then book yourself into The Retreat, a self-contained suite designed to encourage cocooning. Its elegant slate and pine interiors, its outdoor tub surrounded by tall trees, and its wood-fired stove make this a gorgeous place to enjoy one of Australia’s last great wildernesses.