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Northern Tasmania

Northern Tasmania
Trails around Dove Lake, in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
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The distance between farm and fork is never far in northern Tasmania. Here’s an insider’s guide to Launceston and the Tamar Valley.

IT wasn’t family or friends that brought us to northern Tasmania from Sydney. Or jobs or real estate. It was nothing more than a feeling. 

We came via Hobart, where we waited out the Covid years. Northern Tasmania held the promise of something greener, sweeter, gentler, but also an entrepreneurial energy I missed in the southern city with its public-service enclaves. It felt like good people with good ideas could do good things in the north. 

Two years later, I still have that feeling. We didn’t find the little vineyard we fantasised about, but we did find a home in Launceston with a century-old garden, and good people with good ideas. I love the little city’s intact streetscapes, like an architectural textbook in places.

I love living so close to the Tamar Valley, Tasmania’s oldest winegrowing area. I love the city’s un-cheffy love of good food and wine. Launceston was named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2021, which has very little to do with fine dining and everything to do with the network of people who make, grow and feed us.

We’re a two-hour drive from Cradle Mountain and Freycinet Peninsula, a proximity that still astonishes me, and I’ve fallen heavily for north-west Tasmania: a region so diverse, so beautiful, it demands repeat visits.

Here are a few of my favourite things. Just click on the drop-down menus for my suggestions about where to eat, drink, stay and what to do. And we'll also be joined by sparkling winemaker Natalie Fryar to hear how she'd spend her dream day in northern Tasmania.

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