Bed & breakfasts in Tasmania

Tasmanians don't do mainstream

Islanders don't often like to think of themselves as mere additions to the mainland. They are people with their own island identity, proud and welcoming to those who make the special journey. Similarly, Tasmania is far from mainstream tourism. Small, family run hotels, country or coastal cabins, hiking huts and homely bed and breakfasts in Tasmania are so much more the norm. And so much more Tassie.
In fact, the accommodation is rarely just about bed and breakfast in Tasmania. There is far more of a bed, breakfast and other bounteous beauties ethos here. When you tour around Tasmania’s fine hospitality havens, your hosts are, more often than not, longstanding conservationists, local food specialists, fishing experts, walking guides and some of the coolest eco flag flyers you will ever meet. In the Great Western Tiers, for example, you can stay at family run eco lodge which not only sources its own water and energy on site, but the owners also grow a vast array of their own produce, which they prepare as a sumptuous three course meal every night. Opt in or opt out. Few opt out, however, especially after a hike through the rainforest which is on the doorstep. From farm to fork, waking to wilderness. And, with every room looking out to the mountains, starlight extravaganzas to slumber.
Food is always a fine feature of staying in locally owned guesthouses, cabins or lodges in Tasmania. If you are ever offered the chance to go for bed, breakfast and dinner, grab it. These Tassies know their way around a kitchen. Especially in the Cradle Mountain and Lakes District, where one Gallic gourmet reigns in this kingdom of Tasmanian wilderness. Because here, the French owner is a highly trained chef, including years at the Ritz in Paris, and adds his inimitable French style to Tasmanian local produce. It’ s like being invited to the coolest dinner party in the world, one where Tasmanian devils and wallabies are wandering around the gardens , no doubt trying to work out what all those wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen are all about.

Heading west to Strahan, the birthplace of the worldwide green movement, you will not be short of environmental conversation with hosts in this part of the world. Or Tasmanian history. Stay in a federation mansion house overlooking Macquarie Harbour, for example, where a husband and wife team are not only expert local guides, but also have the most wonderful historical library depicting the history of this fascinating pioneer town in the late 19th century and beyond. And the best time to chat about it all with these top Tassie hosts is over breakfast. Because you won’t want to leave the table with the fine array of home baked goodies on offer.
Tasmania also does wilderness cabins and camping to a T. Especially ones that tie into long distance walking trails, where you can have your bags transported from lodge to lodge, leaving you to hike along coves, through rainforest or valleys all day, only to arrive at some of the most stupendous sleeps in the world. The Bay of Fires is one of its shining examples, where you can follow a 50km trail from one stunning beachfront wooden and glass eco lodge to another and throw in one night in a glampingly gorgeous site tucked into the dunes as well. These are lodges that not only have stunning rooms with views, their spas have baths with views too.
For inland hut to hut walking you can also experience the six-day Cradle Mountain Huts walk, which follows the trail of the slightly more hardcore, iconic ten day Overland Track. But instead of staying in wilderness tents and carrying all your food with you, which is also an option, you sleep in private and totally eco huts, with showers, meals and expert walking guides all part of the package.
Last but not least, Freycinet National Park is on everyone’s wishlist when visiting Tasmania – and rightly so. One of the prettiest peninsulas you can imagine, it is a place to seek solace among the gleaming white sandy coves, or hiking up to its peak at Mount Amos. However, for wonderful company before you hit the heights, you can stay in a stunning waterfront bed and breakfast in Tasmania’s Coles Bay, just a few kilometres from the national park, where your hosts pack a punch when it comes to picnics. They will set you up with the most delicious hampers full of local goodies, and also have dinner for you when you get back, a chilled Tasmanian pinot waiting in the fridge that you can sip on their decking overlooking the bay. Five star hospitality at family run prices. And the added bonus being that these hosts are birding experts, providing binoculars, books and birdlife on tap, such as yellow-tailed black cockatoos, green rosellas and kookaburras. When you stay with Tasmanians on your travels you will see that, although they are islanders, they always like to look out into the world around them. They really do get the bigger picture, which is why they offer some of the world’s finest homestays, unique stays and most memorable stays.

Photo credits: [Top box - bed and breakfast: eGuide Travel] [Local produce: eGuide Travel] [hut to hut: NeilsPhotography] [Frecinet National Park - Wineglass Bay: Dean Hughes]
Written by Catherine Mack
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