The lush greenery of Northern Tasmania is a far cry from the savannas of the Northern Territory; its babbling streams and bucolic panoramas bear no resemblance to Kakadu, but Tassie’s very own Top End holds its own on the national stage.
Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires
Start your Tassie Top End voyage with a bang, and scout out the 50-kilometre coastline that makes up the Bay of Fires on the state’s eastern seaboard. To say the Bay of Fires is idyllic is an understatement: expect to find stretches of milky-white sand, ruddy rock faces and glass-like shallows.
Head inland to Derby – a one-hour-and-40-minute drive – for a healthy dose of adventure! Mountain bike enthusiasts will already have Derby penciled into their bucket list, thanks to its illustrious Blue Derby Mountain Bike Park. Mountain biking paths thread through Derby and the Blue Tier Forest Reserve, just beyond the town.
Just 45 minutes or so north-west of Derby is Bridport, where golfing, relaxation and idyllic beachside vistas are the order of the day. The Barnbougle Dunes is recognised as a world-class golfing venue, and Australia’s finest public golf course – not to mention, a peerless hospitality experience.
Launceston, Northern Tasmania’s unofficial capital, is just an hour inland south of Bridport. One of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston effortlessly weds its period colonial streetscapes and centuries-old public parks with a budding art scene and hip, dynamic eateries. But just beyond Launceston’s city limits is where you’ll find Cataract Gorge.
Deloraine is a 40-minute drive west of Launceston and its lovingly preserved Georgian and Victorian architecture make for a whimsical stroll through town, with more than a few bakeries and cafés along the way to tempt you for a nibble.
Deloraine is famous for its surrounding farms and fine produce. You can visit farm gates to explore (and more importantly, taste!) firsthand the salmon, berries, cheese and honey for which this town is fame.
Home to the Spirit of Tasmania, Devonport is a bustling coastal hub, which is home to several picturesque nature parks, a trove of maritime history and water sports and beach activities galore in the summertime.
Meander south-westwards for just under three hours until you reach Strahan, where your Top End tour will take you out to sea. Picturesque Strahan is perched on Strahan Harbour, a stone’s throw from Hells Gates – the two meeting headlands that separate Macquarie Harbour from the Southern Ocean.