5 Days Highland Fling

Murchison Highway / Jason Charles Hill

New Norfolk | Central Plateau | Bronte Park | New Norfolk

Take some time to explore the Central Highlands and lakes district and enjoy historic homesteads, farm life and peace and solitude.

Day 1

Colonial house in the evening light
Rathmore / Courtesy Rathmore

From Hobart, follow the River Derwent to New Norfolk, one of the oldest settlements in Tasmania and the eastern gateway to the Western Wilds. Aside from its rich colonial heritage, this picturesque riverside town is home to some of Tassie's best antique shopping.

Continue on the Lyell Highway towards Hamilton – a small rural township surrounded by a number of historic country estates where you can stay the night. Wherever you choose, it's a perfect opportunity to slow down and experience rural life Tassie-style.

Day 2

Lodge set in a flat alpine plain
Thousand Lakes Lodge / Alice Hansen

In the morning, continue north to Bothwell and on to the former Hydro town of Waddamana, meaning 'noisy water' in Tasmanian Aboriginal.

The self-guided circular Highlands Power Trail in the area is a unique experience of the unforgiving terrain in the Western Wilds. It will take you through the picturesque valley of Hermitage, along to the historic Waddamana Power Station (allow at least one hour to explore this area) and then along to Penstock Lagoon, Waddamana Canal and Shannon. Pack a lunch – it's a great place to have a picnic.

Afterwards, head on to Lake Augusta and an evening of peace and silence at an award-winning wilderness lodge. It's the perfect place to escape the pressures of modern life.

Day 3

Man fly fishing
Fly fishing / Samuel Shelley

Settle into your stay by disconnecting from the outside world. Spend the day fly fishing, walking or e-biking. Alternatively, lose yourself in abook in the lounge, or treat yourself to a long afternoon nap in the sun.

If geology is your thing, nearby are geomorphological features known as 'Lunettes' – beach-like, low-lying dunes formed from fine dolerite rock. They're the only alpine Lunettes in Australia, formed on the side of the region's lakes after the last glacial period.

After a day of outdoor adventures – or indoor indulgence – settle in for another peaceful evening in the Central Highlands.

Day 4

People watching a man shear sheep
Curringa Farm / Tourism Tasmania

This morning, drive back through Bronte Park. From here you can take a detour to see art of epic proportions at Derwent Bridge. Witness history being made by a local artist, who is carving 100 continuous metres of 3-m high Huon Pine panels to commemorate the people who shaped the region's history.

You can also head straight to Tarraleah, a quaint town built in the 1930s surrounded by alpine lakes and mountains, to learn about the history of the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Power Scheme.

Continue along the Lyell Highway to Hamilton. Experience a taste of farm life by taking a local farm tour. See sheep-shearing and meet the working farm dogs, view the crops in season and go on a farm walk.

Stay the night in the picturesque Derwent Valley.

Day 5

Town on the banks of a river
New Norfolk and River Derwent / Stu Gibson

For a fascinating insight into the settlement's rich colonial history, try the Walking Through Time self-guided tour through New Norfolk's town centre.

Leave some time to stop while heading back to Hobart to make the most of the Derwent Valley's wineries which are dotted along the route.