Visiting the Tamar Valley

The Tamar Valley stretches 60km from Bass Strait to Launceston, intersected by the Tamar River.  The Batman Bridge unites the two shores near Deviot.

There is much to see and do along both sides of the river for foodies as the area is home to growers and producers of ciders, truffles, walnuts, berries, cherries olive oil and more.

If wine is more your thing, there are many magnificent and award wining wineries with superb views and wine tastings. A number also have restaurants showcasing local produce. For more information visit the Tamar Valley Wine Route

On the East Tamar

Low Head is located 5 kilometres north-west of George Town.
It is a popular snorkel and scuba diving area during much of the year, with extensive wide, unspoiled beaches.

While in Low Head you can visit the lighthouse, established in 1833. If visiting on a Sunday at noon, you will hear the Chance Bros. ‘Type G’ diaphone. It is the only operable foghorn of its type.

You can also visit the colony of fairy penguins with Low Head Penguin Tours who offer daily tours of an evening.

A little further down the road will bring you to the historic Low Head Pilot Station and Maritime Museum. It is the oldest group of pilot buildings in Australia. The pilot service dates from 1805 and still operates from this site today.

George Town is Australia’s third oldest settlement after Sydney and Hobart and has a rich maritime past.

On the main street you can find the Watch House, operating from a historic goal site. The Watch House contains many historical displays including a model village of early nineteenth century George Town.

Be sure to visit the Bass & Flinders Centre – the home of “The Norfolk”, the full sized replica of the ship that Bass and Flinders sailed from Sydney and around Tasmania in 1798.

15 minutes North heading towards Launceston you will find Hillwood, home of the Hillwood Berry Farm. Spend a relaxing morning or afternoon picking your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more.  Enjoy a drink and some delicious local produce at the farm gate cafe, or pick up some of the freshest produce from local farms, including Meander Valley Dairy, Southern Sky and Pyengana cheeses, as well as local wines.

Overlooking Anderson Bay, Bridport offers excellent river and sea fishing, bush walking and beach activities.
Australia’s top public golf course, Barnbougle Dunes, and its neighbouring Lost Farm golf course are just east of Bridport and built on sand dunes to mirror the classic wild courses of Scotland.

At nearby Nabowla you’ll find Bridestowe Lavender Estate, 260 acres of fragrant fields that bloom in December and January.

On the West Tamar

Just a 10 minutes drive from the heart of Launceston, is the Tamar Island Wetlands where you can walk  through wetlands and across a river channel to the 7 hectare Tamar Island. For company you’ll have pelicans, swans, cormorants and numerous other bird species as well as frogs, dragonflies and lizards. The wetlands centre has displays and information.

Visit the Swiss Village at Grindelwald for a touch of Switzerland in Tasmania. Pop in for a bite to eat or visit the Chocolate shop for something sweet.

Further down the West Tamar Highway you will come to Brady’s Lookout.  The Lookout offers beautiful views over the Tamar River and surrounding areas. There are excellent, fully accessible toilet and picnic facilities, including sheltered BBQs and a number of picnic tables.

Exeter is home to the popular Exeter Bakery and The Beehive, which is worth a visit for all things honey, Tasmanian whisky and gin. While there you can even watch a working beehive.

Further north will find you in Beaconsfield, a former gold mining town. Learn more about the town’s history and the events of the 2006 mine collapse at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre.

In Beauty Point you will find plenty of dining options, while the waters of the Tamar River are ideal for kayaking, swimming and fishing.

You can also visit a working seahorse farm at Seahorse World or spend some time watching live Tasmanian platypus and echidnas at the Platypus House.