1-Golf at Barnbougle Dunes
Established in 2005, the golfing world thought the Sattler family were crazy building such a grand course in the middle of absolutely nowhere. But they didn’t scrimp on costs, using the best golf designers in the world, and soon the stunning 18 hole course’s reputation gathered momentum right across the world to the point that Barnbougle Dunes is now considered Australia’s best public course and one of the world’s top 20 golf courses.
2-Golf at Lost Farm
Not content to have the country’s best public course here in North Eastern Tasmania, the Sattlers decided to build a second course right next door, only this course has two extra holes to enjoy the spectacular views.
Now rated in Australia’s top 10 public golf courses and in the world’s top 50, Lost Farm is actually more visually arresting than its older brother. There’s also more stylish accommodation, a luxurious day spa and a restaurant with stunning views over Bass Strait.
3-Quad bike beside the sea
It’s one of the best ways to get right into the bush of north-east Tasmania, mixed with a fair amount of adrenalin for good measure.
Located between the town of Scottsdale and Bridport near Bass Strait (and not far from Barnbougle) you’ll ride a quad bike along private bush tracks, through hidden valleys and gullies and across hill climbs and big drop-offs for a different way to see the north-east.
4-Mountain bike not far from Launceston
It’s one of Australia’s most exciting new mountain bike trails – for everyone from total beginners to experts. Just 15 minutes drive from Launceston, mountain bikers can sample brand new trails (opening in October 2014) cut through wilderness beside Hollybanks Reserve.
There’s a five-kilometre long beginner loop through pines, Californian red woods and gums, with an 11 kilometre loop for everyone from beginners to experts, cut through a total wilderness area full of dollarite rocks to navigate between and over.
5-Mountain bike through a temperate rainforest
If you want to escape human civilization altogether, the Blue Tier mountain bike descent is for you. It’s a challenging ride through 45 kilometres of trails that take you through the only alpine temperate rainforest in the north-east.
You’ll follow old pack routes used by tin miners a century ago amongst thousands of hectares of the Mt Arthur and Pipers River Forest Reserve. More tracks are being built over the next two years ensuring these trails will become Australia’s best mountain biking destination.
6-Take a multi-day hike across the best beaches on Earth
You’ll spend four days walking along the quartz-white sand beaches beside turquoise seas, as well as walking through the fringing natural park. You’ll also kayak and stay overnight in the luxurious confines of beach camps and the award-winning eco lodge perched high above empty sandy bays.
7-Catch the country’s best bream
There’s empty rivers and estuaries teeming with fish all around St Helens in Tasmania’s north-east. Take a full or half day fishing charter aboard Mike Haley’s six-metre boat to catch some of Australia’s best trophy bream – along with everything from Kingfish to Australian Salmon to Trevally.
You’ll be taken to the most pristine estuaries in the region, from Ansons Bay to Scamander River, or you can fish right beside St Helens in Georges Bay.
8-Make sure you catch yourself a fish!
You only have to drive 25 minutes north-east of Launceston to make sure of catching yourself a fish. You can enjoy a picnic lunch with the family in pretty surroundings while you catch a rainbow trout, golden rainbow trout, Brook trout or Atlantic salmon in a commercial fish farm – you’re guaranteed to catch one and you don’t need a licence. Then cook your catch on a barbeque out amongst the lakes.
9-Fly right across the tree tops
There’s a unique way to see the old growth forests of north-east Tasmania as a creature of the forest does – from high up in the air.
You can ride a high-wire zip line within the canopy of the forest at Hollybanks – 15 minutes drive north-east of Launceston.
You’ll fly along high-wire lines 30 metres high – doing distances from 15 metres to 400 metres between platforms built above the forest of the Hollybanks Reserve.
10-Climb right through the heart of Launceston
If you’ve fancied learning to rock climb and abseil but have baulked at the effort it takes to get to prime climbing spots, Launceston is your town. Located right in the heart of the city, the beautiful Cataract Gorge offers over 900 climbs and abseils all within a short walk of the CBD – it’s Tasmania’s most concentrated climbing area. Climbs vary between five and 25 metres and suit beginners to advanced.
Craig Tansley was a guest of Tourism Tasmania