Places to see in the
food, wine, nature and river
A combination of natural, historical and man-made. Leisure, recreation, learning or indulging in your own niche is possible, depending on your interests. There are things to do in the Tamar Valley to suit all.
Where else in the world can you visit in one day: A nudist beach, , see the world’s largest jumping pillow, visit a gravelly beach, see a turbo chook, pat a pig, see Australia’s oldest (colonial) graffiti, play in a museum where 13 million ounces of gold have been produced and had to pump 6 million litres of water per day to get it and drive along Australia’s longest navigable estuary….ummm, dunno…..no wait, the Tamar Valley!
The bushranger the ladies invited in. Who’s that pillaging my home, why it’s you, Matthew Brady, you saucy bushranger you, do stay…..The Fabio, Hugh Hefner or Casanova of the 1800’s Matthew Brady tore a new ‘a’ in the colony of Van Diemens Land in the 1820’s – transported for stealing a basket of bacon, butter, sugar and rice (probably a picnic hamper for his harem) he irritated the constabulary and at the same time rocked the maidens world with his dash, manners and large….aaahhhh….pistol. Visit the Matthew Brady Lookout for a historic view of the Tamar River.
Tamar Valley Wineries
A clever bunch of characters….and aren’t they. For anyone who thinks that all wine has ever done for us is create drunk, legless, inebriated and trollied folks pretending to be appreciating the finer things in life, well, you’re probably right. But here in the Tamar Valley, there are 32 vineyards that makeup Tamar Valley Wineries, all ready for your appreciation or indulgence as it may be. If you don’t want the designated driver tag, run a quick Tripadvisor search via Things to do in the Tamar Valley and choose a local driver, take a tour, and let your hair down. Go on, visit the Tamar Valley Wine Route.
Tamar Island Wetlands
Bruno the Bull ran riot on it, one man’s sorrow created the Plough Tree, the Platypus II silt dredge is now a part of it (ironic name since it sunk and is stuck in the mud) and now you can walk right through the Tamar Island Wetlands to it. Thankfully Tamar Island Wetlands shirked its original names of Pig Island and then Mud Island (obviously the tourism board did not want anyone going there) and now is home to cool fauna such as Water Striders, the Common Jollytail, Banjo Frogs and Mus Musculus – the House Mouse.
Aboriginal for Awesomeness (no, not really) 60 metre sea cliffs, aboriginal middens, Shane the Sheep, a Nudist Beach, incorporating a 5 kilometre long stretch of sand and views right along the north-west coast of Tasmania. At the lookout on West Head you’re basically standing on a 170 million year old chunk of rock that’s resisted the urge to turn into gravel. If you have the urge, (no, not turn into gravel) there’s the Coastal Traverse – Bring your camera.
Food in the tamar valley
Look closely at the garden outside of the cafe – it’s where food comes from; not wrapped in cling film and Styrofoam, not in a box that tells you it’s nutritional value, not imported from Bungtang – it’s grown and prepared here and if you ask the chef, there’s a story to all of it. Make your own food treasure hunt by locating and scarfing down a Big Barn Burger, New York Chowder, Thai green chicken and prawn curry sausages, feijoas or even char-grilled quail in a grape bath. Quail love to be clean before dinner…..
If you’re into Lauterbrunnen, Lederhosen or the Duke of Zahringen, you’re about 14 000k’s off. This is Grindelwald, Tamar Valley style featuring its own lakes, mini-Matterhorn, Alpenrose bar & bistro and a whopping great European styled resort. Golf, dining and a plethora of kid’s activities – it’s a one-stop shop (with shops) and all of the houses built around the front of the lodge are Swiss themed. Kinda quirky but kinda…..Swiss.
Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre
Come and Play in the Tamar Valley? – Since when could you actually touch items in a museum? Don’t you love bollards, display cabinets, do not touch signs and security guards with side arms when you go to a museum? Well here, at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre they encourage you to touch, turn, push, ring and get a hold of stuff. BIG stats here with literally tonnes of gold being produced, billions of litres of water pumped out, with shafts and mining activity under your feet that’s about 15 times as large as the town itself, it’s worthwhile checking the gravel in your shoes when you leave town, just in case.
Seahorse World and Platypus House
Ever wondered why Craig, the owner of Seahorse World, has 6 kids? Because he lives on dried seahorses and they’re 8 trillion precent better than Viagra. Here you can hold seahorses , starfish, hermit crabs, have echidnas crawl over your feet, stand nose to nose with a platypus and find out what the cutest name for an animal is ever – a puggle. Peter and the team feed the platypus on every tour as well as the echidnas – no bikini diet here. Part duck, otter and beaver that lays eggs and is venomous, it also has electrolocation in its beak. Aliens are real….and daddy seahorses have the babies, aaaaarrrgh!
Yes it’s the return of Bat-man in the form of a giant 91 metre high ‘A’. Little known fact – a certain butler on a month’s leave from a certain Manor in the 1960’s, let’s call him Alf, put his engineering skills to work (he graduated with honours from MIT School of Engineering) by creating a cantilevered bridge over the Tamar River in honour of his boss. Or more plausibly, it may have been named in honour of John Batman who built a little schooner further along the river and founded Melbourne – you choose which is the best story. Put it on your ‘big’ list.
...That's not all the Tamar Valley has to offer!
There's also galleries, river cruising, golf, wildlife and history….and arts…and beaches…and bush walks…the occasional event, oh and some nice parks and gorges and stuff.