The Apple Isle beckons not only with rustic charm, historic buildings and spectacular scenery – but innovative design to make the most of it all.
1272 South Rd, Pearshape, King Island; 0437 962 020; kittawalodge.com
THE LOCATION Home to some of the country's best cheese, beef and golf, this small island in Bass Strait, a 40-minute flight from Melbourne, also offers one of Tasmania's most thoughtful luxury stays.
THE PLACE There are two secluded, off-grid lodges on this 40-hectare property, both of which are positioned for cinematic ocean and sunset views. Each has a living/dining room, bedroom and bathroom tastefully appointed with artworks by King Island locals, a custom, locally-made amenities range and an all-Tasmanian produce and drinks selection. Wallabies graze outside the floor-to-ceiling windows and in place of a TV, the focal point of the living/dining area is a wood-stoked fire.
Fine scenery, near and far, at Kittawa Lodge. Photo: Adam Gibson
THE EXPERIENCE Relax by the fire or pull on the gumboots at the door and walk along the blustery coastline to a stone cairn memorial marking Australia's worst peacetime maritime disaster – the sinking of the Cataraqui in 1845. There's more fascinating shipwreck history in Currie, a short drive away, and further north, stunning beaches where Kelly Slater is rumoured to have surfed. Return from a day exploring to the warm hospitality of owners and ex-Sydney sea-changers, Nick Stead and Aaron Suine – you might find herbal tea and home-baked banana bread waiting, or perhaps a crayfish to pop in the oven. For an extra fee, Suine can cook you a sumptuous four-course meal starring King Island produce.
DON'T MISS At least one sunset from your lodge, Tasmanian pinot in hand.
FROM $980 a night; minimum two-night stay. – Kate Simmons
The Granary at Richmond Hill in the township of Cressy. Photo: Marnie Hawson
1097 Cressy Rd, Cressy; 0407 874 873; granaryrichmondhill.com
THE LOCATION On a picturesque property called Richmond Hill, The Granary is in the township of Cressy, in farming and trout fishing country 33 kilometres south of Launceston.
THE PLACE At the end of a long driveway, the two-storey sandstone Granary rises up like a Tuscan farmhouse, its entrance flanked by giant urns and beds of lavender, but this striking edifice is decisively Tasmanian, built by convicts in the early 1800s. Owners Fiona and Nick Moses live on the 60-hectare farm in a Regency-period home with a beautiful formal garden, tours of which Fiona will happily give guests.
Inside The Granary. Photo: Ness Vanderburgh
THE EXPERIENCE Cathedral ceilings with exposed oak beams and thick stone walls evoke The Granary's agricultural past. A grand wooden staircase leads to the top floor where, incredibly, sheep were once sheared. Now, it's a vast loft-like living area that stretches from the spacious country kitchen at one end (with a 10-seater table) to the large wood heater encircled by couches at the opposite end. With three generous bedrooms and two large bathrooms (both with heated floors), there's ample room for six – though not recommended for children under 10 – yet it's intimate enough for two. The gently flowing Macquarie River is a five-minute walk away for a picnic, fly-fishing or swimming.
DON'T MISS Antique shopping at historic Evandale, 25 kilometres away, followed by lunch at Josef Chromy winery in nearby Relbia.
FROM $750 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Gabriella Coslovich
The lounge area in the Old Bishop’s Quarters – the 1890s building originally housed a schoolroom. Photo: Supplied
Old Bishop's Quarters
26 Fitzroy Pl, Sandy Bay; (03) 620 1887; bishopsquarters.com.au
THE LOCATION Leafy, well-to-do Sandy Bay looks over the broad waters of the Derwent and the yacht clubs that hug its shores. It's a 15-minute walk to Hobart's city centre or historic Battery Point.
THE PLACE The Old Bishop's Quarters sprawls over half a hectare where its owners have created a nest of four unique apartments within, or adjacent to, the main building. There's a guest courtyard with barbecue and, hidden deep in the gardens, Monty's Hideaway, a converted shipping container, has a retractable roof for star-gazing.
THE EXPERIENCE The School House apartment has a small private courtyard, a vast bathroom with freestanding bath and walk-in shower, one small bedroom and a lounge and main bedroom that was once the schoolroom for the bishop's nine children – one of whom became renowned British Army officer, Field Marshal Bernard Law "Monty" Montgomery. The schoolroom interior reflects its era but with a luxurious overlay; Monty didn't have a smart TV, a vast king bed, or a welcome pack of wine, bread, butter and homemade jams.
DON'T MISS Sandy Bay Road, just down the hill, has all you need for restaurants and supplies, but walk 10 minutes further and you're in Battery Point, with all its history and wonder.
FROM $210 a night ($150 a night for Monty's Hideaway); two-night minimum stay. – Jim Darby
The Burrows in the east coast town of Swansea. Photo: Adam Gibson
7 Addison St, Swansea; 0437 752 547; theburrows.com.au
THE LOCATION From Hobart or Launceston, it's about 135 kilometres to the sleepy east coast town of Swansea and this restored farmhouse with views across Great Oyster Bay.
THE PLACE Bek Burrows and Paul DeRuyter transformed this 1860s stone cottage (extended in the 1950s and '70s), after buying the property in 2019, knocking down thick stone walls to open up the space, putting in salvaged colonial timber windows to frame the views, adding an intimate bathhouse with antique claw-foot bath on the deck, and letting the garden grow into a wonderfully rowdy field of self-seeded flowers, grasses and shrubs.
The bathhouse at The Burrows. Photo: Adam Gibson
THE EXPERIENCE Linen is the textile of choice inside and the palette a calming mix of dusky blues, chalky greys and soft white. Atmosphere rules over mod-cons in this adults-only two-bedroom home (one bedroom is an annexe accessible from the deck). In the classic country kitchen, you'll find locally produced sourdough bread, butter, jam and free-range eggs; in the lounge, a glowing wood fire, cut-crystal glasses and Swansea's The Splendid Gin. Curl up on the couch or the daybed and watch the light change. Vintage artworks, antique objects and family treasures are placed just so, and yet the effect, like the garden, feels natural and undone.
DON'T MISS Book a wine-tasting at Gala Estate in nearby Cranbrook, housed in the town's original 1901 general store.
FROM $425 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Gabriella Coslovich
The secluded Wombat Lodge on Flinders Island. Photo: Ness Vanderburgh
Quoin Cattle Farm, 3951 Palana Rd, Killiecrankie, Flinders Island; 0474889236; onislandtime.com.au
THE LOCATION If you don't find Tasmania's natural wonders wild enough, a hop to this jewel in the Furneaux Group islands in Bass Strait should do it. It's a direct flight from Melbourne (one hour), Launceston (35 minutes) or Hobart (one hour).
THE PLACE Flinders Island, with a population of less than 900, has always attracted adventurers, but since 2018 cattle farmers Tom and Jo Youl have made it a haven for the hungry too. Flinders Wharf, their restaurant, providore and distillery draws top chefs to cook crays, abalone and wallaby on special weekends. Their newest boutique accommodation, Wombat Lodge – one of the three options they offer – is on their farm and has a serious kitchen which can be fully stocked with Flinders' best produce, wines and spirits on request.
Inside Wombat Lodge. Photo: Ness Vanderburgh
THE EXPERIENCE Wombat Lodge is a former shearing shed that now sleeps six in luxe cabin comfort. Soft linens, a flickering fire and a deep bath with mountain views meet bespoke timber tables and wallaby-leather stools. Outside, private walks lead in every direction and e-bikes are provided to reach secluded beaches. Craggy mountains roll down to turquoise waters, from which southern rock lobsters are plucked with ease.
DON'T MISS There's a new menu at Flinders Wharf, where chefs Mikey Yeo and Ronan Sherry focus on locally caught seafood and island produce.
FROM $390 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Gemima Cody
Villa Talia, set on a private hill overlooking the Huon River. Photo: Supplied
68 Airds Rd, Wattle Grove; 0427 901 188; villatalia.com.au
THE LOCATION A steep gravel driveway leads to this quietly grand estate set on a private hill overlooking the majestic Huon River with views to the mountains beyond. It's 60 kilometres south-west of Hobart and 10 kilometres from Cygnet.
THE PLACE Built in 2008 on three hectares, Villa Talia is a replica of an 1800s colonial homestead the previous owners fell in love with in Victoria's Yarra Valley. New owners George and Vivian Luo ramped up the luxe factor after buying the property in 2019, installing an outdoor stone bath and a helipad that doubles as a gazebo site for special occasions.
THE EXPERIENCE It's all about the view in this sumptuous two-bedroom home with five-star-hotel touches, including champagne, cheese and fruit on arrival and a surfeit of gourmet goods in the pantry and fridge. Light streams into high-ceilinged rooms through French doors that open to the wrap-around verandah. Salvaged timber floors are softened by Persian and Afghan wool rugs. It's an East-meets-West feel with French provincial and Chinese lacquered cabinets, cut-velvet couches scattered with Thai silk cushions, and walls hung with Chinese prints and contemporary art. Local chefs are on hand to cook dinner if you choose.
DON'T MISS Float under the Milky Way to a choir of frogs in the large outdoor bath that was carved from a single piece of volcanic rock and imported from Indonesia.
FROM $800 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Gabriella Coslovich
Relax and take in the water views at Sea Stacks. Photo: Adam Gibson
7 Deals Rd, Douglas River; (03) 6375 1247; seastacks.com.au
THE LOCATION Sea Stacks feels utterly remote. It's just behind Denison Beach, 10 kilometres from the seaside holiday town of Bicheno and 180 kilometres north-west of Hobart.
THE PLACE Amid wallaby-nibbled lawns on the reedy bank of Denison Rivulet, three double-storey wood-and-glass cubes are set for a painterly view over the rivulet to the ocean surf in the distance. Designed by Tasmanian architects Taylor and Hinds, the cubes are named Quartz, Mica, and Feldspar – all found in granite, the stone that defines Tasmania's east coast. Each cube is distinct: there's a stone bathroom in Quartz (which has the finest views and the most private deck), there are pink hues in Feldspar, and a brass kitchen and bathroom in Mica, reflecting the golden tones of its namesake.
One of the architect-designed "cubes" at Sea Stacks; each has its own distinct features. Photo: Adam Gibson
THE EXPERIENCE Sea Stacks' simple and clever design, incorporating understated, Danish hygge-inspired luxury, creates a cocoon-like comfort inside the oiled wooden exteriors. Bedroom windows peel back to bring the outdoors in. It's the perfect east-coast base, in easy reach of the Freycinet Peninsula and St Helens, but also a place where you'll want time to enjoy the space and savour the stillness and the big-sky views. Full kitchens invite evenings in, aided by an abundant hamper of local cheeses, wine and other goodies.
DON'T MISS Walk the white sand of wild Denison Beach at the front of Sea Stacks – it stretches for about 10 kilometres.
FROM $550 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Andrew Bain
The Picker's Hut in the Jordan Valley. Photo: Supplied
The Picker's Hut
1329 Elderslie Rd, Broadmarsh; 0409 344 303; thepickershut.com.au
THE LOCATION So seemingly remote yet within such easy reach; hop out of the plane in Hobart, fire up your hire car and reach the Jordan Valley in 45 minutes.
THE PLACE The hut (once used to house soldiers and, for its size, it might be better called a "lodge") was relocated here and then completely overhauled. Clever design and multiple glass sliding doors bring the outside in when the weather suits. There's a barbecue and bar out on the deck and inside is a fully-equipped kitchen, beautiful blackwood dining table and a lounge built around the fireplace. Both bedrooms bring in the views, as does the bathroom, with its big bath and walk-in shower.
THE EXPERIENCE If you were thinking of coming back as an eagle, Picker's would do for a test run. The views stretch over the valley, past grazing sheep and budding crops and into the bush beyond. Vines are growing out the back and there's a complimentary bottle of the wine that is their result in a hamper of bread, cheese and breakfast essentials. There are staples in the pantry and frozen meals available for purchase.
DON'T MISS It's difficult to find a reason to move beyond the hut, but for an adventure in innovative food, try The Agrarian Kitchen, a 25-minute drive away in New Norfolk.
FROM $595 a night; two-night minimum stay. – Jim Darby