Deep sleep: new places to switch off in Tasmania

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Breathe deep, unwind and settle in. Tasmania has amazing new lodgings to soothe, restore and revive.

Kittawa Lodge

Owners Aaron Suine and Nick Stead left corporate careers in Sydney to raise their child and create a new off-the-grid lodge on 38 hectares of coastline wilderness on King Island, off Tasmania's north-west coast.

"It's incredibly intimate on King Island," Suine says. "There's only so many flights in, so there's never many tourists – every beach is deserted. It's the best place to forget about the world."

Each of the two lodges are located in hidden valleys along 750 metres of private coastline to ensure privacy (except for inquisitive wallabies). Though you're only 15 minutes from the island's main town, you're lost amongst 12 000-year-old sand dunes, albeit with five-star luxury – check out sunsets over Bass Strait from an over-sized concrete bath-tub.

The Keep

Stay in complete privacy at The Keep.

Stay in complete privacy at The Keep. Photo: Aaron Jones

Set on 100 hectares beside a forest reserve in a remote part of north-east Tasmania where phone reception is prone to dropping out when it rains, there's few places in Australia better to switch off in than The Keep.

Located two hours' drive from Launceston, get here and jump in an enormous stone tub amid boulders under the stars, then stay out beside a handmade granite fireplace.

The Keep is a three-storey sandstone tower for two, furnished with one-off Tasmanian designs and commissioned art, with views to the Bay of Fires and along the north-east coast. There's total privacy here at the top of a long gravel road; though a private chef is available if you'd prefer someone else does the cooking.


Coastal Pods Wynyard

Your very own pod built right beside a slow-moving river.

Your very own pod built right beside a slow-moving river. Photo: S. Group

Take a deep breath in and settle back into north-west Tasmania inside your very own pod built right beside a slow-moving river. Your lounge opens on to a huge deck which looks out across fishing boats unloading the day's catch and sail boats negotiating the tides.

Each pod is set up as a self-contained unit with kitchen, laundry and two bedrooms within a redesigned, decommissioned shipping container. Built in the small fishing town of Wynyard, sun-filled picture windows provide private reading sanctuaries – if you can keep your eyes off the action on the river.

Novo Luxury Apartment 

The smell of salt blowing in from Bass Strait fills your senses the moment you enter Novo Luxury Apartment at Penguin, on the north-west coast. Enjoy the stylish interiors, contemporary artwork, and an entertainer's kitchen, or relax with a barbecue on the outdoor deck with its views across Penguin Beach.

You're just a few metres from the sand in this newly renovated 108-year-old heritage cottage. You'll see migrating whales, and the odd passing little penguin in a town named for them (Penguin). Should you wish to venture out, the town has a pretty esplanade beside Tasmania's largest undercover market and picturesque cafes, restaurants and delis.

River Cabins Derby

Unplug yourself from the rat race on a world-class mountain bike trail amongst rainforest, rivers and waterfalls in the north-east of Tasmania. There's over 125 kilometres of trails around Derby – stay in one of three new Scandi-inspired cabins built close to the trailhead, beside a river.

The River Cabins have barbecues on the deck, with a fire-pit under the stars. "Derby's grown in popularity but it maintains its sleepy town vibe," owner Toby Shingleton says. "Each cabin's designed to give guests that alpine mountain escape, and to make them feel like they're a million miles from the rest of the world."

Ettrick Rocks

You can't pass a car on King Island without giving a wave. Home to barely 2000 locals in the middle of Bass Strait, it's easy to leave the outside world behind.

Stay in one of three luxury dwellings – each room has uninterrupted views of the Southern Ocean through picture frame windows. Watch fishing boats in front, or walk to your own secluded sandy cove to swim, or dive for crayfish.

King Island's one of Australia's top fishing destinations, and there's no better spot on the island to catch some than right here. Grill your catch on a BBQ at sunset, as the lighthouse lights up for the evening.

Hotel Verge Launceston

Switch off in the heart of the island's second biggest city, Launceston.

Switch off in the heart of the island's second biggest city, Launceston. Photo: Anjie Blair

You don't have to be in the middle of nowhere in Tasmania to switch off – you can do it in the heart of the island's second biggest city, Launceston. Local architect Cumulus Studio created a look that echoes the early industrial origins of the precinct, featuring exposed concrete ceilings and timber and brass details. Pop next door to the celebrated Harvest community market on Saturdays and mingle with the locals.

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