I’ve been lucky enough to visit Tasmania a few times now, and always find making the trip over Bass Strait instantly relaxing and rejuvenating. So, after a cancelled trip south earlier this year, I was quick to jump when the opportunity arose to visit Tassie for a kid-free weekend away at Pumphouse Point.
Nestled within central Tasmania over Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake, Pumphouse Point rests inside Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. The two-and-a-half-hour drive from Hobart Airport provides a sampling of all Tasmania has to offer, taking you past historic towns, wineries, distilleries, and cherry farms, winding alongside the picturesque River Derwent, through grasslands and over spectacular mountainous highlands.
We stopped at the scenic town of New Norfolk on the way, to visit the incredible antiques wonderland, The Drill Hall Emporium, and sister store, Flywheel, a beautiful stationery outlet and working letterpress studio. A quick trip to MONA was another highlight, and never fails to enchant.
Upon arrival, it’s clear that Pumphouse Point is truly something special. The original 1940s Pumphouse is a striking 5-story industrial relic perched over the lake, while the original Hydro substation, the Shorehouse, is situated on the lake’s edge. After decades of inactivity, the site was redeveloped into boutique accommodation by Simon Currant AM (whose other projects include Peppermint Bay Hotel in Woodridge and Hobart restaurant Franklin, and before that Cradle Mountain Lodge and Strahan Village), with Cumulus Studio overseeing design of the Pumphouse and Shorehouse conversions.
We stayed at their newest offering, The Retreat, a secluded architectural hideaway designed by JAWS Architects. This timber-clad, luxury self-contained cabin is nestled in bushland on the edge of the lake. Tear yourself away from the views across to the Pumphouse, and inside you’re met with a showcase of furniture and interior details handcrafted by local Tasmanian artisans. The one-off timber furniture pieces in Tasmanian Oak are by Simon Ancher, there are hand-made ceramic bathroom basins by Lindsey Wherrett, and Tasmanian-made soft furnishings from The Spotted Quoll Studio.
The Pumphouse Point is surrounded by many walking tracks, but with an expansive larder brimming with the best local produce, wines and Tasmanian craft beers, ciders, spirits and cocktails, I have to admit it was hard to leave the room! It was tough to decide between a fire-side perch in my all-time favourite designer armchair, the Jardan Wilfred, (not Tasmanian made, but crafted from Tasmanian Oak and 100% Australian wool!) or the outdoor bathtub, taking in views across the lake.
One compelling reason to venture out was the delicious farmhouse fare dinners in the Shorehouse dining room. Meals are served at shared tables and we enjoyed exchanging stories with the other guests, and hearing about the day’s adventures exploring the local trails and sites. The farm-to-table feast is served in conjunction with Coal River Farm, and brings the best of Tasmanian food to this striking setting, enjoyed while overlooking wallabies grazing and the sun setting over Lake St Clair. A truly unforgettable experience!
Pumphouse Point is a historic industrial site, restored to offer boutique accommodation inside Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. To find our more about Pumphouse Point, visit www.pumphousepoint.com.au.