10 weird and wonderful destinations in North East Tasmania

The original plan was to do one post for all of Tasmania. You can get from one side of the state to the other in under 6 hours… how much could there be to write about? Ha. The answer to that one is LOADS. All we can say is if you’re planning a trip for just a couple days, you better plan to come back 10 times over!

But let’s get back to where you need to go in North East Tasmania. From waterfalls to wineries, to gorges, to beer drinking pigs and the best cheese you’ve tasted in your life, you can find it all in this pocket of Tasmania. Oh, and dirt roads, you’ll find a lot of them. So strap down the loose cargo in your camper van and get ready!

standing on a camper van at jocobs ladder peak in north east tasmania overlooking the mountains


When you step off the Spirit of Tasmania – well drive off – there will be a lovely local standing at the exit to hand you a bunch of brochures. Generally we just use good old google to find us exciting things to do in new places, but this time I was intrigued. Maybe it was because it felt like we stepped back 20 years – Tasmania will have that effect, trust us – or maybe I was already sick of listening to Dylan singing. Whatever it was I found myself flipping through their local magazine, and that’s where I stumbled upon Turners Beach Berry Patch.

Picking berries at Turners Beach Berry Patch in North East Tasmania

This cute little farm just off the highway hosts some of the best berries we have ever eaten, as well as a pleasingly picturesque cafe and gift shop. For $9 you’re given an empty punnet and the permission to roam free through their luscious vines. We spent most of the morning wandering happily through the berries, eating way more than what went into our punnets!

Have you ever seen a strawberry this big!? We couldn’t believe our eyes. And yes, they tasted even better than they look.

For just $18 we managed to stock up our fridge with over a week’s worth of berries. An absolute win and must do while you’re in the land way down under.

Stoked at the massive amount of berries picked at Turners Beach Berry Patch in North East Tasmania


Just 50 minutes from either Devonport or Launceston, Holwell Gorge is easily accessible and boasts three waterfalls along a 2 hour-ish return walk – you’ll find out in a minute why there’s an ‘ish’.

holwell gorge bridge entering the fun hike through the dense forest in North East Tasmania
perferct photograpghy through the trees at holwell gorge on the narrow hiking track in North East Tasmania

Unfortunately when we visited, there was but a drip between all three waterfalls. This was a sad time, but not one to ruin our day.

Balancing on a fallen tree in Holwell Gorge over a pond at the base of a dry waterfall in North East Tasmania

The walk itself is one of the most entertaining we’ve done in Tasmania. It’s a simple, well signposted trek along a nicely groomed path to the first waterfall. BUT lace up your hiking shoes from there because once you pass this point, the rest of the way is treacherous. Crawling along the sloping side of the Gorge, climbing over fallen trees and using ropes to get through old landslides proved quite a difficult feat. One leaving Dylan slamming onto a fallen tree after refusing to use the rope as a guide. We can only imagine what a mission it would be in the wet.

swinging on the guide rope in place at Holwell Gorge in North East Tasmania
hiking holwell gorge in north east tasmania pulling a stupid face while walking under a fallen tree

Once you get to the third waterfall, you may be tempted – like us – to clamber down the dried up falls instead of returning the way you came. From an experienced point of view…DON’T. It’s all peachy until you get to the top of the second waterfall – the one we hadn’t seen yet.

Looking over the dry waterfalls in Holwell Gorge located in North East Tasmania

We were stuck. It was either making a mad jump to the left of the cliff and hoping the trees would catch us, or traversing under the fallen tree and sliding down the steep bank. We went with the latter and made it down with only a couple of scratches. Was it worth it? Well… who can say a good story isn’t worth it! Would we recommend this adventurous way? Not really.

climbing down the cliff at Holwell Gorge Waterfalls in North East Tasmania


Did you think you would be able to read a post without a bit of mountain biking in it?? Sorry, not sorry.

Our love. And now our favourite mountain bike park to date. Blue Derby. The hype is real and the reality did not let us down. Not only is this park full of everything from green runs for the little rippers, to massive 10m jumps for the mental, it also offers terrific scenery and undoubtedly the best terrain. This combination has created a mountain bike park to remember. Winding your way through 80km worth of the fastest flowing trails Australia has to offer, the sound of your tyres ripping around perfectly sculpted berms as supporting dirt is thrown from the rear tyre will leave the biggest grin on any level of rider’s face.

mountain biking through the dark tunnel at Blue Derby in North East Tasmania
Admiring the view over Blue Derbys lake while mountain biking in North East Tasmania

But it’s not just the riding experience. The town is so MTB hyped as well. Derby is a small, quaint village nestled along the banks of the Ringarooma River, rich with mining history and natural wonders. You won’t find much in town except a few mountain bike shops, a couple of pubs, a delicious pizza restaurant, some quirky cafes and super happy and friendly locals ready to have a yarn. Even if you’re not a mad mountain biker, the free camping with $4 for 4 minute showers could be a nice pitt-stop on your way to the coast.

drinking craft beer at The Hub in Derby after mountain biking Blue Derby in North East Tasmania
Preparing for a local craft beer at the Dorset Hotel at Blue Derby in North East Tasmania


To keep with our theme of completely unrelated, wacky and wonderful things to do in Tasmania, here is a Pub where you can feed a pig beer. Yep, you read that correctly. A truly Aussie pig.

The pub in the paddock in north east tasmania

We will start with a tip; go during the day! Priscilla the lazy arse pig was sleeping when we got there in the early evening. Nothing would wake her, not even our loud, slightly obnoxious attempts. Luckily you only need to pay the bartender one dollar for a watered down beer – for anyone that was getting slightly worried – and if she doesn’t take it, you get that precious dollar returned when you give the beer back.

watching the priscilla the beer drinking pig at pub in the paddock located in north east tasmania

Now for some history. Priscilla is actually the second pig in the generation of beer drinking pigs. The original was discovered around 50 years ago when the pub owner got a little tipsy one night with his mates and thought it would be funny to feed the pig beer. To their surprise, Priscilla absolutely frothed over it and couldn’t get enough. Hence the star was born. It didn’t take long for this genius to discover the potential to produce loads more traffic and turn his little rural pub into a highly profitable business.

The pub itself has a very cosy interior. With historic photos covering the walls and little knick-knacks throughout. Even if you’re not so keen on the pig, give this pub a visit for its delicious meals and local craft beer variety. It’s well worth the detour.

enjoying a local beer at the pub in the paddock in north east tasmania before feeding the pig beer


Ready for a devastating story? We stayed at the free campsite in the sports grounds opposite the pub and woke to realise we were out of milk. NO COFFEE!! This was a tragedy. But not all was lost, just down the road we stumbled upon Pyengana Dairy.

pyengana dairy cosy outdoor setting in north east tasmania

Being a Sunday we were a little worried it would be closed, however, they open 7 days a week from 8 am. Offering everything from a full breakfast menu, to home-made ice-cream, to cheese tasting and other local delicacies. Oh and milk of course.

enjoying deliscious cheddar cheese tastings at pyengana dairy in north east tasmania

The cheese is DELICIOUS. Dylan is a huge fan of cheddar and has awarded Pyengana Cheddar first prize. You taste at your own leisure with one of the wonderful staff on hand to provide all the information you need.

The best part of all this? The cheese is very reasonably priced, something that has become sadly foreign. And the milk! Let’s not forget the milk, after all, it was the reason we stopped in the first place. It is almost the same price as the Woolworths brand but tastes oh so delightful. So creamy and natural.

overlooking pyengana dairy factory farm with our purchased milk and cheddar cheese in north east tasmania


We were very sceptical on the topic of the ‘Little Blue Lake’, as we have finally become part of the new digital age. Learning all there is to know about photo editing… well at least that exaggerating colours is as easy as swiping right on Tinder, we wondered how blue it really is.

the extremely turquoise blue lake due to high aluminium levels known as the little blue lake in north east tasmania

What a surprise! This is a completely un-colour graded shot of the Little Blue Lake and as you can see, an absolute stand out turquoise nature makes this little old lake one like no other. High levels of Aluminium found in the Lake are the cause of this bright blue. The colour is even more exaggerated by the surrounding almost white sandstone cliffs.

On exploring the perimeter, many signs were found stating the dangers of swimming in the highly polluted water, along with treading carefully along the edge of the crumbling cliffs. Even though we found evidence that people had in fact gone swimming here, we didn’t take that risk. Perhaps nothing would come of such an adventure, but who really wants to take that chance? You may exit with no side effects BUT, you may walk out supporting an extra limb… We aren’t telling you what to do, however, maybe save that swim for the beach.

drinking coffee at the little blue lake in north east tasmania, admiring the bright blue tinge created by aluminium in water


If there is but one road you cannot miss in North East Tasmania, it’s Jacobs Ladder. We had no idea of its existence in all our research for what to do in the North East. Lucky one of Dylan’s friends saw it on good old Instagram and told us just before it was too late, literally!

standing at the peak of jacobs ladder in north east tasmania overlooking the trecherous dirt road up the mountain side

Alright, let’s start with a funny story. Picture this. It’s New Years Day, we’re feeling a little sorry for ourselves and decide to drive up Jacob’s Ladder for breakfast – it’s a hot day and we’ve been told its cooler up there, they weren’t lying! – Everything is going splendidly, the view is incredible, the weather is fresh and our bellies are full. Time to fly the drone for the first time on this trip. Just as we get into position for that perfect Insta photo, the wind picks up and the cliff edge interferes with the drone software. Poor little Sparky has a spaz attack and kamikaze’s himself straight into the rocks. Bye Bye Sparky.

Broken DJI Spark Drone after crashing in the Ben Lomond National Park in North East Tasmania

After a moment of silence for one of our beloved comrades, we had no choice but to carry on with our welcomed detour. We continue marvelling over the epic switchbacks creating the dangerous road below, before deciding to visit one of Tasmania’s only two Ski Resorts… we told you it was cold up here.

Following the road further into the Ben Lomond Plateau, you will be greeted by cute chalets and lodges at the base of Tasmania’s only Ski Resort that is chairlift accessible. There you will find several short hikes leading across the mountain top – assuming you’re here in summer – and some rock climbing. Although you’d have to be pretty badass to hold on to these freezing rock faces in alpine conditions!

As stated before, we were feeling very sorry for ourselves and were in no shape to attack any of these hikes… or rock climb for that matter. A quick wander through the ski village, planning where our little chalet would be was all we could muster.

Wandering through Ben Lomond Ski Village in North East Tasmania


What could be better than a beautiful river running through the lush green countryside? When that lush green countryside is littered with vineyards, HEAVEN! Tamar Valley is one of the most popular destinations in Tasmania for wine. As is common for most of this state, these wineries are best known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling. Which were all pretty darn delicious we must say.

tamar ridge winery overlooking the beautiful tamar valley in north east tasmania

You won’t be able to miss them, the signs are everywhere. Just a word of advice? Don’t go on a public holiday. We were stinging to go to the Beautiful Isle Winery that had been suggested by Three Cuts Gin – a must visit distillery located at Tamar Ridge Winery – but they were unfortunately closed New Year’s Eve. How rude!

Our usual rule is to only go to wineries which don’t sell to the large bottle shops. You’ve gotta help out the little guys, right? But in light of the obstacle stated above, there wasn’t a lot of choices. However, we were certainly not disappointed with Tamar Ridge or Vélo Wines. Tamar had a delicious sparkling and the most beautiful view of the river. And Vélo had an intriguing Cab Sav / Shiraz that had notes of Jalapeños! Delicious and original.

Tamar Ridge Winery enjoying a free tasting of the deliscious range in North East Tasmania


It’s history lesson time. Way back in the 1820s, a ‘Gentleman’ named Matthew Brady was at large. He was a convict from England who didn’t fancy being locked up, and therefore escaped Sarah Island to become a bushranger. He collected himself a posse and hid out in the Tamar Valley. One of his known hideouts was Notley Fern Gorge, utilising an enormous burnt out tree now named ‘Brady’s Tree’. You won’t be able to miss the tree. Aside from its size, there are plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction! However, rookie us didn’t even take a photo of it!

crossing a bridge in the notley fern gorge forest located in north east tasmania

We aren’t quite sure why this is called a Gorge, we would describe it more as a rainforest but we are far from experts on the matter. 45 minutes is more than enough time needed to complete this short but beautiful loop as it leads you along the soft and spongy forest floor.

walking the notley fern gorge track in north east tasmania searching for bradys tree
balancing on a fallen tree in notley fern gorge exploring the home of brady's tree in north east tasmania

Rich with Tree Ferns and humungous old trees, the scenery is marvellous. We visited Notley Fern Gorge during a dreadful time of drought across the North East of Tasmania and Australia as a whole. As a result, the extremely dense and moist environment was a welcome reminder of better days, setting us in a cheery mood.

Ok, this may just be Dylan being Dylan but you get our gist. Located just off the highway, this walk is too easy to pass up.

laying across the handrails of a bridge in notley fern gorge forest located in north east tasmania


Being the central hub for pretty much all of the attractions in North East Tasmania, it would be downright offensive not to visit Launceston, wouldn’t it?

We aren’t usually ones to be interested in cities, but Launceston has such a rich history that’s obvious when you wander through the streets. Being one of Australia’s oldest cities, the streets are lined with historic Victorian and Georgian buildings.

main street of launceston, largest city in north east tasmania

Situated right on the banks of the Tamar River Estuary, there is plenty to see and do in Launceston. With the limited time we had there, Cataract Gorge was at the top of our list. Just a 15 minute walk from the town, this natural wonder is well worth the visit.

birds eye view of Cataract Gorge in Launceston in North East Tasmania

This is what I imagine when the word Gorge is thrown around. Massive sheer cliffs lining the river banks with little rapids throughout, flowing into a large and open watering hole. Heaven on a hot summers day. Cataract Gorge is equipped with a suspension bridge joining the north and south of the river, showing off spectacular views further along.

Offering short and long walks, jump rocks, cafes and even a swimming pool on the grassy banks, Cataract Gorge is the perfect chill spot to while away a warm afternoon.

Candace enjoying herself on the Cataract Gorge Bridge located in Launceston in North East Tasmania

If you’re as addicted to caffeine as we are, don’t miss Coffee Republic. A tiny little espresso bar that isn’t easy to spot, but offers the best coffee we’ve tasted in AGES! And what’s better than finding delicious coffee? Finding a shop that has countless varieties of beans at your disposal and will grind them to your desired size.

Coffee Republic in Launceston, best coffee shop in North East Tasmania

This is but a snippet of the amazing destinations to visit in the North East of Tasmania, but you would need a good few months to see them all. Tell us about your favourite adventure in this region. We may even add it in!