Stretching 60 km north from Launceston to Bass Strait along either side of the Tamar River, the Tamar Valley is one of Tasmania's prettiest regions. Both banks of the river and the wider valley are packed with things to do and places to go. Spectacular views abound and the roads are good, making it easy and enjoyable to tour around.
To make the most of it, drive north along one side of the river and return along the other.
On the way you'll find small pretty villages and plenty of viewing spots. On the western shore the best is Brady's Lookout with beautiful expansive views of the river and surrounding valley. On the eastern shore, stop at Mount George Lookout, an historic semaphore site and the best photo opportunity of the valley and surrounding districts.
For more adventure try leaving the highway and exploring some of the smaller roads to get a feel for the local life and surrounding country. The rolling hills of the valley and its rich agricultural land attracts growers and producers including makers of artisanal cheeses, ciders, beers, truffles, walnuts, cherry delicacies and more, all committed to their craft and easily reached on a day-drive.
For wine lovers, there are some magnificent little wineries around the valley offering superb views and wine tasting: many of the makers will greet you and happily spend time talking about their craft.
There's also lots to entertain the kids. At Beauty Point, children will love the unique Seahorse World, the world's first commercial seahorse farm.
And on the way you'll pass through Beaconsfield where the Beaconsfield gold mine made headlines in 2006 when a rock fall trapped two miners underground for two weeks. The interactive exhibit on the mine collapse at the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre is amazing.
On the other side of the river on the eastern shore is Hillwood Berry Farm where kids can grab a bucket and pick their own berries when in season.
Closer to Launceston at the Grindelwald Tamar Valley resort there are activities to keep families entertained including mini golf, a bouncing cushion, pedal boats, paddle kayaks, canoes, one and two-seat pedal cars, a full-size wooden pirate ship, BBQ facilities, children’s playground and more.
For those interested in Australian history, George Town is one of Australia's first settlements and due to its location near Bass Strait has a rich maritime history. Take a short drive further on to Low Head at the mouth of the Tamar and visit Australia's oldest continuously operated Pilot Station. There's also a Maritime Museum with a replica of Bass and Flinders' sloop Norfolk and the Low Head Lighthouse that's been operating since 1833.
With rich farmlands, dedicated makers, good roads and light traffic, the Tamar Valley offers some of Tasmania's most enjoyable attractions.
© Rob Burnett Images