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Tasmania’s Stories

Glamping it up

Edition 199_TruffleLodge

As latest figures show Tasmania’s popularity as a nature-tourism destination continues to grow, there’s even more opportunity to sleep under the stars in five-star luxury.

Tasmania’s stunning natural scenery continues to attract tourists in record numbers.

Data released last month by the Parks and Wildlife Service show visitation figures increased by seven per cent in 2017-18, with 1.4 million visits to our national parks.

Top attraction Freycinet National Park on the east coast, which has Wineglass Bay as its major drawcard, recorded a six per cent jump in tourist numbers with 310,000 visitors.

However, other areas also experienced significant growth in visitor numbers, including:

Premier and Minister for Parks, Will Hodgman, says Tasmania’s parks and reserves are one of the key drivers of growth in the State’s visitor economy.

He adds, almost half of the tourists who visit come for our natural attractions, which in turn provides a major economic boost, especially in regional communities.

“These increases mean that more people are travelling to Tasmania’s different regions, adding to the regional economy by staying longer and spending more,” Mr Hodgman said.

“Tasmania’s national parks support 200 nature-based tourism operators which creates thousands of jobs for Tasmanians.”

Meantime, as more and more tourists seek out nature-based experiences, operators are stepping up.

Glamping – or glamorous camping – is a rapidly growing market sector.

And, amongst those at the Tasmanian forefront are Laurelle and John Grimley.

They are offering new heights of glamping luxury with ‘Truffle Lodge’, which they have just increased in size to meet enormous demand.

“We started a year ago, with five tents and a communal lodge. However, we have just opened three more tents, and added an open-tented function pavilion,” Laurelle Grimley explains.

“Although we have almost doubled in size, we are virtually booked out for the entire season ahead.

“We knew glamping was on-trend but had no idea it was in such high demand.”

The tents at Truffle Lodge are described as being “like a five-star hotel under canvas.”

They sit on the banks of the River Derwent, upstream from Hobart near Gretna, on a block of land that was once one of Australia’s first trufferies – hence the name.

The accommodation may be in ‘tents’, but these are the pinnacle of Australian ‘bush-luxe’.

Truffle Lodge’s safari inspired en suite tents are “luxurious in detail, but also raw and simple and pared back".

To ensure maximum privacy they are double-walled, but also come complete with amazing creature comforts: a hand-made, free-standing wooden bath; rain shower; oversized bed; even a coffee machine; and bar fridge.

“Truffle Lodge is of international standard, and the best in Australia,” Grimley explains.

“And we have been inundated with interest not only from the mainland, but also internationally.

“Like the German magazine that called up out the blue and wanted to send someone here to take photos.

“In fact, we are now getting more and more people visiting Tasmania specifically to stay at Truffle Lodge.”

While business may be booming, Grimley warns “people are starting to get a little jaded and sceptical with the term glamping".

“But, this is true luxury under the stars.”

Image courtesy of Impressions Marketing Communications

14 October 2018, Edition 199

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

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