From the city of Devonport, port of the Spirit of Tasmania, to the rugged country towards Cradle Mountain, is a region of farming hamlets and historic buildings, beaches, forests, mountains carved by glaciers and fertile farmland.
The backdrop to your travels is the Great Western Tiers, known to the Aboriginal people as Kooparoona Niara. Behind this enormous escarpment sits the protected World Heritage Area of mountains and valleys, lakes and forests. Beneath the surface are extensive limestone caves in the Mole Creek Karst National Park and right nearby is Mole Creek with its giant statue of the Tasmanian devil.
Many artists have chosen to live in this area, and each year Deloraine holds the southern hemisphere’s largest working craft fair.
In Westbury, Deloraine and Latrobe there are also well-preserved reminders of earlier days with each offering antique shops where you can search out treasures. Latrobe’s Australian Axeman’s Hall of Fame and Timberworks, celebrates its timber industry heritage. This is a land of milk and honey, sweet berries and fresh vegetables, grass-fed beef and superb farm cheeses.
Mount Roland looms magnificently over fertile pastures around Sheffield, the town of murals, and nearby is the international rowing course at Lake Barrington.
From Sheffield the road winds deep into wilderness. Just beyond Middlesex Plains, you turn left into Cradle Valley, and in the distance is the craggy profile of Cradle Mountain.
From Cradle you can follow country roads through Wilmot’s dairy country and croplands towards the Leven Canyon and Gunns Plains Caves before reaching Bass Strait’s shores and the seaside towns of Ulverstone and Penguin.