If you are not one to shy away from a wintery holiday Tasmania has plenty on offer. For an exceptional sense of place and breathtaking landscape, you cannot go past Pumphouse Point.
Before you even arrive the drive sets the tone for your stay; eucalypts, ferns, native wild flowers amongst a changing forest-scape prelude Lake St Clair and its small driftwood beaches and before long you start to catch glimpses of the 1930s hydro pump house that appears to be floating on the lake’s surface. Greeted at check in inside the caretakers cottage, we were then ferried across with baggage by buggy taking the opportunity to learn about the history of where we were about to stay.
A culmination of developer Simon Currant’s vision and design by architectural firm Cumulus Studio, the hydro pump house now houses the hotel. The drama of staying in the Pumphouse is hard to go past, and to wake up in the middle of a lake is quite magnificent. There’s a magical feeling in the midst of the changing weather, that shifts rapidly around the lake and around your room. We loved our room, looking back over the walkway as well as across the lake (almost 180 degree view). It is a clever design of space, the marriage of old and new.
There’s the option to stay in Pumphouse, the Shorehouse or the newly opened Private Retreat (complete with outdoor bath!). Within the Shorehouse, there are 2 communal lounge areas over 2 floors with fires, games, books and magazines perfect for whiling away hours and watching the weather change over the lake. Dinner is a communal affair, with a daily changing menu, championing Tasmanian locally sourced protein & produce. Be sure to go early for a honesty bar experience and mingling with fellow guests, taking in the reverse view, looking across to the Pumphouse itself.
There’s plenty of opportunities to go exploring and don’t forget to investigate the walkway connecting the pumphouse to the mainland as the tunnel beneath the lake and remnants of the pump are now home to many platypus who can only be seen early in the morning and on calm days. It has been said 5 were seen at one time! The use of half a dozen rowboats allows for lake exploration plus the National Park gives a taste of Tasmania with its many seasons in one day (a sunny row turned to snow before we’d set off) and diversity of foliage and landscape.
To avoid disappointment book well in advance! We only had one night although it felt a lot longer. This is an ideal spot as a base for more intrepid venturing or you could simply chill out & stay put working your way through the exceptional honesty bar and backgammon championships.