Glen Derwent is the perfect base to explore the many attractions that the Derwent Valley has to offer.
The Derwent Valley is scenic delight at any time of year but it is at its prettiest in spring when the roses and fruit trees are in bloom or in autumn when the valley turns gold and red. The Esplanade at New Norfolk is home to the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival, a showcase of all that is good about the region with a day of great entertainment, fine food, local wines, beers, music for all tastes on the banks of the beautiful Derwent River. The 2018 Derwent Valley Autumn Festival is on Sunday 15 April and is a 20 minute (1.7 km) walk or 1 km row from Glen Derwent. Fortify yourself for the walk there or reward yourself after the walk back at Glen Derwent Tea Rooms.
Autumn view across the east paddock
New Norfolk is home to many antique stores including the massive Willow Court complex just outside of the CBD, several stores on (or just off) High Street such as The Drill Hall Emporium or New Norfolk Antiques and the Ring Road Antique Centre, on the Hobart side of New Norfolk.
Glen Derwent has a long history of hop growing. The surrounding region is still a major hop growing centre for the worlds finest beers and and is a growing region for high quality cold climate wines, so it is only fitting that you take the time to sample some of the local beverages. All perfect for you to BYO to Glen Derwent.
Between Hobart and New Norfolk are the Moorilla Estate, Laurel Bank, Stefano Lubiana and Derwent Estate wineries. Other vineyards further up the valley, such as Kinvarra Estate, do not currently have cellar door sales.
If a hand-crafted beer is more to your taste, then 10 km to the west of Glen Derwent along the Lyell Highway is Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale and Cider, which has cellar door sales and “farm bar” or there is the Eleventh Order Brewery and their newly opened bar in the heart of New Norfolk.
We will soon have a stock of local beers and wines for guests to purchase.
The Derwent Valley is famous for its high quality local produce and as a centre of culinary excellence. Fresh seasonal berries are available at the Westerway Raspberry Farm, some of which are grown in the paddocks surrounding Glen Derwent. If you fancy honing your cooking skills, the Agrarian Kitchen farm-based cooking school at Lachlan (10 min drive) and their Eatery and Store at Willow Court offers a paddock-to-plate experience. Sally Wise, ABC Radio cooking guru, runs her cooking school just down the road in Molesworth (13 min drive).
One of our plum trees
The Lower Derwent Valley is a small boat paradise and ranges from the deep, calm waters downstream from New Norfolk to the shallow, more rapidly flowing river with occasional rapids between New Norfolk and Lake Meadowbank. Lake Meadowbank itself is a popular boating and fishing spot and is a regular haunt of rowing, sailing and steam boats. The New Norfolk area of the river is a popular place for trout fishing with bait, lures or flies, from the river bank or on the water.
The lower reaches offer scenic cruising and pleasant rowing conditions, as well as designated water-skiing areas. The upstream reaches offer a range of quiet reaches with more challenging rapids ideal for the experienced kayaker or canoeist. The scenery alongside the river includes green pasture and berry farms, stretches lined with poplars and overhanging willows, spectacular cliff-lines shores and fringing wetlands with abundant bird life including flocks of black swans. If you head out at twilight or dawn and paddle quietly, you may even see a platypus or two. The river offers an all-year-round small boat paradise but is truly spectacular when shrouded with autumn colours.
Autumn rowing on the river
The Millbrook Rise boat ramp is a 6 minute drive (about 3 km downstream from the New Norfolk Bridge) and there are a public jetty and pontoon along The Esplanade at New Norfolk and a jetty on the north side, just downstream from the bridge. There is also a boat ramp on Lake Meadowbank, about 35-48 minutes’ drive from New Norfolk
By river, Hobart is 37 km (20 nautical miles) and vessels over 2.1 m above waterline (2.9 m at low tide) would require lifting of the Bridgewater Bridge, which can be problematic at times.
For those without their own boat, kayak tours of the rapids and calm reaches are available.
The Tasmanian Trail is the only long distance (480 km) multi-use trail in Tasmania. It often passes through or close to small towns, allowing travellers to visit local attractions while using as little or as much as they like and to take advantage of local accommodation, hospitality and specialist services. It offers a variety of experiences for all – from the most experienced long-distance traveller seeking a challenge to those interested in a shorter, more relaxed excursion.
Because the Trail caters for equestrians, it does not traverse national parks. It relies on support from Forestry Tasmania, other land managers and land owners for its pathway.
Whether travelling on foot, on horseback on by mountain bike, Glen Derwent can offer you a comfortable bed, hot shower, hearty breakfast and somewhere to stable your steed, be it equine or wheeled, or hang up your boots. We have a two large grassed, fenced paddocks with water for horses, and secure storage for bikes and saddlery. Call us to discuss options and prices.
No horses were fed scones in the taking of this photo
About half an hour’s drive west of Glen Derwent along the Gordon River road is the entrance to Mount Field National Park . Near the park entrance, there are picnic facilities and the spectacular Russell Falls and walks through enormous fern forests and some of the tallest trees in the world.
Higher up the mountain, about another 30 minutes drive, is the alpine area around Lake Dobson and includes the long day walks and skiing areas. There is even a snow-cam at Mount Mawson.
Marriotts Falls are near the township of Tyenna also along the Gordon River road, about 1 hour’s drive west of Glen Derwent, just past the Mt Field National Park. A signposted turnoff just outside the township takes you to the Marriotts Falls walking track beside the Tyenna River. The walk passes through groves of tree ferns and immense swamp gums, the tallest flowering plants on earth. The total return distance to Marriotts Falls is around five kilometres.
A short drive further south from Tyenna is the Junee Cave State Reserve, five kilometres west of the township of Maydena. A short nature trail leads to the entrance of the cave where the Junee River rises to the surface after travelling 30 kilometres underground through a system of almost 300 caves. Although there are no regular guided tours of the caves, the mouth of the Junee cave, from which the Junee River emerges is accessible and interpretive signs describe the Junee cave system, which includes Niggly Cave, Australia’s deepest cave.