The Downtime Agenda

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  • Words — Julie Haslam
  • Images — Adam and Stu Gibson c/o Pumphouse Point

A couple of hours north-west of Hobart, perched on the southern tip of Lake St. Clair, Pumphouse Point delivers a boutique luxury escape in Tasmania’s wild centre.

Escape to pumphouse point.

The thing about Instagram, with its filters and trigger-happy users, is that it has a tendency to depict people, places, things as better than they actually are. But I have to say that with Pumphouse Point (and Tasmania in general), I have had every one of my expectations exceeded and strongly recommend a visit for anyone looking for a peaceful day or three of downtime.

It all starts with the drive from Hobart. Provided you’re not one to get car sick, you’ll love every minute of the journey with its luscious green scenery, winding roads, rivers and lakes – just look out for the occasional furry friend who may be venturing across the road.

Upon arrival, you’ll see the property is set against some of the most dramatic natural landscape on the planet, but the setting is only the beginning. The property and its team (including the two wombats – one friendly, one not so friendly) will force you to reflect, rejuvenate, contemplate and switch off.

There are two options for accommodation: the Shorehouse Building, which is a former sub-station on the water’s edge, or the Pumphouse Building which is where we stayed. Here you’re 240m out on the lake, it’s incredible and feels like you’re on a boat. When the water is still you can see the odd platypus swimming by.

In your room you’ll find a larder comprising the most epic range of picnic and platter food and an equally special beverage selection. The larders are based on an honesty system, with a ledger for recording purchases. Importantly, the larder food and beverage items are available at retail prices, not the inflated prices typically associated with hotel minibars.

A beautiful highland breakfast is included in your room rate and guests are invited for dinner each night, to share tables and tales with fellow guests (definitely worth the $50). Guests may also choose to dine in privacy with food from their larder.

Of course you can explore the outdoors with walks, bikes, dinghies, fishing, wildlife viewing, scenic helicopter/plane flights and picnics. Although, kicking back on the sofa with a glass of red and the panoramic views of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area were where it was at for me.