Northern Highlands and the Great Lakes

By: Jenny Brewer

Tasmania is truly an island which is perfect for car hire holidays. There is always stunning scenery and fantastic roads, and those in central Tasmania are no exception. With rugged mountain ranges and breathtaking landscapes, this area is for the adventurous at heart that wants to get away to the remote places and find more of the beauty this state has to offer.

Driving through the middle of Tasmania is once again a wonderful experience because of the sheer beauty of the mountains that are almost always within view. This region is close to Launceston and Devonport, and is still a great base to explore Cradle Mountain , Tamar Valley and the Northern midlands. It is easily accessible from the Bass and Lake Highways.

High above sea level you are in another world of plains and lakes left from the glacial age. Known as the Central Plateau, there is plenty of scenery but not as many inhabitants, with Bothwell and Deloraine being the only major settlements in this area. There is so much to do in the highland region.

Not only is the scenery breathtaking, with plenty of views, but the fishing, history, bushwalking, caves and waterfalls give you plenty of reason to stay a bit longer.

Starting from Sheffield, which has majestic Mount Roland as a backdrop, the south road will take you through West Kentish and Roland through cattle country until you reach Mole Creek National Park. There are a few attractions along the way you could stop to look at, such as Lake Barrington and Mount Claude Lookout.

Mole Creek is a little town that sits at the foot of the Western Tiers. Not far from the town is Trowunna Wildlife Park which is home to the Tasmanian devil, koalas, wedge-tail eagles and plenty of other wildlife. The town is known mostly for its abundance of limestone caves. Over 200 are known in the area, the most popular being King Solomons caves.

The last stop before you reach the mountains, Deloraine offers fantastic views and also plenty of art and craft shops. There are many colonial buildings to visit and a lot of history in this quaint town.

As the road winds up through into the Great Western Tiers, the air becomes a lot cooler and as the road gets steeper. Once you are about 1200 metres above sea level you will come the Great Lake lookout, which will give you a sweeping view of Australia 's largest natural freshwater lake. This would have to be one of the most beautiful stretches of road, as you weave through thick forests, past waterfalls and finally out to a wider landscape towards Bothwell.

The town of Bothwell is literally at the end of the road, with some lovely historical features, most impressive being the local windmill, and a camping ground if you want to stay for a night or two.

This stretch of the Central Highlands without doubt would be one of the most enjoyable and picturesque places to visit in Tasmania . The vast panoramic views, peaceful lakes and surrounding mountains make all ingredients for an incredible holiday destination.

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