Our Tasmanian adventures continued—see part one here—with a three-hour drive to Pumphouse Point. Last time I was in this area, The Pumphouse was just an idea making its way through the red tape of government bureaucracy. A lot has happened since then. Opening in 2016, the 1940’s industrial architecture stands resolutely on Lake St Clare, 500 metres out along the flume (walkway).
After receiving a briefing on the amenities, we make our way along the flume to the smartly designed accommodation that was to be our home for the next three nights. Walking back and forth to the room is an experience that feels out of another era, or perhaps it’s all that Agatha Christie on television.
We headed to the dining room for the first of our communal dining experiences. The food is supplied by Coal River Farm and offers a different menu each night. Think hearty roast lamb shank, crispy pork belly, grilled steak and poached salmon with vegetables and dessert. This was a pleasant dining experience as we meet a range of interesting people over the three nights before making our way back to our cosy rooms.
The next morning we woke to spectacular views over the lake from the unique perspective of being on the lake. A crisp three-degree morning greeted us as we watched the sunrise over this magnificent landscape. After breakfast, we set off for a five-hour hike to Shadow Lake. Unlike most of the hiking I’ve done, The Pumphouse likes to ensure you’re adequately provisioned with freshly baked sourdough, a selection of Tasmanian cheeses, cured meats and olives making for a gourmet picnic stop.
Back to The Pumphouse for dinner and set to repeat for the following day; this time taking a ferry to Echo Point Hut for a four-hour hike back. This trek is mostly in the trees, with plenty of moss and greenery along the trail. Earlier in the day, we visited Greg Duncan’s superb sculptural installation The Wall. Having seen The Wall around five years ago, it was impressive to see the progress with almost all 100 metres of carved wooden panels now complete. The vision to create something on this scale impresses nearly as much as the talent required to craft these wooden renderings of Tasmanian life.
This was a superb trip with an ideal mix of nature, hiking, local food, hospitality and sound design. We recommend you take an extra night at The Pumphouse as we would have been deeply disappointed to go back after only two. And do stay at MONA when in Hobart for its wonderful integration of art into hospitality.