AUSTRALIAN WILD HARVEST
Enjoy Gourmet Food Tours of the North West region offering a "Paddock to Plate" experience. Your tour will visit local food producers, culminating in a lunch which incorporates some produce from the farms visited. Phone 0411 785 412, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy boutique tours of the Central Coast area and North-West region. Your tour guide will pick you up from your accommodation and escort you around some of the very best attractions this scenic part of Tasmania has to offer.
Phone (03) 6425 5854 or 0407 335 925 visit http://www.cradlecoasttours.com.au/
DEVIL TRIKE TOURS
Experience the freedom on three wheels. We will do weddings, parties, birthdays, tours or just a joyride around the block.
Phone (03) 6425 3119 Mobile 0428 504 794 Email email@example.com
DISCOVER THE LEVEN
Jus' Leven provides a guided river cruise to the upper reaches of the Leven River. Your tour guide will be devoted to ensuring that your experience of the Leven Catchment will be a happy and memorable one. Tours will commence with a fascinating journey into the extraordinary natural and cultural history of the area while you enjoy the scenic extravaganza, the Leven River. The famous mirrored reflections of the Leven River due to the tea coloured water from the button plains upstream may be revealed during the cruise. These beautiful reflections have been admired, photographed and used in postcards for over 100 years.
The fascinating and elusive Tasmanian flora and fauna that resides within the Leven River Catchments may be revealed close up on an exclusive guided tour of the Leven River. Many unexplained and mysterious stories of the Leven will be revealed on the return trip to the pontoon.
Lunch and Dinner Cruises (4 1/2 hours) now available. Cruise times vary due to tides contact the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre for cruise times and bookings. Book at the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre, Alexandra Road, phone (03) 6425 2839. Proudly presented by Riverlinks Tasmania, phone 03 6425 7968 visit http://www.discovertheleven.com/
MURRAY'S BIG DAY OUT
A unique Tasmanian Touring Experience. Travel in comfort and let Murray drive. Design your own itinerary or choose from some of Murray's quick pick day trips. Murray offers a day out with personal and friendly service and door to door pick up, Minimum of 2 people and maximum of 7. Budget priced for a great day out.
Phone 03 6424 5250 fax 03 6423 5086 mobile 0427 252 439 visit http://www.murraysdayout.com.au/
UNCOVER TASMANIA GUIDED TOURS
Uncover Tasmania Guided Tours is a tour business focused on giving you an unforgettable Tasmanian experience. Enjoy a one day tour or immerse yourself with an extended trip, it's totally up to you. Relax and let Michelle guide you on a scenic, photography, short walks or food and wine experience. Phone 0428 635 649, visit www.uncovertasmania.com
Motorists traveling along the north-west of Tasmania are well served by the National Highway. Central Coast, however, is fortunate to have retained a small section of 'old highway'. Discover this scenic coastal detour which hugs the headlands and sandy shores from Ulverstone through to Howth.
Ulverstone, with the Leven River at its centre, is Tasmania's largest town. A popular summer destination, it is best known for beautiful memorial parklands, great beaches, a relaxed lifestyle and free parking! For many locals and visitors, it offers an ideal setting for a picnic or barbecue next to the river or main beach.
A good place to begin your coastal tour is at the ZigzagGarden walkway and lookout. The base of the walkway starts in Maud Street. Enjoy a leisurely climb surrounded by beautiful, award-winning gardens, and at the top take in a panoramic view of Ulverstone and Bass Strait. Or for a less strenuous alternative, drive to the lookout via Upper Maud Street.
Turning onto Penguin Road, head west to find the first landmark of this scenic drive, the Three Sisters - Goat Island Nature Reserve. A small offshore island, Goat Island is accessible at low tide (via West Ulverstone Beach) - but take care not to get stranded. It offers many magical hours of fossicking, with shallow caves amongst the rock, and abundant bird and marine life. Throw a line into the 'fish trap', or search for traces of the rail line which carried rock from the island in the early 1900s. Not far away can be seen a cluster of small islands known as the Three Sisters which are sanctuaries to a variety of bird life.
Continue along Penguin Road with its rocky headlands and secluded coves. Take your time, as the road is narrow and winding. It's a lovely drive, enhanced by viewing stations along the way offering uninterrupted outlooks of the coastline and Bass Strait.
The next stop is the town of Penguin, named after the occupants of the nearby rookeries. Greeting visitors along its eastern entrance are the Perry-LingGardens. A mass of colour in spring, the gardens follow the road and rail route into town for approximately one kilometre.
Penguin is very much a seaside town, with its main street adjacent to the beach. It's a popular destination with visitors who are attracted by the beautiful parks, foreshore, old buildings and cafes, and the busy Sunday market.
And it's also here that you'll find The Big Penguin, one of the most photographed landmarks in Tasmania. The ferro cement structure stands a proud 3m tall on the esplanade where it was erected in 1975 to commemorate the town's centenary.
Heading west on the final leg of the tour, turn right at the traffic-lights and continue on to Preservation Bay, home of the Penguin Surf Life Saving Club and a popular spot for surfing, fishing and swimming, and then Sulphur Creek with its lovely stretch of sandy beach. It's just a little further on to Howth, where the old highway meets the new and our coastal detour concludes.
From a farm park and reptile centre to Sunday train rides and pedal buggies in the park, there's plenty to do and see for the family in Tasmania's Central Coast.
A country escape for all the family can be found at Wing's Wildlife Park, just 20 minutes drive from Ulverstone. Located at Winduss Road, Gunns Plains (south on B17/via Preston and Gunns Plains Roads), the park offers a host of activities, whether visiting for the day or staying a while. View the Tasmanian devils at the wildlife exhibit, or hand-feed animals in the farmyard playground. Get close to Tasmanian snakes, lizards and frogs at the Reptile Centre - home to freshwater crocodiles and the rare Golden Tiger Snake. Try some trout fishing, bush walking or kayaking, or just relax in Nan's Tea-room offering light snacks, refreshments and souvenirs. Cabin, caravan, camp site and backpacker accommodation available. Open daily from 10am to 4pm.
Head to The Beach Hut, Beach Road Ulverstone, a relaxed beachside milk bar and hire a pedal buggy. Pedal buggies Tasmania is a different form of activity that is not only fun and entertaining for all ages but also provides a means of exercise outdoors. Hire single person buggies or try the family buggy with two pedaling and two small children on the front. Want to bring Nan and Pop along just add a trailer on and baby seats with harness are available for little ones.
On a nice warm day during the summer holidays you could also take a ride on the wild slide, the chute with a loop, the Ulverstone Waterslide. 60 metres of fiberglass chute ending in a warm pool.
Just two kilometres east of Ulverstone, turn off the Bass Highway onto Maskells Road and take a ride on the Ulverstone Miniature Railway. The model railway in Tasmania with three separate track gauges and track layouts, it operates every third Sunday of the month from 10.30am to 4pm, and during January, February and March every first Sunday as well.
FISHING AND GOLFING CHALLENGE
Tasmania's Central Coast has some excellent recreational opportunities, whether fishing the clear streams and rivers, or indulging in a round or two of golf at one of the best courses in Australia.
In addition to being a popular location for rafting or boating during summer, the Leven River also offers a great fishing experience. Ultimate Fishing & Outdoors at 80 Reibey Street, Ulverstone can supply anglers with fishing tackle and bait. (Note. Fishing in Tasmania's inland waters requires a current license which can be purchased from Service Tasmania, Gunns Mitre10 or Ultimate Fishing & Outdoors.)
In town, the break wall on the eastern side of the Leven River estuary is a popular fishing spot. On an incoming tide wrasse, cod, couta and salmon can be caught. A ramp and jetty are available on the western shore for those who have access to a boat. Safety regulations apply when boating on Tasmanian waters, so contact Marine & Safety Tasmania for information, and as the weather can change quickly, check forecasts with the Bureau of Meteorology. Or simply visit the website http://www.fishonline.tas.gov.au/ for your complete guide to fishing in Tasmania.
A short drive east of Ulverstone (via Forth Road), is the village of Forth and the Forth River. A significant waterway on the north-west coast, the river is the home of white-water canoeing and rafting and is a well-known destination for fishing (along Wilmot Road).
For a top golfing experience, visit the Ulverstone Golf Club located at Lobster Creek Road (via South Road). Rated in the top 100 courses in Australia, the Club has an 18-hole par-72 championship course and plays host to many state and national competitions. One of the most picturesque sporting venues in the state, it's also a challenging course, with plenty of trees and undulating fairways to provide an unyielding test of the golfer's ability. Open daily, a greens fee applies and golf clubs are available for hire.
The Penguin Golf Course is a public course located at Dial Road. It's bunker-free, but watch out for the many creeks that run through it! The 9-hole par-71 course features the par 3 120m 7th/16th hole which is virtually surrounded by water. The picturesque green is in the middle of a lake and has the Dial Range as a backdrop. Daily fees apply, or take advantage of a 5-week holiday package.
GREAT FOOD, GIFTS AND A GARDEN
The pleasures of fine food, delightful hand-crafts, a beautiful gardens and scenic hinterland make this a very enjoyable day's outing.
Start with some retail therapy with some great shoes, clothing and craft stores in Ulverstone, including handmade Tasmanian gallery and gifts at Under the Oak, local woodwork at the North West Woodcraft Gallery, paintings and photography at the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre, and fine antiques and collectables at Leven Antiques, just to name a few. All shops are within short, easy walking distance of each other with free parking.
Time for a break and some delectable treats at the many bakeries, cafes and restaurants, including Thirty Three Cups for great coffee, Lancaster House real fine dining, Crusty's fresh sandwiches and Pedros for great seafood, Pier01 on the wharf and many more in and around Ulverstone.
Nestled between the hinterland and the coast at Abbotsham is the finest extra virgin olive oils from local handpicked, cold-pressed fruit. At Cradle Coast Olives you can wander through the grove, enjoy obligation free tastings and purchase some award winning products.
Keep following the Castra Road (south on B15) past Sprent and onto Nietta to view a magnificent 2 hectare, cool climate garden. Kaydale Lodge, located at Loongana Road, has mass displays of daffodils in spring, trilliums and peonies in summer and an autumn show of maples, against a stunning backdrop of hard landscaping. Enjoy the friendly hospitality and some home-made bread for afternoon tea.
Head north (B17) to Preston and turn left onto Raymond Road for a scenic drive into the Gunns Plains valley. The road comes out onto Gunns Plains Road. Travel on through the valley across the Leven River (B17) and up to Woodhouse Lookout, on the South Riana Road, to view more beautiful scenery of the Gunns Plains.
Heading further north past Riana and into the coastal town of Penguin, visit the delightful Hiscutt Park and Dutch Windmill. Have your photo taken with the Big Penguin, standing a proud 3m tall on the foreshore. On Sundays visit the infamous Penguin Market, located on Arnold Street, Tasmania's largest undercover market. Call on the Chocolate Lovers shop, located on Main Road, or some of the other quaint little shops in Penguin.
Travel along the coast road where you will see a mass of colour in spring, along the seaside gardens bordering the eastern entrance to the town following the road and rail route for approximately one kilometre. The Perry Ling Gardens were named after the two Penguin residents who voluntarily created them back in the 1980's.
The final garden stop is located on Maud Street to Upper Maud Street in West Ulverstone. Zig Zag Garden & Lookout is a beautiful zigzag walk through award winning gardens lining the hillside and panoramic views of Ulverstone's coastline from the top.
JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY
The first European settlement of Central Coast commenced in the 1840s. Thick coastal scrub, dense forests and no roads meant the early pioneer's life was grim. Paling splitters worked the area for the easily accessible market of the growing village of Melbourne across Bass Strait. Sawmills followed, and as timber was removed, farms became established. The rich basalt soil proved ideal for cropping, and today agriculture is the principal contributor to the area's economy.
Step back in time to experience this bygone era at the Ulverstone History Museum located at 50 Main Street. View the general store, the blacksmith & wheelwright, school house, railway station and overseer's cottage, all carefully re-created and brimming with old artifacts. Or with a bit of information and time, you might be able to trace your family's history amongst the extensive photographic library and archives.
The early settlers in the town of Penguin were also involved in the lucrative 'paling' trade. As well, Penguin briefly worked silver and iron mines, and in the boom years of the 'gold rush', a wharf was kept very busy, providing a focal point for the surrounding community.
Visit the Penguin VisitorInformation Centre, next to the post office in Main Road, to pick up the brochure 'Discover Penguin on Foot'. A short walk around this charming seaside town takes in historic sites dating as far back as the 1870s, as well as some beautiful old churches and commercial buildings.
Hiscutt Park is a delightful park situated around the Penguin Creek providing barbecues, playground and public toilets. The Dutch Windmill was built by Dutch immigrants for the Bi-centennial celebrations in 1988. Take a look through the window to see Dutch paraphernalia.
The recently restored Penguin Railway Station is now the home of the Penguin History Group. The Station is open to the public every Wednesday from 10am to 12.30pm (and at other times by appointment) and visitors can view old photos, cemetery records and family histories. Group members also welcome the opportunity to conduct personal tours of local sites - call (03) 6437 2712 or (03) 6437 2570.
WILDERNESS, CANYONS AND CAVES
For those who like to relax by getting back to nature, Central Coast has some outstanding natural attractions.
Starting with the Leven River, find out more about the natural and cultural history, view mirrored reflections, beautiful flora and fauna and spectacular scenery at Discover the Leven tours. Cruise approximately 7 kilometres up stream on an exceptional tour, to experience its beauty, serenity and the awakening of its unique features. Bookings can be made at the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre.
Explore the Gunns Plains Cave located on Gunns Plains Road about 20 minutes from Ulverstone (south on B17/via Preston Road). One of the best examples of its type in Tasmania, the cave is home to some of the largest limestone shawl formations in the Southern Hemisphere and also features an underground stream and sparkling glow-worm display. Tours are conducted daily at 10am, 11am, 12noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
For locals and visitors alike, the PrestonFalls are a popular scenic addition to any day trip from Gunns Plains take Raymond's Road towards Preston and a ten minute walk will take you to the viewing platform.
Further south, along Loongana Road (on C128), is the Leven Canyon, a spectacular 250m-deep ravine worn over tens of thousands of years by rains and the Leven River which flows at its base. It is estimated that between 45,000 and 70,000 kilolitres of water roars through the canyon every day.
From a well-equipped picnic area, follow the short rainforest walk to a cliff-face viewing platform and marvel at the breathtaking scenery. Or take on the challenge of 697 forest stairs, just one of the many fascinating walks in the area. To also view the dramatic cliff formations from their base, drive one kilometre from the reserve on the Loongana Road, then follow the walking track to the canyon floor.
An eco escape awaits visitors to Mountain Valley Wilderness Holidays. Located at Loongana about 45km from Ulverstone and at the base of Black Bluff, the area comprises a 61ha private wildlife forest and karst reserve. Through guided bush walks, individually tailored, discover the natural wonders of the lost valley, a pristine wilderness of ancient forests, waterfalls and caves. Secluded accommodation is provided in the form of cosy, comfortable log cabins, with meals included.