While the surrounding hillsides and riverscapes are certainly beautiful, the name of this strung-out town actually derives from pulchritude of the bovine variety: a now-immortalised bullock called Beauty. There are a couple of winning places to stay here, plus a beaut riverside cafe.
Photogenic Kettering's sedate harbour shelters fishing boats and yachts in Oyster Cove Marina, next to the Bruny Island ferry terminal. Most folks just blow through en route to Bruny, but it’s a pretty spot to pause for half a day if you've been running yourself ragged on your Tour de Tassie.
Corinna & the Pieman River
In rip-roaring gold-rush days Corinna was a humming town with two hotels, a post office, plenty of shops and a population that numbered 2500 souls. That’s hard to believe now when you pull up on the forested edge of the Pieman, turn off your car’s engine and absorb the unbelievable forest peace.
New Norfolk to Mt Field
En route from New Norfolk to Mt Field National Park, the road travels through the historic towns of Plenty, Bushy Park, Glenora and Westerway. The courtyside here is utterly photogenic, with long runs of roadside poplar trees, rambling hop fields and old shingle-roof oast houses (used for drying hops).
A quiet place offering accommodation, excellent trout fishing and some challenging mountain walks, the little town of Tullah has long been isolated in the rainforests of the West Coast Range, and is wrapped by deep, tannin-brown rivers. Indeed, the name Tullah comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘meeting of two rivers’ and the town is almost an island.
Koonya & Nubeena
Just past Taranna is the Nubeena Rd turn-off, depositing you 6km later in diminutive Koonya (population 100). Originally called 'Cascades', 400 convicts once toiled on the farms here, but there’s not a whole lot of shakin’ going on these days. About 12km further along is Nubeena (population 490), the largest town on the peninsula, fanned out along the shore of Wedge Bay.
Built to house HEC employees during the construction of the Gordon Dam, Strathgordon is still the base for those who operate the power station today. About 2km past the ex-Hydro settlement is Lake Pedder Lookout, with good views over the lake. A further 10km west is the Gordon Dam itself.
Seven Mile Beach
Out near the airport, 15km east of Hobart, is this brilliant, safe swimming beach backed by shacks, a corner store and pine-punctured dunes. When the swell is working, the point break here is magic. Follow Surf Rd out past the airport runway and around to the left for 2km and you’ll come to Barilla Bay Oyster Farm.
As the Tasman Hwy approaches Weldborough Pass – an arabesque cutting famously popular with motorcyclists – it traces a high ridge with vistas of surrounding forests and mountains. Near the top, the Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk is a 15-minute interpretative circuit through moss-covered myrtle rainforest.
Originally Southport was called Baie des Moules (Bay of Mussels), one of several names it’s had over the years. Many travellers don’t take the 2km detour off the main road to visit the town, but it’s a worthy diversion if only to stay in its B&Bs, which make good use of the waterside slopes. Unfortunately, public transport won’t get you here.
Rocky Cape National Park
Tasmania’s smallest national park, stretching 12km along Bass Strait’s shoreline, was known to Aboriginal Tasmanians as Tangdimmaa and has great significance to the Rar.rer.loi.he.ner people, who made their homes in the sea caves here 8000 years before European occupation. Inland the park is made up of coastal heathland and rare Banksia serrata forests.