Named as “The most serenely beautiful boutique property in the Southern Hemisphere” by the Sunday Times UK, this property is Tasmania’s newest wilderness retreat located at Lake St Clair.
Word has spread fast about this iconic find and it has been a topic of discussion at every book club and dinner party I have been to lately… It seems that everyone wants a peek of the Pumphouse and I’m about to show you why!
The Pumphouse Point was originally built in the 1940s to house water turbines for their hydropower, however they were never actually put to use (#whatawaste).
Some 70 years later it was leased out and took an astonishing 10 years to re-develop into the one of a kind hotel that it is today. Whilst it only opened its doors in January-2015, it runs like a well oiled machine with plenty of its original charm.
You can stay down at the Pumphouse or up at the Shorehouse. Either way the rooms have sensational views of the surrounding wilderness.
Our room was number 17 and had a huge window which perfectly framed our view straight out to the Pumphouse. Aside from the view, the room was lovely and warm and had its own larder stacked with lots of local produce, delicious wines and craft beers.And can we just talk about the bathroom for a second. Heated floors where have you been all my life? Whilst not really cold enough in Sydney, I am feeling the urge to rip up our floors and put in some heat!
What to do….
As someone that is impartial to a long bush walk (my attention/ will to keep walking on a cold rocky trail cuts out around 3 hours), don’t be worried because there are plenty of non-bushwalk type of activities to fill in your day.
Jump in a boat
We were told that the boats were ‘untippable’ however I had a pretty good crack at turning over the boat when I literally leapt into it (I would suggest a more elegant entry into the boat!). Once we had steadied ourselves we headed off – well actually we headed around, literally… about 4-5 times (clearly not going to make the Olympic rowing squad). And then we finally got the hang of it and headed out to the middle of the lake to soak up the serenity.
Pack a picnic and take a short walk
They really do think of everything here! Order a loaf of warm bread from the kitchen and pick a Tasmanian Pinot, some salmon pate and cheese and pack it in a backpack. The only decision you will have to make is which patch of grass you want to camp out on to enjoy your feast!
Take a ferry ride
Hop on the IDA Clair from the visitors centre and take a round trip of the lake. The ferry stops at Echo Point and Narcissus which will give you a ‘cheats’ taste of the huts where treckers stay on their 65km ‘Overland Trail’ journey.
My hat goes off to anyone who has conquered this track, especially in winter when temperatures get below freezing point at night. I walked ten metres from the ferry to the hut and I could barely feel my legs… And with that in mind, pack a blanket if you are deciding to ride the ferry in winter!
Take some snaps
This place is a photographer’s dream, especially with the snow capped mountains and the morning mist as your backdrop. I would say majority of people at the Pumphouse had some sort of flash DSLR swinging over their shoulder but even if you’re a fan of the good old point and shoot, the scenery in the background will do most of the hard work for you!
Go for a bike ride
The property has several mountain bikes which you can take for a spin up to the main road to visit some of Lake St Clair’s attractions. We mainly just used them to ride back and forth from the Pumphouse to the Shorehouse (sorry no pictures on the bikes – I was too busy concentrating on staying upright!).
There are three wonderfully warm sitting areas where you can sit by the crackle of the fire and soak up the mesmerising views. Like your room, the lounge areas also have stocked larders where you can help yourself to local cheese and crackers, soups and snacks. Plenty of beer, spirits and wine to choose from too (the wine can only be bought by the bottle – what a pity!).
From start to finish this felt like such a jam packed yet relaxing holiday. We had an absolute ball at the Pumphouse and Renee, Josh and the team went out of their way to ensure we had such a memorable stay.
I couldn’t recommend this place enough! Thank you Pumphouse Point, you were everything everyone has been raving about and much more!