Our family was hosted by the owners of Tin Dragon Trail Cottages in north east Tasmania recently. But if you’ve been following Think Tasmania, you’d already know that. Graham, Christine and James decided it was the best way for us to experience some of their local attractions and businesses. And given we only publish articles written from first-hand knowledge, it was a guaranteed way of drawing attention to the region via our website.
With that aim in mind, we managed to see quite a few places, and we’re currently running a series of articles about north east Tasmania. We loved the region, and we quickly realised there were many places that deserved attention; way too many to cover in just a three-day stay in fact. What we also loved was the self-contained accommodation offered by our hosts. Here’s what you can expect when you make your own booking with them, and we would highly recommend you do!
Self Contained Accommodation: North East Tasmania
Located in the small town of Branxholm between Scottsdale and Weldborough, Tin Dragon Trail Cottages are a destination in their own right. Some of our feature writers travel in pairs; we travel as a family of four. The two bedroom Ah Ping cottage was therefore perfect for our situation. Children are made to feel welcome at the property, but couples on a romantic getaway are also well-catered for.
Graham, Christine and James have given a lot of thought to the requirements of their guests. The cottages have all the things you’d hope would be included: cosy heating, comfortable beds, sparkling clean bathrooms, etc. They also provide a few things that you might not expect: pantry staples, free DVD’s, laundry facilities and a generous breakfast hamper (which includes fresh, home-grown eggs).
Tranquil and Rural: Ringarooma River
Tin Dragon Trail Cottages offer a genuine rural experience. Having grown up on a farm myself, I underestimated the excitement of the kids. They loved the herd of resident alpacas and enjoyed being able to feed the chooks. With a torch in hand, it was a real adventure searching for Tasmanian wildlife, like a wallaby or a possum, in the dark. And given the property is located on the banks of the Ringarooma River, trout season offers another “in-house” opportunity for guests of all ages.
Tasmanian history buffs and bush-walking enthusiasts don’t have to venture too far either. The Settlers Hut at the property contains the story of Henry Ah Ping and the Chinese tin mining history of the north east. You can set out from Tin Dragon Trail Cottages for an easy 20-minute, 2km walk along a reconstructed water race and into the surrounding bushland, and experience the historic alluvial mine site. The more energetic can choose a 90-minute option through rainforest beside the Ringarooma River to the Briseis Water Race.
Foodies and Dining in Branxholm
Of course, you could choose an even more low-key approach, and just picnic by the river. The region is a paradise for foodies, and Christine is able to advise guests about a bounty of fresh Tasmanian produce to be foraged nearby. Either buy ready-to-eat goodies or something to be cooked in the well-equipped cottage kitchens. If you’d rather have a break from preparing your own meals, the Imperial Hotel does a hearty pub meal for less than $20. There’s also a cute tea house in Branxholm.
We’ve mentioned before that we’d love to see a platypus in the wild. To date, we haven’t had any luck with that mission. This time around, we were way too busy researching north east Tasmania; we just didn’t have time to wait patiently by the Ringarooma River in the hope of seeing a platypus. But apparently they’re in there. Next time we visit, we might just have to follow one of those local food trails and park ourselves on a picnic blanket… and just wait.
Oh, and one final thing we must mention about Tin Dragon Trail Cottages… the outdoor spa! The weather was a little chilly during our stay. Of course it was; you do realise it’s winter, right? That didn’t stop our dedicated hosts firing up the spa bath outside the cottage next door for us to try. And it was magic. Hot water; lots of bubbles; under the starry night skies… Magic, I say!
Note ~ Until September 25 2012, you have the opportunity to win your own experience at Tin Dragon Trail Cottages…
5 August 2013 ~ In further developments, another month-long Think Tasmania competition has been opened today for this accommodation property. You need to head to the current article and leave a comment there to be eligible for the prize. Here’s a link to the right page, and good luck…