Linking Kempton, a snapshot of quintessential colonial charm, with the city of Launceston, this Southern Midlands stretch of the bigger Heartlands road trip is studded with award-winning distilleries and photogenic architecture. You’ll need three days to really get a taste of the region.
Fly to: Launceston
Best for: Group getaways
Length of trip: Three days
Warm up your whisky palate at Lark's Pontville Distillery, a grand 19th-century estate where you can also blend your own single malt. Locals will tell you about the whisky beef pie at the nearby Old Kempton Distillery. If you feel the need to walk it off, dawdle around to admire the sandstone architecture of Oatlands town before dropping into the picturesque Callington Mill. This was once an illegal distillery; it reopened in January 2022 as a legal one. After a Tassie-style aperitif, dinner is a casual affair focused on local produce at the fashionably restored The Kentish. Bed down in the cosy Raffa House tonight.
On the drive to elm-lined Ross, make a pitstop at sleepy Tunbridge to see the convict-built wooden span bridge, one of Australia's oldest. With cobbled paths and a burbling river, Ross is lovely. Its past? Not always so. Check out the Female Factory, where women convicts were incarcerated in the mid-1800s. After that, cheer yourself greatly with a famous vanilla slice at Ross Village Bakery. You’ll find tonight’s comfy bed and pub grub at the Ross Hotel, which was built in sandstone (yes, more convicts) in 1835.
Continuing north towards Launceston, Campbell Town boasts antiques shops and pretty picnic spots on the banks of the Elizabeth River. Finally, see how your whisky sensibilities have developed at Adams Distillery in Perth, a big drawcard, where the good stuff is aged in shiraz casks.
Image credits: Alastair Bett (Oatlands); Samuel Shelley (Lark Distillery Pontville).