Tassie’s country pubs are all about cosiness: open wood-burning fireplaces, seasonal comfort food and warm welcomes.
This riverside pub on Tasmania’s north-west coast offers live music every Sunday afternoon but it’s the annual Forth Valley Blues Festival in March that really pulls in the crowds.
393 Leith Road, Forth; (03) 6428 2239
Longley International Hotel
The pub claiming the “longest Huon pine bar in the world” also featured in the ABC TV hit comedy Rosehaven, starring Luke McGregor, who grew up in nearby Hobart.
1678 Huon Road, Longley; (03) 6239 6378
The Pub in the Paddock
Set between rainforest and dairy country in the state’s North East, this weatherboard pub is known for its three beer-swilling pigs. It also does generous servings of classic pub meals (we’re talking deep-fried camembert and pies with chips and gravy) for travellers on their way to and from the spectacular St Columba Falls.
250 St Columbafalls Road, Pyengana; (03) 6373 6121
In the heart of historic Ross, a minute off the Midland Highway, this convict-built 1835 sandstone pub, set amid sheep country, has a history as a meeting point for rogues, travellers and shearers. Today, ghost stories abound, as does Tasmanian wine, Boag’s on tap and traditional tucker.
35 Church Street, Ross; (03) 6381 5445
The Bischoff Hotel
The board of directors of the Mount Bischoff tin mine (once the richest tin mine in the world) held its company meetings in what is now the Spa Suite of this 19-room hotel in Waratah, on the edge of the North West’s Tarkine wilderness. It overlooks the thundering waterfall in the heart of the town; you can glimpse it while drinking one of the Tassie beers on tap in the Philosopher’s Bar.
20 Main Street, Waratah; (03) 6435 0614
The cosy, family-friendly Clarendon Arms near Launceston is now in the fashionable, food-loving hands of Lydia Nettlefold, who earned her reputation at the nearby Red Feather Inn Cooking School. Enjoy good coffee, open fires, rustic seasonal dinners and Sunday roasts. The spacious bar and beer garden are spot-on for lazy weekend drinks with themed share platters that cover Tuscan, Nordic and Country options.
11 Russell Street, Evandale; (03) 6391 8181
A Georgian gem, the Castle is situated in the heritage town of Bothwell, gateway to the wild Central Highlands and home to Ratho Farm, Australia’s oldest golf course. Publican Dennis Bell’s welcome is super-friendly; he recommends the peppery venison pie, sourced and made locally, or the panko- crumbed beef schnitzel, which is the size of a plate.
14 Patrick Street, Bothwell; (03) 6259 5502
Take in the shimmering expanse of Franklin Sound and its precious necklace of islands, including Cape Barren, while dining on fresh crayfish at this beloved bar.
11 Franklin Parade, Lady Barron; (03) 6359 3521
The Oyster Cove Inn
Stunning views over the Oyster Cove Marina and D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island ensure the popularity of this weekend getaway, a haven for yachties, that’s about 30 kilometres south of Hobart.
1 Ferry Road, Kettering; (03) 6267 4446
Bush Inn New Norfolk
This roadside inn established on the Derwent River in 1815 claims the title of Australia’s oldest continually licensed hotel. It wears its history on its walls: a plaque reveals that the first phone call in the Commonwealth was made here in 1888 and a portrait of Dame Nellie Melba recalls her stay in 1924.
49-51 Montagu Street, New Norfolk; (03) 6261 2256
Locals have long flocked to this riverside pub with its own jetty on the Tamar, 20 minutes from Launceston. A recent revamp added 26 luxury rooms (all with river views) and a gallery showcasing local art. Drop in for the live music.
215 Rosevears Drive, Rosevears; (03) 6394 4074
The publicans at the Weldborough, in this north- east rainforest hamlet, are passionate about Tasmanian craft-brewery ciders and beers; savour them in front of a roaring log fire.
29722 Tasman Highway, Weldborough; (03) 6354 2223
Max Anderson, Lee Atkinson, Keith Austin, Melanie Ball, Max Brearley, Hilary Burden, Mal Chenu, Mark Chipperfield, Carla Grossetti, Kendall Hill, Belinda Jackson and Natascha Mirosch.