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Where is the north and west Tasmania Region?
The north and west Tasmania Region The North and Western Tasmania region is the western half of Tasmania and takes in King Island to the north. It includes Devonport, Cradle Mountain and the Great Western Tiers, Stanley and the wild north-west, Strahan and the West Coast, the wild and stunning north-east corner, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the South-West National Park.

Climate
The weather is generally cooler in Tasmania than on the mainland and the warmer months find many visitors retreating to the highlands and coastal areas. Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Tassie when the the European trees and native beeches burst into colour. Winter has cold crisp days so bring plenty of warm clothing if you plan to travel then.

How do I get there?
Devonport is the major coastal city of the north and western region of Tasmania and can be reached from Australia's mainland by ferry or air link. Devonport is a 270 km drive from Hobart or 80 km from Launceston

Where can I stay?
Travelmate has accommodation in the region to suit every budget.

What are the main towns?
The main towns in the region include:

Devonport , Mole Creek, Port Sorell, Burnie, Cradle Mountain , Currie, Derwent Bridge , Queenstown, Stanley, Strahan, Wynyard and Ulverstone.
What's there to do in the region?
The region has well established touring routes that begin at Devonport.

To discover the wild north-western corner take coast road along the Great Nature Trail. Begin by travelling east to Narawntapu National Park and holiday town of Port Sorell to see abundant wildlife. Head west along the Bass Highway through penguin rookeries at the furniture-making town of Ulverstone, Penguin (home of the Big Penguin) and Burnie to visit Fern Glade Walk and the Lactos Cheese Factory. As you travel west you come to Wynyard, famous for its fossils and Tulip Farm which spreads its colour throughout the town each spring. The road winds through Boat Harbour and Rocky Cape National Park where you can take the B21 to Stanley. This village, steeped in maritime and pastoral history, lies beneath The Nut, an ancient outcrop that rises a sheer 152 metres. Take a seal cruise from Circular Head or discover Highfield Historic Site.

Continue on through Tasmania's significant forestry area at Smithton with its sawmill and cheese factory. The road then heads westward through Dismal Swamp to the Arthurs River on the wild west coast.

To take a return tour to Cradle Mountain, take the turn-off to the Murchison Highway at Somerset about 35 minutes from Devonport. Take the turn-off and make your way through the hinterland to the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park. There is a range of accommodation at the entrance to the park, from camping to world-class cabin and hotel lodgings. Cradle Mountain has a range of short or longs walks on offer. Bushwalkers will be rewarded with spectacular scenery, birdlife, wildflowers and bracing air.

For those wishing to see the deep wilderness of the South-East, follow the Murchison Highway past the Cradle Mountain turn-off to mining towns such as Tullah and Rosebery near the Renison Bell mine and Montezuma Falls. Take the fork turn to Zeehan, a mining town now declared a National Trust township with its West Coast Pioneer's Memorial Museum and outside locomotive display. Continue along the winding road to Strahan, a mining town turned fishing village which became pivotal in the 1982 "Fight for Franklin" campaign that sought to stop damming of the Franklin River for a hydro-electric scheme. It is now a booming tourist town with cruises on Macquarie Harbour, Sarah Island or the Gordon River, fishing, wood turning, galleries, cafes and wilderness area activities.

The road zig-zags to Queenstown, the largest town on Tasmania's west coast and one that owes its existence to mineral mining. Much of the area around Queenstown is eroded and barren because of erosion, pollution and tree-felling and is quite a strange sight. Visitors can take the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Queenstown through steep grades and King River Gorge to Strahan.

The final leg of the journey in this region, takes you through large areas of temperate rainforest, wonderful walks and fast flowing rivers of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and on to Derwent Bridge at the edge of Lake St Clair.

Gourmet foodies might wish to take a side-trip to King Island. Take a short flight from Burnie to see an island of long, empty beaches, clean fresh air, offshore reefs, rocky coasts, lighthouses and shipwrecks. But the island is most famous for its King Island Dairy and you can take a tour from Currie to sample wonderful cheeses, see penguins in rookeries, play golf and dine at wonderful restaurants at Naracoopa.

Three other must-see towns can be seen on a day-trip loop from Devonport. Latrobe is a pleasant heritage town with a platypus inhabited area called Warrawee Forest Reserve. The so-called "mural town" of Sheffield has many public murals depicting the town's history and pioneering characters. Families with children might like to take a walk through the seven hedge mazes at nearby Tasmazia in Staverton.

Nature lovers could continue the journey south to Mole Creek to visit the Trowunna Wildlife Park with its nocturnal house where Tasmanian devils, native cats and possums can be seen. You'll know you're there when you see one of those great Australian 'Big Things' - the Big Tasmanian Devil outside the park. A visit to the underground limestone caves - King Solomon's Cave and Marakoopa Cave - is a great way to explore the Great Western Tiers and the Mole Creek - Karst National Park.



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