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Pumphouse Point, Tasmania

18 May 2022
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Name a more unique accommodation than a luxury lodge inside an historic pumphouse set nearly 250m out over a lake, we’ll wait. Words Josie Steenhart Photos Adam Gibson

THE LOCATION

A couple of hours drive from both Hobart and Launceston, Pumphouse Point sits on (literally), and beside, stunning Lake St Clair – the sparkling diamond setting for the surrounding Cradle Mountains, a designated Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and Australia’s deepest lake. The original inhabitants, known as the Big River Tribe, call the lake Leeawuleena, meaning ‘sleeping water’.

Just up the road is a jumping off point for the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Other than that and a petrol station/cafe, your only neighbours are pristine wilderness and some intriguing local wildlife.

THE LOWDOWN

The result of tourism developer Simon Currant’s 18-year vision for the property, this utterly unique accommodation offering includes 19 rooms, with 12 located in the historic pumphouse building set 240m out on the lake, six in the Shorehouse and one exclusive retreat on the water’s edge.

The five-storey pumphouse that gives the property its name was originally built in 1940 to house enormous water turbines for a hydropower system, and was decommissioned in the early 90s.

In 2015, Simon’s dream became a reality, and the old pumphouse was made over as accommodation, with design sympathetic to its industrial origins.

THE EXPERIENCE

After a warm (it was winter but not, to my disappointment, snowing – though it does) and friendly welcome on shore at the reception lounge (formerly the original manager’s cottage), I was driven in style (golf buggy) the length of the long jetty before being shown to my beautiful ‘middle floor’ room replete
with an enormous cloud-like bed, moodily black-tiled bathroom and (nearly) floor-to-ceiling windows onto the lake right below.

Hot soup and freshly baked bread awaited the hungry traveller after my (notably scenic) drive from Hobart.

I admit I spent an inordinate amount of time inside the pumphouse, either in my hard-to-leave room or the spacious, light-filled shared lounge, or on occasion hovering near the well-stocked honesty bar perusing the options.

With an in-room larder stocked with artisan cheeses, charcuterie, olives and other moreish snacks and the possibility of still-warm-from-the-oven sourdough on call throughout the day, there was little motivation to leave, other than, hello, absolutely outrageously amazing surrounding scenery, which can be enjoyed on foot, by bike or boat, and the possibility of spotting an adorable wombat in the bush or the resident
platypus playing at the start of the jetty (I had no luck with either, much to my disappointment).

jsadam gibson dscf2423

EAT/DRINK

Pumphouse Point’s nightly rate is all-inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner, so again, no reason to leave.

If you’re lucky enough to be there on a Saturday night, a roaring fire is lit in the alfresco area in preparation for the Fire Feast, where local meats, veges, puddings and more are cooked on two enormous Asado grills.

Beverages are charged through a ledger system on consumption at the three honesty bars, but guests are their own bartenders.

THE NITTY GRITTY

Rooms start at AU$560 per night. pumphousepoint.com.au

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