It only took one photograph of Pumphouse Point for me to get online and book a trip there. This boutique hotel sits in a restored industrial building on a long jetty in the middle of Tasmania’s deepest lake. It’s totally surrounded by pristine World Heritage listed national park with snow capped mountains framing the horizon.
What a location! The building was constructed as part of Tasmania’s hydroelectric scheme but was never used. It’s been sensitively renovated to house a total of 18 rooms on the jetty and in the “shore house”.
Inside the rooms are understated and stylish. They’re decorated in muted shades of grey and feature local timber panelling. Our room included a couch area to sit and look at the view as well as a generously sized bed with copious amounts of fluffy white pillows. The bathroom was tucked away behind the bed head and was small but functional with glamorous black tiles and copper piping. The only thing missing was a bathtub.
What I really loved about the room was the two full size bar fridges, one stocked with booze and the other with olives, salami and cheese. It’s all Tasmanian produce and prices are really reasonable: more like what you would pay at a deli than usual mini bar sting. Each evening we made up our own cheese and charcuterie platter from our fridge for pre dinner snacking and headed for one of the communal lounges.
The lounge areas have wood fires, board games and full spirits bars which operate on a honesty system. Pretty much my definition of the perfect place to watch the sun set across the lake.
The food is simple but delicious. Breakfast includes muesli, yoghurt, toast, home made baked beans, fantastic Tasmanian jams and eggs that you boil yourself. Dinner is served each night ($50 for three courses) at communal tables and during our stay included slabs of slow cooked Cape Grim beef served on a mound of pureed cauliflower with a sticky sauce made from reduced sherry.
We spent most of our time lounging around in front of the fire, eating, drinking and taking in the stupendous views. There are plenty of walks from the hotel itself and in the surrounding national park. Pumphouse Point also has mountain bikes for guests which we rode to the visitors centre on and boats which we didn’t use as it was too chilly.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Pumphouse Point is located in Tasmania’s Alpine region (not something I had factored in). During Winter it regularly snows at the hotel and we nearly got snowed in on our visit. Not the worst place to be trapped I admit but something to keep in mind.
Pumphouse Point is one of the most memorable places I have ever stayed. It’s truly a destination hotel and it’s clear why it is already achieving cult status with weekends reportedly booked out already until 2016. This is one place that really does live up to the photograph.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- Pumphouse Point is roughly 2.5 hours drive from Hobart and Launceston. However it’s a much easier road from Hobart and in Winter the road to Launceston closes quite regularly so it’s best to fly in to Hobart.
- We had lunch at the nearby Derwent Bridge Hotel, checked out the Lake St Clair visitors centre and viewed the Wall in the Wilderness.
Details: Pumphouse Point, 1 Lake St Clair Road, Lake St Clair (Ph 0428 090 436)
Damage: Pricey. Our room cost $32o a night.