In all my travels around the world I’ve stayed in everything from over-water villas and beachside bungalows to mountain chalets and high rise hotels, but I’ve never been anywhere as romantic as Tasmania’s Pumphouse Point. When I told my husband this, as we gazed out over the misty waters of Lake St Clair, he was shocked. “All that money we spent on our honeymoon in the Maldives, and this tops it?” Erm, yes, sorry but not sorry, because the two nights we spent at Pumphouse Point were pure bliss. Not your usual type of honeymoon bliss. The property doesn’t even have a spa (a huge opportunity for them, in my opinion), but it has a combination of other factors that just took my breath away.
And I’m not alone. The number of proposals and honeymooners has skyrocketed since the property opened a few years ago. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Beauty that takes your breath away
Lake St Clair sits within the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain National Park. Surrounded by mountain ranges and bushland, the lake is like a very Australian oasis in the desert. As you drive down the long entranceway, you catch glimpses of the water, until it opens up in front of you. Combine that natural beauty with the spectacle of a five storey building perched out on the end of a jetty, and you’ve got one seriously photogenic location.
- Wonderful, wild weather
Tasmanian weather can be a tricky. Bright sunny days, snowy afternoons and misty mornings are all potentials almost year round. We got lucky and had a few days of sunshine and warm weather during our end of Summer visit. But even if it rains, or snows, watching the weather while snuggled up in front of the fire, with a good local red wine in one hand, and your special someone’s hand in the other, is perfection. Mornings out on the Pumphouse are often a lucky dip too. We woke up one day to a blanket of mist, wrapped around the jetty and out across the lake. Watching it lift as the sun rose was just magical.
- Awesome accommodation
The original Pumphouse that perches out on the jetty was constructed as part of a hydraulic electricity scheme back in the 1940s. It housed water turbines that were never actually put to use. Decommissioned in the 1990s, the Pumphouse sat empty until it was leased in 2004 and painstakingly renovated over a decade. Today the building is a study in industrial chic. The bare bones of the structure are built upon with low lying couches, leather arm chairs, Bauhaus-style coffee tables and wood burning fireplaces. Everything is designed not to detract from the view. Common area lounge areas on two floors have the best views straight out at the lake, but the entire building is surrounded on all sides by water views. Top floor rooms have deep free standing tubs, and are worth the splurge, but you’ll get just as spectacular a view from the ground floor rooms, albeit from a different angle. You’re almost floating on top of the water instead of looking down at it. The Shorehouse building, where meals are held, has rooms looking out at the Pumphouse, and guests are free to roam between the bars and lounge rooms in each building.
- Activities for all sorts
For the first time ever I met some honeymooners who willingly spent five hours of their day hiking. The walking tracks around Lake St Clair are among some of the best in the country, and plenty of guests take advantage of the longer trails, setting out straight from the end of the jetty into the bush. We chose an easy Platypus Bay walk, driving down to the visitors centre for the easy stroll, stopping for a picnic (Pumphouse provides insulated picnic backpacks including champagne glasses!) before scampering back to the fireplace at the Pumphouse. But even if you’re not into hiking, there isn’t a honeymooner out there who can say no to a rowboat! The property has several cute rowboats tied up to the edge of the lake, just waiting for guests to take them out for a spin. It’s an easy paddle out into the lake, and if you’re quiet you’ll spot platypus swimming past the boat or playing along the shore.
- The honesty system
Each room has its own Larder, stocked with local produce like Bruny Island Cheese, fresh salami, pickles, quince paste, fudge, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s a minibar on steroids. Grab a few nibbles and head down to the bar for an impromptu picnic. You’ll pass by the bar, where fridges are well stocked with craft beer and sparkling wine and the shelves are lined with local reds and whites. There’s spirits too, and fresh limes, simply grab what you want and mark it down on the sheets provided. It’s trusting, and absolutely awesome.
- Fresh bread, baby!
I’ve saved the best for last. Who does not want a loaf of bread, hot from the oven, delivered to their door? And, it’s free. That’s right, you can order a loaf of bread as many times as you want. It’s perfect as a late afternoon snack, dunked in olive oil and balsamic, with a gin and tonic to wash it down.
- Price point
Yes, I found price to be a big draw card. Rooms at the Pumphouse start at $280 per night. That includes breakfast, and as much free bread as you like! It’s a reasonable price point for such a unique experience. For us it was even better value, I used Expedia+ Rewards Points I’d built up to get some dollars off – more spending money for that honour bar!
Whether you’re after an active getaway, a chance to re-enact Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger’s row boat scene, an escape from reality, or just a spot to curl up with a good book, Pumphouse Point is the spot to spend a few days away from the world.
All images by Lisa Perkovic at Expedia Australia
Ms Polka Dot says: Those misty waters get me every time – not to mention the local produce that Tasmania does so well.
About Lisa Perkovic: I am the Expedia Australia blog editor and have spent the past decade getting out there, discovering the world and sharing my experiences. I make sure Expedia’s blog is always stocked with the best and most up to date travel stories, tips and news from our team of travel experts!