Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Traversing Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

I have visited Bridestowe Lavender Estate before, in winter. Even then, it was impressive. In summer, the lavender is in bloom, making the farm a must-see. Fields of purple follow the contours of the land, pointing to the distant Mount Arthur. It is a spectacular sight!

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You can wander through the fields for as long as you like. Once the hazy smell of the lavender, the beautiful view of Mount Arthur and the thrill of taking the perfect shot have worn off, there’s more to do. Walk down to the dam, picnic under the oak trees or stroll near the pines, admiring the intriguing statues. When you’re finished, head to the buildings.

Ice-cream!
Ice-cream! © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You now have choices. Ice-cream first? A lavender blend is available from the very cute truck. What about Devonshire tea? Lavender scones and lavender tea with lavender jam on the side await you in the café. Prefer retail therapy? The Bridestowe Lavender Estate gift store is bursting at the seams with lavender produce, including the famous Bobbie the Bear. When you’re done eating and shopping, join a guided tour.

The Distillery
The Distillery © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

As Bridestowe Lavender Estate is a historic property, the lavender distillery is well worth having a look at. The farm was founded in 1921 and relocated to Nabowla in the mid-1940s. The distillery is a quiet testament to times gone by. You’ll find antique bottles, signs, tins and equipment, as well as a brief explanation of the distilling process.

What to Bring

Lavender Fields
Lavender Fields © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

It sounds obvious, given that you are visiting a farm, but do wear sturdy shoes. Even in summer, it will rain at times and the red earth turns to mud quite quickly! Wear weather-appropriate clothing and take your camera with you. Selfie-sticks are very popular (and useful) but I still can’t bring myself to use one!

Getting There

Mount Arthur
Mount Arthur © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Bridestowe Lavender Estate is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Launceston. It is located in Nabowla, which is north-east of Lilydale. Allow extra time for sight-seeing. We stopped at Lilydale Falls Reserve on the way for a short walk as the falls are very peaceful and picturesque. You could also visit one of the well-known wineries in the area, such as Pipers Brook Vineyard or Jansz Tasmania. There is ample parking at Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Instead of driving, you can take a bus (either as a tour or just as public transport) from Launceston to the estate.

Cost

Gift Shop
Gift Shop © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You’ll pay $10 per person to visit Bridestowe Lavender Estate when the flowers are in bloom. If you are a local or a Friend of Bridestowe (you can sign up for free on Bridestowe Lavender Estate’s website), you’ll get in for free! You can also visit the estate out of season free of charge. The shop and café both have EFTPOS facilities but I’m not sure about the ice-cream truck so take a little bit of cash with you. The estate is open from 9am to 5pm daily (except Christmas Day). Enjoy walking through the fields of lavender and soaking in a little bit more of Tasmania’s unique history.

Staying a while? Read about my adventures in Tasmania’s north and east coast.

Leven Canyon

Traversing Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Today, it snowed at Leven Canyon in Tasmania’s north west. I know this because I was there. By there, I mean at Cruikshanks Lookout, high above the thundering rapids, being blasted with snow. It was awesome!

 

Picnic Area
Picnic Area © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

We arrived to a scene from a fairy-tale. Trees towered above us. Ferns surrounded the picnic area. The ground was covered in snow. If we had wanted to, we could have made a fire in the barbeque hut and cooked lunch but I’m glad that we continued to the lookout instead. It was perfect timing.

Track
Track © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Access to the lookouts is via the Fern Walk (from the lower picnic area) or via the path to Cruikshanks Lookout. The walk can be done as a circuit. I recommend visiting Cruikshanks Lookout first as you can then descend the almost-600 steps to the track below instead of ascending them.

Cruikshanks Lookout
Cruikshanks Lookout © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

When we reached Cruikshanks Lookout, it had just started snowing. The lookout juts out from the hill and is very exposed. Hold on to your hat! The Leven River roared below us and limestone cliffs stood around us at a commanding 300 metres. The wind whipped snow into our faces. It was an incredible sight: Leven Canyon seen through a veil of snow.

Forest Steps
Forest Steps © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Descend the (many!) Forest Steps to the Edge Lookout below for another spectacular view. This time, you’re much closer to the rapids but still at quite a height above them. As always with Tasmania, the weather can change at any moment. When we stepped out onto the Edge Lookout, we were greeted with the warmth of the sun (and a small pocket of phone reception!).

Leven River
Leven River © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

From the Edge Lookout, it’s an easy walk back to the carpark. Well, almost! There might not be any steps but the uphill trudge was hard-going! The track is well-maintained. There are benches at regular intervals along the circuit’s tracks. These are essentially horizontal signposts, showing you how far you are from the nearest location (car park, bridge, lookout) in either direction and are a great motivation to keep going!

Getting There

Roadside View
Roadside View © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The Leven Canyon Lookout is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Ulverstone via the B15 or the B17 (the latter goes past the turnoff to Wings Wildlife Park). The drive there was very picturesque, with snow beside the road and on the distant mountain tops. As always with Tasmania’s country roads, take care on corners, particularly on icy days like today. When you arrive at Leven Canyon, there is ample car parking. Watch out for our native animals.

Cost

Leven Canyon
Leven Canyon © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

There are no entry fees at Leven Canyon. Toilet and wood-fired barbeque facilities are available for public use. Do not light the barbeques during a total fire ban! There are also plenty of picnic tables for public use. It’s a great spot to visit.

You can read more about my adventures in Tasmania’s beautiful north west here.