Thousand LakesCentral Highlands, TASMANIA
Tasmania’s unique, World Heritage-listed Central Plateau Conservation Area provides a starkly beautiful, other-worldly backdrop to some of the finest trout fishing available anywhere on our planet.
“Thousand Lakes Lodge now provides the ideal base for exploring one of trout fishing’s genuine “must-visit” locations.”
While boats can certainly be launched onto some of the larger lakes in the Nineteen Lagoons, such as Augusta and Ada, many keen anglers (and especially fly fishers) prefer to walk the banks and wade the shallows of these cold, sub-alpine waters. Vehicle access is available right to the shores of several of the lakes, while hikes of varying lengths along designated and well-signposted tracks will take you to many others. Still more lie further afield, well off the beaten track. It really pays to spend some time poring over detailed maps of the place before you arrive, in order to truly get a feel for the lay of the land in this ruggedly remote World Heritage listed area.
Until recently, no formal accommodation existed within the Nineteen Lagoons region of the Tasmanian Central Plateau, and most visitors chose to stay in the small township of Miena, some 35 minutes drive away on the shores of Great Lake. However all that changed in the spring of 2016, with the opening of the aptly-named Thousand Lakes Lodge.
Formerly an Australia’s Antarctic training facility known as Bernacchi Lodge, the two-storey, timber-clad building set near the stunningly stony shores of Lake Augusta had gradually fallen into disrepair and been threatened with demolition on several occasions before a syndicate of investors led by former motor-racing legend, Marcos Ambrose, stepped in. The group spent several million dollars completely refurbishing the lodge’s interior to create a luxurious, nine-room resort.
The weathered timber shape of the lodge looms darkly from the highland mists as you first approach by road from Liawenee, to the east. Squatting low in a textured, patchwork quilt of shrubs and bushes, just a long cast from Lake Augusta, the Lodge’s spartan and somewhat austere exterior belies the amazing warmth and intimacy that waits within. This is surely one of the most luxurious “fishing shacks” anywhere on earth!
Thousand Lakes Lodge now provides the ideal base for exploring one of trout fishing’s genuine “must-visit” locations. Guests who don’t wish to go it alone on this sometimes challenging fishery can also make use of one of the Lodge’s dedicated fishing guides, led by Miena-based Australian fly fishing team member and fully qualified instructor, Christopher Bassano. Chris and his hand-picked team of expert guides know these waters inside out, and will always go that extra mile in an effort to put their clients onto fish, regardless of the prevailing conditions at the time. There are never any guarantees in fishing, of course, but Chris and his crew represent the next best thing!
Thanks to the vision and work of Thousand Lakes Lodge’s creators, you can now hunt wily brown trout off your own bat or with an experienced local guide from dawn to dusk, then relive the day’s experiences that evening over a sumptuous, four-star meal, accompanied by fine Tasmanian wines, beers and spirits, all as the open fire crackles and roars in its stone hearth… Sheer luxury!
Trust me, you’ll really appreciate this cosy safe haven on the edge of the wilderness if the Central Plateau throws some of its trademark wicked weather at you! It’s not by accident that this spot was originally chosen as an Antarctic training centre… Lying well over 1,000 metres above sea level, it can be truly bleak here at times, but even at its very harshest, it always remains a stunningly beautiful and unique part of the natural world… and a “must-visit” destination for every serious trout fisher.
While you’re there…
In addition to the exceptional trout fishing opportunities on offer , this starkly beautiful part of the Tasmanian Highlands offers great opportunities for bush walking, nature photography, bird-watching and simply observing the Apple Isle’s unique flora and fauna. Staff at the Thousand Lakes Lodge or in their booking office can help you to organise all of these activities and more. A visit to the amazing “Wall In The Wilderness” carved art feature at nearby Derwent Bridge is also strongly recommended as a side trip for visitors to this part of Australia’s only island state.
Only 90 minutes by car from Launceston and around two hours from Hobart, the stunning drive is accessible via standard, two-wheel drive vehicles for most of the year, except following heavy winter snowfalls or torrential rain. If in doubt, check first with the Lodge’s booking office by calling 0400 392135.