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Wednesday 9 December 2020

Discover one of Tasmania's best-kept travel secrets

Location, location, location.

There can be very few luxury hotels anywhere in the world that can match the location of The Woodbridge, a delightful retreat right on the banks of the River Derwent in New Norfolk.

The Woodbridge recently reopened after being closed for several months - and the owners have paid attention to detail in assuring it meets very high standards.

That the hotel exists at all is something of a miracle. When owners John and Laurelle Grimley purchased the original building in 2003 it was a derelict hulk.

Two years on, it won the Housing Industry Association Tasmanian Restoration of the Year award, and took out the national award 12 months later.

A heritage mansion dating back to 1825, The Woodbridge is a step back in time (think antiques and old artworks) but with all mod cons (air con, minibars etc).

The style is very much elegant country mansion - but you are just 45 minutes from Hobart and can relax in magnificent gardens and watch local rowing crews go through their paces on the lovely River Derwent.

For a truly luxury experience guests can arrive via helicopter or seaplane, from Hobart.

On the doorstep in New Norfolk is the Agrarian Kitchen eatery, while the Derwent region is dotted with wineries, boutique distilleries, historic hop kilns and the beauty of Mount Field National Park and Russell Falls.

Something for everyone, then, although it is tempting to just a grab a book from the library and settle in with a glass of local Tasmanian pinot noir.

All rooms and suites are in the original mansion, each with ts own unique character, seamlessly blending 200-year-old blackwood floors and original multi-pane windows with modern furnishings and amenities.

Upstairs rooms have higher ceilings, and downstairs accommodation has lower ceilings and stonewalled corridors.

The Woodbridge is set up as an adult escape and babies and young children are not allowed. All the better for chilling out and winding down.  

Activities include walking, kayaking, rafting, swimming and fishing. Sally Wise’s Cooking School, Nant Distillery and iconic Stefano Lubiana Winery are all nearby and you are 15 minutes to MONA, 20 minutes to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and 40 minutes to Hobart Airport.

Breakfast and dinner are served in the more modern Pavillion, which is restricted to in-house guests only. Soup, bread and two courses cost $65 per person.Try wine from Ryelands or Bagdad Hills, two tiny producers who are friends of the owners.

Rooms start from $345 and a range of packages and promotions are available. Make sure to take time to breathe and take in the beauty. And try to spot a platyus in the river. 

Tell them Winsor sent you.

The writer was a guest of the Woodbridge. 

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