The town of Wynyard is surrounded by verdant farmland and stunning coastline on Tasmania’s north-west coast.
The awesome geology is mentioned first.
Not to be overlooked to the north is the Table Cape flat-topped volcanic plug, 180 meters above sea level.
Rows of tulips grow in the fertile basalt soil of the Cape Highlands, and Wynyard hosts a festival each spring to honor the flower.
Closer to town are the banded sandstone cliffs, fossil cliffs, where specimens have been found to expand the world’s knowledge of prehistoric wildlife.
Wynyard’s track also has a refined boat harbour and it’s close to the perfect family beach.
1. Desk corner
Looming over the miles of coastline is a huge basalt plateau, 180 meters above sea level.
This is actually the remains of a volcano dating back 12 million years ago, and the highest point of the volcanic plug is an unparalleled vantage point.
From here you can set your sights on rolling farmland to Tasmania’s outback mountains and landmarks like George Town, more than 100km east.
Table Cape Lighthouse, north of the lookout, is the only lighthouse in Tasmania open to the public.
Information boards around the cape explain its volcanic origins and the cape’s importance to the Aboriginal Tommeginer tribe.
2. Boat Harbor Beach
This beach, about 15 minutes from Wynyard, is the best beach in Australia.
Boat Harbor Beach is an upscale beachfront community crammed around a very photogenic bay.
Backed by beautiful green countryside, it has just about everything a family could want.
The beach has a shallow slope and is shaded to the north by a headland, which helps keep the waves low.
On sunny days, there is a sparkling clear light blue pool for bathing.
At low tide, you can stroll along the bay to see what you can find in the rock pools, and the kids can run wild on the playground built on the sand.
When you’re thirsty or hungry, the Surf Life Saving Clubhouse has a bar.
3. Table Corner Lighthouse
Perched on the edge of a steep cliff is a lighthouse built in 1888 in response to shipwrecks along the coast in the mid-19th century.
It is built with bricks imported from Victoria and is 15 meters high.
In 1923, the last lighthouse keeper left when the beacon was running automatically.
Tours are offered in the spring and summer and provide some insight into the daily work of the building and its keepers.
The views are of course magnificent, especially if you come to the tulip fields on the plateau in September.
4. Fossil Cliff
The sandstone cliffs north of the mouth of the Inglis River in Freestone Bay are a true geological wonder.
For leisure visitors, there is a cliff-top lookout 30 metres above Bass Strait, where you can observe Wynyard, the sea, Table Point and the estuary.
For anyone interested in geology, the fascinating sandstone formations on the cliffs have yielded fossil specimens like Wynyardia bassiana, the oldest marsupial ever found in Australia, dating back 25 million years forward.
You can head to the pebbled shore for some beach exploration (the best fossil hunts are after rough seas), and ancient Aboriginal fish traps are revealed at low tide.
5. Wynyard Wonders
More than a simple information point, Wynyard’s Visitor Center integrates local history displays, art galleries and an incredible collection of vintage cars.
The 14-car selection is the oldest Ford in the world, a Model A built in 1903 in pristine condition.
The museum showcases the region’s maritime heritage, Aboriginal stories and facts about the stunning natural landmarks surrounding it at the Wynyard Wonders.
The gallery also showcases the work of local artists in a variety of media, from textiles to sculpture, painting and photography.
Most works are available for purchase, and if you need advice on what to do next in North West Tasmania, there is a small group of volunteers happy to help.
6. Table Corner Tulip Farm
The rich volcanic soils of Table Cape were not first planted with tulips until 1984, when the Roberts-Thompson family imported bulbs from the Netherlands.
Today, Table Cape Tulip Farm grows more than 80 tulip varieties, as well as lilies and Dutch irises.
Today, the farm actually exports the bulbs back to the Netherlands.
This interaction with a European country seems more appropriate when you remember that Tasmania was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who first saw the island in Europe in 1642. At the end of September, when tulips of various colors are in bloom, visit the farm in neat, narrow strips.
After taking some lovely photos, you can check out the indoor flower arrangements, flower art, buy cut flowers and indulge in a Devonshire cream tea.
7. Goodrich Gardens
Just on the south bank of the mouth of the Inglis River is a beautiful local park for walking, jogging and cycling along the water.
This is the start of the Inglis Channel, which is 12 kilometers long.
You can access the water via the boat ramp at the northern end of the garden.
The park has BBQ sheds and public toilets, as well as a stage area that hosts major events in Wynyard’s calendar, such as Australia Day celebrations and tulip blooms, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the list that follows.
8. Bath Motorway
The 273-kilometre Bass Highway runs mainly along the Bass Strait and is a convenient and scenic way to get in touch with North West Tasmania.
The road stretches west from Launceston to Marawa, first touching the coast at Devonport, then alternating between sparkling seascapes, coastal forests and idyllic farmland.
You can get from one end to the other in a few hours, but it’s worth splitting the drive into two days and trying to decide between the many stops along the way.
There are magnificent old estates, waterfalls, pretty hamlets, breathtaking headlands, movie beaches, dairy farms and a plethora of interesting local museums, from Aboriginal culture to shipwrecks and 19th century settlements.
9. Wynyard Waterfront Market
Below the Inglis Estuary, behind East Wynyard Beach, there is an outdoor market every Monday and third Sunday from 08:00 to 14:00. There are dozens of stalls along the path along the foreshore selling homemade cakes, homemade jams and preserves, plants, crafts, collectibles and a variety of second-hand items.
Wynyard Foreshore Market also contributes to the Bloomin Tulips Festival in September and October, and later this year, on Christmas Eve, there is a weekly Friday night Twilight Market.
10. Penguin Watch
The coastline around Wynyard is particularly sensitive as it is home to little penguins.
As the smallest penguin species in the world, this bird is just over 30 centimeters tall.
Surprisingly, the species is found close to houses, roads and built-up areas.
At Wynyard Wonders, you can arrange a free tour with a local expert to view the nesting area and learn more about penguin behavior and diet.
A 15-minute drive east in Burnie, you can also stop by Burnie’s Little Penguin Observation Center.
There, you can have the privilege of getting a glimpse into the seasonal life of penguins, from courtship to chick rearing to moulting after the breeding season.
11. Rocky Point National Park
Not far west of Wynyard, the coastline is protected by the National Park, which stretches for kilometers beyond the promontory of the same name.
People take day trips on trails ranging from 200 meters to 15 kilometers.
The gnarled rock of Rocky Cape is Tasmania’s oldest rock, a Precambrian quartzite that has been squeezed over millions of years to form bizarre formations.
Atop the promontory is a working lighthouse, built in 1968 with a square concrete tower.
Evidence of Aboriginal habitation dating back 8,000 years has been found in rock shelters and caves within the park, some of which are closed to the public. You can hike through spectacular forested hills or hang out at Bass Strait, the sensational sister beach.
12. Fern Woodland Reserve
You must explore the lush banks of the Emu River east of Burnie to catch a glimpse of one of Australia’s most popular animals.
Walk along the Water Fern Woodland Reserve and you’ll have a good chance of seeing platypus in the wild.
These are usually found surfacing or frolicking on the river banks occasionally.
Even if these shy creatures are out of sight, the sanctuary is a joy, with lush tree ferns, a wide variety of orchids (more than 12 different species) and fungi in the bushes.
You might see a wallaby bouncing around, while there are BBQ areas, picnic areas and toilets to make your visit even more comfortable.
13. Lobster Pond
Another unique animal on the island is the giant Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish.
This threatened and protected species is the world’s largest freshwater invertebrate, known to grow to over 80 centimeters long and weigh 6 kilograms.
They are so large that they can live up to 60 years when they mature without predators.
You can see them in a volunteer-run lobster pond about 10 kilometers from Wynyard.
From Thursday to Sunday, you can take a guided tour of the reserve, a cow area set in picturesque Tasmanian woodlands and gardens, to learn about this remarkable creature and see it up close.
There is also a café on site, serving a cup of tea and snacks.
14. Wynyard Golf Club
At the tip of the peninsula south of Fossil Bluff is a windswept 9-hole links golf course that welcomes non-members.
Wynyard Golf Club is well maintained and has a bar, usually open Thursday to Saturday.
But the experience depends on the breathtaking scenery, with sweeping views of Table Cape and Fossil Bluff.
The fifth green is above the water and looks out along the rocky coastline and is very special.
As of 2020, green fees are $20 per person.
15. Bloomin Tulip Festival
For three weeks in late September and early October, Wynyard celebrates spring in style with a series of events.
Born in the early 1990s, the festival now attracts thousands of visitors every year.
There is something for everyone on the schedule, including live music, photo exhibitions, a 5K fun run and booths for cutting tulips, local produce and crafts.
The biggest date on the calendar is a Saturday in October, when you can see live entertainment, street performances, rides, children’s activities, fireworks displays and more at Goodridge Gardens.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Wynyard, Australia
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