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Travel guide Latrobe

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  • Beautiful countryside
  • Stay at Studio 26, which is also an Art Gallery
  • House of Anvers Chocolate Factory, Latrobe Tasmania
  • Explore nearby Cradle Mountain in Northern Tasmania

Drive along the Mersey River from Devonport and you’ll discover the historic town of Latrobe, which prides itself on being the 'platypus capital of the world'. Previously a shipyard town, today it is a popular destination for tourists who come to explore the historic buildings from the 1840s, contemplate antique and art purchases in the various galleries, and relax with a latte or cappuccino. Its proximity to Devonport gives it the best of both worlds – close enough to enjoy all the sights of the city, while still being peaceful enough to truly relax and unwind.

Things to do:
Most people are drawn to the outdoors when they travel in Tasmania. The fresh breezes, waterways which are perfect for fishing, canoeing, and swimming, and the many fantastic places to explore by foot or bike make this a popular state for everyone. Latrobe is no exception, and you’ll find plenty of places to drop a line or have a paddle.

Latrobe is also a great place to use as a base to explore northern Tasmania. While Latrobe itself is petite, the options for exploring the region around it are huge. Only 15 minutes away, you can luxuriate in the white sands of Hawley Beach. Venture 27km south and you’ll encounter Sheffield – a small farming community set in the picturesque foothills of Mount Roland. If you enjoy scenic drives, you can do a day-trip out to Cradle Mountain and explore the trails with many waterfalls, lakes and wildflowers.

Attention chocolate-lovers! One must-do in Latrobe is a visit to the House of Anvers, a Belgian-style gourmet chocolate factory, where you can see, smell, and taste the exquisite chocolate truffles being artistically created before your eyes. While you are there, check out their museum, where you can learn how modern chocolate developed over the years.

Few Aussies have actually seen a platypus in the wild, but you might get lucky in Latrobe. Check in with the Latrobe Visitor Centre for information about tours taking you to these magical creatures in their natural habitat.

Consider a stroll down the historic Bell’s Parade, which is situated along the Mersey River. The pristine beauty is a perfect spot for a picnic, and BBQ facilities are also available. This area becomes a lively spot on Australia Day each year as they hold the Henley-on-the-Mersey carnival, an event which has continued for more than 85 years. Other attractions along Bell’s Parade include the Axeman’s Hall of Fame. Here, you’ll find museum displays where you can learn about the historic timber trades of the area, and the competitive wood chopping that the pioneers of the area enjoyed as early as 1891.
When to go
It’s always a great time to visit Tasmania. Beautiful weather year-round means sunshine with refreshing breezes in the summer, colourful leaves in autumn, wildflowers in spring, and crisp, cool air in the winter with the possibility of some sparkling snow in the nearby mountains.

How to get there
A fun way to arrive is to catch the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Devonport and then drive the 10km to Latrobe. This overnight ferry from Melbourne has plenty to keep you pleasantly occupied on board, and can be considered a mini-vacation within your vacation. Best of all, it isn’t very expensive to bring your car and then you’ll have the wheels you need to explore the region properly.

If getting to Melbourne for the ferry is tricky, you can take a flight to either Devonport or Launceston, and then rent a car for the drive to Latrobe.

Many believe that art imitates life, and occasionally the reverse is true with life imitating art, but if you stay at the quaint bed and breakfast, Studio 26, you can enjoy living in a home which is also an art gallery! Wake up to a yummy breakfast featuring fresh produce each morning before taking a stroll to see if the local platypus family is paddling around Kings Creek at the bottom of the property.

If you’d prefer to visit Latrobe as a day-trip, there are many wonderful accommodation options in nearby Devonport.

Ideal length of visit
Latrobe is an excellent daytrip or short break within a longer trip to Tasmania. Alternatively you can use it as your base to explore other places in northern Tasmania, like Cradle Mountain.

Further information
When you arrive in town, head to the Latrobe Visitor Centre on Bell’s Parade. Alternatively, check out their website.

Many thanks to Studio 26 for helping to put their town 'on the map'.

About the Author
Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide, Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, she worked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a rotating basis.

Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveller, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex, and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”  Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.

About the author
Find out more about Kylie at http://bit.ly/h_experts

More accomodation in North Tasmania
Launceston | Tamar Valley | Westbury | Devonport | Cradle Mountain | Paper Beach | Port Sorell | Tullah | Deloraine | Elizabeth Town | Loongana | Latrobe | Mole Creek | George Town | Greens Beach | Ulverstone | Hadspen | King Island | Beauty Point | Blackwood Creek | Melrose TAS | Legana | Beechford | Newnham | Preolenna | Sulphur Creek | Windmill Hill | Clarence Point | Brooklyn | Cape Portland | Epping | Gawler | Illawarra | Kelvin Grove | Norwood | Perth | Prospect | St Leonards | Surrey Hills | Wilmot |

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  I can't wait to visit Tasmania and now I am going To Latrobe just for the Chocolate Factory! :)
Posted on Oct 07 2009 at 11:25

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