AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays


Why do we rate it?
Launceston and the Tamar Valley are packed full of fantastic food and wine opportunitites. More English than the Home Counties, this is the great summer holiday without frying on a beach.

Where is it?
Launceston is the northern capital of Tasmania with direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne.

Where to stay
In town there are the usual business hotels and a Peppers Seaport on the water. AT’s pick is a base in the astonishingly beautiful Tamar Valley. This is where you can find an absolute steal with apartments and B&Bs lining the meandering Tamar river. The Yarra Ridge Rosevears vineyard has 20 retreats with four that can be reconfigured for doubles. The retreats are set high on the hill with fab views of the river. Across the river in Dilston the River House B&B has four different rooms, from a traditional B&B to a one-bedroom apartment. Extra touches include fluffy bath robes and a heated pool. Back in Launceston, York Mansions offers five private apartments in a beautiful heritage-listed 1840s residence.

How much is it?
The peak season for this region doesn’t mean peak Melbourne and Sydney prices. The River House attracts at $160 for the B&B. A one-bedroom apartment at Rosevears starts at $185 per night, while the apartments at York Mansions become very affordable with a four-share for $320 a night.

They all have limited availability from December 26, and are likely to be booked out by November 1.

What to do
If you like wine, this is sparkling and pinot noir territory. There are loads of excellent cellar doors in the region, AT’s favourite has to be Bay of Fires. Have an afternoon G&T or beer at the Rosevears Hotel, a fabulous 1830s pub. Go on a Tamar River cruise or a day trip to Cradle Mountain – if you set off early. Stop off at cutesy Sheffield to see the town’s famous murals. Grab a toga and venture to the Roman Baths for spa treatments. The Stillwater Café is the pick of the restaurants. Daniel Alps has set up a retail providore in South Launceston. For golf nuts, Barnbougle Dunes is one of the top 50 gold courses in the world and it’s public – but we advise you to book as soon as you know you’re going.

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