The North West Tasmania region covers a large area including the coastal towns of Devonport, Burnie and Stanley; Cradle Mountain National Park and the rugged peaks of the Great Western Tiers form an imposing backdrop to this coastal farmland region. The narrow strip of coastal plain between the island's central mountains and Bass Strait is one of the richest regions agriculturally in the state and the most densely populated. Travellers often remark that the countryside reminds them of rural England, but that resemblance is mainly due to the fact that the early settlers introduced English trees and hedges.
The area has a certain charm about it that becomes very apparent when you take your car on the overnight ferry from Melbourne, and head west along the coast upon arrival at Devonport. As the sun climbs over the mountains, there is a crispness in the air.
You see the occasional car travelling the other way but apart from that, you have the road to yourself. Cattle idly graze in lush green pastures that appear to go right down to the beachfront, a single railway track winds its away along the shore and around the hillsides as the sun's rays reach out and touch the calm waters of Bass Strait. It all makes you feel like winding down the windows and shouting, "It's good to be alive!"
View Larger Map
The beaches on the Bass Strait coast are regarded as good by Australian standards but are few and far between. The charm of the coastal region lies in its gentle pastoral landscapes, its vistas of distant, often snow-capped peaks and ranges, the multitude of small, clear streams that cross it, its several austerely impressive headlands that thrust out into the sea and the pleasant and relatively reliable climate.
Gunns Plains Caves