A common reaction to winter is to run screaming in any warmer direction. But as Instagram clogs with people against a backdrop of pools or oceans, there's allure in embracing the season and its signature advantage: eating and drinking robustly and guilt-free because, well, you've got to keep warm. Accompany that with some lolling about in front of fires and exploring Tasmania's rugged beauty on a leisurely road trip.
The Tasmanian Tesla Traverse is a collaboration between four excellent Tasmanian businesses, alongside Drive Car Hire, that sees you embrace Tasmania's glorious chill, in all the right ways. It's a road trip with a luxury edge that involves piloting a Tesla (a Model 3 or Model Y) from Hobart to Launceston via the gorgeous east coast of Tasmania, observing dramatically sleety weather through the glass roof of a quiet, warm, and zippy car.
The first point of call after landing at Hobart Airport is The Tasman hotel, a luxurious time machine of cleverly blended 1840s, 1940s, and modern architecture in the city's harbourside parliament precinct. With spacious, elegantly appointed rooms and walking-distance convenience to all of Hobart's best bits (including the ferry to MONA), the hotel also houses Massimo Mele's Italian restaurant, Peppina. The two-night stay includes dinner at Peppina and two superb breakfasts served in the restaurant.
The road trip properly kicks in with the next leg, an easy two-hour drive through spectacular inland and coastal scenery to Piermont Retreat, a collection of self-contained cottages and large modern residences scattered through coastal bushland along a beautiful, secluded beach with The Hazards mountain range as a backdrop. Piermont's main house contains the Homestead Restaurant where chef Calvin King (formerly of Rick Stein's Bannisters) serves a degustation menu highlighting locally sourced ingredients ranging from duck to oysters. The accommodation includes wood-burning stoves, amazing views of the water, breakfast provisions for both days of the stay in the fully equipped kitchens, and a sense of tranquillity guaranteed to make driving away a wrench.
The final leg of the Traverse takes you through Swansea (where there's an EV charging station, thankfully), before dense, towering eucalypt forest, then north to Launceston where you'll have your final two nights at Stillwater Seven. Located in a 180-year-old former flour mill on the banks of the Tamar River, Stillwater's seven unique rooms all feature a brilliant mini-bar (a loaf of fresh bread is delivered each afternoon to go with the cheese, meats and booze in the bespoke timber bars) and easy access to Cataract Gorge Reserve and Launceston's town centre to walk off the mini-bar's largesse before dinner at Stillwater restaurant. A veteran of the Tasmanian restaurant scene, Stillwater remains one of Tasmania's best, highlighting local produce through Asian- and European-influenced dishes.
Concluding the road trip, you'll drop the Tesla at Launceston Airport and chances are you'll board the plane thinking that winter has never looked (nor tasted) so good.
The Tasmanian Tesla Traverse starts at $6,640 for two people, between 1 May - 28 March 2024. Bookings are available upon request via Drive Car Hire's Tasmanian Tesla Traverse site, as well as by emailing The Tasman, Piermont Retreat and Stillwater Seven hotels.