There’s a wee island in the Southern Hemisphere said to be the most wonderful and magical destination
on earth. Heralded as the Island of Inspiration and Rejuvenation, we simply call it Tassie. But golfers call it Nirvana, and you'll soon know why.
The heart-shaped Australian island of Tasmania (the only island state in Oz) is roughly the size of West Virginia in the US or Scotland in the UK, yet more than 80 golf courses are sprinkled across its diminutive 26,376 square miles (68,331 kilometres).
It all began with Ratho at Bothwell in Tasmania’s highlands, where a boatload of homesick Scottish settlers started playing a game they brought with them from Scotland’s east coast. That game we now call golf was transplanted and today Ratho Links is one of the world’s best preserved ancient golfing grounds - and Australia’s oldest golf course.
Australia’s number one public access golf course, Barnbougle Dunes, is also in Tassie. The wild and dramatic Anderson Bay coastline was the inspiration for this 18-hole course that draws golfers from around the world, and just next door you’ll find Lost Farm. The amazing par 3, eighth hole here is "pure spectacle." They say your tee shot here has to reach a pocket-handkerchief green on the far side of a deep chasm, where vertical sea cliffs plummet to surging ocean swells far below. We say don't go after your balls here.
On to Launceston in the north, Quamby is one of Tasmania’s most prestigious and historically important properties. Built between 1828 and 1838, Quamby was once the home of the Premier of Tasmania. Now, this beautifully-restored estate has guest suites where (between rounds of golf) you can sleep in luxury and dine on sumptuous meals washed down by local Tamar Valley wines. The magnificent 9-hole course is lined with English ash, elms, hornbeams and ancient oaks, some more than 100 years old.
Next, the meticulously maintained Country Club Tasmania (which was designed in 1982 by renowned golf course architect Mike Wolveridge and British Open champion Peter Thomson), features challenging fairway, water hazards and fast greens.
Last, but not least on our list, is Tarraleah, northwest of Hobart. One of the highest golf courses in Australia, Tarraleah wends its way through mature gum trees that tower over the fairways and all nine beautiful holes are kept manicured with the help of the resident wallabies. Breakfast with platypus before you tee off; walk with wombats; and delight in the sheer enjoyment of the noble game. We’re told there are plenty of kookaburras at Tarraleah, too, who (if their timing is right) will laugh at your playing partner’s shanks. After the ninth hole, you can ponder your round at the gorgeous Tarraleah lodge; try your hand at trout fishing, then soak in a cliff-top hot tub. If that’s not enough, the illustrious Library Bar here boasts a selection of more than 200 fine malt whiskies from around the world. Cheers!
Yes, Tasmanians are spoiled for emerald fairways and velvet greens with spectacular cliff-top holes and wide ocean views. This isle of lush green valleys, uncrowded villages and unspoiled coastlines offers other amazing assets, too, from spectacular scenery, to unique wildlife,
to world-class food and wine. No wonder people are mad about the place.