Built in the 1930s as a hydroelectricity station, this remarkable hotel conversion is split between the waterside Shorehouse and the Pumphouse, set 900ft out in the lake. It’s tucked into a quiet bay on Lake St Clair at the southern end of the World Heritage Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Apart from a pub three miles down the road, there’s nothing to distract you here. Nestled into a quiet bay on dark, deep Lake St Clair, at the far southern end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, some two and a half hours from Hobart, this is pristine wilderness worthy of its World Heritage listing.
It’s the last stop on the gruelling, multi-night Overland Track – one of Australia’s most prolific hiking routes – but there are gentler walks to be done with the lodge as your base.
Forget log cabin cosiness. The lichen-clad weathered exteriors of two heritage-listed industrial buildings built in the 1930s for Tasmania’s behemoth Hydro Electric Scheme, hide 19 rooms, along with plentiful, cosy communal areas.
Beyond the distressed exteriors and iron doors of the Pumphouse, the contemporary interiors tilt at the highlands landscape with natural stained timber veneers and the palette of soft greys used in its richly textured sofas, rugs and throws, as well as honouring the site’s utilitarian heritage via exposed copper piping, simple powder coated pendant lighting and few adornments – a kind of Post-industrial Tasmanian Gothic, if you will. It’s utterly unique.
Rooms in The Pumphouse are set across three floors, each individual but all with a similar feeling of being very pleasantly adrift 900ft out in the lake. All rooms have kitchenettes with twin drinks and ‘larder’ mini-fridges for DIY lunching, along with microwaves and simple kitchen equipment. Black-tiled bathrooms use brass fittings and industrial taps but up the comfort factor with organic Australian toiletries from Sukin and heated floors. There are also several communal lounges, all featuring large, lake-facing windows.
The Shorehouse’s rooms are often overlooked, but they’re larger than those in The Pumphouse and charming in their own fashion, with original Art Deco details. The ultra-private, and all inclusive, new one-bed retreat also looks out to the lake from the shore and features indoor and outdoor baths and hand crafted furniture.