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Set in the foothills of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers mountain range, Deloraine is a charming riverside town with an historic streetscape classified by the National Trust. Home to fewer than 3,000 people, Deloraine welcomes a whopping 18,000 visitors in late spring when Australia’s biggest working craft fair comes to town. But this is far from Deloraine’s only draw. Packed with antiques stores, craft shops, and galleries — be sure to check out the Yarns Artwork in Silk, a large-scale quilted artwork telling the story of the area — Deloraine’s arts scene continues to shine throughout the year.
Deloraine also makes an atmospheric base for exploring the region’s many attractions, from Liffey Falls to the south, the glow worm caves of Mole Creek Karst National Park to the west, and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park beyond. There are also plenty of farm-gate experiences to explore in the area featuring local produce such as salmon, honey, raspberries, and cheese.
Deloraine lies 50 kilometres (or 40 minutes’ drive) west of the city of Launceston, where you’ll find the closest airport (LST). A bus service connects the destinations, with several daily services. The same bus service runs through to the coastal city of Devonport, 52 kilometres to the north, which also has an airport (DPO). While Deloraine is small, you’ll appreciate having a car at your disposal to get around town and explore the region — car hire is available at both airports, and it’s wise to book ahead. Deloraine also has an attractive riverside walking path, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Little Deloraine gets a big boost in spring when the Tasmanian Craft Fair takes over the town for four days in late October or early November. Spread across a number of venues around Deloraine, with free shuttle buses running among them, the fair features food stalls and entertainment along with arts and craft offerings galore. It’s a fantastic time to visit the area, with all types of local accommodation best booked well in advance.
With plenty of other attractions in and around Deloraine, however, this is a year-round destination, with a monthly produce market worth catching on the first Saturday of every month. With winter temperatures typically sticking to the single digits Celsiuss, you’ll want to be well rugged up. The warmer summer months also tend to be drier.
The spectacular caves in Mole Creek Karst National Park, which can only be visited by guided tour, are just 30 minutes west of Deloraine. The Marapooka Cave is known for its underground rivers and glow worms, while King Solomons Cave is revered for its lavish colours. Allow an extra 15 minutes to enjoy the enchanting Fern Glade Walk that links the ticket office and the Marakoopa Cave entrance.
Also only a half-hour drive from Deloraine, this time to the south, are the beautiful Liffey Falls, which tumble over several tiers of sandstone steps. It’s a two-kilometre-return walk from the upper car park (reached via Riverside Road) to the falls. It’s also possible to access the falls via a longer, less formed track from the lower car park, reached via Gulf Road.
Featuring dozens of diverse creations donated by Tasmanian artists, the Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail winds through the streets of Deloraine and along the Meander River. Along the way, you’ll pass Marakoopa Cave, King Solomons Cave, Alum Cliffs, Devils Gullet, and Mole Creek.