Tarraleah in Tasmania's Central Highlands is not what you might expect.
It's a former Hydro Electric Commission township, and was built in the 30s to house workers who manned the local station. And it's still got all of the evidence there – towering electricity pylons and huge steel pipeways. But it's also quite a magical place. Long closed down as a hydro township, the entire village has been purchased by a secret and media-shy investor who has transformed the town into a luxury accommodation and retreat centre that gives more than a nod to its retro 30s history.
Tarraleah is located 126km north of Hobart – so it's far away enough to get away from it all without having to spend your whole weekend driving. On your way in, you'll cross through some stunning Tasmanian rainforests, gorgeous and remote mountains, and pass some impressive alpine lakes.
It's had a multi-million dollar facelift, so these days Tarraleah is far from being a working-class town. It was essentially a ghost town once the hydro workers left, but these days you're more likely to encounter in-love couples wanting a romantic weekend away. There are a range of accommodation options from the budget Scholars House, the lovingly-restored art deco cottages, or the 5-star rooms at the Lodge.
Tarraleah, Aboriginal for "Forester Kangaroo" (which by the way, is the largest of Tasmania's marsupials) really is a nice place to escape to. You're likely to spot platypus, quolls, wallabies, wombat, devils and echidnas. There are plenty of places in the village to wander around, and activities offered include trout fishing, secret lake kayaking, golf, massage, wildlife tours, bird-watching, murder mystery nights, cooking classes, or visiting one of the cliff-top spas.