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Tasmania's famous bed and breakfasts - hosting is the key!

by Brenda Bourne

A couple of decades ago, Tasmania rocketed to popularity as a tourist destination - for its spectacular scenery, unspoilt wilderness areas, historic sites and buildings, and much more - made all the more appealing by its temperate climate; a climate unlike most of mainland Australia in that it has four 'proper' seasons, each offering quite different experiences.

Mainland Australians and overseas visitors flocked to the tiny island, which responded gallantly. Fine food and wine producers sprang up around the state, taking advantage of the fertility of the soil and pristine air to produce fare which is now a major attraction in itself. Attractions and activities proliferated the length and breadth of the island. Happily, the Tasmanian government also recognized the benefits the tourism industry could bring, in a clean, green way, to the state's economy and invested heavily in it too.

And the Tasmanian bed and breakfast industry was born
Tasmanians are naturally friendly, relaxed people and their bed and breakfast hospitality became legendary. Not just for the people who ran them, of course, but the properties themselves were - and still are - very special. Many heritage properties have been adapted to stunning effect for accommodation use, homes in spectacular locations have become B & Bs, and people are building new properties especially for use as B & Bs. In those early days, facilities were diverse but they all remained true to the B & B tradition - they offered true hospitality. In short, they were 'hosted'.

Young Echidna - Coles Bay, TasmaniaThen the lines became blurred
Unfortunately, the popularity of bed and breakfasts led to operators of self-contained accommodation jumping aboard the bed and breakfast bandwagon, by simply adding breakfast provisions to their larder and calling their properties B & Bs. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this type of accommodation, if it's what you want, but it has blurred the definition of 'bed and breakfast', not just in Tasmania, but everywhere else as well.

Travellers who want to enjoy the hospitality which is the charm of traditional bed and breakfast accommodation now need to research diligently more than just the facilities on offer. My advice, if you want to experience the personal attention which is the hallmark of B & Bs, is to read the small print on the internet listing or brochure very carefully. Is it hosted? If not, keep looking.

In Tasmania, hosted B & Bs are now very easy to find
Finding hosted bed and breakfast accommodation, in Tasmania anyway, is now very simple. There is a website which covers the whole of Australia and of course Tasmania - Hosted Accommodation Australia is the recognised national peak industry organisation representing B&Bs, farm stays, guest houses, boutique hotels, cottages and other self contained, hosted accommodation. You will find a wide range of properties and styles, but hosting is the underlying theme.

Brenda Bourne, Webwoman proprietor of Mole Creek Lodge Bed and Breakfast, Mole Creek, Tasmania

Strahan - West Coast, Tasmania

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