Following an impressive refurbishment from former Antarctic training facility to premium alpine accommodation, Thousand Lakes Lodge is now open.
Thousand Lakes is a place like no other. It is almost otherworldly, remote and barren yet beautiful and unique. Wrapped inside Tasmania’s World Heritage Area, you can simply relax, or explore the trails and lakes of this unique alpine wilderness, and discover the real Tasmania.
The lodge will be home to nine premium accommodation rooms, with a communal dining and lounging room, and an additional lounge room for quiet reflection or private events. With a vaulted ceiling, a roaring double fireplace, and a larder of fine treats and Tasmanian craft beer and wine, guests can gaze at the rugged highland plains from within the warm comforts of the Lodge. 
Step outside and be immersed in the remote wilderness environment. Whether it is to explore the many alpine tarns, walk the trails of the World Heritage Area, or to simply soak up the pristine air and wide open skies of Tasmania, this place will awaken the soul. 



The Lodge is located in Central Plateau World Heritage Area. To the west is the Walls of Jerusalem to the east the Great Lake and is, as the name suggests, it is the ideal base for exploring the region known as the land of a thousand lakes. Right in the heart of the renowned Western Lakes region of the Plateau, the Lodge is on the doorstep of one of the world's premier wild trout fisheries. 
Only 90 minutes from Launceston and 2 hours from Hobart, it’s a stunning drive which is accessible almost all year round.


There are five investors in the redevelopment of the Lodge and leading the project is Australian motor racing legend, Marcos Ambrose. Marcos retired from a glittering car racing career in 2015, which saw him win Australian V8 Supercar series' championship in 2003 and 2004. On retiring from racing he decided to invest in his home state and the booming tourism industry seemed like a good fit.
The developers have worked closely with stakeholders within the World Heritage Area to ensure the protection and preservation of this unique landscape. The developers are sensitive to establishing a low impact, sensible redevelopment as they convert an old piece of Tasmanian infrastructure into a contemporary and unique Tasmanian experience.
$1.3 million is being spent to renovate the property into premium accommodation, and they developers have been successful in gaining $340,000 funding from the Tasmanian Jobs and Investment Fund. The Grant money will go towards interpretation work inside the building, reclamation and revegetation, a premium quality RV park and upgrading the building fit out to align with the needs of the target market.

Marcos Ambrose can be available for media interviews where possible, please contact the Lodge at info@thousandlakeslodge.com.au for enquiries.


In keeping with best environmental practices, the design of Thousand Lakes Lodge is focused on minimal site impact. To achieve this, architecture firm Cumulus Studio designed all of the new uses of the site to be constructed within the existing building envelope. Only minimal work has been undertaken to the exterior of the building. This is a deliberate response to emphasise the contrast between the new interior and the existing exterior - the distressed condition a testament to the harsh environment in which the building is located.  

The consistent horizontality of the landscape on the approach the Thousand Lakes Lodge heightens the anticipation and sense of arrival.  Guests pass through an entry space - an intermediate zone through which they are brought gently into the comfort of the communal lounge areas and then onto their suites. From inception, the Cumulus Studio team envisaged Thousand Lakes Lodge to encapsulate robust simplicity and unrefined comfort.


There are nine rooms in total. All rooms have views across the rugged alpine landscape, some with views reaching to the Ouse River.

Lodge Queen Premium Room
•    Located on the mezzanine level
•    1 queen bed, plus an additional double bed
•    Suit a double or twin use, or for a small family
•    En-suite bathroom
•    Breakfast included in room rate

Lodge King Premium Room
•    Located on the mezzanine level
•    1 king bed (can be split) , plus a king single bed
•    Suit a double or twin use, can accommodate up to 3 people for triple share
•    En-suite bathroom with a bath
•    Breakfast included in room rate

Lodge Queen Standard Room
•    Located on the mezzanine level
•    2 queen beds or 1 king bed (can be split) , plus a king single bed
•    Suit a double or twin use or triple share, can accommodate up to 4 people (in 2 beds)
•    Separate bathroom for private guest use is located on the ground floor
•    Breakfast included in room rate

Lodge Full Access Standard Room
•    Located on the ground level
•    Full access style room
•    1 king bed, plus king single quality rollaway
•    Separate bathroom for private guest use is also located on the ground floor
•    Breakfast included in room rate


The lounge area offers a larder that is jam packed with tasty treats, including an array of cheeses, European inspired cold cut and smoked meats, and terrines, all individually portioned for guests to create themselves their ideal charcuterie plate or a quick snack. Saint John Craft Beer Bar (located in Launceston) is renowned for its selection of craft beers and has put together a fine collection Tasmanian and International craft beers and ciders for the Lodge. Along with Tasmanian produced wines and spirits, and locally roasted coffee, guests will enjoy the selection after a day of adventure. Both the larder and bar operate on an honesty system, where guests can have full access and record their selection. 
Breakfast is included in the room rate and is a selection of continental style delights, along with ingredients to build the ultimate toastie. Dinner is served each night in the dining room with two or three-course meals available for $55 or $66 respectively, using the best Tasmanian produce to satisfy a highlands hunger. Lunch hampers can also be ordered. 


Thousand Lakes Lodge is the gateway to a Tasmanian alpine and World Heritage Area wilderness experience, for walking, fishing, bird watching, relaxing, or just escaping. Visitors to the Lodge can smell the crisp air, feel spongy moss underfoot, taste the fresh stream water, touch the ancient dolerite boulders, and see the wildlife and ever changing weather.


Keen anglers have a choice of a thousand stunning lakes to try their luck in the premier wild trout fishery. Tasmania's wild brown trout are arguably the purest strain in the world, and the conditions are considered world-class. The Central Plateau area has been a famous trout fishery for over 100 years. The area is known as the land of a thousand lakes and has many alpine tarns formed by glacial action some 8,000 - 20,000 years ago. Tasmania is set to host the 2019 World Fly Fishing Championships and will include locations in the Western Lakes areas, bringing teams from across the world into the area.
Anglers can enjoy fishing in a variety of unique and remote areas, all with the assistance of an enthusiastic, dedicated and knowledgeable guide who seek to provide our guests with countless opportunities to catch some magnificent wild brown and rainbow trout. Guiding packages are offered by Tasmania's best trout fishing guides including Christopher Bassano and his guiding team - Craig Coltman, Tom Jarman and Stewart Dick. 

“I have enjoyed several trips now and regard Tasmania as the best stillwater fly fishing venue in the world” John Horsey, multiple World Fly Fishing Championship medallist, and writer for Trout Fisherman magazine in the UK

“The brown trout season commences on the 6th of August 2016 and the outlook is very good following the dramatic shift from very dry to very wet since May. The Western Lakes region received a massive amount of rain which flooded vast areas. This should mean a strong spawning year which will provide good trout numbers over the next three or four seasons. With worms, spiders, and other food available from flooded ground the fish condition should be very good.” John Diggle, Director of Inland Fisheries

“Hunting wild brown trout in Tasmania’s gin-clear highland lakes is a bucket-list experience for passionate fly fishers… It just doesn’t get any better!” Steve Starling, International TV and media fishing personality, author and fishing photographer


The World Heritage Area is an area defined as a free-walking zone, so walkers are not confined to boardwalks or set trails, they are free to explore and discover as much or as little the of highlands and make it their own. There are numerous trails weaving to streams, lakes and huts in the area, ideal for exploring and uncovering even more remote parts of the alpine landscape. The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is to the west of the Lodge and experienced bushwalkers can walk into the National Park via the lesser-known access from the eastern side. 


Thousand Lakes Lodge is the perfect place to unwind and escape. Step outside on a calm day and nature is all that can be heard under the big open sky. Inside, indulge with a book by the roaring fire, gaze outside and watch the world go by. A truly remarkable place to unplug and switch off from the world. 


Explore the western lakes of the Central Plateau World Heritage area on our new off road e-bikes. Also known as “Fat Bikes,” they are the perfect way to unleash your adventurous spirit whilst still enjoy the comfort of a luxury spring seat and full front suspension. One of the benefits of e-bikes is they can roll over any terrain: sand, loose rocks, even snow and are adjustable to suits all fitness levels. The rider always has complete control over how much pedal power is provided and how much the e-bike system contributes. If you are going up a hill or feeling a little tired – no problem, just pedal less and dial up the power!

We have everything you need for day out in the wilderness. Another feature of the e-bikes is they have a pack rack for easy storage, perfect for our insulated picnic packs. With no engine noise, it will be just you and nature as you explore the many roads and tracks of the area. Even load up your fishing gear and get to places you couldn’t by car or foot alone. Beat the boom gate! For those who know the area, no longer will you be hindered by the boom gate, all year-round access! The first of their kind to be available for recreational hire in Tasmania, beat the rest of the pack and test out the new e-bikes at Thousand Lakes Lodge.

Features: nine speed settings with full front suspension, luxury spring seats, 26 inch off road tyres, battery powered 250w/36v motor, rear Pack Rack.

Hire fee: $85.

Hire time of the bike lasts for the battery life of the bike. Approximately 50km range, or one full day use on a single battery. Price includes helmet and basic tutor. T&C’s apply.

e-bike [NOUN]
Is a bike that can be powered by electricity as well as propelled by pedals.
"I loved my e-bike because it made hills easy"

E-Bikes Thousand Lakes Lodge


4WD enthusiasts can access even more remote areas of the region to find their own piece alpine terrain to explore and experience the spectacular landscape. There are designated tracks to Talinah Lagoon, Lake Pillans, and the Julian Lakes that are open at certain times of the year.


Guests will be able to immerse themselves in the stories of the region, with several opportunities within the building to learn about the surrounding alpine wilderness. Stories about the rich history of the area, with its vibrant characters and early pioneers that called the Central Plateau home, along with tips for the best ways to experience the area. Detailed maps will be available to assist walkers, fisherman and those simply interested exploring the World Heritage Area.


Since 1999 the former Antarctic Training Facility in the Central Highlands 12 km west of Liawenee had been left in a state of disrepair. The elaborate Bernacchi Lodge was built on Hydro land at Lake Augusta in 1980 at a cost of $425,000 to train and prepare Antarctic staff for their expeditions. 
•    In 2000 the ownership of the lodge was transferred to the State Government and has remained vacant since. Whilst decommissioning of the building commenced, complete demolition was not achieved.
•    In 2011, the decision was made to pursue demolition.  At that time, however, two expressions of interest in utilising the building were received.  Due to renewed interest, the Parks & Wildlife Service called for tenders, with the focus on transferring the liability of the building to the proponent.
•    Despite interest by a number of community organisations; after protracted negotiations, assessment of the liability and cost of refurbishing the building, none of the interest came to fruition.
•    Given the above in November 2013, Parks & Wildlife Service advertised a public tender for the demolition of the lodge.
•    Through advertising of the tender, two other developers expressed an interest in securing the building; with one subsequently withdrawing.
•    The decision of demolition was deferred pending preliminary negotiations with the second party, with them confirming genuine willingness to enter into a lease accepting full responsibility for the lodge.  The lease was executed in December 2014.