From race track to Tasmanian wilderness lodge

“There’s no better place for me to stop than in Tasmania to raise my family.”

Marcos Ambrose, born and bred in Launceston, Tasmania, has made a career out of living life in the fast lane. Winner of the Australian V8 Supercar Series’ Championship in 2003 and 2004, he went on to compete in NASCAR – National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – in the United States of America, with wins in the Sprint Cup Series in 2011 and 2012. However, Marcos’ love and attachment for Tasmania has never left him, having now returned to embark on his next great adventure: Thousand Lakes Lodge.

Today, the former race car champion is back in Tasmania, relaxing by an open fire with his feet up. Along with four other investors, Marcos recently opened the doors to Thousand Lakes Lodge in Tasmania’s Central Highlands to showcase a largely unexplored part of the state. It’s a world away from the screeching bends of American race tracks, but wherever Marcos goes, adventure ensues.

“To me, this is a gem in the rough. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world,” says Marcos, “but I’ve found nothing like this. Within North America where I lived, their interpretation of wild was very different to ours. This is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets. There’s a cult following of locals who have been coming up here for generations but because facilities and services were few, it’s not been widely known.”

Originally built in 1980 and used as a training base for Antarctic expeditioners, Marcos and his co-investors have transformed this modest dwelling into a luxurious nine-room lodge complete with a ‘Marcos-custom-made wood heater’. It’s the beating heart of the place and reflects Marcos’ own desire to pour his heart and passion into everything he does. Tasmania’s rugged wilderness has cast its spell over Marcos.

The lodge is located along Lake Augusta in the World Heritage Area, wedged between the Walls of Jerusalem and the Great Lakes. But it offers more than just accommodation, it is a chance to experience the best of the Tasmanian wilds: Trout fishing tuition, mountain bikes and custom-built dinghies are all on offer to help guests explore their surroundings.

“The more time you spend up here the more it draws you in. When you slow down and look around there’s life and beauty everywhere. It’s not in the grandeur of seeing a mountain range it’s in the small things. And for me that’s what wilderness is all about.”

“I’m a very proud Tasmanian and wanted to return and invest in Tasmania,” says Marcos. “Racing has taken me all around the world and given me a great experience but it was always a finite thing, and like all athletes, there comes a time when you need to stop.”

After travelling around the world, Marcos realised nowhere else offers him the Tasmanian way of life. “There’s no better place for me to stop than in Tasmania to raise my family. I just want to be able to share our wilderness with others. I feel like I’m giving a little back to Tasmania now.”

Ready to discover the best that Tasmania has to offer? Check out Marcos’ Thousand Lakes Lodge for more information about his unique adventures, and visit Discover Tasmania to see what is happening across Tasmania.

To learn more about the great lifestyle that Tasmania offers, and to read more stories Tasmanians are sharing with us visit Make it Tasmania.