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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Grindelwald - a Swiss Village in the middle of Northern Tasmania, Australia

I had heard about the purpose built Swiss-style village of Grindelwald and was curious to visit and see it for myself. It was built in the 1980s. Dutch immigrant Roelf Vos created the village after taking his wife on a holiday to Switzerland where they fell in love with the scenery and buildings.

In this suburb, located 24km south-east of Beaconsfield and 19km north-west of Launceston, live just under 1000 residents. Houses are built in a Swiss style with wide eaves, flowerboxes, window shutters and balconies. Residents and visitors can look out over artificial lakes to the Tamar Valley.

The 40 acre Tamar Valley Resort is located here and visitors can stay at the hotel or in self-contained family chalets. Reminders of a Swiss town are scattered throughout the resort.

Golf enthusiasts can play a round on the ten hole golf course. I attended the resort with a friend and we indulged ourselves on the 18 hole, par 54, mini-golf course. Edged by the purpose built lake, it was a fun activity to amuse ourselves in pleasant surroundings.

Paddle boat hire and canoeing is available on the lake as well. If children attend, they can jump on the world’s longest bouncing pillow, or play at the pirate ship themed playground. There is even a games arcade here.

The shopping arcade is a great way to spend some time. For hungry visitors they can choose to dine in the lakeside Alpenrose bistro and bar, or enjoy a meal or snack at the café or bakery. I chose to eat at the bakery and enjoyed a delicious grilled focaccia. There is a tempting cabinet full of sweet desserts to choose from.

Shops include a women’s boutique, a souvenir shop, news and gift store and an ice-cream shop. You can also visit the day spa and hairdresser.

The lolly shop is well stocked with delicious treats. They popped some fresh popcorn for me which was a great nibble while playing mini golf.

Before experiencing the village for myself, I thought it would be a bit kitschy, instead I found it a delight. The village is indeed similar to some that I have seen in Switerland. There is a balanced choice of things to see and do here, without being overwhelmed.

In the languages of Switzerland: allons-y (French), andiamo (Italian) or Lass uns gehen (German). In English - Let's go!

Happy Travels!

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