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The Tasmanian pub featured in the film The Hunter is on the market

October 5, 2018

The National Park Hotel in Tasmania is for sale. Photo: Supplied

A Tasmanian hotel that featured in a Hollywood movie has hit the market at a time when tourism in the state is booming.

The National Park Hotel is being sold by its owner Joff Dorkings, with an asking price of $850,000.

The pub is just over 70 kilometres from Hobart, in the heart of the Derwent Valley, and in walking distance of the popular Russell Falls in the Mount Field National Park, one of the major tourist destinations in the state.

“We get an unusual combination of good local trade and visitor trade,” Mr Dorkings said. “They like meeting each other and it makes for a good mix of trade for the business.”

The hotel – which featured in the 2011 Hollywood movie The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill – features eight rooms along with a bistro, bar and bottleshop, with the business as a whole bringing in about $500,000 in revenue a year.

The National Park Hotel in Tasmania is for sale. Photo: Supplied The hotel is close to popular tourist attractions. Photo: Supplied

“The bar scenes were filmed in the pub and most of the people you can see in that are locals, many of whom are still coming to the pub,” Mr Dorkings said. “You’ll likely see them wearing the same shirts and same hats, sitting on the same bar stool.”

The hotel also recently played host to a film crew working on new Australian movie The Nightingale, made by The Babadook director Jennifer Kent.

Mr Dorkings and the hotel’s co-owner had been looking for a tree change when they bought the hotel in 2014 during a holiday in Tasmania.

“We came down to Tasmania on a holiday and stumbled across the pub,” Mr Dorkings said.

“We fell in love with the area so made the move, and we were lucky enough to make it work. It could appeal to people in a similar situation or someone who is equally interested in the activities on offer in the area.”

They completed a series of renovations to the buildings in recent years that retained a style “that’s sympathetic to the hotel”, Mr Dorkings said.

The bar of the hotel featured in the film The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe. The bar of the hotel featured in the film starring Willem Dafoe.

He is now reluctantly selling the property because of personal and family commitments.

The National Park Hotel, built in 1920 on 1.2 hectares, is located in a key area of Tasmania’s booming tourism market.

It’s a 10-minute drive to the Maydena Bike Park, a world-class mountain bike park that opened at the start of the year, and also nearby to the Tyenna River, which is known as one of the best trout fishing destinations in the southern hemisphere.

“Visitation to the park and the area has been increasing year on year, and that’s forecast to increase a fair bit,” Mr Dorkings said.

“It’s been a bit of a forgotten area, and people are now realising that it’s a natural beauty, and how much there is to do there. It’s really starting to get traction now.”

Tasmania has enjoyed a rapid growth in tourism in recent years, which has seen a corresponding investment in hotels and accommodation, according to Knight Frank Tasmania partner Scott Newton.

The hotel has been renovated by the current owners. Photo: Supplied The hotel has been renovated by the current owners. Photo: Supplied

“There are iconic points of difference that are attracting both domestic and international visitation numbers,” Mr Newton said. “That has led to a corresponding increase in demand and inquiry on real estate assets, both residential and commercial.”

The state has enjoyed booming visitor numbers thanks in part to its reputation for eco-tourism and its vast array of national parks and reserves. Increased accessibility has also helped, Mr Newton said.

“We’ve got direct flights now out of Perth and Adelaide, and the direct flights from Sydney have increased,” he said. “That’s another changing factor – the state is far more accessible now. We’ve got the strongest national growth out of any of the states.”

Overall visitors to the state in 2017-18 rose by 7 per cent to 1.4 million, with nearly half of these tourists saying they were drawn by the national parks and reserves. They are also staying in the state longer and spending more money, with total expenditure up 7 per cent on the previous year.

One of the public areas of the hotel. Photo: Supplied One of the public areas of the hotel. Photo: Supplied

And it’s not just domestic tourists – Tasmania is becoming increasingly popular with international visitors, with more than 300,000 arriving in the state in the year ending March 2018, up 20 per cent on the previous year.

Mr Newtown said the tourism boom had led to a growing demand for accommodation, with an estimated $1.07 billion committed for hotel projects across the state as of April this year. About 400 new rooms have been opened recently, with a further 800 in the works.

Mr Dorkings said he hoped the new owner would continue to run the hotel and pub in the same style and retain its historic look.

“Hopefully they can build on the changes we’ve made and continue to give a bit of care and attention to the hotel, keeping its charm while developing what’s on offer,” he said.


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