The name is spelled out in seashells on a timber shack at the edge of the world: Whale Song. They say if you lie awake at night you can hear the calls of humpbacks as they make their way north for the winter. Maybe they don’t say that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was true. What’s certainty true is there’s something about this former fisherman’s shack that elevates it to the realm of the mystical.

Falmouth (pronounced ‘Falmith’) is a quintessential seaside hamlet, half an hour south of St Helens on Tasmania’s east coast. It began as a farming and fishing village in the mid 19th century, morphing 100 years later into a hideaway for holidaymakers and hermits. Boxy beach homes squat in the sand dunes and thick clumps of Tasmanian smokebush line a tranquil lagoon. There are no shops (it’s a ten-minute drive to Scamander for milk) and no distractions other than the birds, a gushing blowhole in the rocks and a sprinkling of trophy homes rising like glass-fronted fortresses on the headland. Yes, I hate to burst the bubble, but this bastion of tranquillity has not gone completely unnoticed…

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