Our Tasmanian Food Trail

Tasmania is synonymous with food. Renowned for its fresh seasonal produce, gourmet cuisine and fine wine, there is no better way to take in this delicious fare than a self-drive exploration of our island state, stopping to sample different areas’ offerings, discovering hidden gems and taking in our breath-taking landscapes along the way. Summer is the best time to feast on our seasonal produce, with different fruits coming into their own as the season progresses. December and early January is the best time of year for berries, with cherries ripening hot on their heels through January, apricots coming on towards the end of January and February, the grapes begin to be picked in March, and then the apple harvest starts in April and continues through May.

There are some hot-spots of gastronomic delight, and below is a ten-day itinerary to take in some of the best food the state has to offer.

Cheese and bread from the Bruny Island Cheese Co

A Ten Day Tasmanian Food Trail

Days 1-3: The Huon Valley and Bruny Island

Starting in Hobart, head south down to Huonville. With some lovely accommodation options, the Huon Valley is renowned for its apples. If in season, be sure to stop off and buy some fresh, crispy apples from one of the many roadside stalls. No visit down south would be complete without a visit to Willie Smith’s Cider Shed and Apple Museum, as well as the beautiful building that houses Frank’s Cider and Café. From Huonville, head south-east to Cygnet, stopping for a well-earned treat at the Red Velvet Lounge and to soak up the folksy vibes of this lovely little town. Continue on through the pretty villages of Woodbridge and Kettering and then board the short 20min ferry to Bruny Island. This lovely island is famous for its cheese, oysters and chocolates, as well as its spectacular beaches and epic coastlines. Be sure to stop off at the Bruny Island Cheese and Brewing Co, as well as pausing to sample some oysters. After an overnight stop on the island, head back to Hobart. No visit to Hobart would be complete with browsing through the bustling Salamanca Market, held every Saturday by the waterfront. Or, for a more authentic experience, visit the Farmers Market, held in the CBD every Sunday. There you will find local seasonal produce and the best gourmet products the state has to offer, all crowded together on one bustling street.

Days 4-6: The Derwent Valley

Follow the Derwent River West out of Hobart to New Norfolk, pausing to grab some fresh cherries from The Cherry Hut at Granton. New Norfolk is the guardian of one of Tasmania’s best gourmet secrets, the Agrarian Kitchen. Housed in beautifully restored historic buildings and boasting more raving reviews than many much more ostentatious establishments, the Agrarian Kitchen prides itself on ethical, locally sourced food prepared simply and presented beautifully. With warm friendly service and great wine, this is one stop not to be missed. Continuing up the picturesque river, stop off at the Westerway Raspberry Farm for some delicious Tasmanian ice-cream and fresh berries. There you can amble through the berry canes and pick as much as you can carry. There are fewer more pleasant ways to pass a sunny afternoon than in the raspberry and blackberry rows by the banks of the Tyenna River. After visiting Mt Field National Park, continue up to the historic town of Hamilton, where Jackson’s Emporium offers a delightful selection of curios and tasty food. Stop off at Two Metre Tall Brewery for an afternoon of pizza and beer.

Agrarian Kitchen and Eatery dining room

Days 7-8: Coal River Valley

This area, only half an hour from Hobart, boasts a plethora of wineries and the excellent eateries attached to them. Stay a night in historic Richmond and spend a few days driving leisurely from vineyard to vineyard. Some of the stand-outs are Frogmore Creek, Every Man and His Dog, and Puddleduck. Richmond also offers a market every Saturday which is well worth exploring, as well as having an array of cafes and an excellent bakery.

Days 9-10: The East Coast

A delightful combination of spectacular scenery and excellent wineries await the gastronomic adventurer along the East Coast. Passing first Maria Island, where visitors can enjoy the four day guided Maria Island Walk which showcases much of the state’s produce as well as local wines, continue north towards Freycinet. Some of the showcase vineyards along the way include Gala Estate, Milton (which produces some lovely dessert wines), and Devil’s Corner. Kate’s Berry Farm just before Swansea offers delicious food and sweet treats. Stop off at Freycinet National Park for some glorious scenery and several restaurants in Coles Bay. For a real treat, stay a night or two at Saffire Freycinet, one of Australia’s premier luxury experiences, and dive headfirst into the best Tasmania has to offer. Leaving Freycinet behind, continue North towards St Helens. Ironhouse Brewery, just before St Helens, is a must stop.

Tapas and wine at the Milton Vineyard

This itinerary is just a taster of the culinary delights Tasmania has to offer. With more and more restaurants, cafes, distilleries and farm-gate ventures starting up every year, it is hard to imagine a better place to embark on a gastronomic adventure against the backdrop of pristine wilderness and fertile farmland.

If you’re looking for an experience where everything is taken care of for you, including all of the transportation and accommodation, take a four day guided Maria Island Walk. Our guides prepare restaurant quality meals using local produce and each evening serve a 3 course, candlelit dinner under the stars complimented by award winning Tasmanian wines. Contact 03 6234 2999 for more information or book online.

 

 

Why Hiking Should Be Your New Years Resolution

The end of the year is looming. And not just the end of any year; the end of a DECADE. It seems a bit momentous, and with that feeling comes a vague sensation that perhaps WE should be doing something momentous. The start of a new year can be the perfect time to start creating new habits, building positive changes into our lives, optimizing what we choose to fill our time with to feel more fulfilled, more at peace. But with that positive incentive to change comes a whole heap of pressure. Let’s be honest, no one needs any more pressure, especially not at this time of year, when the pressure to be positive can sometimes be overwhelming. There can often be an element of desperation in the New Year’s resolutions we make to ourselves, and if we start slipping out of them by February, it’s all too easy to start thinking that horrible word about ourselves: failure.

Before we go any further, let’s just make a promise right now. Let’s promise to be kind to ourselves.

Great! So, we’re being kind to ourselves, and yet that urge to make a positive change and embrace a new decade is still there, a hopeful little stirring that maybe things could get better, that maybe WE could get better. So what are we going to do about it?

We’re going to go hiking!

That’s right: hiking. Could there be a better New Year’s resolution? It’s hard to imagine so! There are so many benefits we can get from hiking, it’s literally impossible to list them all, but here’s a select few to get you inspired.

BENEFITS OF HIKING

1. Hiking is accessible. There are few activities that can rival hiking for accessibility. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or live with a disability, there are hikes to suit your needs and leave you feeling challenged and satisfied. Fifteen minutes or fifteen days, there are hikes that take you through forests or city spaces, mountains or along beaches. If you are just starting out, there are a plethora of short, easy hikes to suit everyone, and as you grow in confidence and ability, your options continue to expand. If you have the good fortune to live in or come to visit Tasmania you are in for a treat because we have some of the best hiking in the world.
2. Hiking is the best way to explore an area. Traveling slowly through the landscape you are in, even if it is only for an hour, is the best way to get to know fresh scenery, experience new culture, and discover things you simply wouldn’t notice if you were traveling in a car.
3. Hiking is simple. All you need are some shoes (optional on beaches!), a sunhat and a sense of adventure. And here’s a secret: that sense of adventure? It grows on every hike.
4. Hiking slows you down. Moving at walking pace is such a natural thing for humans to do, but our lives today run at the speed of internal combustion engines. There is no better way to reassure your reptilian brain that everything is okay than to go for a walk. The longer the better.

We all know that our lifestyles in the West are far from natural, and we are not doing what we have evolved to do. The closest we can come, today, to experience the life our ancestors lived, is to go hiking. With the constant motion of walking, the easy camaraderie of the people we choose to go hiking with, enjoying simple food outdoors, tilting our faces up to the beauty of the weather, sleeping outdoors without the bright lights of technology and the sounds of the city, the slight discomfort of physical challenge and then the feeling of achievement after pushing through it…. If you let it, all these things combine to create a sense of quietness in the mind. It’s these psychological benefits of hiking, that come from being physically active and mentally engaged in the landscape around us, that has more and more people lacing up their boots and heading out on the trail.

 

GETTING STARTED

Starting anything can be daunting. Making changes can be difficult. But the great thing about hiking is that anyone can take it up, and it won’t be long before you start to see differences in yourself, in how you move and how you think. As your confidence in day hikes increases, you may find yourself drawn to the idea of a multi-day hike. Heading out into wild, remote and beautiful landscapes for days on end is a beautiful idea, but it can be intimidating if you have never ventured out before.

This is where a guided multi-day walk such as the Maria Island Walk comes into its own. With catering, planning, safety and accommodation taken care of, you can head out into the wilderness knowing that you will be safe and comfortable, thereby removing so many anxieties and letting you simply experience. It can be a great way to see if multi-day hiking is for you, or if you already know that it is, guided hikes are a great way of connecting more deeply with a place through the knowledge of your guides and the provision of enough creature comforts so that your focus is not on how cold or hungry you are, but rather on the place you are walking through.

 

We all know we’re stressed. We all know we’re doing something not quite right: working too much, worrying too much, living in the future instead of in the present. Our day to day lives can make it impossible to escape these feelings. Sometimes, we have to make the effort to set aside some time to simply be, and setting out on a hike can be just that: a little piece of motion and quietness in our busy lives. It’s hard to imagine a better gift to give yourself this decade.