Call it a smorgasbord for foodies, a playground for nature lovers or a journey through time for historians, this southern Australian island has it all in spades.
Regarded as one of the greatest walks in Tasmania, the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach circuit in Freycinet National Park is roughly three hours’ drive from Hobart. The 11km loop begins in the bushland between Mt Amos and Mt Mayson and takes you towards the Wineglass Bay lookout with views of the famous crystal-blue waters and fine quartz sand. The easily managed trail takes you down to the bay and continues on for 45 minutes to Hazards Beach on the southern side of the isthmus that can only be accessed by foot or boat and extends a couple of kilometres down the west coast with views out to Great Oyster Bay. Visit the trail in summer to take advantage of the picturesque coves, which are great for snorkelling around the rocky outcrops.
Located in the heart of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in the south of Tasmania, Satellite Island is an untouched paradise – a secluded getaway available to book exclusively. A stay on Satellite Island means the untamed wilderness is yours alone to explore; traverse the picturesque walking tracks, explore by a kayak and enjoy the sunset fireside on the pebble beach of Sunset Bay. Satellite Island makes the perfect base from which to explore neighbouring Bruny Island – a five-minute boat ride away – or to stock up on gourmet treats from the island’s array of local produce.
WESTBURY GINGERBREAD COTTAGES
The quaint village of Westbury in Northern Tasmania was established as a garrison town in the 1820s and is well worth a visit, if only to stay at the quaint Westbury Gingerbread Cottages. The Gingerbread Cottage, Old Bakehouse, Corner Cottage, Servant’s Quarters and Apple Tree Cottage are replete with period furniture and memorabilia and each is self-contained. Attractions worth exploring in the area include the Tamar wineries, Cradle Mountain, Mole Creek Caves and Westbury’s own historic sights, such as the large Westbury Maze, which is spread over one kilometre, and Pearn’s Steam World, which is home to the largest collection of steam engines in Australia.
RED COW DAIRIES, OLDINA
Family run Red Cow Dairies claims to make cheese that tastes like cheese used to, thanks to the herd of 300 grass-fed Aussie Red Cows that graze off the rich earth of Tasmania’s north-west coast. The cows produce high-quality milk, which is used to make Red Cow Dairies’ Redder Fetta, Hand Stretched Mozzarella, a washed-rind soft cheese called Reddest Red, a brie named Well Red Brie and buttery triple cream brie, which makes for a delicious dessert treat. Red Cow Dairies has eschewed chemicals, which have degraded Oldina’s red rolling hills in the past, in favour of sustainable, biological farming methods.
JOSEF CHROMY WINES
One of the top cellar doors in Australia and one of Tasmania’s most exciting producers of pinot noir, Josef Chromy also serves excellent food prepared with local produce. The cellar door is housed in the 130-year-old homestead and produces award-winning wines, including sparkling, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, botrytis riesling and a ruby pinot port. In six years the winery has received more than 15 trophies and 260 medals (22 of them gold)The vineyard also hosts events, including A Day on the Green.
This buzzing city is the second oldest capital in Australia and combines elegant heritage aspects with a modern cultural experience. Award-winning restaurants offer fine dining, a walking tour of Battery Point gives visitors a chance to explore the historic colonial-era cottages of the first European settlement of ‘Hobart Town’ and the city’s laneways make for a unique shopping destination. On Saturdays, tourists and locals revel in the local food and entertainment at the Salamanca outdoor market and if it’s seafood you crave, a visit to the waterfront fishmongers is a must. For the adventurous, the city’s backdrop of Mt Wellington can be traversed by foot along the historic Pipeline Track, by horse or mountain bike in the Wellington Range or take a four- wheel drive along the rough mountain trails.
Hobart’s coastal location makes the capital synonymous with seafood, and Mures, established in 1973, is a seafood institution. Downstairs features an oyster bar, sushi bar, an ice-cream parlour with 32 flavours, and a fishmonger, which serves traditional fish and chips, grills, pizza and platters. The Upper Deck provides a more sophisticated level of dining with á la carte seafood dishes and beautiful views overlooking the Victoria Dock. This family owned business has a reputation for world-class seafood, serving catches brought in by their own 76-foot, long-lining vessel, Diana, accompanied by local produce and an exclusively Tasmanian wine list.
LAKE DOVE AND CRADLE MOUNTAIN
For those who like to take in the great outdoors at a meander; the 5.7km circuit around Dove Lake is rated an easy walk and takes around two hours to complete. The lake is the centrepiece of this wilderness walk, but along the way you’ll pass through stunning sub-alpine scenery while taking in the towering spires of Cradle Mountain against the skyline. The fifth highest mountain in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is revered for its natural beauty and is one of Tasmania’s principal tourist attractions. A number of longer and more strenuous day walks through Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park are also located in the area but the often hazardous and exposed terrain make them appropriate for experienced hikers.
CABLE STATION RESTAURANT & ACCOMMODATION
Embracing a ‘paddock- and ocean-to-plate’ philosophy, Cable Station Restaurant, which is located 4.5km from the historic fishing port of Stanley, is a must for foodies. Owner and chef Charlotte Brown is a passionate promoter of local produce and is known for her rustic, mouth-watering cuisine, such as the wood-oven roasted crayfish. Their hugely popular slow-food, wine-paired long lunches are held quarterly, and tickets sell out quickly.
A range of comfortable and stylish accommodation is available at the former telecommunications centre, which is steeped in history. Choose to stay in self-contained cottages or suites with a private terrace, perfect for two, with the options of a spa bath, fireplace or views overlooking Bass Strait, from where the restaurant sources much of its seafood.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has been described by its owner, David Walsh, as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’, and is Australia’s largest private museum with more than 400 works of art. Having earned a reputation as the edgiest museum in Australia, MONA is acclaimed for the diversity and surprise-factor of its often-provocative exhibitions. Performance artist Marina Abramović’s Private Archaeology is currently featured at MONA. The collection of sound, photography, video and installation has been curated from her solo performances from the 70s, 80s and 90s, as well as some of the prolific artist’s more recent projects. To reach MONA, travel from Hobart to the museum is a 30-minute trip by high-speed ferry up the Derwent River.