ArchiveCategory Archives for "Tasmania"
Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in Tasmania.
Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in Tasmania.
BONORONG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
A haven for native critters, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary rescues, rehabilitates, and releases animals that have been orphaned or injured. Randall the echidna is one of the permanent residents here; he lost his leg in a dog attack, and although healed, is unable to fend for himself in the wild. In addition to housing a whole mob of kangaroos, the occasional wombat, a family of Tasmanian devils, a trio of Eastern quolls, and a gorgeous peacock that roams the grounds freely, the sanctuary also actively educates and invests in wildlife conservation.
SORELL FRUIT FARM
It’s always more fun to pick your own food! Don’t let its name fool you — Sorell Fruit Farm also offers vegetables for picking, including big fat broad beans. In addition to strawberries and blackcurrants, the farm also grows some exotic varieties such as jostaberries, loganberries, silvanberries, tayberries, and nashi pears. They also serve some mean scones with clotted cream and jam for afternoon tea, which you can drizzle with world famous Leatherwood Honey.
At around the size of Sentosa Island, adults and children alike will adore the immersive experience at Curringa Farm. Run by a husband-and-wife team that is supremely hospitable and very business-savvy, accommodations on the farm are spacious and adequately-spaced so that every guests has their own privacy. Witness sheep shearing, savour a filling barbecue lunch, and witness a dog herding demonstration before going on a quick tour of the grounds (they grow poppy and crop seed, unique to other farms on the island). We highly recommend that you spend a night here, where you can take your time to explore farm at dusk, before watching the free-grazing sheep come right up to your balcony in the morning.
TASMANIAN GOURMET SAUCE COMPANY
Speaking of picking your own food, the Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company is truly a unique hands-on experience that will see you harvesting, cooking, and eating your own meal, farm to table — a rare experience for us urban-dwellers. Owner Tim Barbour started the sauce kitchen as a personal project, but the response has been so good that he’s turned it into a full tour experience, including a roam of his well-stocked potager garden that features a chicken coop and miniature apple orchard. They also sell their delicious homemade sauces for you to take home, with multiple recipes available to teach you how to bring their best flavours forward.
Held on Saturdays between 8.30am and 3.00pm, the Salamanca Market is the most famous in Tasmania, filled with local producers, artists, and food vendors hawking anything and everything from wallaby burgers, genuine leather goods, upcycled homewares and vibrant, fresh blooms. Sip on fresh brewed coffee and munch on an everything bagel slathered in jalepeno cream cheese, or tuck in to a delicious breakfast paella that’s a full sensory experience all on its own. There are loads of artisans selling homemade remedies such as essential oils, organic soaps and skincare — you can be sure not to leave empty handed.
BRIDESTOWE LAVENDER ESTATE
There’s that saying, “to come up smelling like roses”. But we’d much rather smell like lavender instead. Lavender oil has a long and established history of use as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory remedy, and as a cure for indigestion or heartburn. There are about 39 species of lavender but Bridestowe Lavender Estate only grows Lavandula angustifolia — the single species suitable for both perfume and culinary use. In addition to premium quality lavender oil, be sure to pickup some lavender-infused teas (we loved the earl grey), bath and beauty products, and their signature BobbieTM bear. Grab some tea as well — the lavender scones and various confectionaries are sure to please.
TASMANIAN SEAFOOD SEDUCTION
It’s a literal all-you-can-eat smorgasbord on board Pennicott Wildnerness Journeys’ Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise. Slurp up as many freshly-shucked oysters as you can stomach; watch your guide dive for live abalone, sea urchin and rock lobster before devouring them sashimi-style or fried in garlic butter and cilli; and sip on some of the best local wines, boutique beers and ciders as you please. Bubbly and oysters? Now that’s a romantic encounter waiting to happen.
MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART (MONA)
Museum date, anyone? For some head-tilting, life-questioning, far-out art, cop a cup of culture at the (in)famous MONA. Its selection of installation and traditional art reads like an eccentric billionaire’s curation of old antiques, provocative sculptures, and digital art. Not just for its exhibitions, MONA also offers great beer tours and wine-tasting sessions at its Moo Brewery, and visitors can even opt to stay at one of the eight luxurious ship ping-container pavilions that promise decor like none you’ve ever seen.
Deep in its lush primeval forests and along its rugged southern coasts, evidence of Tasmania’s savage birth abound. Yet life on the island seems to teem, flourishing with rich wildlife and abundant waters, a testament that beauty can come from the most unlikely of origins
To understand Tasmania, you must first understand its past. Its geological history is a complex one, involving the world’s largest exposure of Jurassic dolerite and prehistoric eiders, whipped and ground into shape by fierce westerly winds and monstrous waves. That walls, however, are stunning – the Painted Cliffs of Maria Island with their mesmerising iron-oxide bands of red, orange and yellow; the staggering columns of Cape Raoul whose knife-edged cliffs seem to jut violently from the seabed; and the polished calm of Dove Lake juxtaposed against the untamed peaks of Cradle Mountain.
Then came its colonial era. For much of the19th century, Tasmania was known as Van Diemen’s Land, a name whispered in fear for its reputation as a notorious prison, filled with Britain’s least desirables, sent to serve out their sentence as far away from the motherland as possible. Tasmanian society today, you’ll find, is far a farcry from its torrid past. Now it is filled with enterprising farmers, ardent conservationists, and jolly good folk who love their land – and love sharing its bounty. From award-winning micro-distilleries and the freshest and cleanest seafood in the region, to its endearing local critters and spellbinding auroras, Tasmania is a no-brainer addition for your bucket list.
It was a love story for the ages. In1906, Gustav Weindorfer in love with and married Kate Cowle, who was a botanist and11 years his senior. They discovered Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain, and together with Gustav’s partner Charlie Sutton, spent the rest of their live fighting to make the area a national park for all to enjoy. In1922 his lifetime vision finally came true when the 158, 000 acres from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair were declared a Scenic Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary.
His accomplishment, however was marked with tragedy, as Kate passed away in 1916 the same year Gustav lost successively his mother, brother and father. Gustav himself died of heart attack in1932 while starting up his motorcycle one morning.
Cradle Mountain is so named because the silhouette of its peaks seems to form an image of a baby in its cradle. Gustav and Kate never had any children of their own.
The Dove Lake circuit is one of the most popular paths in St Clair National Park, with the iconic Cradle Mountain as its majestic backdrop. Cradle Mountain is so named because its peaks form a silhouette that resembles a baby in its cradle. The boat shed at Dove Lake is also one of its most-photographed sights, its well-worn frame heralding a time long since past and making a rather romantic setting for a dramatic looking-off-into-the-distance shot. The Overland Track is also a well-known hiking trail that will take you through the heart of the park, but takes an average of six to seven days to conquer.
Weather conditions or road closures happen on occasion, be sure to check with the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre.
All up and down the Freycinet Peninsula are staggering pink granite cliffs, secluded bays fringed by white sandy beaches, and pure turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. It’s a short hike up to Cape Tourville and Wineglass Bay Lookout (roughly 90 mins round trip), but for the full Freycinet Experience, there are multiple guided tours that will take you round the dramatic and ancient landscapes, breathtaking vistas, and rare flora.
A fluffy grey boulder bounds across the grass. Maria greets us by sniffling enthusiastically at our hands, knowing that there’ll be food to come. Orphaned when her mother got hit with a car while she was still in the pouch, Maria the wombat is currently in her adolescence at 18 months of age, and still adorably affectionate. At two years, she will fully mature and become intolerable of human contact — that is when she will be released back in the wild.
At the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, many animals come in sick or injured, and will either become permanent residents, or released after rehabilitation. Randall the echidna is one of these permanent residents; he lost a leg in a dog attack, and although fully healed, will need special care all his life. In addition to housing a whole mob of kangaroos, the occasional wombat, a family of Tasmanian devils, a trio of Eastern quolls, and a gorgeous peacock that roams the grounds freely, the sanctuary also actively educates and invests in wildlife conservation.
The locals refer to them as pademelons (pronounced paddy-melon), a close relative of the wallaby and one of the smallest macropods in the world.
They look like a cross between a quokka and a wallaby, with its thick, short tail and a petite little face. Together with wombats, echidnas, quolls, possums and the elusive Tasmanian devil, pademelons roam freely in the grounds surrounding Cradle Mountain. McDermott’s Coaches does an amazing night wildlife spotting tour (since most of these animals are nocturnal), where the drivers bring you to their favourite spots to see some of these critters feeding and grooming in their natural habitat — no enclosure, no performance shows, just pure wildlife.
Foreign visitors per year: 1 million
Main town: Hobart
Major industries: forestry, mining, agriculture, tourism
Unit of currency: Australian dollar (A$)
Cost index: entry to MONA A$20 (US$18.75), cheese plate at Jam Packed Cafe at Henry Jones Art Hotel A$16 (US$15), Bronze Pass for Port Arthur Historic Site A$35 (US$32.80), Attic Room at the Islington Hotel, Hobart A$395 (US$370)
Wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated yet accessible – Australia’s island state, nestled comfortably at the southeastern base of Australia, is intrinsic to the nation’s story. Van Diemen’s Land (as Tasmania was christened by white settlers) was home to some of the first convict ships to land in Australia, and the tragic, harrowing and haunting tales of those arrivals permeate the state. The Port Arthur Historic Site, a former penal colony, serves as a beautiful and disquieting reminder of the region’s brutal past.
However, modern Tasmania has emancipated itself from wallowing in the past and adopted a fresh, hip and inclusive attitude sparked by the brilliant revival of its now super-cool waterfront capital, Hobart, and the development of an eclectic year-long events calendar.
Offering some of Australia’s most diverse, remote and wild outdoor experiences, Tasmania abounds in natural splendour. Whether it’s exploring the quiet, eerie grandeur of Cradle Mountain, bravely traversing the mighty Franklin River – home to the state’s dark forested heart, or stumbling upon the breathtaking beaches that make up the Bay of Fires, the state contains a lifetime’s worth of adventures.
In 2015, Tasmania opened the second stage of Australia’s premier coastal bushwalking experience, the Three Capes Track. This stage will link Denman’s Cove, opposite Port Arthur, with Cape Huay, via 35km of redeveloped walking track which take in some of the stunning sea cliffs of the Tasman National Park, where white-breasted sea eagles soar above the ocean. One of the largest projects of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in the world, once the third stage is completed the track will offer walkers a multiday bushwalking and boating experience which can be taken independently or with a guided tour operator.
Mona foma (festival of music and art) kicks off Tasmania’s event calendar in style every January, when an Eminent Artist in Residence joins former Violent Femmes bassist, Brian Ritchie, in delivering Australia’s most eclectic cultural festival.
Brightening the darker winter months from April to August, the Lumina Festival umbrellas over 100 cultural, food and wine events.
Hungry? Hit Hobart’s waterfront across New Year’s Eve week for the Taste Festival and sample the Apple Isle’s best seafood, wine and cheese.
From around 29 December the sleek vessels competing in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race start arriving into Hobart’s Salamanca Wharf.
The diversity of offerings from Tasmania’s plate may require multiple helpings. Descend the spiraled staircase of Hobart’s uber-trendy subterranean MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) located in the belly of the Moorilla Winery to discover the treasures within.
Explore one of the world’s most significant temperate rainforests on a multiday trek through the Tarkine Wilderness. Watch sea birds take flight as you sea-kayak at dusk in Coles Bay (bordering popular Freycinet National Park).
You can’t escape it – the debate over logging and the economy it supports versus the conservation and preservation of the pristine Tasmanian wilderness is a hot topic on the island. Everyone you talk to will have a strong and passionate opinion on the subject.
The Tassie food scene is a gourmet’s paradise, best exemplified by the diversity of produce found in the wilds of Bruny Island. The isolation and stunning coastal scenery of this island in the state’s southeast make it the perfect escape from the rat race, but it’s the artisanal produce that can be sourced here that elevates it to must-go. Whether it’s getting a frisky fill of oysters at Get Shucked Oyster Farm, downing a few glasses of pinot noir at Australia’s most southern winery, or gorging on freshly picked berries from the local berry farm, there’s no better place to taste Tassie on a plate.
The gothic grandeur of Australia’s oldest continually functioning brewery, the Cascade Brewery in South Hobart, never fails to draw a gasp on first sight. Ominously stretching towards the sky, it’s a structure that suggests the setting of a terrifying horror film rather than the reality, the Willy Wonka-esque home of one of Australia’s favourite adult brews.
Freycinet is Tasmania’s oldest coastal park, a dramatic combination of red granite mountains, white-sand beaches, and lapis-blue ocean.
Unobtrusively nestled within its confines is the ecosensitive Freycinet, “the disappearing lodge,” so carefully constructed that it is barely visible from even a few feet away. Luxurious cabins with redwood terraces have been harmoniously integrated with the attention-stealing environment.
Guests pick and choose from a host of nature-oriented activities including whale watching, visits to the breeding grounds of fairy penguins and black swans, and guided walks through forests populated by marsupials, brilliant-colored parrots, and laughing kookaburras. A self-guided nature walk through fields of wildflowers and up and over a spine of mountains leads to the trek’s grand finale: Wineglass Bay, one of Australia’s most beautiful panoramas.
The Freycinet coastline is famous for its seafood – a chef doesn’t need to do much to the local lobster-size crayfish to create an award-quality dinner at a window table overlooking Great Oyster Bay at sunset.
Lying 150 miles south of Australia, mountainous, Virginia-size Tasmania seems like the end of the earth even to mainland Aussies, and because of its isolated location, much of its flora and fauna exist nowhere else on earth.
Still, most of the island is green and civilized, much like England’s Surrey – except, that is, for the 3 million largely wild acres set aside as parkland, encompassing some of Australia’s most spectacular alpine scenery. The jewel in this natural crown is Cradle Mountain National Park, whose rugged peaks and high moorlands make up a large, untamed portion of the area. The 53-mile Overland Track, linking Cradle Mountain Park with Lake St. Clair, is the country’s most famous trail and one that every Aussie vows to do at least once in his or her life. Penetrating much of the rain forest, a boardwalk protects the environment from human impact.
There are basic huts along the way, but they’re often full. Rather than carry camping equipment for the duration of the six-day hike, sign up with a reputable trekking agency that operates private huts with hot running water and private guest rooms. They’ll supply an experienced Tasmanian guide who accompanies a group at a ratio of one per five guests (groups are never larger than ten); he or she will double as cook at the end of each glorious day of walking, during which you’ll cover between 6 and 11 miles.
The last day includes a walk through a dense eucalyptus forest to the shores of Lake St. Clair, Tasmania’s most beautiful, carved out by glacial ice over the past couple million years; the 10-mile boat cruise that follows augments the magic of your Cradle Mountain experience.
If walking the Overland Track is about 50 miles more than your average vacation undertaking, the Cradle Mountain Lodge is a stationary alternative. Rustic and cozy, it’s not a luxury operation (unless you count the huge breakfast of prime Tasmanian bacon and local free-range eggs). Rather, it’s the kind of informal inn where a glass of Tasmanian cabernet is nursed in front of a roaring fire while swapping hiking stories. It’s a good base from which to plan some days of horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking through lush rain forests and along alpine lakes.
A popular tradition is the nightly “leftover extravaganza,” when the kitchen’s scraps are put out on a nearby platform for the forest’s nocturnal wildlife, which includes the occasional Tasmanian devil (and we don’t mean Errol Flynn).