9 Local Gems in Tasmania You Won't See in a Guidebook | About Australia

9 Gems in Tasmania You Won’t Find in a Guidebook

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments
Melshell Oysters Farm Gate couple credit Rob Burnett

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate. Photo: Rob Burnett

What’s better than savoring a glass of premium wine paired with rich cheeses and fresh oysters?

The peace of mind of knowing exactly where every ingredient is produced.

When you step on Tasmania’s soil, you’re walking on the very ground that yields some of Australia’s most coveted wines. As your eyes take in the coastal views, you’re glimpsing directly into the waterways producing the freshest seafood.

Tasmania is a springboard to the best of Australia’s culinary delights, but you’ve got to know where to look. Luckily, the genuine hospitality of its local winemakers, farmers and producers allow you to enjoy Tasmania’s exquisite produce right at the source.

Get a true local’s insight with our guide to 9 Tasmanian gems you won’t find in a guidebook.

Where to Taste Exceptional Tasmanian Food and Wine

Josef Chromy Wines

Picnic at Josef Chromy Wines credit Lauren Bath

Picnic at Josef Chromy Wines. Photo: Lauren Bath

Location: Relbia, Tasmania (15 minutes from Launceston)

When owner Josef Chromy arrived in Tasmania in 1950, he was a penniless Czech refugee. Now he has developed and owns Tasmania’s most famous vineyards, including Josef Chromy Wines.

Surrounded in landscaped gardens, Josef Chromy Wines is a tranquil escape into idyllic vineyard bliss. Located on a 150 acre vineyard overlooking a serene lake, the setting is ripe for a few enchanting glasses of sensational Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Enjoy a tutored tasting with chief winemaker Jeremy Dineen and learn about the vibrant characteristics of Josef Chromy’s pinots. And don’t worry if you’re not a wine expert yourself, or you think a “bouquet” is just a bunch of flowers – Josef Chromy’s staff are experts in not only wine but also in introducing guests to the world of flavors in Tasmanian wine.

Wines for Joanie

Wines for Joanie vineyard credit Rob Burnett

Wines for Joanie vineyard. Photo: Rob Burnett

Location: Sidmouth, Tasmania (30 minutes from Launceston)

Wines for Joanie is a passion project inspired by owner Andrew O’Shanesy’s mother and her love of wine.

“She was forever after me for being a naughty kid,” O’Shanesy fondly remembers. “I’d hear her in the background at full volume – ‘Why don’t you make yourself useful and go and learn to make wine?'”

Together with his wife Prue O’Shanesy, the pair operate Wines for Joanie in the heart of Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, a true gem hidden amidst green rolling hills and farmland. Their boutique farm-style winery encompasses a warm, rustic cottage reminiscent of an old friend’s welcoming home as you step through the door.

The O’Shanesys’ hospitality is beautifully complemented by their impeccable Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, perfect for a sit-down tasting. Stay a while and book a night or two at the cottage for a true local’s experience in Tasmanian wine country.

Melshell Oyster Shack

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate Cassy Melrose credit Rob Burnett

Melshell Oysters Farm Gate Cassy Melrose. Photo: Rob Burnett

Location: Dolphin Sands, Tasmania (30 minutes from Freycinet National Park)

Love oysters without a fuss? Then Melshell Oyster Shack is a must. Located 15 minutes north of Swansea in Tasmania’s east coast, oysters don’t get any fresher than this.

“Our oysters are cultured oysters, which means that they’re nurtured by the farmer,” co-owner Cassy Melrose says. Together with her husband Ian Melrose, the couple’s passion for oysters traces back to their very first date – a venture to look at an oyster barge.

Their careful cultivation yields a startling freshness and plumpness to their oysters, often described as “Dolly Parton Plump.”

Melshell Oyster Shack offers unshucked oysters for takeaway, but we recommend enjoying your dozen on the picnic tables besides the shack, basking in the gorgeous seaside views. Be sure to bring a bottle of local Tassie wine for a seaside road trip lunch experience!

Pyengana Dairy Company

Holy Cow Cafe Tasmania Pyengana Dairy Company credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Holy Cow Cafe Tasmania – Pyengana Dairy Company. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Location: Pyengana, Tasmania (2 hours from Launceston)

When Jon Healey was a child, he matured little cheeses he made in his mother’s bathtub. Now he’s the general manager of Pyengana Dairy Company, an award-winning dairy farm home to Australia’s heritage farmhouse cheese.

Healey attributes the richness of the cheese to the farm’s cows. “Our cows are definitely the happiest cows in the world, and that’s why we make the best cheddar,” Healey states. Never enclosed into a paddock and free to roam the dairy, the cows make the decisions around the farm.

Set in the picturesque Pyengana Valley in Tasmania’s north east, the dairy’s tasting room welcomes travelers to sample cheese handcrafted from a 130 year old family recipe. Take a peek behind the scenes of the cheese making process, or relax with a gourmet platter from the onsite café.

With the bright colors of Pyengana Valley easily viewed from the farm, Pyengana Dairy Company offers a lovely road trip stop on Tasmania’s east coast.

Seafood Seduction

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction Pennicott Wilderness Journeys credit Peter Aitchison

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction. Photo: Peter Aitchison

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

To sample the freshest seafood, nothing comes closer than jumping straight into the water. Onboard Robert Pennicott’s Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise, you’ll taste succulent rock lobster, oysters, abalone and sea urchin only moments out of the water.

Departing from the docks of Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, the cruise sails out to the sheltered waters surrounding Bruny Island and hits up spots only a local would know.

“It’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been a kid,” Robert says. “Being able to jump in and get abalone, and crayfish and sea urchin, catching fish out of the most beautiful pristine water in the world…it’s the seafood equivalent to ‘paddock to plate.'”

True to his word, Robert dons on a wet suit and snorkeling mask and jumps in the waters to find the day’s catch. Back onboard, a seafood storm is cooked up with sparkling wines, local Tassie beers and cheeses waiting to be indulged.

Where to Find Local Tasmanian Experiences

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary - Greg Irons and Brushtail Possum credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – Greg Irons and Brushtail Possum. Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Location: Brighton, Tasmania (30 minutes from Hobart)

For his seventh birthday, Greg Irons dragged his family to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. He told his mother he’d own Bonorong one day. Now he’s the director of the sanctuary, a 24 hour rescue service for wildlife across all Tasmania.

With a passionate team of rescuers, the sanctuary’s aim is releasing animals back to their habitat. “To see them just go waddling off to where they belong with this feeling of happiness which they cannot hide, it’s just so special,” Greg says.

Here you’ll find not only native Australian animals but wildlife found only in Tasmania. Meet Tasmanian devils and wombats, and spot koalas and bettongs. Kangaroos also hang about, waiting for a hand-feeding.

Join a special Evening Feeding Frenzy tour to get up close and feed the Tassie devils, echidnas, sugar gliders and other wildlife still up and keen for a feed!

Launceston Harvest Market

Harvest Launceston Farmers' Market credit Chris Crerar

Harvest Launceston Farmers’ Market. Image: Chris Crerar

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

If you’re in Launceston on a Saturday morning, the Launceston Harvest Market is a must. There’s arguably no place else where you’ll find Tasmania’s freshest produce in one spot.

“When it comes to the people and the produce, there really isn’t a lot that’s finer,” says Curly Haslam-Coates, manager of the Launceston Harvest Market. “You’re only one or two people removed from the agriculture…and it’s far more fun than going to the supermarket.”

The market prides itself in its local produce, showcasing only products made, grown and raised right in Tasmania. It’s also the perfect opportunity to meet producers and get insider information about every facet of their product.

Stalls of rainbow colored carrots, tomatoes, seasonal greens and berries mix with the warm scents of freshly baked bread, specialty sausages and roasting coffee. For a market breakfast, choose among decadent French toast, fresh fruits and gourmet pastries.

Where to Experience Warm Tassie Hospitality

Red Feather Inn

Red Feather Inn Lydia Nettlefold credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Red Feather Inn – Lydia Nettlefold. Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Location: Hadspen, Tasmania (15 minutes from Launceston)

Owner Lydia Nettlefold’s vision of a relaxing retreat with subtle touch of provincial France comes to life at the Red Feather Inn.

Few places combine fine hospitality, impeccable cuisine and luxury accommodation like this intimate getaway. Set within convict-built sandstone cottages surrounded in gorgeous landscaped gardens, this boutique accommodation is a distinctly Tasmanian gem.

The fabulous onsite restaurant is locally renowned as a dining destination, sourcing ingredients straight from the garden in true ‘paddock to plate’ fashion. Cooking classes are also on offer, guaranteed to leave you with new tricks and dishes to try at home.

Brockley Estate

Brockley Estate homestead credit Tourism Tasmania Rob Burnett

Brockley Estate. Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett

Location: Buckland, Tasmania (1 hour from Hobart)

Nestled within rural seclusion among rolling hills and farmland lies Brockley Estate. This six-room boutique hotel blends old world charm with Tasmania’s pristine scenery, set just ten minutes from the sea.

Owners Julian Roberts and Chaxi Afonso Higuera welcome guests to enjoy everything their 170 year-old homestead accommodation has to offer. Set on 10,000 acres dotted with ancient English trees and hawthorn hedges, the grounds are an endless country paradise to explore.

Spend the afternoon on the river fishing for rainbow trout, or visit the sheep and cattle at the onsite farm. Hobart is less than an hour away, perfect for a day trip.

Warm up to a 3-course dinner prepared by Chaxi, bringing out the flavors of her Spanish heritage with traditional recipes made from Tasmanian ingredients. As you enjoy dinner paired with local Tasmanian wines, you’ll know this is genuine colonial country life from days gone by.

Ready For Your Trip to Tasmania?

Tasmania holds a whole world of delights for food, wine, and relaxation. The only trouble is knowing where to find the hidden gems. For more things to do in Tasmania and suggestions on your trip, contact our Destination Specialists for one-on-one planning for a smooth journey to Australia.

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