Food, wine and… wombats. Discover the southern state’s charms along the East Coast Wine Trail.
Image credit: Spring Bay Distillery
Spring Bay Distillery1/7
Start with a tipple of rainwater-infused bourbon at the Spring Beach cellar door of Suzy and Cam Brett’s Spring Bay Distillery, less than 90 minutes from Hobart, then savour a glass of riesling at Orford’s Darlington Vineyard. Darlington owner Janice Evans explains why they both hit the spot. “You’ve got the salt there,” she says, sweeping her hand towards Prosser Bay. “And the clay-and-loam farmland behind it.” With that secret of Tasmania’s outstanding cool-climate wines (and spirits) revealed, it’s time to head north.
Craigie Knowe Vineyard2/7
Bookings are essential for Sunday high tea at Craigie Knowe Vineyard, about an hour away in Cranbrook, but don’t expect a cuppa. Instead, scones with cabernet jam and deconstructed blackforest cake infused with estate pinot noir are matched with varietals from the winery. If you’re lucky, you’ll find winemaker Claudio Radenti home when you visit Freycinet Vineyard, between Swansea and Bicheno, and he’ll lead you through the vines he tends with his wife, fellow vintner Lindy Bull. “The secret is now well and truly out about Tasmania and how good it is for wine,” says Radenti. His favourite? “I love fish and chips with riesling.”
Image credit: Piermont’s Homestead Restaurant
Piermont’s Homestead Restaurant3/7
At Piermont’s Homestead Restaurant south of Swansea, head chef Calvin King assembles the fruits of neighbouring farms, vineyards and bays into an elegant menu. Striped trumpeter crudo and warrigal greens with truffle complement the Martini aperitif made with Spring Vale’s Splendid gin and the grape varietals that thrive in this comparatively dry, sunny region. After dinner, settle into your on-site private stone cottage overlooking the bay at The Retreat.
Those tiny haystacks dotting Maria Island are in fact wombats, one of several native species thriving in this former convict settlement a short ferry ride from Triabunna. Absorb the painted cliffs, sweeping coastline and imposing Mount Maria, while hiking, snorkelling and exploring heritage ruins.
Freycinet Marine Farm5/7
Wade into the estuary at Freycinet Marine Farm at Coles Bay and pluck shuck and slurp Pacific oysters while immersed in their habitat. Afterwards, repair to the farm restaurant for a feast of mussels, rock lobster and scallops.
The inspired idea to add the Lobster Shack to their southern rock lobster processing facility, overlooking The Gulch marine reserve in Bicheno, has paid off for Sara and Marcus Walkem. Locals recommend the lobster rolls but leave space for the half lobster with hot garlic butter.