Australian Paradise -in Tasmania !

For those who have time on their hand Tasmania is definately worth a long stay in order to see all the attractions and experience life as it is in the Island State. In my mind it’s a paradise for touring and actually there is a Paradise here, not far from Launceston.

So if you are retired and live in the Tropics, there is no better holiday than taking off for a couple of month in Tasmania in December and spend time there. My name is Hans Sander and my wife Inger Sander and we have travelled throughout Australia and this time we had plenty of time to enjoy Tasmania.

And we did, here is the result. You can of course take ideas from this even if you only spend a week here but don’t forget if you travel to Tasmania and Australia one of the most useful cards you should purchase is The Australia Card. This gives you a 10% discount on a variety of charges and services. Many of the operators and services mentioned on this blog participate in The Australia Card so please check . The cost is 35 dollars for a single, 45 for a couple or a family so for this small outlay the card pays for itself after a couple of tours/purchases/bookings.

Here is an alternative to spending about 3500 per person on a 14-day holiday in Tasmania going an organised tour. With the heat and humidity in Queensland, NSW and Victoria, not to mention S.A. from December to March it is nice with a change and you get it here. We recommend that you take your own car with you as touring in Tasmania is the way to go. Lovely country roads, not too much traffic and scenery you can only dream about. Great climate, most of the time. Even on a very warm day which we had now and then, +29, after 6:00 pm the temperature dropped rapidly and we needed a doona at night. One important piece of information; National Trust of Tasmania holds many events for members and the public as a fundraising opportunity for the organisation. For a current program of events click here.

This is what we did. You can of course do your own planning for the time you decide to spend in Tasmania and, we had Launceston as headquarters as we find it a very hospitable town and every attraction within a couple of hours reach. I’ve tried to keep it short so if you need any extra information click on the links.

Day 1 – Depart Melbourne at 1800 on “Spirit of Tasmania”. Click on the link to get further information about the crossing. Personally we thought it is an excellent service, nice and clean and fairly spacious cabins, hospitable crew and attractive public areas. It does cost you a bit but one has to take into consideration that one save one nights accommodation and you bring your own car which is worth the deal.

Don’t forget to take some money with you as the ATM onboard the ship is only open until it sails and there is quite long ques. If you want to do the “fine dining” onboard you should make a reservation as soon as possible after boarding. For “normal” dining there is a café-style area where they dish out the daily specials until 2130 when they close. After that only the bars are open.

Day 2 – On arrival in Devonport we disembarked from 0700 and instead of having the breakfast onboard we opted for McDonalds which is located only a short distance from the port. We continued via Latrobe where we stopped at the Cherry Shed and picked up some lovely cherries. The next stop was just outside Elizabeth Town, at Ashgrove Cheese where we sampled their award winning Cheddar cheeses. I recommend that you buy the 5 pack of 50g of their best selling cheeses, buy a bottle of red and try them out in the evening. By the way, Ashgrove is easy to find, The cows have been given pride of place around the Ashgrove Cheese building and in the front paddock of Ashgrove beside the highway replacing the real Friesian herd and providing a colourful welcome for visitors to the business.  In nearby Latrobe we stopped at House of Anvers producers of Belgian chocolates and it was hard to leave. They do have a warning to visitors – ” if anyone gets to see our secret recipes they will never be allowed to leave the premises!” We tried hard but in the end we did leave the premises with any recipes but some wonderful chocolates in the bag.

Arriving in Launceston around midday we contacted the real estate agent, signed the necessary papers, got the keys and checked in to our home for the next two month.

It was raining, it was cold but there was a heater in the house so no problems.

Everything was provided for, bed linen, washing machine, cutlery, utensils, brooms it’s all there. We had to call Telstra to get the phone in our name as well as contacting Aurora Energy to get the electricity account in our name.

Day 3 – In Launceston. General orientation. Many streets are one way so we spend some time driving around the city centre to get to know it better. We also went to the library and got ourselves a library card each.  It’s nice to be able to pick up some goods books and read during your holidays. You can also order books online. Whoops!  Don’t forget to redirect your mail whilst you’re away.

Day 4 – This morning we went for an early walk at Carr Memorial Park, around  3km all in all, up and down, up and down. I took about 50 minutes and it was quite interesting. 

Did some shopping at nearby Coles and in the afternoon we took a short walk down by the Seaport, only a few hundred meters but a nice walk.

Day 5 – happens to be a Friday so we drove down to Hobart ( about 2 hours) checked in at the Customs House Waterfront Hotel for three nights.  Built on Hobarts waterfront for Charles Gaylor and licensed in 1846. In Gaylor’s day it was called “The Chop House” which means that a good square meal could be obtained inside. This proved to be true when we had lunch the following day. In the evening we ventured down to the waterfront and had an excellent seafood dinner at the Marque IV Restaurant. Starched linen and fine-dining. Classy !

Day 6 –Saturday is Salamanca Market Day which is a must on your calendar. Lots of stalls, lots of people and fun to walk around looking at all the items for sale. You probably don’t need any of it but what the heck you’re on holidays, sort of anyway so a few items always comes your way. You also find a lot of boutiques, book shops, groceries and much more. We had a light lunch at one of the outdoor cafes, indoors as it was raining!  In the afternoon we drove up to Mt Wellington, stopped at the Wrest Point Casino and again dined at a harbour restaurant, Blue Skies, a casual waterfront restaurant.

Day 7 – Having come all the way to Hobart we thought we should drive south as far as the road will take us and about 2 hours later we ended up in Southport. You can make detours into the Harz mountains or take the coastal road on the return. You will find a suggestion of itineraries and very useful information for that area by clicking here.

Day 8 –  Passing Mangalore, crossing River Jordan and Bagdad you might wonder if you are in the Middle East,  the story is as follows;By 1806, Hobart Town was suffering severe food shortages and expeditions of soldiers were being sent to the area around Pontville to hunt kangaroos and emus.  One of these expeditions included a well-travelled member of the Royal Marines, Private Hugh Germain who brought a little of the exotic Middle East to the struggling colony.

Private Germain had served in Egypt and during his expeditions  beyond Hobart Town, he carried a copy of the ‘Arabian Nights’ in his swag.  Rumour has it that he is responsible for bestowing some well-known Tasmanian locations with some rather incongruous names; thus you may travel through Bagdad and Jericho, you might cross the Jordan River or visit Jerusalem Plain (now Colebrook), or stand on the shores of Lake Tiberias.

Wwe left Hobart this morning and are on our way to the charming village of  Ross, more or less halfway to Launceston where we had a sandwich and a cup of coffee for lunch. Brief stop at Campbell Town and stopped for petrol in Perth where a sign for Leather Bottle Antiques & Gifts caught our eye., They had a good collection of  Tasmanian made gifts so we bought a few items to send to relatives in Sweden. Another attraction caught our eye just outside Launceston, Tasmanian Glassblowers in Breadalbane. This is well worth a visit. Back  in Launceston in the late afternoon.

Day 9 – In town, afternoon walk at Tamar Island, about 2 kms.

Day 10 – Drive to Lilydale, about 35 minutes from Launceston. Here we walked through beautiful rainforest to reach the picturesque Lilydale Falls. The distance is about 800 meters and it is moderately taxing on a gravel road. Car parking and toilet facilities at the start of the trail on Golconda Road.

We thought Lilydale Falls walk was charming but a bit short so decided to do the longer Merthyr Park Trail. This walk is about 3 km on gravel road . It is classified as moderate but it is some long stretches uphill that takes its toll.

Day 11 – Up to the Country Club around 1100. Here you can either win or loose some money on the pokies and/or you can have lunch at a very decent price, around 10-14 dollars. On the way back we stopped at Woolworths for some grocery shopping and ChickenFeed for some bargains and picked up some wines from nearby BWS barn.

Day 12 – Today was auction day at Tulloch’s. Fine colonial furniture, fine wines and a lot of completely useless items but an interesting morning. I find auctions very informative and entertaining.

Day 13

We were in Tasmania about 20 years ago and remember we picked up a rental car at Launceston airport in the afternoon and set out for an overnight at Miena where we had a superb fish dinner at The Great Lake Hotel. In the far distance we had the Walls of Jerusalem on our right side, mighty and mysterious. A Launceston solicitor, Reg Hall, hiked here in the 1920s and ’30s, and suggested many of the park’s biblical names. Here is some of the places he named;  Herod’s Gate, glacial lakes named Solomon’s Jewels, King David’s Peak, (1499 meters,) Lake Salome, Damascus Gate, King Solomon’s Throne, The Temple ( 1446 meters), Mount Jerusalem(1459 meters), Pool of Bethesda.

So today we did the trip again, as a day trip. Miena is about 110 km southwest of Launceston and well worth the trip and,  the fish was still just as good. Today we had rainbow trout with “handcarved” potatoe chips.

Day 14Evandale market is on every Sunday morning from 0700. Evandale is an historic village only 20 minutes drive from Launceston via the airport and this is the place to pick up your fresh vegetables and fruit and berries.Entry fee is 20 cents or 1 dollar if you use the parking lot. Also try Evandale Bakery in the village for some nice Rhubarb strudel with whipped cream. Yam !  Also browsed at Evandale Antiques who has a good selection of furniture and decorative arts. The butcher is also open on Sundays and according to my daughter’s father-in-law, he’s the best. 

Day 15 – No program today.

Day 16 – This morning we went for a drive on the highway down to Ross. Had a look around the Tasmanian Wool Centre then bought a loaf of lovely rye bread from Ross Bakery, browsed the antique and gift shops before driving back to Campbell Town.

We stopped here for an hour or so, had a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin at Banjo’s which we rate as one of the best when travelling around. Then onto the country road from Campbell Town to Cressy. A beautiful road, a pleasure to drive. After Cressy you pass through Longford where you should have a look around before travelling back to Launceston. Actually we stopped at Lithgow Gallery and had a look at their Australian art. In all, about 5 hours. Very pleasant.

Day 17 – Time for some serious touring. We set out this morning from Launceston around 0800 travelling via Deloraine and Sheffield, Cradle Mountain to Warratah continuing to Savage River on a smaller but quite good road. Then onto a gravel road (perfectly allright for a sedan , no 4 WD needed) to Corinna.

You can take an option here of a river cruise and stay overnight or, as we decided continue on gravel road to Zeehan ( about just over an hour) and then a sealed road from there to Strahan where we stayed overnight at Strahan village in the motel with a view over Strahan. Very nice.

Day 18 – One of the highlights in Tasmania – a cruise on Macquarie Harbour with World Heritage Cruises passing through Hell’s Gate and landing at Sarah Island for a guided tour, (very good guide) then up the Gordon River to Heritage Landing to view a grove of ancient Huon pine. Also had the pleasure of seeing a Tiger Snake from a distance, one of the deadliest in the world.  We got back to Strahan around 1400 and decided to drive back to Launceston this afternoon again via Zeehan , Rosebery and Cradle Mountain and  Sheffield which took just over 3 hours.

Day 19 – In Launceston. Visit the library.

Day 20 – In Launceston.  Trip to Old Mac’s farm to buy fresh strawberries.

Day 21 – Today we thought a trip to the East Coast would be interesting so we set out just after 0800 for Scottsdale. 2 hours later and only about half an hour from St. Helens we made a stop at Pyengana Dairy Company and Holy Cow Café where we tasted their cheese and dairy products. We could not resist buying their cheddar cheese. Then onto St. Helens where we enjoyed a lunch down by the small fishing harbour, fish and chips of course.

We continued south to Scamander and then turned inland to St. Marys, Fingal and Avoca to Conara where we met up with the Highway back to Launceston via Perth.

We were back at home around 1600. A day of some spectacular sights and winding country roads.

Day 22Grindelwald, the Swiss village is only about 20 minutes north of Launceston and can be combined with a general tour around the area. If you just go to the Swiss village you can either have a round of golf ( 9 holes) play mini golf or just have a light lunch, do some souvenir shopping, call in at an cherry orchard and then go back to Launceston, which we did. All in all about 2-3 hours.

Day 23 – Went to an auction, not that we need anything but we think auctions are just as good as going to the cinema and sometimes, just sometimes you just can’t resist a bargain so the hand goes up and there you are with another “treausure”. We mentioned this to our daughter who lives in Launceston. She had never been to an auction so she went the following week and was amazed of the prices and consequently came home with 1000 dollars worth of antiques which she actually needed.

Day 24 – Went to the movies and some shopping.

Day 25 – Went for a walk this morning, The North Esk Trail which runs alongside the North Esk River between Henry Street and Hoblers Bridge Road. It is an easy walk – on gravel/boardwalks  and there is car parking. Distance is 2.5 km

Day 26 – a trip to Bridestowe Lavender farm. The best route is via Lilydale. Going via Scottsdale adds another hour to your trip.

Bridestowe is one of the largest lavender farms in the country and well worth a visit in January-February when the lavender is in full bloom. There is a café and a souvenir shop.

What we don’t like about it is the 5.00 per person entry fee. I can’t see any reason whatsoever for this fee as the owners make their money from the souvenir shop, from the café and from harvesting the lavender. The 5 dollar fee in this case is a pure rip-off.

 Day 27 – And now to something completely different and well worth the money spent there. Take the car to Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm. It is about 45 minutes drive from LST via Deloraine on the Devonport Highway. Once there take a sample of the chocolate covered raspberry and then sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee and waffles with raspberryh ice cream and whipped cream. Either breakfast or lunch. You’ll love it. In a happy mood you might then decide to buy a jar of their raspberry jam and keep for yourself or as a give-away.  Takes about 3 hours and you can call in at Deloraine on the return.

Day 28 – A visit to The Design Centre in LST is a must. Here you’ll find a collection of wood design, housed in purpose built galleries overlooking the City Park. You can easily spend an hour here. After that take a stroll in charming City Park.

Day 29 – Tasmania’s elegant wines are made from grapes grown in climates similar to the European ones, mild summer, long autumns and cool winters. The Tamar Valley Wine Route follows the majestic Tamar River as it meanders for 58 kilometres through the heart of high-yielding vineyard country, orchards, scenic pastures and forests from city to the shores of Bass Strait. The wine route is easy to travel by car, or if you prefer, take a guided half- or full-day tour.  On your way you will discover many quaint riverside villages that feature arts and crafts from the local area. Emjoy a picnic beneath the elegant Batman Bridge; the world’s first cable-stayed truss bridge, or simply relax at one of the beautiful restaurants and indulge your senses with the local cuisine and a glass of cool-climate wine.

We suggest you call at the following wineries on your day out;

Drive from LST to Lilydale, after Lebrina turn left into road C818 and call in at Jansz Tasmania Wine Room and Interpretive Centre. Leave Jansz, turning right you reach road B 82 and shortly after, on the right hand side you have Delamere Vineyard, an essential stop for the discerning wine buff. Continue along B 82 and follow the sign to Bay of Fires Wines at Baxters Road. Their range of cool climate wines includes one of Australia’s prestige vintage sparkling wines – Arras.  You should also try Bay of Fires Tasmanian Cuvee Rose.

You’ve probably have had enough by now so continue on B 82 to George Town, take a side trip up to Low Head, a charming seaside village then travel along the A8 back to LST.

 Day 30 – A day of rest. Perhaps open a bottle or two and celebrate the wonderful summer climate in Tasmania with some smoked baby salmon, fresh potatoes in dill.

 Day 31 –   In Launceston.

 Day 32 – Check out the wineries on “the other side” of Tamar River. Take the A7 straight up to Beaconsfield where you can tour the Heritage Mining site then drive down to Tamar Ridge Wines at Kayena, known for its trophy-winning Rieslings and Sauvignon Blancs. If you are travelling on Thursday to Monday during October to June call in at Stoney Rise Vineyard, a 24 year old boutique winery. Then finish off with a visit to Ninth Island Vineyard. Ninth Island Vineyard Cellar Door, offers sales and tastings of Pipers Brook Vineyard, Ninth Island and Kreglinger wines as well as a gift shop with exclusive Tasmanian crafts.  Daniel Alps’ Restaurant at Ninth Island Vineyard offers one of the finest dining experiences on the Island.  The excellent cuisine and wine is matched by a sensational view of the Tamar river below, creating the perfect atmosphere for a long leisurely lunch.  A truly holistic Tamar Valley experience.

 Day 33 – We’re into January now so we are talking beach weather. There are some great beaches in the Launceston area and a huge public heated pool. So far we have visited Bridport, Low Heads and this morning we went to Green Beach about 50 minutes drive north from LST facing Bass Strait. A great beach, about 2 km long where you can walk barefeeted or splash your feet in the water. We left LST early so arrived at Green Beach around 0930, plenty of space and even later on when we left, 1330 although the great invasion had started there was plenty of room You don’t feel uncomfortable even if there were 1000 people around you (( which it wasn’t, probly around 100 at lunch time).

 Day 34 – a day in Launceston itself. Revisited the design centre, walked through the City Park, had lunch at Fish & Chips down by the river, popped in Banjo’s for a cup of coffee and an apple Danish, went to Central and bought organic blue berries, 1 kilo for 12.70 !!

 Day 35James Boag is one of the oldest breweries in Tasmania, if not Australia and they have factory tours and tasting several times a day so we booked ourselves for the 12:30 tour which took us through the brewery and the action there followed by a tasting of 4 different beers accompanied by 4 different cheeses from a local cheese maker in Devonport. Cost: AUD 25.00 per person all included. Worth it but personally I think 15.00 would have been a fair price.

Day 36 – Quite often we went up to Launceston Country Club for a drink and pokies and after that a stop at Woolworth at  Prospect for some shopping and buying a lotto ticket at the newsagency.

 Day 37 – We are doing a lot of reading at the moment, go down to the library now and then or order books over the internet. I normally look up the New York Times website for the bestseller list or go down to the bookshop and write down all new titles then go back home to the computer and sit down and order the lot. Excellent. I used to buy books as I loved to line them up on the book shelv but realised it was stupid to pay around 40.00 dollars these days for a new published book when you can get them for free. So today was library day, then to Office Works to buy some cartridges for the printer, then to Banjo’s to buy a bun for the evening coffee. We had thought of going northeast tomorrow but the forecast is some rain so in the morning we will instead visit some houses for sale to see what you get for your money, if you have any!

Day 38 – Well, one should not complain, it has not rained since our arrival well over a month ago so this morning we woke up to a cloudy sky with promise of rain later in the day. So we’ll stay at home today, tidy up a bit in the garden, do some washing and perhaps take in a movie later in the day.

Day 39 – We like driving around a lot so this morning, being a Sunday we thought we should go to Evandale market but then my wife Inger suggested we should go to Mole Creek ? What’s there? Anyway, it seems she had seen something in the paper about a market so off we went. Deloraine is only about 40 minutes away on the excellent highway and from there another 25 minutes took us to Mole Creek where one ( 1 ) person was sighted so obviously there’s not a market there. However, there are lots of caves in the area so we decided to continue to Marakoopa Caves only 10 minutes drive out of Mole Creek. Good choice. The entry fee for seniors is 12.00 and worth every cent. A fantastic array of caves, well lit up and the tour finished off with a look at the glow worms in all their splendour.

After that we backtracked and just outside Deloraine we took off on the Montana Road to 41 degree South and their ginseng and salmon farm. We had a sandwich here, one of the best I’ve tasted, ever. It was called the Wetlander with baby salmon, mayonnaise and fresh salad and was just 9 out of 10. Try it, it’s a must ! .

We left LST around 0900 and were back here around 1400. It’s really amazing what you can do in one, no half a day!

Day 40 – A day in Launceston. A short walk in the evening along Esk River. Gravel road. Lovely with bird song, swans gliding past and the sunset.

 Day 41 – Went to the movies, Village Cinemas. Probably the worst in Australia. Small screen and a deafening sound system and you pay more than the state-of-the art cinemas on the Gold Coast like Robina. It really is a disgrace to the population of Launceston and I wish Village Cinemas could take some positive steps to upgrade this coffin.

 Day 42  –We had not been in Hobart for a while so set out this morning around 0800 arriving there just after 1000. We had a light lunch at the Bahai Temple (behind ABC) then spent the afternoon at Salamanca where we bought salmon in all shapes and forms from Tassal ( we brought an eski) and had some time in CBD proper before going back with a stop at Oatlands for refreshments. Back in Launceston just after 1700. Good day trip.

 Day 43 – Caught up with correspondence on the computer then went down to Centrelink with some papers they had asked for so they can cut down my meagre pension, then up to the Country Club for a light lunch, soup and bread some excercise on the pokies and back to the house where we had Gravlax for dinner ( from Hobart).

 Day 44 – Glorious weather. What better to do than spend it on a beach! We left around 1000 for Green Beach just 45 minutes north of Launceston and opposite Low Heads. After long walks on the beach we continued north to White Head, as far north as you can get.

 Day 45 – Another glorious day. Just blue skies and a little bit of cumulus nimbus far away but no beach today. We had booked a table for the buffet lunch at Country Club. Cost: 22.00 per person. It was all right but nothing to write home about. Then an hour or so and managed to get the lunch paid for by the pokies.

 Day 46 – Being a Sunday we thought another beach visit was suitable so this morning we set off for Scottsdale, continued to Herrick, Gladstone and eventually reached Tomahawk 2 hours later. A small settlement on the northeast of Tasmania with some spectacular beaches. There was a small general store, that’s all and as we had other things to see we continued after a while. Next stop was Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links. The setting is just spectacular, absolutely stunning and I recommend you visit their website to see for yourself. I’m hoping to come back here for a game before our stay in Tasmania is over.

After the golf course it was only a short drive to our destination, Bridport. Here we settled down on one of the many beaches along the foreshore and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Lovely sand, gentle waves and you could walk out for 50 meters before it reached your waist.

We drove back to Launceston via Batemans Bridge where we stopped to buy cherries from a lady we had visited before then a stop at Rosevears to inspect the hotel there where we shall have lunch during the coming week.

Day 47 – In the morning we took a trip to the National Rose and Heritage Vegetable Garden part of Wolmers Estate just outside Launceston. Thousands and thousands of roses. Beautiful. The air was filled with their fragrance. In the afternoon we took a walk along the Esk River . We thought about taking a guided tour at Wolmers Estate but had to be back in Launceston for lunch so we saved that for later.

Day 48 – Just a short trip to the Country Club for lunch and some shopping.

Day 49 – Poor car, probably working too hard. Had a flat tire when I got out to it this morning. Went to a service station, who took it off, pumped air into it, put in in a bath but no bubbles so no leak. A mystery. Perhaps somebody just let out the air. You never know. There are weirdos all over the place. Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend Caltex Service Station at 273 Wellington Road, Launceston. They not only have the old fashioned service whereby the actually fill up your tank but were very efficient and friendly. The rest of the day we worked on our sun tan, did some shopping, pork chops for dinner and probably will go down to a local pub this afternoon for “a cold one”.

Day 50 – We took an early morning walk on the Tamar River Walk. Only about 10 minutes drive north of Launceston. Nice and quiet, lots of water birds and the return walk is around 5 kms. When we got back to the house my wife mentioned, do you remember the beautiful waffles with raspberry icecream and fresh raspberries at Christmas Hill. So what’s the use in walking?  Off we went, Christmas Hill next and ordered the waffles and a cup of coffee each. My wife had tears in her years and if I had not stopped her in time, she would have started crying. “For gods sake you can’t sit here and cry” I said, “nobody would realise you were crying for the waffles but that you had a brute husband”. Bought half a kilo of raspberries to take with us then off to Ashgrove Cheese where we tasted the lot and bought one of our favourites, the Deloraine Cheddar. And, we were back in Launceston just before 1300 so we took a trip up to the Country Club where Australia Day celebrations were in full swing and then back home to eat smoked salmon from Hobart with new potatoes.  A beautiful day.

Day 51 – Picked up a friend from the airport and took him to his abode, later on we invited him for lunch at the Country Club then went home.

 Day 52 – The skies have been blue now since mid December and with a clear morning we thought a walk on Green Beach would be nice. It was but there also was a strong wind blowing, Did a 5 k walk and really felt the cold , well perhaps not so cold wind, but it was strong.

 Day 53 – and this morning we are off to Coles Bay and perhaps Wine Glass Bay. We’ll see how it works out.

Tasmania is excellent for touring. The roads are very good ( except for the highway from Launceston to Hobart which is a disgrace) and normally you can speed up to 110 km/hour which is excellent. It makes me happy every time I sit behind the wheel and start the engine.

So this morning we left around 0800 driving south on the main highway to Campbell Town where we turned left, Lake Leake down to the east coast, up to Coles Bay and then Freycinet National Park. Continue all the way and when you arrive you have an 2 hours return walk to Wineglass Bay viewing platform. After that we checked out Freycinet Lodge, a 4 star property by the water, very nice. Continued right across from the lodge to Cape Tourville, about 5 km with an enchanting view of the coast and a bit of Wineglass Bay. This is a must.

Then we travelled north and made a diversion to Friendly Beaches, breathtaking scenery, green blue water matched by silicon white sand. Just fantastic.

After that we returned via St. Mary’s, Fingal, back on the highway and Launceston. Forgot, taking off for St. Mary’s you pass the Elephant Pass where you can stop for a Blueberry Pie and coffee.

Day 54 – Sunday today so this morning off to the Market at Evandale. Spend about an hour or two there and call in at the bakery where you’ll find one of the best olive breads you can imagine. Bought the best cherries ,as well as a kilo of plums and beautiful lilies.

 Here are some of the places we have visited during our time in Tasmania.

Tant pour tant

226 Charles St, Launceston

Pastry shop with beautiful pasties, breads and cakes on display for a discerning clientele.

Wursthaus Kitchen

1 Montpelier Retreat, Hobart

Top of the range deli lines and  an excellent range of Tasmanian wines. There is another outlet called Wursthaus at Olivers in the Quadrant Mall in Launceston with a smaller selection.

The Mill Providore & Gallery

Ritchie’s Mill, 2 Bridge Street, Launceston

A destination for those who love cooking, eating and living. Mouthwatering deli lines, implements and cookbooks plus a great range of Tasmanian Wines. 

Black Forest Smallgoods

55 Invermay Road, Launceston

Great range of award-winning European-style smallgoods. German-style wursts, salamis and terrines. Highly recommended. 

Hill Street Grocer

109 Hill Street, West Hobart

One of the best corner stores in Australia. It has become a mecca for foodies from all over the city. The fruit and vegetables are a particular drawcard.

Alps & Amici

cnr Abbott and Arthur Sts, Launceston

This is a new store that offers top-of-the-line deli products, vegetables and great range of Tasmanian wines and although it is a corner store I would rename to an upmarket-deli-cornerstore. Definately a must-visit.

Chado: The Way of Tea

134 Elizabeth St, Hobart

Wonderful tea shop and café selling high quality fresh leaf teas from China, Japan and beyond.

Spice World

Shop 10, Bank Arcade, Hobart

A haven for spice-junkies. You name it they have got it. There is also a good turnover of spices so you can be assured that they are as fresh as possible.

Yorktown Organics

120 Bowens Rd, Yorktown

Brilliant organic produce, including field tomatoes, salad greens, herbs and tiny, tiny leaves of beetroot.

Jackman and McRoss

59 Hampden Road, Battery Point

Great sourdough bread, including the sixteen hour loaf. They also have an outlet in Victoria St in Hobart and in New Town.

Vermey’s Quality Meats

180 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay

This small shop always seems to have exactly what everyone wants. Whether you are after a boned neck of lamb, an organic chicken, a fresh rabbit or some fresh tripe you will be able to find it here.


35 Canning Street, Launceston

A fabulous  range of deli lines, gluten-free and organic produce and some good coffee available here. A great line of European and Tasmanian wines. 

Gourlay’s Sweet Shop

12 The Quadrant, Launceston

Australia’s oldest lolly shop offering a nostalgic range of lollies. 

Norman and Dann

6/33 Salamanca Place, Hobart

A magnet for chocoholics, but they also have a range of kitchen knick knacks and high quality kitchen ware and cook books.

Jam Packed

27 Hunter Street, Hobart

A wide range of Tasmanian jams, jellies, condiments and other food products.

Barilla Bay

1388 Tasman Hwy Cambridge

A great place to buy the freshest possible oysters from their own Pittwater leases. Popular restaurant with expansive water views and a retail area with an extensive range of Tasmanien food.

House of Anvers

9025 Bass Highway, Latrobe

Both a café and a shop BUT indulge yourself in a rich chocolate truffle for breakfast or a mug of hot chocolate and chilli. Visit the chocolate museum.

Davies Grand Central Station

86-96 Wellington Street, Launceston

If everything else is closed in Launceston this is the place you go. A fine selection  of foods available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only petrol station combined with a deli and groceries, wines and newspapers that we know of, worldwide!


39 Barrack St, Hobart

An essential place for organic dried fruits, nuts, pulses, flour and other kitchen basics. 

Cocoa Bean

82 George St, Launceston

Refined chocolates made with skill and attention to detail. Only the best produce is used.

Hillwood Strawberry Farm

Hillwood Road, Hillwood

Superb fresh berries. Pick-your-own strawberries, red and black currants and raspberries in season.  Try the raspberry fruit vinegar.

Honey Farm

39 Sorell Street, Chudleigh

A brightly-coloured educational and retail centre explaining the production of honey.

Pyengana Dairy Company. 

St Columbia Falls Road, Pyengana

There is a large cafe, The Holy Cow, serving real milk, real butter, lunches, teas and coffee and lovely ice cream but it is still the retail outlet for the legendary Pyengana Cheddar. Buy one ( or two).

Ashgrove Farm

6173 Bass Highway, Elizabeth Town

The retail outlet for the Ashgrove cheese range. Here you can try all their products of Cheshires, Double Gloucesters, Lancashires and the fabulous Cheddar. There is facilities for viewing the production and maturing rooms.

Kate’s Berry Farm

Addison Street (3 km south of Swansea)

Travelling down to the Freycinet area you should take a detour to Kate’s. Fresh berries and lovely ice cream served by the irrepressible owner.

The Tasmanian Wool Centre

Church Street, Ross, TAS 7209

Ross is a beautifully preserved Georgian village with many fine stone buildings and lots of history to explore. It is also the home of the

Tasmanian Wool Centre which was established in the 1980s to showcase the super fine wool produced in the Midlands of Tasmania. Apart from the retail area which offers some great products there is also a wool exhibition and a history museum. A visit here is a must when coming to Ross. 

Ross is a beautifully preserved Georgian village with many fine stone buildings and lots of history to explore. It is also the home of the

Tasmanian Wool Centre which was established in the 1980s to showcase the super fine wool produced in the Midlands of Tasmania. Apart from the retail area which offers some great products there is also a wool exhibition and a history museum. A visit here is a must when coming to Ross.

Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company

174 Leighlands Road, Evandale

Sauces, jams and other products made from the best Tasmanian produce in idyllic gardens. Our favourite is the Horseradish & Mustard!

Mures Fish Centre

Victoria Dock, Hobart

The fish is always top-class in the fishmongers section of this giant complex. This is THE place to buy blue-eye cod. The mussels are always good too!

Chung Gon

66 Brisbane St, Launceston

This small greengrocer is very popular with the locals and why not, the staff is very friendly and service-minded, the products are fresh and varied and displayed in a caring way.

Petuna Seafoods (Devonport)

134 Tarleton Street, Devonport

A great range of fresh seafood is usually available here. It is also a place to go for fine ocean trout.

Salamanca Fruit Market

41 Salamanca Place, Hobart

A huge fresh fruit and vegetable shop that is open all day every day.

Salamanca Market

Salamanca Place, Hobart

While not primarily a food market, there are some treasures to be found amongst the chicko roll vans. You will find  organic breads from the Summer Kitchen including the Huon Valley sourdough, stunning products from Gennaro’s Table, Ashbolt Olive Oil, organic fruit and vegetables (look for Steenholt’s and The Organic Shop stall outside the Salamanca Fruit Market [also in North Hobart] and the foodie’s favourite outside the Irish pub) as well as the few remaining stalls of the Hmong people.

Sorell Fruit Farm

174 Pawleena Road, Sorell

Pick your own seasonal berries from the adjacent orchard. Try their fruit wines or try some of their light cafe food.

The Salmon Shop ( TASSAL)

Salamanca Square, Hobart

A great range of salmon products and food accessories. We go here every time we’re in Hobart and try to make it on Salamanca market day at 1100 to attend the cooking demonstrations and taste their fabulous salmon. There is also an extensive line of smoked, frozen salmon as well as the gravlax version. Bring your Eski and fill it up. One of the best attractions at Salamanca.

Stephens Honey

Main Road, Mole Creek

This is the home of the iconic Leatherwood Honey from ancient rainforests  that have become famous throughout the world.

CWA Shop

165 Elizabeth St, Hobart

Country cooking at its best. The jams, biscuits, cakes and slices are always excellent.

Sir Loin Breier of Bicheno

57 Burgess St, Bicheno

A friendly place dispensing good meats to locals and tourists. They offer 32 different sausages, hams and bacon as well as ready-to-go dishes. Great for a beach BBQ.

Delish Fine Foods, Burnie

Shop 3, 37-39 Main Road

Delish Fine Foods is a very good delicatessen and café on the outskirts of Burnie in Tasmania. The range of Tasmanian and interstate products is impressive. It is the perfect place for stocking your larder in this part of the state.

Day 55 – Rosevears Tavern for lunch. Built in 1831, has excellent views across the Tamar Valley. They have  both meals and drinks and it is easy, when it is not crowded, to get a window seat where you can watch the boats and the birdlife. In the same area you should include Brady’s Lookout. A few kilometers west of Rosevears (it is clearly signposted north of the Rosevears Waterfront Tavern) on the West Tamar Highway . This rocky outcrop, once used by the bushranger Matthew Brady to spy on possible victims on the road below, is now a panoramic lookout across the Tamar Valley complete with picnic and toilet facilities. Also, either separately as it is close to Launceston a visit to the Waterbird Haven Trust.
Located about 5 km south of Rosevears (on the edge of suburban Launceston) this is the best, and most well organised, way to experience the rich bird life which inhabits the mudflats and banks of the Tamar River. It gives you a good 4 km walk round trip and bird watcher can simply wander along the banks and, wherever there are reeds, there is a ready supply of birdlife.

Day 56 –  Public library, shoe repair, computer store for photos etc.

Day 57 – We are getting close to our sejour in Tasmania so we have saved some goodies for the final week. This morning we set off early from Launceston travelling the A1 down south via Oatlands, then to the left and the old village of Richmond where we had a brief stop before we continued on to Port Arthur where we had lunch at the Visitor Centre. Did not bother with the historic site this time as we were going on the Tasmanian Wilderness Cruise. Checked in at 1315 and were picked up by bus which took us to the starting point at Eaglehawk Neck where we departed at 1400.

It was a beautiful day but……you need protecting clothing and this was supplied by the operators of the Yellow Boats. We past some outstanding scenery along the coast of the Tasman, cathedral like caves, water you don’t see anywhere else, dark blue, green, white and in between then seals, fur seals, albatross and on our return we were in the midst of about 100 dolphins that swam along the boat at 40km/hour. Absolutely splendid. Back at 1700 and we drove straight to Hobart which takes about an hour or so.

Day 58 – Salamanca Market Day. Not to be missed. Always on a Saturday and this Saturday was the biggest ever. Also went to the Tassal shop for their cooking demonstration at 1100. Don’t miss this. You’ll get to taste salmon recipes that will have you asking for more !

Dinner at Little India in the evening, excellent food.

Day 59 – Another glorious day. Started from Launceston around 0800 driving south to Kettering and on to Woodridge where we had lunch ( like 20 years ago) It still looked the same. Then back to Kettering and waiting for the bus that would take us across the ferry to Bruny Island ( about 20 minutes crossing). Well there we drove south across North Bruny, across a small passage to South Bruny and eventually to our destination at Adventure Bay and our boats, Burny island Cruises . After having some fresh blue berry muffins and ordering our lunch for our return at 1400 we set off at 1100 and again to experience spectacular scenery all the way but today there were no dolphins but 100s of seals instead and, if one should make a comparison, I think the Tasman Cruise is more spectacular in its starkness.

Day 60 – Early off from Launceston driving via New Norfolk, Hamilton, then inland to Bothwell with Australia’s oldest golf course then on to Ross for a pit stop and eventually back in Launceston at 1400, some shopping and packing. Again, excellent roads for touring.

Day 61 – Time to say good-bye! It’s been a lovely time with lots of experiences. For touring around nothing beats Tasmania. Highlights?  Gordon River cruise on the World Heritage Cruise is a must. The Bruny Island and the Tasman Island Cruises are extremely good. If you have time you should do both of them.  Salamanca Market in Hobart on a Saturday morning is a good tourist attraction with lots of food stalls and quality products. The Tassal Salmon shop at Salamance with cooking demonstrations at 1100 on Saturdays. The Evandale Market , 20minutes from Launceston on Sunday mornings. Mole Creek Caves, an underground wonderland. The Cable Station, accommodation just outside of Stanley. Most unusual surroundings with cows as your neighbours. Friendly Beaches at Freycinet. I must stop, all attractions in Tasmania are really highlights !

 We would like to thank the Australian Travel Services for their assistance when organising the trip. Also pay a visit to the website of the 16 sheep, http://www.bahbah4u.toctopus.comwhere you can purhase a great momento from you trip



Filed under Cruises, Gourmet, Restaurants, Tasmania

Visit Tasmania !

Welcome to our blog highlighting Tasmania! This is where you go when you want something different. The Great Southern Ocean, sea- and wildlife, majestic scenery, beautiful valleys, great wines and food and roads you enjoy driving on!

1 Comment

Filed under Restaurants, Tasmania