A Quiet Pursuit Of Finding The Extraordinary

By Natasha Bazika

Tasmania is a place for adventure—however, you define it. Assess yourself on mountain bike tracks, cast for wild brown trout in glacial tarns, connect to wild places, find freedom on road trips, and taste produce straight from the ocean. The journey to Australia’s island state provides a rare chance to reconnect with the things that matter.

Tasmania has the world’s cleanest air thanks to its isolation from landmasses and acres of Wilderness World Heritage Area. Even its cities benefit from the rugged landscape, which pressed them into shape to offer mountain backdrops and river gorges. In Hobart, the flow of the River Derwent and wilderness lingering by is just the start. The city’s food and drink scene are dynamic and world-class.

A helicopter tour with Tasmanian Air Tours bypasses hours of traffic on the ground and is the best way to visit wineries and farms. A short flight south of Hobart lands at Grandvewe Farm and Cheesery, where farmhouse cheeses and sheep’s whey vodka are made. The next stop is Mewstone, a small family-owned winery with one of Australia’s best new cellar doors. The last stop is lunch and a tasting at Frogmore Creek, a historical and first-class restaurant and cellar door. 

Hobart is Australia’s second-oldest city, evidenced by the sandstone buildings at Salamanca—a 200-year-old warehouse. Walking around the city, you will notice Tuscan-style structures, Doric and Ionic, and Art Deco buildings. The Tasman, Hobart’s newest hotel, is encased in a 1940s Art Deco building filled with history. A stay at The Tasman puts you in a central location and access to the hottest new restaurant in Hobart, Peppina. Drawing inspiration from the Italian way of celebrating food and family, the restaurant serves generous portions of fresh-made pasta and local seafood. Next door, enjoy a nightcap at Mary Mary—an intimate, speakeasy cocktail bar set within the deep old sandstone walls of the hotel. The name pays homage to its former identity as St Mary’s Hospital in the late 1800s. 

Tasting the produce directly from the source is a daily occurrence in Tasmania. Mic Giuliani of Sirocco South has been a long-term fixture at Hobart’s Farm Gate Market and known by some as a caped crusader of Tasmanian Food. Join a tour to learn how to identify native greens, wild asparagus, safe mushrooms, saltbush, and more. Then, over a glass of sparkling Frederick Henry Bay, Mic mixes your foraged ingredients with local meat and seafood to create a six-course long-table lunch in the middle of a Tasmanian forest.  

If there is one thing you do in Hobart, make it a visit to MONA, Australia’s largest private museum, located only a short ferry ride away or a 15-minute drive. Take your time and wander through three levels of underground art space built into a sandstone cliff face. Owner David Walsh likens the museum to a subversive adult Disneyland, and he’s not wrong. You will find ancient artifacts, weird and quirky contemporary art, and mesmerizing installations from James Turrell—an artist known for obliterating our sense of space and light. The Source restaurant makes the most of fresh local produce, and Moorilla Estate’s award-winning wines grow on land surrounding the restaurant and wine tasting room.  

For a taste of true Tasmanian delight, venture to the small town of New Norfolk to enjoy seasonal produce from The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery. All ingredients are sourced from their farm in Lachlan and local anglers. The menu boasts a light, seasonal tune with fresh-made kefir butter, wood-fired sourdough bread, ice cream, cheese, charcuterie, and pasta.  

Launceston mixes city with country charm. It’s the second biggest city in Tasmania and was recently designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy—putting it in good company with Alba, Italy, and forty-eight other cities. An exceptional restaurant or humble coffee shop lurks right around the corner. Stillwater is a legend in town. Housed in an old mill, this subtle and straightforward restaurant serves big flavors, and fine dining-style plated dishes—surrounded by brick walls and exposed wood beams. Every Saturday morning, the streets are empty, except for Cimitiere St. Carpark, where the infamous Harvest Launceston Market is held. It’s a wonderful place to meet the farmers, connect with locals, and buy some of Tasmania’s freshest seasonal produce and meats. Next, drive 10 minutes outside the CBD to Josef Chromy Wines, an award-winning establishment with picturesque rolling green hills, a still lake, and acres of grapevines, producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer.

Launceston is the gateway to extraordinary landscapes and experiences. Explore rows of lavender and the rugged wilderness of the Cataract Gorge nearby. Hike mossy rainforests, breathe in the glacial lakes, and wade through the spongy alpine grasslands.

Tasmania is a wild place. Whether in the middle of the city tasting local produce or the wilderness, foraging and hiking the land, Australia’s southern state is big on the extraordinary. Whatever your adventure, Tasmania is the place to pursue it. For more information on Tasmania,
visit discovertasmania.com.au 

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