With unreal natural scenery, unique cultural experiences and one of Australia’s most coveted food and drink scenes, Tasmania makes for a tempting post-pandemic reprieve.
After flying under the radar for decades, our southmost state began gaining popularity in the years preceding Australia’s border closures, but now travel is getting back on its feet, Tasmania’s pristine landscapes and eco-luxury vibes are looking pretty appealing.
We recently tagged along on Cosmos’ Tassie Quick Bite tour to put in the (not so) hard yards and uncover how you can give your clients the Apple Isle getaway they’ve been craving.
But first, food
We don’t mean to sound crass, but things just taste better down south. Tasmania’s iconic clean waters, fertile soil and crisp air make for some stellar growing conditions, coupled with the state’s tendency to lean into the positive aspects of its deep historical roots and it’s no wonder Tasmania is fast growing its reputation as a world-renowned foodie haven.
You can catch a cross-section of the state’s best locally produced fare with a visit to Hobart’s Salamanca Market, held in the city’s historic Salamanca Place each Saturday, and sample fresh produce, handmade cheeses, preserves, sweets, locally made spirits and wines, cured meats, seafood and just about anything else you could want from a world-class outdoor market.
Combine foodie fantasies with the white sands of Adventure Bay on a trip to Bruny Island, just half an hour south of Tasmania’s capital city and munch on the famous black devil cherries while you watch the makers weave their magic at Bruny Island Cheese Co, the Bruny Island Chocolate Factory and the Honey Pot, washed down with a tasting at the Bruny Island House of Whisky.
Don’t forget to pick up some plump oysters from the drive-through at Get Shucked for the ferry ride back.
Get off the beaten track
There is something special about the picturesque hill scapes of rural Tasmania, and we can’t think of a better spot to get a taste for life on the farm.
Head to the Derwent Valley town of Hamilton and pay a visit to sixth-generation Tassie farmers Tim and Jane Parsons at Curringa Farm, where visitors can accompany Tim and his trusty sheepdog Billy for a day of sheep mustering, a shearing demonstration and a tour of the crops followed by a hearty barbeque lunch that’s just about as fresh as you can get.
Curringa Farm is also the longest-running farm stay experience in Australia, with nine deluxe cabins dotted throughout the property should you choose to extend your visit.
Bask in purple fields
Less than an hour’s drive from Launceston you’ll find one of Tasmania’s most photographed locations; Bridestowe Lavender Estate – the largest lavender farm in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest privately-owned lavender farm in the world.
From December to January, visitors are welcomed by a sea of purple set against the magnificent backdrop of Mount Arthur, where you can take a guided tour or wander the picture-perfect rows of purple at your leisure.
Bridestowe is an Instagrammer’s heaven, complete with delicious lavender ice cream, a cosy cafe and a gift shop stocked with just about anything you can make out of the iconic herb.
Trek along the Bay of Fires
Another popular spot for photos is the Bay of Fires conservation reserve, spanning from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point.
The name comes from the fires lit by Aboriginal people as seen by Captain Tobias Furneaux when he sailed past in 1773, but could just as easily refer to the rust coloured lichen growing on the boulders that line its coast.
Here, adventurous travellers can find secret beaches and inlets, stretches of white sand, wildlife, self-guided walking trails and clear waters perfect for snorkelling.
Choose a small group tour
For all its virtues, Tasmania has little to no public transport so it’s best to get around via car, or if you want to avoid ferry tolls and hire car costs, a coach tour is the way to go.
Seek out small group tours for the added advantage of travelling with an intimate gang of like-minded travellers while benefiting from the knowledge and hard work of a local tour guide.
Your clients can experience all of the above activities and more on Cosmos’ Tassie Quick Bite tour, a seven-day culinary centred jaunt from Hobart to Launceston.
Find out more HERE.
Featured image: The Neck, Bruny Island (iStock/Oya Adem)