Eating Our Way Around Tassie
Although the sun was out it was slightly cool due to the fresh Antarctic breeze as we wandered Salamanca market, a Hobart favourite for locals and visitors alike. This is the perfect place to start your Saturday, although the market is usually buzzing with shoppers it still feels calm, perhaps because you’re right by the water, or maybe it’s the cobble stones and historic buildings dating back to the early 1800’s reminding you of a time past. Grab a coffee from Stand By Me Espresso then stroll the market sampling all the fresh baked goods on offer.
From Hobart it’s an easy drive to MONA Gallery. We spent about 3 hours walking the various levels and enjoying all the thought-provoking artwork, from Erwin Wurm’s ‘Fat Car’ to Julius Popp’s ‘Bit Fall’. As we left the gallery the sun was shining on the beautiful lawn and Moorilla Wine Bar so it was an easy decision to replenish with champagne and oysters sitting on the outdoor wine barrels. You can also take your share plates and beverages over to the grass and make a picnic of it.
Next on our road trip was Freycinet Bay. We stayed at Freycinet Bay Lodge in a cabin surrounded by bushland. You could spend days enjoying the hikes around the National Park, for those shorter on time the walk up to the lookout was challenging enough to get your heart rate up but equally relaxing as you twist and turn around huge boulders and through the trees as you climb up, reaching the lookout with beautiful views over the park. Honeymoon Bay and Sleepy Bay are definitely worth the short drives from the Lodge. From Freycinet we drove to Devil’s Corner Winery in Apslawn. The winery is superbly situated atop the hills looking out over Moulting Lagoon and vines. Known for their whites and pinot noirs, enjoy a tasting at their cellar door, before getting a few glasses to go with your seafood from The Fishers, just a few metres away. We went with the mussels cooked in white wine and more oysters of course, then sat amongst the hay bales. This area is so wild, and you can really appreciate the love the locals have for the area, growing grapes in one of Australia’s wildest climates and venturing into that freezing water for the daily catch takes commitment. Don’t leave without a visit to the lookout.
Our last stop for the weekend was Cradle Mountain. After finishing our drive through the heavily forested area in the dark we were relieved to check in at the Cradle Mountain Hotel. Of course, by then we were ready for dinner and looking forward to trying the properties Altitude Restaurant, known for its hot rock cooking. Choose from meat, seafood or vegetables and receive your meal on a piece of 360–degree volcanic stone, where you cook it to your liking at your table right in front of you. The produce is of course all locally sourced and of the highest quality, it went down beautifully with a few glasses of Tassie wine. Such a lovely dining experience.
The next morning, we trekked the breathtaking Cradle Mountain lake walk, 3 hours of gorgeous views over the water and surrounding mountains contrasted with sections following the path through beautiful forest with bright green ferns glistening from the recent rain.
We finished our weekend away by visiting the nearby wildlife sanctuary to see the rehabilitation work being done to save Tassie devils – a real treat for my English friend who didn’t think they were real! You could easily spend weeks driving around this beautiful island with its incredible natural beauty, sampling all its gourmet produce and delicious wine, but if you can only spare a long weekend you won’t be disappointed!
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