Ahhh, summer. There’s something about the longer days with sunlight stretching into the early evenings and a tinge of warmth in the air that just makes you want to get out and explore. It’s the time to pack away your puffer, throw open the windows, restock your SPF 50+ and then, make plans!
A visit to Tasmania’s north west in the summertime will gift you with stunning scenery at every turn ranging from rugged coastlines, rolling hills, rainforests and lush farmland all framed by impossibly green grass and rich red soil. Dotted amongst these (very) Insta-worthy natural wonders are our amazing producers showcasing an array of the region’s most mouth-watering delights. Whether you’re craving Belgian waffles for breakfast, a nip or two of the finest single malt whiskey or perhaps a homemade pepper berry cheese, there’s something for every palette.
To make your planning that little bit easier, we’ve wrapped up our top recommendations of food and drink experiences to add to your summer bucket list. So sit back and let us take you and your taste buds on a Tasting Trail adventure around our little pocket of Tassie. Let’s go!
1. Cheers to the summer at our incredible vineyards
Is it just us, or does a crisp cool climate wine taste just that little bit more exquisite as you sip away while perched on a picnic rug breathing in the fresh Tassie air? Add a cheese board filled with local artisan produce including delicious local cheeses, hot smoked salmon, cured meats and pickled onions, if they take your fancy – and the scene is set for a perfect afternoon. Thanks to the diversity of our region, you can choose to enjoy your tipple and accompaniments with a variety of backdrops including glimpses of the glistening Bass Strait, a Tuscan inspired villa, a rustic 120-year-old barn or amongst the rolling hills of the Tasmanian countryside. Get your taste and sip on at the following Tasting Trail vineyards:
Ghost Rock Wines
La Villa Wines
3 Willows Vineyard
2. Treat yourself
Don’t worry about picking up any sweets or snacks at the service station when you fill up before your trip, because when you’re in the north west your roadtrip snacks are anything but mainstream. Whether you choose to stop in for a quick tasting or ice cream on your way past, or settle in to explore the menu – consider your cravings sorted. If you can’t go past something sweet, you’ll be treated to delights like raspberries plucked straight from the farm, handmade chocolates or the freshest ice cream you’ll ever try (really, sometimes the milk goes from the dairy to your ice cream cone in less than 24 hours). If savoury is more your thing, never fear. Cows love the lush pastures and fresh air of our region, so quite simply, you’ve landed in cheese heaven! Here are our top picks for something sweet, savoury or a little bit of both:
3. A hop, skip and a jump from the paddock (or the sea) to your plate
All along the trail, you’ll find that agritourism is very much alive and well. After all, where else can you wave at the cow who produced the quality milk used to make your delicious cheese? There’s even every possibility (and a good one at that) that you’ll meet just the person who has meticulously grown and produced the very morsels on your plate. If you’re visiting mid-week, be sure to call into Mount Gnomon and assemble your own platter from their range of homemade, free-range charcuterie to enjoy in the garden. Go behind the scenes for an authentic taste of farming life at Guide Falls Farm and get a true sense of the term ‘paddock to plate’.
The same can be said for seafood. Just take the creamy oysters at Tarkine Fresh for example. With sweet, white flesh they’re plucked from Duck Bay in Smithton before being transported directly to the cafe. Or take Hursey Seafoods in Stanley, where the menu is made up of prized Stripey Trumpeter and Southern Rock Lobster (plus much more!) which has been caught by their own fleet of vessels.
4. Tipple time
If you are partial to a tipple or two, then take note: Tasmanian whiskey is the stuff of legend. Recent years have seen this industry boom across our island state, and for very good reason. The same goes for all manner and variety of gins, often featuring botanicals sourced locally from around the region. Each distillery has its own unique flair, inspired by the natural surroundings and made using our pure Tasmanian water as a base
Southern Wild Distillery
Western Tiers Distillery
Redbrick Road Cider works and Distillery
Hellyers Road Distillery
5. Hop to it
It wouldn’t be a summer road trip without some hoppy goodness dancing across your palette now would it? Craft beer aficionados can rejoice because you’re more than spoilt for options when it comes to beer – and cider for that matter. Your outlook whilst you sip your beverage of choice will range from green hop gardens to beautiful beaches but the constant theme will be a relaxed atmosphere, premium booze and friendly hosts. Here is where you’ll find the good stuff along the trail:
Seven Sheds Brewery
Penguin Beer Co.
Wandering Trout Taphouse
6. Phew, coffee please!
Along the way, it’s likely you’ll need a pep up that only the best liquid gold can provide. We do things a little bit differently in the north west and you can choose to take your latte or long black either in an old converted workers cottage at Infuse Coffee (they also roast their own) or a quaint converted chapel aptly named The Chapel, both in Burnie.
Consider your bucket list complete!
Here’s a tip: even if you happen to lose your way, you’re more than likely to stumble upon a local gem – whether that be a sparkling view, a tasty tipple or a sugary treat. So not only will you be winding along the Tasting Trail, you’ll be wine-ing, whiskey-ing and snacking your way round the north west. Is there any better way? We think not. However if you prefer to have a clearer idea of how you’ll be spending your time journeying north west, our interactive map will be your new best friend.
Be sure to share your bucket list adventures with us: @tastingtrailcradletocoast or #tastingtrailtas