So much new, where to start? Tassie has got it happening with no sign of slowing. We’ve handpicked plenty of newbies to catch you up to speed, but no doubt another is on its way as we write.
EAT + DRINK
The foodie scene just keeps getting better and better. In old Hobart Town there’s plenty of new eats and drinks to check out. Let’s start with the neon lights – follow the glow to Crumb Street Diner in Newtown (formerly of Harrington Street where locals lined up out the door) and step inside Rude Boy at Midtown to be swept away to the Caribbean. A rum bar with perhaps the coolest bathrooms in town. Not far away is Ettie's. If you like the sound of an underground piano bar of cosy dimensions, head down the near 200-year-old carriageway at 100 Elizabeth Street nearby.
Down on the waterfront you’ll find fine steak at Landscape Restaurant, and a few doors along the much-loved Peacock & Jones. As of June, pop into Australia’s first storytelling hotel, MACq 01. The Story Bar with its communal round fire is something else. Also nearby is the highly regarded Aloft Restaurant, top shelf dining at the Brooke St. Pier. We recommend perching at the bar to watch the kitchen theatrics unfold.
Fico and Dier Makr are new to the city and Miss Jane offers delightful service in South Hobart. Moving into NoHo (North Hobart), the Veg Bar and Born in Brunswick are new kids on the block. For a higher altitude find, head for The Springs halfway up Mount Wellington. Here, you’ll find Lost Freight, the clever peeps behind the Bentwood Coffee Van. Take your coffee out to Sphinx Rock, a relatively flat walk delivering great views.
In June, the wonders behind the Agrarian Kitchen in Lachlan are due to open The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Store in Willow Court, a former mental asylum. Interestingly, the entire site pre-dates Port Arthur. Naturally, expect delicious regional fare at this new eatery in New Norfolk. Check out Fly Wheel and The Drill Hall Emporium while you’re in town too.
Out of Hobart, the clever folk behind St. Johns Craft Beer have added a splash of style to Devonport with the delivery of Empress Craft Beer. Also new this year is Southern Wild Distillery. Let Head Distiller George Burgess take you on a gin journey from Cradle Mountain to Bass Strait. The transforming city will have Providore Place fully operating come the end of 2017.
In Launceston, don’t try to find all the latest bars and foodie hot spots on your own. Brock from Taste.Walk.Talk. is there to guide you like your very own hired Launceston bestie, taking you directly to the best town has to offer. In Hobart, Gourmania’s Mary McNeill continues to provide all the insider tips on her walking tours – whether it’s a Saturday morning stroll including Salamanca Market or a midweek experience complete with charcuterie, fine cheese and Lark single malt.
Keep a few dates in mind too – Gourmet Famer’s Matthew Evans has his Winter on the Farm experience on July 12 at Fat Pig Farm. He’ll have the wood oven firing and the full day experience includes gathering produce, meeting the pigs and feasting at the farm’s long table. And not far from there is the Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse - serving up amazing croissants straight from the wood fire! Also, the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival kicks off at Willie Smith’s July 14-16. Sing to the apple trees (to ward of nasties and ensure a bumper crop) and taste their latest beauty - Charles Oates Apple Blanco.
Plus, coming up is Stillwater Restaurant’s Pinot Noir and Truffle Weekend in Launceston. If ever there was a perfect winter match – Pinot and Tasmanian truffles must be it. If there’s still room, book for July 22-24. We also heard a whisper about a new restaurant coming to Marion Bay….we’ll keep you posted!
Wild Pedder have just completed their first season in Tasmania’s south west. The four day guided walk includes a day kayaking on Lake Pedder, one of Australia’s deepest freshwater lakes. Guides and founders, Lou and Cody absolutely make the experience. They wear their shorts short and know the land like men three times their age.
If you heard about the Enduro World Series mountain bike race happening in Derby (first time ever hosted in Australia) and it got your own wheels turning, we have good news. The Blue Derby Pods Ride is a new three day pod-based experience. Positioned in the heart of Derby’s world class network of trails, by day career through the lush forest and by night be treated to Tasmanian fare and private eco pods nestled in Tasmanian Blackwoods.
We’d always heard that Abel Tasman’s crew had planted the Dutch Flag somewhere on Bangor’s land (Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed is a forever fave). Now, Tasmanian E-bike Adventures have launched half and full day electric bike tours on Bangor’s property, less than an hour from Hobart. Plus, they’ll take you right to where that flag was planted!
Heading east? We suggest hopping on the uber affordable Aqua Taxi from Freycinet Adventures (the kayaking outfit) and ask to be delivered to Schouten Island for a day of walking and exploring. Alternately, Cooks Beach is a drop off location of insane beauty and a predominantly flat track leads straight across to Wineglass Bay.
Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Australia’s latest 18-hole course has recently opened at Ratho Farm. Don’t just go and play a round though, settle into a renovated convict-built cottage and tuck into hearty shared meals at the original homestead.
Bruny Island Long Weekend are also offering a special winter escape, so check their site for more details. The three day blend of walking, feasting and glorious bush retreat is a must do.
We mentioned earlier the arrival of MACq 01 on June 1. With 114 rooms, each named after a Tasmanian character, the waterfront hotel is far more than a place to stay. Hear tales from a Master Storyteller, make your own gin with local botanicals or sink into a comfy lounge in your private penthouse.
If you like a roaring fire and snow outside, there’s a good chance for both at Thousand Lakes Lodge. Marcos Ambrose is one of five investors who transformed the former Antarctic expeditioner's training lodge into a modern-day alpine escape. The double wood-heater, designed by Marcos, took nine men to move into place. We can confirm, it gives off some serious heat.
For the glampers among us, there’s new options that have popped up across Tassie. The Bay of Fires Bush Retreat is proving to be a popular stay and includes a live-in chef, Truffle Lodge down south is located on a truffle farm, Wington's bell tents in the Tamar Valley are appointed with European wood fires and Glamp Sandridge is a stunner at North West’s Boat Harbour.
There’s plenty more happening across Tassie but here’s a start. Happy exploring!
Words: Alice Hansen
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