Tips from a travelling Tasmanian »

A few of Kerry's favourites from around the island state

By Kerry Scambler
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Darlington Vineyard, Orford, Tasmania

Darlington Vineyard, Orford, Tasmania

View from Saltshaker Cafe, Swansea
Spiky Bridge
Cellar Door, Spring Vale Vineyards, Tasmania's East Coast


It's hardly a secret that I love my home state of Tasmania - quite the opposite. There may well be friends, colleagues or complete strangers who have suffered through my enthusiastic regaling of the many beauties and joys the landscape and people on this island provide in abundance. 

They can't really argue though, no matter which direction you take there is splendour and so much to discover, and not only about what's around you but perhaps what's inside you too.

I'm forever grateful for every opportunity to travel around, whether for a day or longer and in Tasmania, that's so easy to do!

Here's some recent discoveries:


North West Coast

Thirty Three Cups is a small cafe in central Ulverstone who serve up fine coffee and delicious eggs Benedict. There's a steady flow of locals and tourists enjoying the food and friendly service. Check out the large mural of the 1950s painting by Vladmir Tretchikoff, colloquially known as 'The Green Lady', watching over the laneway seats.

Just down the road in the Civic Centre is the Gawler Gallery which is home to Leven Regional ArtsOn the day I visited there were three ladies, each seemingly engrossed in their own art worlds of quilting, felting and painting yet they gladly stopped and chatted about the other art on display, upcoming exhibitions and their vibrant arts community. The displays were a mix of professional and hobby artists and the atmosphere was certainly sparking creativity!

 East Coast

Showing off to our NSW visitors on a sensational still, sunny winter's day, we had four first rate cellar door experiences all in a row along with some great cafe food and service.

The drive from Hobart sees you literally pop out of the bush at Orford and with the sun sparkling on the water and just a hint of sea mist across to Maria Island, it seemed only right to raise a glass to the weather gods. Luckily Darlington Vineyard was on the spot and the ever friendly and informative Paul was at the ready with a wine tasting. Partner's prediction was fulfilled with a bottle of each wine bundled into the car and then it was a beeline for Swansea.

The drive really was spectacular with the waves slowly rolling in to white beaches and leaving their sparkling blue depths behind. 

A quick stop at the historic, convict-built Spiky Bridge had us musing over why it had been built in such an odd fashion but as there were no definitive answers on the sign, we took our photos and kept going.

Swansea is a lovely town with many historic buildings along the main street. A relative newcomer to the town, the cafe Saltshaker, provided us with a superb view across Great Oyster Bay, great coffee and rather tasty cakes, all enjoyed from the outside deck. Oh and did I mention the sun and the blue, calm waters?

Just down the road is Milton and as we drove in, I jokingly wondered if the lady at the cellar door would say "hello, you're back". Unlikely I thought since it was over a year since the last visit. But... she did and how impressed were our interstate friends? Just a bit! Favourites here were the Laura Sparkling and Gewüztraminer. 

Just moments away is the historic Spring Vale estate with its cellar door housed in the old stables. The lively Nic was on hand to guide us through the tasting and regale us with her tales from working in the vineyard. With recent temperatures on the cool side, she was happy to be inside! We were also very happy having found some new Spring Vale tastes.

After the obligatory stop to take in the stunning view across Moulting Lagoon to the Hazards, Freycinet Vineyard was the last stop of the day. A surprise awaited for us in the form of the Louis Riesling Schönburger. Something a little different and naturally procured for further taste testing in the home environment. So as the last rays of sunlight went over the hill, we gathered up our last wine buys and headed for Bicheno.

Breakfast next day was an outdoors affair at Pasini's, in the centre of Bicheno with fresh juices all round followed by eggs with ham and hollandaise (oh, all right, yes it was Eggs Benedict again!), the Bicheno Bean and thick, smoky bacon from Sir Loin Brier, the local butcher. The coffees were hot and finished off the morning's repast to perfection.

While the Other Halves explored the jetty at The Gulch, the girls took in some art at Waub's Bay Gallery. (When I say "took in" I can follow that up with "took home"!) The quality and range of artwork on display was excellent from leatherwork to landscapes and wildlife, remarkable jewellery and much more. Definitely on the repeat list.



Other travel tales by this Tassieholic include:

Of a boat, a beer and a balcony »

Bruny Island delights »

Flying away to Flinders and discovering island life »

Teeing off to wine, cheese and history in Tassie's north east »

Tips for enjoying Tasmania's northern capital - Launceston »

Tasmanian travelling tips - Bridestowe Lavender Estate »

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July 07th, 2015
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