Got to Go Guide – Exploring Wine Country Tasmania
All you need for a gourmet island tour
By Kerry Scambler
Planning a trip to the island state? Or live in Tasmania and want to explore your own backyard? Then Got To Go Guide – Exploring Wine Country Tasmania will help you get the most out of your wine and food experiences.
Tasmania is full of wonderful wine and food, sights and sounds and sometimes it's hard to know where to start, even if you live there! There are a number of wonderful publications that showcase the wine and food:
Tasmania’s Table by Paul County and Nick Osborne: one of our favourites, this is a lavish, beautifully produced hardcover full of easily digestible information, recipes to match and mouth-watering photography.
Picnics in Paradise by Karen Goodwin-Roberts: another VisitVineyards.com favourite focusing on fresh produce and the best ingredients for a picnic – food, wine and location.
A Guide to Tasting Tasmania by Graeme Phillips: a listing of restaurants carefully selected by Graeme after his more than thirty years of experience in the state as a wine and food writer.
But if you’re in the planning stages of a trip or already on the road, then the Got to Go Guide brings together all the best wine and food experiences plus background information, sightseeing activities and more, all in a handy sized, easy to use book. There are even recommendations on where to lay your weary bones at the end of your full-flavoured gourmet days.
Got to Go Guide – Exploring Wine Country Tasmania is one of the best guides I've seen for my home state. Like us at VisitVineyards.com, author and publisher Trudie Michels wants to make it easy for you to get the most out of your wine and food experiences wherever you travel and this, the first in a series of Got to Go Guides, certainly does that.
The format is very reader-friendly and accompanied by Trudie's inspiring photography. After the sections on how to get the most from the Guide, an introduction to the states, background on its wine, beer, whiskey, cider and food industries, each regional chapter then includes these sections:
A regional overview
I particularly like the first page entitled ‘The essentials – what you need to know’. Basic things like how to get there, the best time to get there, handy things to know when you do get there (eg mobile phone coverage, national parks requirements etc) and a great section called ‘sense of place’ which gives you a feel for what to expect.
It then covers a history snapshop and background on each of the key towns in the region. A nice touch is to include pronunciation on many towns with uncommon names, after all it's easier to make friends with the locals when you call their home town by it's correct name!
A fast f ind guide
Topics vary in each region but generally include such things as where to find a cold beer, things for the kids, heritage walks, local providores, retail therapy and other activities of note and relevance to that area.
Each map shows you the region with the main roads marked and colour coded dots for wineries, food producers, things to do, places to eat, accomodation and food providores.
The suggested itineraries are a great way to start. Pick one and customise to suit your tastes, timeframe, the season and of course, the weather (which we have in abundance in this state!). Each itinerary gives you starting and travelling times along with distances and of course, where to sip, savour and sightsee along the way.
Information for winery cellar doors and food and drink producers and recommended places to eat
The listings include all the information you might need – map references, wine/food styles, specialities, payment methods accepted, closest towns, distance to main city and more.
As with all printed material and given the hospitality industry’s rate of change, there may be some restaurants listed who are no longer with us (alas for the sublime Angasi at Binalong Bay), cellar door and farmgate opening hours may change but the phone numbers are always included so it's easy to phone ahead.
Things to do and see
It would be impossible to include absolutely everything there is to do in each region but the activities and sights Trudie has included offer a range of interests and are the must see or do things a local is likely to recommend.
Places to stay
These are a mix of styles and prices from B&Bs to boutique accommodation and many in between with recommendations on where to stay to suit the feel of the region. For example, a beach house on the East Coast, a rural retreat in the North West and on Hobart's waterfront, close to the action.
More useful information
A list of contact numbers for visitor centres, medical centres, ATMs and more – all handy to have at the ready.
Calenda r of events
It’s always good to have an idea of what might be on when and where – many may plan their travel around the state’s two main food and wine festivals: Taste of Tasmania in Hobart and Festivale in Launceston. Others may plan to avoid the roads when Targa Tasmania hits the tarmac! It also includes the local markets – very important for those of us who love wandering for fresh and local produce, a surprise bargain and just taking in the atmosphere.
The layout is easy to follow, consistent through each region and the information is relevant, succinct and well written. It's also very interesting and even if you live in the state, I’d almost guarantee you’ll learn something new!
It's a common sight in cars plying the tourist routes, the back seat and floors all covered with brochures, a passenger desperately trying to get them into order for a reasonable day's itinerary. Well the good news is that the Got to Go Guide gives you more room for the wonderful cool climate wines and fresh produce you're going to collect on the way – you won't need the brochures, just The Guide!
In his foreword Ian Parmenter says Trudie has 'been thorough in exploring the island's treasures and presenting them in a colourful and highly readable way'. I couldn't agree more!
Got to Go Guide – Exploring Wine Country Tasmania by Trudie Michels is published by Road Trip Publishing, December 2010. RRP A$39.95
For more information and to purchase the Guide, go to www.gottogoguides.com.au »
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