Despite being Australia’s southernmost piece of land and quite isolated, Tasmania is an accessible destination.
Located 150 miles south of the mainland, Tasmania is Australia’s only island state and provides a unique environment and experience when visiting the country. Despite being Australia’s southernmost piece of land and quite isolated, Tasmania is an accessible destination. Flights from Melbourne to Hobart (the state’s capital and largest city) take about an hour and if bought early enough can be as little as $30 one-way.
Tasmania distinguishes itself from mainland Australia through the climate, environment, and lifestyle. Not only does it have a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons; it’s one of the few places in the country that doesn’t get unbearably hot for long periods of the year and is able to experience a proper fall season. With vast areas of large open spaces, Tasmania is unlike the barren nothingness of the Australian outback. It is filled with large fields of grazing sheep, mountain ranges, fern forests, and coastline filled with some of the nation’s most beautiful beaches. The chill climate is reflected in the Tasmanian lifestyle, with a heavy focus on sustainable farming, locally grown products, and homemade crafts, with plenty of friendly people. Given the great climate, focus on delicious food and drinks, and friendly nature of the locals, here is a guide to which can show you how to spend a great day in southern Tasmania.
Transportation & Wildlife:
Tasmania isn’t a place that thrives on public transportation. In order to have the best possible experience, renting or borrowing a car is a necessity. Once in your car, I recommend starting the day off by driving straight to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Located 30 minutes from the city, the sanctuary offers a premier opportunity to properly experience some of Tasmania’s most famous wildlife. The sanctuary has developed away from its days of simply being a zoo that shows off Australia’s notorious wildlife and now focuses on wildlife rescue, conservation, and rehabilitation. The sanctuary currently is home to baby wombats who were found stranded in the pouch of their deceased mother who was hit by a car, an echidna who lost a foot to a dog attack, and loads of Tasmania’s most famous creature – the Tasmanian devil.
Tassie devils are currently on the decline as an incurable face cancer has ravaged their population. The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a leading institution in preserving the population through captive breeding and rehabilitation. It even has a section that serves as a retirement community for elderly Tasmanian devils that can no longer survive alone in the wild. The sanctuary has several animals, including koalas (which can be pet) and kangaroos (which can be fed), making it the perfect way to start the day.
Feeding kangaroos definitely works up an appetite, so next, moving down the road, I recommend stopping at the Wicked Cheese Company to experience Tasmania’s amazing, locally grown food.
Driving 20 minutes towards the quaint village of Richmond, you will find wineries, antiques and some of the best cheeses outside of France. Handcrafted and uniquely using whiskey casts to age some of their cheese, you are spoiled for choice when purchasing picnic foods or selecting a sandwich to dine inside. Upon entering the shop, you will be greeted by friendly cheese makers and sellers and offered a complimentary cheese tasting. I recommend trying them all. The sandwiches are fantastic and come with a homemade peppercorn jelly that is unique to Tasmania. The Wicked Cheese Company is the perfect destination to either stop for lunch or a snack, while driving through Tasmania.
What better way to wash down the delicious taste of locally made cheese than trying on e of Tasmania’s many wineries?
Driving further down the road a few minutes, you will be drawn to Pooley Vineyards. It is located in a beautiful setting of many acres with a historic home that the family lives in on the property. This winery has the third generation working the land and making the wine. A tasting of several wines is only five dollars but they refund your tasting fee if you are interested in purchasing any of their wines. They even have sparkling wine for sale if you are craving something bubbly.
If wine and bubbles are not your thing, how about driving a little further down the road to the home of the world’s best single malt whiskey? Sullivans Cove has surpassed the Scottish whiskey makers this year by earning this title of distinction. A tasting of their premiere whiskey, along with five or six other choices is twenty-five dollars and takes about thirty minutes. There is some serious whiskey-making going on in Tasmania and the Wicked Cheese Company even uses the leftover casks to make whiskey cheddar that is not to be missed.
After a day of meeting incredible animals, eating locally made food, wine, and whiskey, what better way to end the day by driving back into state’s capital, Hobart, and either taking a walk through the historic downtown or checking out the Salamanca market center, which hosts a variety of local artisan shops. If you are lucky enough to be there on a Saturday then the Salamanca Saturday market is a must-go event. If your appetite is still yet to be quenched than the both the Salamanca shopping center and the surrounding residential area host a variety of local dining favorites.
Tasmania is famous for its unique wildlife, environment, and locally grown food. What better way to spend a day on the famous island than driving through the countryside, visiting its most famous wildlife sanctuary, and sampling some of its best food and drink.
Photos Renee Molineux