7 foodie experiences to have in Tasmania

From fine wine to its home-grown artisanal produce, Tasmania is rightly proud of its food scene. Here’s how you can discover it…

Team Wanderlust
01 December 2023

Calling all gastronomes: discover Tasmania’s underrated culinary scene before word gets out. Incredible foodie experiences pepper the island. Across four distinct seasons, artisan producers and chefs embrace its paddock-to-plate culture and abundant seafood. Share their enthusiasm at lively farmers’ markets interspersed with visits to city distilleries and rural wineries. Bon appétit!

1. Go on a seafood cruise to Bruny Island

Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Ellenor Argyropoulos

Depart Hobart’s Constitution Dock bound for Bruny Island on a seafood cruise. Leave the fishing boats of the harbour behind as you navigate the estuary of the Derwent River and enter the sheltered D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Sea caves, rocky islets and pristine beaches dominate the coastal topography; behind them is a verdant backdrop of pasture land and rainforest. Wildlife’s abundant; during the voyage, look out for seals, dolphins and migratory whales, plus seabirds such as albatrosses, sea eagles, cormorants and gannets. This corner of Tasmania is especially highly regarded for its seafood. Try your hand at fishing as your guide dives for abalone and sea urchin. Catch crayfish to accompany rock lobster, mussels and freshly-shucked oysters for what’s sure to be one of the most memorable meals of your holiday.

2. Wander the artisan markets of Hobart

Credit: Tourism Australia

Weekends are the time to experience Hobart’s artisan markets. On Saturdays, Salamanca Market is a must; 300 stalls extend from the silos to Davey Street. Stay central on Sundays at Bathurst Street’s Farm Gate Market. Find locally-grown flowers, fruit and vegetables alongside a wide range of brunch options. Alternatively, turn a market trip into a fun Friday night out at the Hobart Twilight Market on Brooke Street Pier. It promises a mix of live music, food vans and artisan makers selling their wares, set against a glittering backdrop of city lights. If you fancy getting out of the city, set your sights on Willie Smiths Apple Shed, a half hour drive from downtown. This popular cider maker hosts a great artisan market on Saturday mornings.

3. Tap into its viniculture

Credit: Tourism Australia

The first vines were planted in Tasmania – on Bruny Island – way back in 1788. More than two centuries on, the island’s cool climate and unique terroir combine to make this the ideal spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition, some of Australia’s finest sparkling wines are produced here. You won’t need to travel far into the Tasmanian countryside before you spot your first winery. Call in at the cellar doors of its boutique wineries for tastings or boozy lunches. Along the Great Eastern Drive, for instance, the black timber-clad tower and lookout of Devil’s Corner makes it easy to spot. Climb the steps to take in the extraordinary views over the Freycinet Peninsula before leisurely working your way through a tasting flight.

4. Savour the local produce

Credit: Shutterstock

Food is reason enough to cross the Bass Strait. Spaniels sniff out truffles, picking up their seductive scent in the cool earth to supply delicatessens and high-end restaurants. Tasmania’s leatherwood honey is one of the rarest on the planet. Unique to the island and highly prized by connoisseurs, its rounded flavour shouts about the rainforest from which it comes. Tasmania is the only place in Australia that it’s legal to harvest wallaby, though you might not be able to bring yourself to eat it. Instead, opt for locally-caught salmon, shucked oysters or a bowl of Hobart’s favourite seafood chowder. Another must-try is scallop pie (pictured): buttery pastry encases scallops in a creamy curry sauce. Taste one at Jackman and McRoss in Hobart or Bicheno’s Blue Edge Bakery.

5. Hop between Hobart’s whisky distilleries

Credit: Jasper Da Seymour

Hobart boasts a slew of whisky distilleries that welcome visitors. Begin with the acclaimed Sullivan’s Cove distillery, whose talent put Tasmanian whisky on the map. They’ll proudly tell you their award-winning French Oak is the only Australian cask whisky to have won the coveted “World’s Best” prize. Over at Belgrove, nothing is wasted in the quest to make rye whisky. The distillery grows its own rye corn and malts on site. Used cooking oil fuels the handmade still and spent mash feeds the farm’s sheep. Meanwhile, female-owned Killara is a boutique distillery run by a second-generation distiller who knows a thing or two about single malts. Finally, learn about the art and science of whisky-making with LARK, which offers distillery tours and tastings at Pontville, in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

6. Embark on a cheese crawl

Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Tasmania’s temperate climate, fertile soil and lush pastures make this the ideal destination if you love cheese. Tour an assortment of farms, dairies and specialist stores as you embark on a cheese crawl. A stone’s throw from Hobart, salivate over the innovative cheddars from Wicked Cheese and the nutty flavour of Coal River Farm’s creamy, ashed brie. Further south at Birchs Bay, book a Tasting Teaser at Grandvewe where you can sample their delicious range of sheep’s milk cheeses, such as The Drunken Admiral and Sapphire Blue. They partner with Hartshorn Distillery which uses their leftover sheep whey to make spirits. Alternatively, hop on a ferry to reach Bruny Island Cheese Company, award-winning traditional cheesemakers; the key to their success is using milk from their own herd of rare-breed cows.

7. Take on a tasting trail

Credit: Tourism Australia

Foodies keen to tour the north west of the island will be excited to learn about Tasting Trail Tasmania. A plethora of independent and often ground-breaking businesses have signed up to the scheme. They represent confectioners and cheesemongers, brewers and bakers, coffee roasters and cider producers, oyster fishermen and olive growers – in fact, pretty much every aspect of culinary provision is involved. Tasting Trail’s handy online tool centres on an interactive map which you can use to help plan a self-drive itinerary or identify a suitable guided tour. Check listings to see if your visit coincides with a Trail Graze event, when in addition to the producers and growers that usually participate, you’ll also be able to join in with workshops and tastings.

About the experts

Audley’s attention to detail helps ensure that you don’t miss a thing when planning your foodie trip to Tasmania. Our team carefully cultivates relationships with local growers, makers and producers to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. This enables us to offer tailor-made itineraries and tours that help you get right to the heart of Tasmania’s food scene. Book with Audley for an unforgettable culinary adventure on this fascinating and fertile island.

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