Tasmania is fast becoming the place to be in Australia with their arty festivals, cool-climate wines, boutique hotels and world-class restaurants that serve up the finest local produce without the hefty price tag. It’s a place where you can be in an underground museum one day and sipping wine in the middle of the countryside the next, and with our guide to the top things to do in Tasmania you’ll be sure to discover why we’ve declared Australia’s southernmost state as the new ‘Capital of Cool’.
“You’ll leave this island state with hearts and bellies full” – Holly Chilman, Marketing at The Henry Jones Art Hotel
Luxury Escapes got the lowdown from Holly Chilman, marketing at The Henry Jones Art Hotel about all things Tassie food related. Chilman says that in Tasmania ‘You can meet the maker or meet the grower at the local farmer’s markets every weekend or at the roadside stalls, and the produce is delivered with passion, a smile and a story of provenance. And it is this fresh produce and unique ingredients in local eateries and restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries and distilleries and the sharing of these stories, that makes for a memorable experience. The produce is straight from the source – it really is paddock to plate and sea to plate.”
Hobart’s floating harbour: Floating atop Hobart’s fishing boat-dotted harbour you’ll find the city’s iconic floating fish and chip restaurants and takeaways. Open ’til late, the likes of Fishy Business, Flippers Cooked Seafood and Mako Seafood serve up crispy battered fish, hot chips, calamari with lemon and fresh oysters.
Hallam’s Waterfront Seafood Restaurant, Launceston: This multi-award winning local haunt serves freshly caught seafood alongside breathtaking views of Cataract Gorge and the Tamar River. Tuck into dishes like fresh oysters; chimmichurri tiger prawns with fresh ricotta and pickled jalapenos; and grilled blue eye trevalla with roasted carrots, radish and beetroot.
Edge of the Bay, Freycinet: The waterfront setting at this Coles Bay restaurant provides a romantic setting for a delectable seafood meal. Sourcing Tasmanian products wherever possible, expect natural and fresh flavours in dishes such as grilled squid served with housemade oyster mayonnaise; and the local fish of the day served with confit potatoes in a citrus beurre blanc.
Image courtesy of Void Bar at MONA
IXL Long Bar, Hobart: Located at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, the IXL Long Bar features row upon row of local and recognisable spirits, pots of every type of cocktail garnish imaginable and an old piano that no one could resist the temptation to play. This unique hotspot has earnt its reputation as one of the coolest bars in town with concoctions including a Barrel Aged Chocolate Manhattan and a Knob Creek Hot Toddy.
Alchemy, Launceston: Featuring an ever-evolving list of cocktails, you’re guaranteed to see a mix you’ve never seen before at this Launceston local. Enjoy a Shrub with St Remy brandy, limoncello and housemade raspberry shrub; or try a Violet Chilli with gin, violet liqueur, egg white and sparkling.
Void Bar at MONA, Hobart: Know as one of the most mysterious and intriguing museums in the world, you won’t be able to resist a cocktail from the underground Void Bar. Claiming that they have the best cocktails in the southern hemisphere, you can try drinks such as a Poltergeist Bramble with gin, housemade wild blackberry liqueur and lemon; or a Gold Digger with two types of gin, pink grapefruit and rose syrup.
“Visitors wishing to escape to seek reflection and rejuvenation will get more than they bargained for….” – Holly Chilman, The Henry Jones Art Hotel
Image courtesy of MACq 01 Hotel
Wrest Point: A landmark building of historic significance, Wrest Point is the not only the tallest building in Tasmania, but also an elegant haven offering high end facilities and entertainment venues with a side of magnificent views over Hobart’s skyline and beyond.
MACq 01 Hotel: The #1 Hotel in Hobart on TripAdvisor enjoys a prime position overlooking Hobart’s iconic Franklin Wharf and close to markets, shops, restaurants and cafes. The hotel’s stylish interiors tell the story of Tasmania – past and present – taking inspiration from the unique spirit and personality that the island has become renowned for.
Each artfully designed room also tells the story of a colourful character who exemplifies what it means to be Tasmanian – taking you even deeper into the psyche of this intriguing destination.
Image courtesy of Saffire Freycinet
Saffire Freycinet: Located along Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast on Coles Bay near Freycinet National Park, Saffire Freycinet is one of the world’s rare places where the juxtaposition of nature and absolute luxury allows guests to immerse themselves in the tranquility of natural surroundings including rolling hills and sandy beaches.
Image courtesy of Henry Jones Art Hotel
Henry Jones Hotel: Set in a row of renovated 1820s warehouses, Henry Jones Art Hotel blends modernity and industrial past, art and design, indulgence and discovery. Australia’s first dedicated art hotel with over 500 contemporary Tasmanian artworks lining its walls, the Henry Jones merges one of Tasmania’s most significant industrial heritage sites – Sir Henry Jones IXL jam empire, with sleek modern design and contemporary art, to create a profoundly luxurious accommodation experience on Hobart’s waterfront.
Image courtesy of Frogmore Creek
Frogmore Creek Wines, Hobart: One of the best things about Hobart is that all the wineries are just a short drive away – including Frogmore Creek. Frogmore sources the grapes for their wines from two cool-climate southern Tasmanian vineyards and once you’ve finished a tasting you can head into the restaurant for hearty dishes such as Tasmanian wallaby roast with parsley puree, confit potato and Davidson plum gel.
Velo Wines, Launceston: Head straight to the cellar door to sample some local wines made from the surrounding vineyard. When you’ve finished pop into the onsite restaurant, Timbre, where just $40 per head will get a tasting menu that could rival any Michelin-starred restaurant.
Bay of Fire Wines, Pipers River: Home to some of Tasmania’s finest wines, Bay of Fire Wines should be a stop on any vino fan’s itinerary. Located just 45 minutes outside Launceston on the famous Tamar Valley wine route, Bay of Fire Wines specialises in sparkling, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling and pinot noir.
Plus, we got Holly Chilman’s top tips on her and The Henry Jones team’s favourite wineries in Tasmania. Chilam says ‘Our picks would be Coal Valley Vineyard, Coal Valley Farm, The Wicked Cheese Co., Pooley Vineyard, Milton Vineyard, Freycinet Vineyard, Spring Vale, Devil’s Corner, Kate’s Berry Farm and Gala Estate. Each vineyard offers a range of wine styles for tasting from cellar doors, many in a beautiful setting with panoramic views.’
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