Two words – verdant green. Tasmania’s pristine north-west corner is spoiled for choice with local produce, from farm gates hidden throughout the hilly countryside, to seafood treasures from neighbouring Bass Strait, it’s one of Australia’s most productive and underrated food regions.
Everyone knows you should…
Dine at Wild Café This beachside restaurant has made a big impression on the tiny town of Penguin, showcasing local produce with a Thai slant. We’re told the red fish curry with bean cakes is a must.
Tour the Cradle Coast Tasting Trail From cheese makers and salmon farms, to raspberries, chocolate and wineries, there’s plenty on the popular Cradle Coast Tasting Trail to keep bellies full.
Come for a festival The North West’s annual calendar is packed with major food and wine celebrations, highlighting local producers. It kicks off in February with Festivale in Launceston followed by Devonport’s Taste the Harvest festival in March and Sheffield’s Taste of the North West in April. Even winter is abuzz with degustation dinners at Cradle Mountain Lodge as part of Tastings at the Top, followed by Chocolate Winterfest in Latrobe.
But locals say you need to…
Pick up a bag of roadside cherries Head down to Wynyard and turn off at Preolenna Road to reach Flowerdale Cherry Farm. Here, you can buy a bag of the juiciest local cherries from their roadside stall (BYO cash for the honesty box). Otherwise, 50 kilometres north-east is Turners Beach Berry Patch, where you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in the warmer months.
Buy seafood fresh off the boat Wander along Stanley Wharf in summer and you’ll see boats pull in with up to three tonnes of local crayfish, which you can buy from nearby fishmongers like Hursey Seafoods within a couple hours of it being caught.
Shop like a local Shop and sample the region in a day by visiting the Devonport and Burnie farmer’s markets, which run on alternate weekends through summer. Aside from an assortment of treats – from ice-cream and cheese to rabbit pie and wine – there’s also the usual array of vintage clothes, collectables and artworks.
Where to stay
Old Cable Station: Set on 300 acres of rolling fields outside Stanley, this understated B&B is a foodie destination in itself. The award-winning restaurant sources 99 per cent of its ingredients from the local region such as Cape Grim beef to Bass Strait scallops. Even the drinks list focuses on nearby wineries. Accommodation-wise, suites are charming with spacious beds, private verandahs, wi-fi and room service, accommodating two to six guests. From $155 a night with Tasmanian breakfast hamper.
Corinna Wilderness Experience: On the banks of the Pieman River are 14 new wilderness retreats for guests, which back directly onto the Tarkine Rainforest. Although eco-friendly, they are assuredly restful, with gas heating, private verandahs, fully-equipped kitchens and comfortable beds. From $200 a night.
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge: Tucked away on the edge of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park are these cosy guest cabins. Each has a log or gas fire, sumptuous beds, forest views and some with spa baths. You won’t go hungry either with one of Tasmania’s premier restaurants onsite as well as a bistro, plus wine and cheese tastings available. From $199 a night, including a full breakfast.