Take a bite out of Australia’s Apple Isle on a new Cosmos tour of Tassie.
There’s no doubt Matthew Evans (former chef and food critic and star of SBS-TV’s The Gourmet Farmer) has helped put Tasmania on every foodies’ wish list. But you don’t have to emulate Evans and buy acreage to get a good taste of Australia’s southernmost state. The new Cosmos Tassie Quick Bite tour has travellers learning how to make cheese, jam and chocolate – and eating plenty of it, too – during a fun seven days from Hobart to Launceston. Make new friends, travel hassle-free and enjoy off-beat experiences on this tour designed for Aussies.
Tasmania has serious cred when it comes to mouthwatering produce and the best place to kick off a foodie adventure is the capital. The first night of the tour is spent sampling local wines and spirits with your Cosmos guide and fellow gourmands. Take heed of your tour guide’s advice not to stay up too late as you’ll want to make the most of your first activity: a visit to Salamanca Market to experience Tassie’s emergent locavore food scene. You will relish every minute spent here wandering around the 80 or so stalls selling artisanal, local specialties such as cheese, whisky, fudge and bread. Taste fresh produce, meet the makers, and then wander at your own leisure. Don’t be surprised if you leave with a few bags of edible goodies to enjoy later.
Bruny Island bounty
Bruny Island feels far more remote than the 20-minute ferry ride it takes to travel from Hobart. It’s quiet, sparse and has a wild beauty that’s made this island a favourite of locals and visitors. One of the best ways to get to know Bruny Island residents is on a tasting tour that may include gobbling up oysters, cheese and berries. By nightfall, you’ll be back in the city and have free time to make your own discoveries. We suggest you wander Salamanca Place to admire the 1830s’ warehouses before popping over to the waterfront to grab a bite to eat.
In the morning, you’re in for a sweet treat with a visit to a chocolatier. Learn how to make magic with cacao in a Federation Artisan Chocolate masterclass. You’ll also get to sample some delicious morsels. Fancy apple cinnamon milk chocolate?
Hamilton, an hour’s drive north-west of Hobart makes perfect sense as the next pit stop as it’s where you will learn the ins and outs of a working sheep and crop farm. See what it’s like to shear sheep and watch working dogs round them up at award-winning Curringa Farm. While you will be impressed by the experience and property, the highlight is chatting to the farmers about their passion for land regeneration and their decades-long conservation work.
New Norfolk & Bothwell
Round out day three in New Norfolk, a thriving historic town on the River Derwent. New Norfolk is one of Australia’s main hop-growing areas, so it’s the perfect place to try a brew during your night off. The following day takes you into Tasmania’s Central Highlands where you’ll call into the Australasian Golf Museum to learn the story of how the game played on an open-air course evolved. Your Cosmos guide will then whisk you to one of the only whisky distilleries in the world that grows its own grain and malts, and ferments, distils and barrels on site. A bio-diesel-powered still, Belgrove Distillery is a unique stop on this bite-size Tassie tour. Next up is a demonstration at Callington Mill, followed by a stroll to a waterfall.
St Helens sojourn
The fishing port of St Helens is one of the prettiest villages in Tasmania, with most visitors coming here for the legendary Bay of Fires Walk. Set out on the trail one morning and soak up amazing views of white beaches, boulders dressed in orange lichen and an emerald sea. With your soul nurtured, it’s time to nourish your body with a fun jam-making class at Eureka Farm. This is a hands-on experience so expect to get sticky. Afterwards, explore St Helens with your tour buddies or on your own, searching for a souvenir, poking your head into an art gallery or simply grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by.
Nabowla & Launceston
You may be nearing the end of your adventure but the indulging continues with a tasting of Australia’s heritage farmhouse cheese at Pyengana Dairy. The oh-so-Instagrammable Bridestowe Lavender Estate at Nabowla, is next on the menu. Be sure to pose for a selfie amid the rows of lavender bushes before touring the property and dining on local produce (tip: the lavender ice-cream is a must-try). A visit to Jansz Tasmania to sample sparkling wine rounds out the afternoon, before your tour director hosts a special farewell dinner showcasing top Tassie produce and wine.
Tassie Quick Bite is one of the many new Cosmos tours designed for Aussies keen to get to know their backyard better.
– Cosmos tours are all Covid-safe, with measures such as pre-trip health screenings, social distancing, and regular temperature checks. Learn more here.
– You may be sharing your experience with other travellers, but rest assured these tours are aimed at like-minded Aussies, so expect to make plenty of friends.
– The itinerary allows for free time so you can make your own discoveries and enjoy some downtime, too.
– Guests can cancel their tour and get a full refund up to 30 days before departure with the free inclusion of Travel Protection with SafetyNet insurance.
– Transport includes a private first-class motorcoach with air conditioning. Headsets provided.
– Meals include breakfast daily, three lunches and two dinners.
Take the hassle out of organising a trip for yourself by joining a Cosmos tour with expert tour directors.
Tassie Quick Bite at a glance
Day 1 Arrive Hobart: Welcome meeting and drinks
Day 2 Hobart including a Bruny Island excursion: Salamanca Market; Bruny Island tasting tour; evening at leisure in Hobart.
Day 3 Hobart – Hamilton – New Norfolk: Federation Artisan Chocolate masterclass; working sheep farm; free evening in New Norfolk.
Day 4 New Norfolk – Bothwell – St Helens: Australasian Golf Museum; Belgrove Distillery; Callington Mill; seafood dinner with the group.
Day 5 St Helens: Bay of Fires Walk; jam-making class at Eureka Farm; afternoon at your leisure.
Day 6 St Helens – Nabowla – Launceston: Cheese tasting at Pyengana Dairy; Bridestowe Lavender Estate tour and lunch; sparkling wine tasting at Jansz Tasmania; festive farewell dinner of local produce and wine.
Day 7 Launceston: Breakfast before departing.
Once you’ve booked your spot on the tour, download the CosmosGO mobile app for more trip info.
Book your Tassie Quick Bite holiday at cosmostours.com.au or contact your travel agent.