Travel with your tastebuds
Summer is Tasmania's sweetest season. Berry farms transform into pick-your-own pleasures, orchards bulge with fruit, and seafood beckons fresh from the sea. A road trip can be a moving feast, with flavours as fresh as the sunshine.
North and north-west
Tasmania’s prime food trail is the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, stretching from near Launceston to Smithton and dotted with almost 40 gourmet stops.
Prefer the fruits of someone else’s labours? Find all things berry on the menu at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe, making sure to leave with some of its chocolate-coated raspberries for the road.
Piece together a platter with visits to the salmon and ginseng farm at 41° South Tasmania, Ashgrove Cheese Dairy Door, Cradle Coast Olives, Tasmanian Natural Garlic and Tomatoes, and the Pickled Pantry at Tasmanian Pickled Onions. Spice it all up at KimchiMe, where you can purchase kimchi made from home-grown cabbages or book yourself into a kimchi-making class.
As you hit the tasting trail’s finish in Smithton, celebrate with oysters plucked fresh from local waters in the licensed cafe at Tarkine Fresh Oysters.
The Harvest Launceston community market, held each Saturday morning, is a bounty of fresh produce, while you can venture beyond the farm gate at Mount Gnomon Farm, compiling a platter of farm-made charcuterie, pickled vegetables and local cheese (or a full lunch service on weekends), washed down with cider from the property’s heritage apple orchard.
There’s no freshness quite like foraged freshness. Summer sees Sirocco South’s foraging tours focus on the beach and dunes, gathering wild asparagus, seaberry saltbush and sea lettuce for a leisurely multi-course lunch.
The sea is the star on Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Tasmanian Seafood trips, with guides diving for abalone and sea urchins, and oysters and lobster adding to a decadent feast on the boat.
Berry farms are always on a summer menu in the south. Pick strawberries at Littlewood Berry Farm, blueberries at TruBlu Berries, and raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and silvanberries at Westerway Raspberry Farm.
The Huon Valley is the region that gave Tasmania its Apple Isle moniker, and roadside farm stalls abound in summer, from Provenance Growers in Neika, to Griggs’ unique Rubigold apples and the wooden cabin at Whispering Spirit. Mix things up with olives, saffron or lavender from Campo de Flori, and join a seasonal multi-course farm feast at Matthew Evans’ Fat Pig Farm.
Cross the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island, where the spread continues at Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co, Get Shucked oyster farm, Bruny Island Honey and Bruny Baker’s old roadside fridges stocked with sourdough.
The summer sun beats strongest on the east coast, and the produce responds in kind. Eureka Farm is replete with berries, fruit, syrups and sauces, while Kate’s Berry Farm is a perennial favourite pit stop on the journey along the coast.
Bream Creek Farmers Market, held the first Sunday of each month, is one of the state’s original produce markets, while the Tasman Peninsula is home to Pickers Pantry, a White Beach cafe and honestybox fridge tucked into the side of a packing shed.
When you fill the car boot at Freycinet Vineyard, it might not be just wine, with the vineyard also pressing extra virgin olive oil from its four hectares of olive trees. The journey from sea to plate is short at Freycinet Marine Farm, which serves up oysters fresh from the racks, alongside mussels, abalone, lobster, salmon, octopus and sea urchin roe, on the deck of its roadside farm eatery. Exploring the farm with Oyster Bay Tours will have you eating oysters straight from the racks.
As the Tasman Highway swings off the coast at St Helens, detour into the lush Pyengana Valley to find the Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Cafe. Take a cheese platter out to the back deck and graze in sight of the cows as they wander in and out of the milking shed.