The east coast of Tasmania is one of Australia’s most beautiful and here are few ideas on things to see and do (and eat and drink) while touring in Tasmania:
When we arrived on Tasmania’s east coast (driving from Hobart), we made a bee-line for the famous Wineglass Bay. After all it is regularly included on lists of the world’s best beaches. We weren’t alone. Yes it is stunning and a satisfying walk up the hill to the look out and down to the bay. But my enjoyment of the beach itself was somewhat marred by Japanese youngsters feeding the wild wallabies wasabi pea snacks. You have to walk awhile to get to the empty beach.
But don’t be deterred. By contrast the Bay of Fires, further north on Tasmania’s east coast, has rippled lagoons, grassy sand dunes, an endless curving beach with whiter than white sand that squeaks when you walk on it, and always the empty blue sea. Empty until we saw a pair of dolphins swimming by just off shore. I could see a guy fishing a kilometre or so away but otherwise we had the place to ourselves. The name comes from the brightly coloured lichen on the rocks.
I stayed in a cute colonial cottage near Swansea and walked down to Waterloo point, where you have views across Great Oyster bay to the Hazards and the Freycinet National Park (where you’ll find Wineglass Bay).
Tasmania is justly known for its fine wines and in autumn the vineyards are a beautiful sight. Listen to the kookaburras laugh as the vine leaves turn more yellow by the minute in the warm sun. This pic was taken at the Freycinet winery, where I tasted a champagne-style Radenti Sparkling just recently disgorged from the barrel. Yum.
The Tamar Valley near Launceston is another highly satisfying place to go wine tasting, although I found it surprisingly difficult to find a place to have lunch. The big vineyards with restaurants required booking. However, a random stop at the Rotherhythe vineyard provided the answer. You know you’re on to something good when it’s not a fancy cellar door but just one guy in a little shed with a Jack Russell called Issy.
Some very fine (and reasonably priced) 2004 pinot noirs and chardonnays. And John Vincent directed us on to Gravelly Beach and the wonderful little cafe run by Kathy that is next to the tiny general store. Looking out onto the peaceful estuary and across to fields and bush, Koukli’s offers delicious Mediterranean-style cuisine.
That squeaky white sand of Tasmania’s east coast – amazing!
By Natasha von Geldern
Have you travelled in Tasmania?