A True Taste of TasmaniaPosted: 7 August 2015 Updated: 2 August 2016
When I think of Tasmania, what comes to mind is the crisp air, fresh and untainted by high rises and heaving populations. It hits you as soon as you step off the plane. Then it’s the feel of luxury and unpretentious opulence and the hidden gems, backstreets filled with quirky villages and stunning colonial architecture. Naturally one cannot look past the world class food and wine scene. You can afford to indulge like a King in Tasmania and still walk away with change in your pocket.
AAT Kings has always told the Tassie story well, but the more time I spent in the Apple Isle, the more I realised there were far too many stories we weren’t telling that were screaming to be told. Hence the birth of Inspiring Journeys’ Tasmanian Harvest. I wanted to capture everything I love about Tasmania in one well-rounded boutique holiday that I myself would love to experience. After all, it’s my number one choice of destination for an indulgent weekend away.
Kicking off in Hobart with MONA is a real treat, one that delights every sense. You arrive on the MONA ferry, a catamaran painted to look like a navy vessel, complete with staff dressed in ‘Navy’ overalls looking like they’ve just stepped out of the vessel’s engine room. That’s the beginning of the mind blowing experience that’s to come. David ‘God’ Walsh, MONA’s creator wants to challenge the mind and he succeeds effortlessly. The museum’s installations are a shock of the old and the new and have to be seen to be believed. The MONA experience isn’t only about art, it’s also about food and wine. A private guided wine tasting through the Moorilla Estate operation is just as mind blowing as the museum. From a wander through the vines to tasting from vats, you have to pick your jaw off the floor listening to Daniel McMahon as he weaves an intriguing tale of crisp Sauvignon Blancs and rich Pinot Noir. The intimate setting for dinner is The Source, feasting on a menu designed by Philippe Leban. It’s the perfect meal to kick off an indulgent week that lies ahead.
Salamanca Market really is as wonderful as you’ve heard it is! It’s a buzz with bellowing vendors touting their wares, the sound of acoustic artists entertaining the crowds and the smells of tasty treats lingering in the air. Something about the atmosphere makes you unconsciously wander with a lilt in your step! Speaking of tasty treats, Bruny Island has it all and it’s a destination that had to be shared! You’ll find the freshest of fresh artisan cheese, oysters shucked straight from the lease, berries picked fresh from the vine and a sensational smoke house with a whisky collection to boot!
Salamanca Market, a Hobart institution, takes place every Saturday.
Accommodation choice is very important to me. I don’t spend a lot of time in my room but when I do, I want to feel like I’m at home, cosy and warm. I don’t want to walk 500m down a corridor to find my room, I like boutique accommodation where everything has been considered. This is why The Henry Jones Art Hotel overlooking Hobart’s waterfront and Quamby Estate nearby the Meander Valley are the perfect fit for Tasmanian Harvest. Staying at Henry Jones is like being welcomed in to a nostalgic world of luxury and creativity. The perfect mix of old and new. You also feel like a bit of celebrity- that’s the charm of the engaging staff that have mastered the knack of making you feel like the only person in house. At Henry Jones they pride themselves on the personal touches. It’s little things like arriving in your room to a private letter that lists the names of all the convicts that arrived in Tasmania that bear your surname, and I’ve heard that if you’re not wrapped with the art hanging in your room, you can ask for it to be swapped with one of the other 500+ pieces of fine art adorning the hotel walls!
Quamby Estate on the other hand is from another time, a grand country manor from a bygone era. The manor is set on 150 acres amongst stands of elm and poplar, lakes and streams. It flaunts only 10 rooms, so it feels like there’s nothing between you and the rolling countryside but fresh, crisp air.
The craggy peaks of Cradle Mountain.
In terms of landscape, I love having a paddle in the ocean but I’m more inclined to strap on my hiking boots and set off in to the mountains. Cradle Mountain allows me to do this. I find the National Park’s rocky crags, mirror like lakes and alpine scenery just blissful, and I absolutely love sitting back at Cradle Mountain Lodge by the fire with a warming Tassie whiskey. Tasmanian Whiskey is taking the world by storm and I love, love, love whiskey! Distilling whiskey has only been legal in Tasmania since 1992, and since then, 13 distilleries have popped up. They’re not interested in making litres for the masses in Tasmania, their passion lies in making whisky that’s high quality and it shows. Whiskey making is an art and there’s something incredibly charming and enlightening about sitting down and meeting the makers. Something you definitely have to do when you’re in the state is just that; meet the local makers, get to know them and share their passion for their outstanding produce.
In essence, Tassie truly appeals to every one of my senses. It’s the crisp clean air that fills my lungs, the offbeat arts scene, opulent estates of bygone eras, warm quirky local characters, the dramatic breathtaking landscapes and of course, the fresh artisan produce that touches my taste buds and sends me to my happy place.
Why not visit Tasmania and see for yourself on this 10 Day Tasmanian Wonders Guided Holiday.
Lauren Walker, Product Development & Delivery Manager, AAT Kings
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