After the first part of our trip around Tasmania, which you can read about here, I couldn’t see how the scenery could get any better. I’d heard Tasmania was stunning, but seriously the whole island? Tasmania as a travel destination isn’t talked about enough, it really is Australia’s best kept secret. With the exception of Hobart, the roads were strangely empty. It felt like we had the place all to ourselves. It won’t last forever though; the tourism industry is in the midst of a boom, so start planning your trip now and make sure Freycinet is on your itinerary!
Just 2 hours south of Launceston, or around 2.5 hours north of Hobart, Frecycinet is absolutely stunning. The national park boasts pink granite mountains, white sandy beaches and the colour of the sea is beautiful beyond words.
Like much of Tasmania, feasting on local food and wine is half the attraction. We arrived in the Freycinet area at lunch time and made our way straight to Melshell Oyster Shack at Dolphin Sands. You can watch the oysters being shucked, buy a dozen from a retro caravan and eat them overlooking the Swan River. It’s such a fun experience.
The nearby Fishers and Tombolo Café at Devil’s Corner Vineyard are my other top picks for a casual lunch. You can do a tasting at the cellar door, buy a glass of your favourite, then take in the spectacular view as you eat your way through dishes such as mussels and Tasmanian hot smoked salmon nicoise salad. As for the wine, I enjoyed the Classic Sparkling and Resolution Riesling. Forget the straw coloured versions you may have written off in the past; Tasmania’s rieslings are game changers.
Milton Vineyard is also great to visit, particularly if you’re partial to pinot noir. The 2015 Reserve is worth the trip.
If you’re after something spectacular and you’ve got the budget to stretch, Piermont Retreat’s Homestead Restaurant is impressive. We enjoyed a chef’s tasting menu on Christmas Day. The meal got off to a rocky start when Charlie (our then 5-month-old) was sick all over me, in my hair and on the restaurant floor. However, he then fell asleep in his pram for 2 hours as we made our way through 9 exquisite courses of Tasmania produce. The dishes even included items foraged from the area such as sea spinach and Dolphin Sands sea bananas.
Things to do
The main drawcard in the area is the Freycinet National Park. As we would be carrying our little one, we opted for a short walk (1-1.5hrs) up to the Wineglass Bay lookout. The view did not disappoint. I would love to go back and do the Mt Amos walk which takes you to the top of one of the granite peaks that make up The Hazards. It’s a much harder walk with steep climbs over bare rocks that can be slippery, so one to do without the little one. The landscape reminded me of the Granite Belt in Queensland, which you can read more about here.
Where to stay
We based ourselves in Swansea at The Piermont Retreat. This was the splurge part of our trip. The retreat has a private beach and grounds for you to explore. There’s also a polo field and outdoor swimming pool. It’s a really relaxing place and the room was lovely.
There are some amazing places near the national park. I definitely recommend booking early as they do sell out.