Romantic Weekend In Tasmania

February 8, 2011

Romantic Weekend In Tasmania

To be honest I’d never really considered Tasmania as a destination to visit anytime soon. But my fiance and I had a Friday off and started planning a long weekend away. We looked at Auckland but with the hassle of currency exchange and international airport check-ins, we’d end up with little time exploring. Flights to Tasmania were reasonably priced so we thought, why not?

What a heavenly three days! Just what an exhausted couple with a love of good food and wine needed!

Day one – Hobart

We picked up a hire car at Hobart Airport and because we both love oysters, drove straight to the nearest oyster farm – conveniently located 2 minutes away from the airport! A quick slurp at Barilla Bay Oysters before checking in to Mantra Apartments right near Salamanca Place. Highly recommend their spanking-new rooms – our Studio was actually a giant one-bedroom apartment, and because it’s Tasmania, the bathroom came with gorgeously heated floors.

Take a walk around delightful Battery Point with their colourful cottages and tucked away cafes – a kind of village you dream of retiring to. Then walk through beautiful St David’s Park to Constitution Dock. Spot the old IXL jam factory, lovingly turned into the Henry Jones Art Hotel – if you can afford it, this is the place to stay in town.

Tasmania is renowned for its seafood and the best example is found right on the Dock at Orizuru Sushi. Incredibly fresh sushi, we spent way too long here. It’s right by the famous Mures seafood complex but the fish and chips aren’t great.

Day two – Salamanca Markets and Freycinet National Park

I used to love markets until I realised they all sold the same rubbish: cheap sunglasses, lip balms in walnut shells and overpriced chutneys. But Saturday’s Salamanca Markets are in a league of their own – one of the highlights of our visit. Stall after stall of interesting homewares (we picked up a beautiful hand-carved cheeseboard for only $30) and delicious food (make sure you try the steaming baked potatoes stuffed with bacon and coleslaw). Makes for a lovely few hours.

From Hobart it’s an easy 2.5 hour drive up to Freycinet National Park. That is, if you don’t stop at wineries along the way. We pulled into Pooley Wines and Freycinet Vineyard for some gorgeous wine tasting of local pinot noirs and sparkling wines. Nearby is also Kate’s Berry Farm with picture-perfect rows of strawberries, raspberries and other berries with all sorts of treats in the little shop, from ice-cream to boozy jams.

We were a little worried about staying at Freycinet Lodge and being so isolated within the National Park – but it was an incredible experience. Romantic rooms complete with baths and gigantic comfy beds.

The restaurant at Freycinet Lodge is really well done. Seafood platters, contemporary Australian cuisine, a mostly-Tasmanian wine list, they definitely cater to couples looking for a memorable experience. After dinner we pulled up by the roaring fireplace for a nightcap of local port and sticky wines. Walking home the sky was littered with millions of stars – don’t we all dream of moments like that?

Day three – Freycinet to Launceston

Freycinet’s best-known attraction is Wine Glass Bay which is 3 hour return walk from the hotel (believe me when I say I cursed my unfit body every minute but the view from the top of the hill was completely worth it). The hotel also offers oyster tasting cruises of the Bay which naturally we jumped on. To our amazement no one else had signed up that morning so we had a private cruise, with our host pulling up fresh oysters from a local farm, shucking them for us then and there and all washed down with a bottle of Chandon sparkling. At this point we never want to leave Tassie!

But we have to, and drive up to Launceston where we’re flying out from. It’s less than 2 hours away so we have time for a final stop at a winery. This time it’s Josef Chromy Wines which has a delicious on-site restaurant serving seasonal local produce overlooking the vines.

So I think we pretty much had the textbook romantic weekend away. It would work equally well as a girly weekend away – just replace candlelit bath with girly talk over a bottle of wine and a Tasmanian cheese plate!

What’s your favourite destination for a romantic weekend away?

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