Until recently, Tasmania’s biggest claim to fame was inspiring the folks at Disney to turn the Tassie Devil into a cartoon character. But this small island in the far south of Australia is in the throes of a revolution: a food revolution that is, as Intrepid’s Cassie Harrex explains…
“With world-class wines, some of the country’s best cheeses and a whole host of organic vegetables on offer, anyone who loves their food can’t afford to leave Tasmania off their must-see Australia list.
For a long time I underappreciated Tasmania. Growing up in the foothills of Cradle Mountain, I felt as far away from the rest of the world as possible. As soon as I was old enough to get out I did, but my newfound freedom left me longing for my home state where the air was cleaner, the people were friendlier and the food (unless you wanted a mango or anything remotely ‘exotic’) was always fresh.
After 10 years travelling, I returned to Tasmania for a six-day Intrepid trip this year and was stunned with what I found. Tasmania, a place that has always had a strong horticultural heritage, was finally capitalising on what it does best – growing good food. Gourmet delis stood next to craft shops, commercial farms were now open to the public and a wealth of ‘pick your own raspberries’ and ‘seconds cherries’ signs were propped along major roads.
Strolling through Hobart’s iconic Salamanca Market, the wealth of this revolution revealed itself in all its splendour. We picked up loaves of sourdough, bags of heirloom tomatoes, tubs of thick yoghurt and a pot of still warm honey. Sitting along the waterfront with our self-styled picnic it was hard to believe there was a meal that could top this.
Heading north, we wound along the East Coast, an area known for its beachside national parks and secluded bays. We spent a day hiking through the Freycinet National Park and headed into town at night to buy trays of fresh scallops and oysters caught that day. Those meals were some of the best I’ve had. There was nothing fancy about them, but the fresh produce spoke more than any fine-dining experience.
Returning home at the end of my trip I had a new appreciation for my home state. While many know about the beauty of the landscape and the world-famous walks, I think it’s the food that makes Tassie truly spectacular. For anyone with a healthy appetite Tasmania is guaranteed to delight. So go now, and go hungry – I promise you Tasmania will delight.”
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* photo by Angelica Tan – Intrepid Photography Competition