Devilish Appetites: A Taste of Tasmania

Gorp.com

Only 3 percent of mainland travelers in Australia make it to Tasmania—all the more reason you should cross the 149-mile-wide Bass Strait and head to the island down under the Land Down Under. Of those adventurous travelers who make it, most associate the island with world-famous whitewater, as found on the Franklin River, and long-distance treks, like the Overland Track. But Tasmania's unique history and vast tracts of unclaimed wilderness offer a sumptuous feast for all your senses. Over one-third of the island is government-protected and includes Australia's largest temperate rainforest. A plethora of vineyards have taken root across this lush landscape, producing wine that perfectly complements Tassie gourmet tastes.
The northern city of Launceston, Australia's third oldest, serves as a gateway to many of Tasmania's wildlife-and-winery tours. Located near the Tamar River, the mild climes are ideal for the slow-ripening grapes of pinot, chardonnay, riesling, and sauvignon blanc. Brady's Lookout offers a great vantage point to take it all in. Ascend and marvel at the beautiful panorama before heading down into Tamar Valley. Tours lead in numerous directions from Launceston. Route A3 East winds 102 miles through rainforest, dairy farms, and parkland toward the Suncoast and the dramatic lookout at St. Helens. Heading southwest from Launceston, you will come upon one of the most sensational areas of Tasmania—Freycinet National Park. A 30-minute hike takes you past pink granite peaks to a spectacular lookout over Wineglass Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Other culinary tours depart for Mount Victoria Forest Reserve, home to Ralph Falls, the tallest waterfall in Tassie. For those looking to build up an appetite before sampling the local cuisine, a hike up Mount Victoria will deliver a view of the entire northeast stretch of Tasmania, from Ben Lomond all the way to Flinders Island. The southeastern city of Hobart, meanwhile, will assuage both the sweet-toothed and parched with tours of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory and Cascade Brewery.
Whichever region you elect to explore, rest assured, your ravenous appetite will be sated. Rock lobster, oysters, and char-grilled Wallaby steaks flavored with feijobanna and white rum sauce are just a few regional highlights; be sure to accompany these with cheese and fruit, washed down with a glass of Tasmania's finest wine.

Published: 10 Oct 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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