The Autumn and Winter season are such a magical time to visit Launceston, but in saying that it really is an all-year round destination.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and known for food and wine, culture and nature. It is one of Australia’s oldest cities with its elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks. Just a short walk from the city centre is Cataract Gorge – Launceston’s own piece of wilderness.
On our recent trip to the Tamar Valley, we started our wine adventure with a wine tasting and lunch at Joseph Chromy. Located just 5 minutes drive from the Launceston airport, it was an easy decision to start our journey at this state-of-the-art winery in Relbia. The cool climate vineyard’s varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc and a sparkling for any celebration, the Josef Chromy range of sparkling wines.
Once you have finished your tasting, you have a choice of dining under the oak trees with a cheese plate from the cafe or booking a table in the restaurant and enjoying a menu of fine cuisine featuring the freshest of local produce with a glass of wine overlooking the picturesque lake and vineyard.
Joseph Chromy is listed as one of the Top 10 Cellar Doors of Australia and was awarded One Chefs Hat in the 2017 Australian Good Food and Wine Guide.
One very import item to note as you start your wine adventure is that you can purchase your wines as you make your way around the Tamar Valley and at your very last cellar door, they will arrange to ship your wine to you anywhere in Australia at just the cost of the freight – known as the Tamar Valley Vineyards Dozen.
After a brilliant start to the day, it’s time to check into our accommodation for the next few days, the stylish waterfront Peppers Seaport Hotel located in Launceston’s Old Seaport area. The Hotel is just 5 minutes from the city centre and a short 15 minute drive from the Launceston airport. Each of the Hotel’s deluxe rooms and suites have balconies with views overlooking seaport marina, the historic town centre and mountains.
Not to miss a minute of this day, we head off along the marina to Cataract Gorge to walk off our indulgent lunch at Joseph Chromy. The Gorge has walking tracks, a swimming pool, the world’s longest single span chairlift and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views.
On our walk back from Cataract Gorge we stumble across, what can only be described as a dining gem, Stillwater – a contemporary but elegant dining experience. Being casually dressed, we choose to enjoy a drink in the wine bar and partake in a few treats from the bar menu – fresh natural moulting bay oysters, chicken liver mousse w/rye lavosh, pickles and fennel salt to round out our day. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and in the evening for dinner.
Highly recommended is Inside Cafe serving a delicious breakfast menu of granola with poached fruit, berry compote & cinnamon yoghurt; smashed avocado & feta toast with dukkah and poached and one of our favourites, Toby’s estate coffee.
Over breakfast we map out our scenic drive route for Day 2 and head north of Launceston to the Tamar Valley. First stop is Delemere Vineyard, where you enter the most charming farmyard gate to find the most delicious cool climate wines that are 100 percent estate grown and produced. The wines on our cellar door tasting included the Non Vintage Cuvee, Delemare Non Vintage Rose, Vintage Cuvee, Delemere Rose, Delemare Chardonnay and Delemere Pinot Noir.
Our wine route through the Tamar Valley encompassed tastings at some of the most fabulous wineries in Australia so we decided it should become the “top tastings” – here are our Tamar “Top Tastings”
1. Joseph Chromy
2. Delemare Vineyard
3. Pipers Brook Vineyard
5. Bay of Fires Winery
6. Clover Hill
When planning your adventure for a getaway, family holiday or road trip with friends there are a range of quality accommodation options for your Tamar Valley experience.
1. Peppers Seaport Hotel
2. Country Club Tasmania
3. Hotel Grand Chancellor
4. Sebel Launceston
5. Mantra Charles Hotel
6. Two Four Two Apartments
7. Qamby Estate
8. Kurrajong House Bed & Breakfast
On our third and last day we took a scenic 60 minute drive to the breathtaking Barnbougle Tasmania, known for its untouched wilderness, picturesque coastline, iconic golf courses.
Barnbougle Dunes is one of Australia’s best public golf course and 35th best course in the world. Situated on 200 acres of coastal dunes, the course has quickly become one of the world’s top links. Designed by Golf Architect Tom Doak and Australian Mike Clayton the Barnbougle Dunes course will test the most gifted of golfers, however is gentle enough to be enjoyed by all.
Alongside Barnbougle Dunes is Lost Farm, situated overlooking Bass Strait, alongside Barnbougle Dunes. The course greens are scattered amongst the sand dunes and picturesque coastline and all 20 holes will leave the discerning golfer more than satisfied.
As you drive into the property you are taken back by the rustic beauty of the golf course, polo field and luxury golf lodge at Lost Farm. Lost Farm offers two types of luxury accommodation, Ocean view rooms or Course view rooms looking out across Anderson Bay and the Lost Farm golf course.
If golf is not on your agenda, relax and unwind in the Barnbougle Spa. The Spa treatments have been designed to help create a feeling of health through wellness, using the highest quality spa products made from natural ingredients.
Fresh produce and dining excellence is something that is really well showcased when visiting Launceston and the Tamar Valley region. Let us share with you our “top dining tastes”.
1. Mud Bar and Restaurant – Modern Australian
2. Stillwater – Modern Australian / fine dining
3. Geronimo’s Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant – Modern European
4. Hallam’s Waterfront – Seafood
5. The Dinner Belle – Southern
6. The Black Cow – Steaks
7. Josef Chromy Restaurant – Modern Australian
There really is so much to see and do in Launceston and the Tamar Valley region, this is a snap shot of a three day itinerary. Suffice to say, we left Tassie feeling rejuvinated, inspired by the natural beauty and a yearning to plan our return to experience the delicious wine and fresh produce.
No matter what the occasion is that you are planning for – romantic weekend, family holiday, girls weekend, boys golf trip or an escape with a group of friends; our Lifestyle Managers have all the insights into where to stay, play, shop and eat. Join the ESL Family today with a gift membership, casual membership and have your dedicated Lifestyle Manager take care of your getaway to-do-list.