Behind the Scenes of Rosehaven
It’s a feeling that comes over everyone who journeys to this little island at the world’s edge. There’s a kind of magic here, a comforting isolation. It’s almost as though not only the mainland but the rest of the world has simply floated away. The air is clearer and the weather moves fast overhead. The characters appear trapped in a time-lapse and the offbeat neighbourly vibe makes for intriguing viewing but even better visiting. Let’s just say we do things a little differently in Tasmania.
Follow in the footsteps of the Rosehaven cast and you’ll soon see how Tassie gets under your skin.
Journey to Geeveston
Masaaki Koyama (photo Rob Burnett)
Geeveston is an unlikely place for the set of a television series, let alone the best sushi this side of Japan. Yet, it’s where you’ll find the celebrated sushi temple Massaki Sushi. Watch Massaki Koyama’s mesmerising knife skills, and taste the hand rolled masterpieces that turned a small country town into a sushi town. Keep in mind, he’s open Friday to Sunday only.
With a huge concentration of loved eateries in such a small area, Geeveston surely could take out the title ‘food capital of the Huon’. The Old Bank of Geeveston Café do traditional time-honoured pastry craft at its finest; the Geeveston Farmers Market brims with produce every Saturday (if you miss it, fresh produce is always available at the Red Door Larder) and you can join the locals monthly at the Geeveston Twilight Fest for good food, craft beer, local cider and mulled wine.
Drop into the Geeveston Visitor Centre if you’d like some Rosehaven quince paste. They’ll also direct you to Heritage Park where the Rosehaven picnic scenes were filmed. Have one of those ‘threes a crowd’ awkward picnics or take the platypus walk and fire up one of the new barbies. It might be small, but the quaint country feel would make any mainlander feel part of the Geeveston family.
Want to take home your own piece of Rosehaven? Makers on Church Street will fit you out with a crochet tea cosy. It’s a small shop big on homemade – a vibrant reflection of the artistic community who call this region home.
Knock Around in New Norfolk
The Drill Hall Emporium (Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne)
Follow the River Derwent along pasture-lined roads, until you finally reach the Derwent Valley and New Norfolk. Along the way, keep an eye out for the unusual barn-like structures, which happen to be old ‘oast’ houses once used for storing and drying hops, the staple ingredient in beer and a major export of the local area.
As you explore the riverside town, it soon becomes obvious you’ve arrived at “˜antique central’ where you can uncover anything from colonial furniture to art deco relics. Stop by Pennyworth in Burnett Street (aka the Rosehaven Op shop) and see if you can fill a garbage bag – or two! And if you are driving down High Street, see if you can pick out the site of Rosehaven’s “˜McCallum Real Estate’, it’s right across the road from 20th Century Artifacts, down the road from the Flywheel, and just around the corner from the Drill Hall Emporium and New Norfolk Antiques. See what we mean by antiques central – and that’s just scratching the surface.
Ramble Through Richmond
Richmond Bridge (photo Wai Nang Poon)
Richmond is a picture-perfect village of cobbled streets, handmade brick, and mellow stone on the banks of the Coal River. It’s just shy of Hobart in the Coal River Valley. Walk across Australia’s oldest bridge, built by convict labour (1823 – 1825). Stand in the cell of the Richmond Gaol (1825), Australia’s oldest goal, for an eerie insight into the hardships of early Van Diemen’s Land convict life.
You’ll get the most out of Richmond by wandering its streets on foot. Artists and craftspeople have been drawn to the town for generations and you’ll find examples of their work in galleries and cafes.
Relax on the banks of the Coal River with a picnic. You’re not likely to go hungry in this neck of the woods. Pick up triple cream brie and goat’s milk cheeses at Wicked Cheese or chocolates and other delicious produce at Coal River Farm.
Turn Hobart Inside Out
Museum of Old and New Art(Tourism Tasmania & Scott Sporleder, Matador)
Hobart’s urban vibe meets the surrounding wilderness with dramatic results. The capital city is sandwiched between mountains and rivers with moody wine and whisky bars and swanky eateries tucked amongst its thoroughfares. Risk-taking artists, passionate producers, inventive chefs and soulful heritage bring light and shade to the city.
Explore the arcades and laneways of Salamanca Place, where rows of Georgian sandstone warehouses have been converted into galleries, theatres, and cutting-edge restaurants. On weekends the outdoor Salamanca Market comes alive with fresh local produce such as locally made jams and honey and fine Tasmanian arts and crafts.
Catch the fast ferry from Brooke Street Pier to Mona, Australia’s largest privately owned museum and a diverse collection of anything from ancient Egyptian mummies to thought-provoking art. Mona is also a great place to have lunch, there’s fine dining or just relax on the lawns in the ambient vineyard setting with a share platter, a pink beanbag and a glass of wine.
Late Lunch in Lachlan
The Agrarian Kitchen(Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson)
Just before New Norfolk lies the small town of Lachlan, home to the McCallum family home and a famous farm-based cooking school.
The Agrarian Kitchen is nestled in the picturesque Derwent Valley. Here you can pick your produce straight from the garden and rediscover the simple pleasures of cooking and eating freshly harvested ingredients. Run by Rodney Dunn, who in a previous life was the food editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine – the cooking class begins by donning gumboots and foraging in the garden before taking classes in charcuterie, bread and pasta making. Dunn has more recently opened the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in nearby New Norfolk’s Willow Court for those who want to simply pull up a chair to the region’s finest fresh produce.
Linger in Longley (near Grove)
Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider(Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography)
The Longley International Hotel is the stand in for everyone’s local – the Rosehaven Pub. Home to (allegedly) the world’s longest huon pine bar, relax and stay cosy by the open fire and indulge in a cider or two.
Want to learn more about the Apple Isle’s rosy reds transformation into cider? Head for The Apple Shed in nearby Grove, a refurbished barn deliciously devoted to the humble fruit. A fruit, which has for years been the livelihood of the region. Visitors can learn the history of apple growing in the Huon Valley and of course, there’s Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider on tap to welcome you and your palate to the Huon Valley in the most spectacular fashion. Take your glass, sit in the outdoor area and relax for an afternoon.
Like what you taste? With the philosophy of being stronger together than apart, Tassie cider producers have banded together forming The Tasmanian Cider Trail. With plenty more liquid gold to sample from the area, why not sip all the Huon’s ciders you can summon and meet the passionate producers behind them as you travel.
Step Back in Time in Oatlands
Oatlands is the latest town welcomed into the Rosehaven fold as the new location McCallum Real Estate. Celia loves it here in winter, where the actress quips it became so cold one day that the clothes line froze. When you’re busy discovering Oatlands on foot though, there’s no time to freeze over. With more than 150 sandstone buildings, it has more than any other Australian town. If ticking off all 150 sounds like filming an entire Rosehaven series, just head for Campbell Street where the Court House stands, built by convict hands back in 1829. Just across is what remains of the Old Gaol.
The Callington Mill is a town must. It’s the country’s only fully operating colonial windmill, dating back to 1837. Take a guided tour of the mill or indeed the entire town, rich with tales of convicts, early settlers and military history. Recognise Rosehaven scenes on the main strip where heritage buildings have been transformed into antique stores, cafes and galleries. Just don’t go trying to dry your clothes on someone’s line.