Hobart to Orford
There’s about three kilometres between the Hobart runway and your first oyster. At Barilla Bay try oysters topped with Beijing style chilli, take a beach-side farm tour and sip an oyster beer. A dozen Pacific oysters are suitable passengers on this coastal escape.
Next stop is a National Park surrounded by water. Triabunna is the gateway to Maria Island, a Noah’s Ark of wildlife. Hop aboard the Encounter Maria Island and enjoy a scenic 30 minute ferry ride across the passage. Plan it so you have a bit of time before the next ferry and make an appointment to visit Spring Bay Distillery, about 15 minutes away, to sample the craft gin and single malt whisky. These spirits are sculpted by the elements, and owners Cam and Suzy are equally spirited and stirred by their seaside home.
Once on Maria, hire bikes or hit the trails on foot, there are no cars here. Discover geological wonders like the Painted Cliffs and search for fossils embedded in an old limestone quarry at Fossil Cliffs. There are plenty of deserted beaches with white sand and azure water to wander. As you explore the convict ruins, lose yourself in stories of early settler’s who were convinced silk, wine and concrete production were the go on this remote island. Tonight, settle in at the old Penitentiary building of Darlington and get the spotlight ready for marsupial mates, including a healthy population of Tassie devils.
If Maria is a day trip, head back to Sanda House in Orford. It’s the oldest building in town, complete with an original kitchen built from local sandstone in 1838. Weave your way through the 20-tree orchard and dine on bounty from the kitchen garden at breakfast.
Orford to Coles Bay
Duck and weave between vineyards today. At Milton Vineyard let French chef Sophie transport you to Bordeaux where she learned her craft (note: the restaurant is not open in winter). Try a lively rosé to kick start the day. Spring Vale Vineyard’s cellar door is a former convict-built stable dating to 1842 and is also a fine place to sample Splendid Gin, created by east coast locals.
At Craigie Knowe Vineyard, sip the latest wines including 2017 rosé and pinot gris. This is the oldest vineyard on the coast, started by a Hobart dentist who planted vines back in 1979, much to the amusement of his farming neighbours. Today they win big awards. With a fire pit, bean bags and a rustic cellar door, park yourself in a spot to suit the season.
Come afternoon, walk to Wineglass Bay for a dose of nature at her prettiest. Those in the know take the Aqua Taxi to Hazards Beach for a flat walk straight into Wineglass.
Settle into your Freycinet Lodge Coastal Pavilion this eve, a tactile cocoon hugged by curved glass with views across the bay. Be tempted by the outdoor bath and have a charcuterie platter delivered to your door. This is the place to watch stars sprinkle the coastal sky.
Coles Bay to Bay of Fires or Hobart
Have brekkie delivered to your room. There’s no need to hurry away to the lodge nearby. Then again, sunrise at Cape Tourville Lighthouse is worth pulling the plush doona back before first light.
Time your trip around the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival in November each year or a day of coastal feasting. Other options include a cruisy day aboard Wineglass Bay Cruises or a more energetic morning paddle with Freycinet Adventures. This outfit run the aforementioned Aqua Taxi and enjoy zipping down to Schouten Island for those wanting a walk experience only accessible by boat.
On the way back to Hobart, mussels and sea urchins are on the menu at Freycinet Marine Farm. Hopefully a stop at Kate’s Berry Farm in Swansea for some Belgium waffles with poached berries and ice-cream will sweeten the reality of your holiday drawing to a close.