I recently went on a 9-day campervan adventure through Tasmania with my boyfriend, Pate. Let’s get this out of the way (ahem, Americans): Tasmania is a state. Yes, it’s a state in Australia, not it’s own territory or country - you’re thinking Tanzania. Great, now that that’s done…
Tassie is fucking dope. Do you like history? Food? Alcohol? Art? Nature? Adrenaline activities? This place has it all! I highly recommend experiencing the state in a camper, as it allows you to get outside the big cities and really take in the magic of the isolated regions. Plus, you can pull over and free camp just about everywhere in Tassie so if you’re a #brokebitch like myself, it’s a solid deal. For this post, we are just going to stick to food and alcohol. Here’s my fat fuck recommendations for a fly as hell Tasmanian holiday.
For The Foodie
Literally all I ever want to do is rub truffle everything all over my body. Truffle oil, truffle salt, truffle chocolates. It’s actually unicorn poop to me. So when we found out Tassie makes these incredible balls of glory, we had to buy one.
Did we have enough money for a campsite that night? Nope. But we free camped, woke up to this dope sunrise and shaved some truffle over our eggs, so I’d say it was a win.
Pro Tip: Wait until there is only one truffle left in the jar. Then go up to the woman behind the counter and ask to buy it. As she is taking it out, sneeze so loudly it scares the shit out of her and she drops it on the floor. Insist you still want it, but ask for a discount, because, well, she did drop it on the floor. I’m not speaking from experience or anything...
Golden Hour at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
This blog is about budget traveling, but every once in awhile, I like to shock the system with a splurge. We made reservations for MONA’s Golden Hour: an after hours event for ten lucky people at the wine bar next to the museum. It started with hot gin punch (which I am now addicted to and will slurp out of someone’s eyeballs if I ever have the chance) while enjoying the truly remarkable outdoor lighting exhibit by James Turrell.
It was terribly whimsical and romantic and I’m getting the feels just thinking about it.
After mingling with the other participants, we headed back inside for a lovely communal dining experience: a three course meal with paired wines made with all local ingredients, prepared by Executive Chef Vince Trim. Honestly, I don’t know who the fuck Vince Trim is but homeboy’s risotto game is on point.
Freycinet Marine Farm oysters
You cannot go to Tassie and not eat oysters. I repeat: You are missing the fuck out on LIFE if you go to Tassie and you do not eat oysters (unless you are a vegan in which case I support your choices). These babies are caught fresh as fuck and they taste like someone shucked them with magic Jesus hands. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the Freycinet Marine Farm because we arrived about half an hour after they closed. The guy who was locking up was sweet enough to re-open and sell us a few dozen shucked oysters. We ate them on the beach with a craft beer and it was romantic as fuck.
For The Boozer
I am an absolute basic bitch when it comes to alcohol (but like IS THERE SUCH A THING AS PUMPKIN SPICE MARTINIS CUZ I WANT ONE), so whiskey isn’t much to my taste (I can only handle it in a Hot Toddy). That said, if you are a whiskey lover, than Tassie is perfect for you. Sullivans Cove in Hobart was awarded the world’s best single malt whiskey. You can do a tasting for $25, and if you don’t need all your eggs, why not sell a few so you can afford the $500 bottles of whiskey they sell? It’s a nice and sexy atmosphere, and the people who work there are passionate, but not pretentious.
Also in Hobart is NANT, a passionate AND pretentious whiskey bar. The tasting options are incredible (or so Pate told me), but the general attitude is one of “I know better than you.” You’ll get schooled on how to ‘properly’ taste whiskey, and then you will have to show what you have learned by tasting it with your instructor/bartender. It’s all a bit much for me. Nice Hot Toddy’s though.
Saint John (Launceston),
If you are short on time, skip Launceston. I know, I know, it’s a ‘big city’ but unless you’re fucking obsessed with gorges, there isn’t much there (although you can find Kombucha throughout the city which is nice because everyone needs help pooping sometimes). If you find yourself traveling through, however, make a stop at Saint John.
When we arrived, we thought the city was fucking dead, but it just happened that everyone was over at Saint John drinking fantastic fucking beers and listening to some white people play blues music (this unfortunately happens in many parts of Australia and New Zealand). Big space, eclectic mix of people (v v Brooklyn), constantly rotating beers on tap, and a solid selection of bottled brews from around the world for purchase.
Seven Sheds (middle of nowhere)
If you are keen to try quite literally the world’s most remote beer, head over to Seven Sheds. This bite size brewery is located in a town called Railton. Railton is most famous for it’s fucking topiary, I’m not even shitting you.
These guys are doing some really creative, edgy shit with craft beer (like putting anise in it!) They’re serious about brewing, but also really nice guys (and they have a hops garden!). Their mead is on fucking point too, goddamn! Oh, and they sell beer soap as well, so like if you really love hops, you can make your balls smell like it! Huzzah!
Right on Salamanca is Waterman’s. They’ve got a good mix of local beers here (and also really yummy burgers!) and I basically like them because they have mad games inside and also heaters so you can hang outdoors in the cold winters.
If you’re a wine whore, you can definitely spend nine days just cruising around Tassie and hitting up a ton of vineyards. But if you only hit up one, please let it be Josef Chromy. I know, I know, big surprise. We didn’t eat in the restaurant because the cheapest starter is literally $18, and like, I had to pay for this month’s tampons in dimes and quarters. But we did do a wine tasting and went home with an absolutely gorgeous bottle of Botrytis. At the very least, go for a tasting and enjoy their beautiful outdoor area.
This winery is quite a bit more laid back than Josef Chromy, but just as beautiful. The wines are divine (especially the sparkling, chardonnay, and pinot noir), and they also have coffee and woodfired pizza which sort of feels like they can read my mind because I am always tired and hungry. Oh! And they have Freycinet Marine Farm oysters so you can kill two birds with one stone here! Great atmosphere, and a lovely view (even if it was raining the day we went).
Honestly, just go to Tassie and eat and drink everything and you won’t go wrong.