Pop Quiz: When you think of island destinations to add to your Diva bucket list, what springs to mind?
Capri. Santorini. Maldives (*sigh). Maui. Fiji?
Or dishy New Zealand (think about a Girls’ Getaway to Queenstown), Bali and Boracay, Mauritius and Mykonos, Sicily and Seychelles?
Whichever way you cut it, that’s a pretty reasonable roll call of supermodel islands, isn’t it? But there’s a glaring omission. And the best thing? It’s right under your nose and you don’t need a passport to visit. Which gleaming haven are we talking about?—The Apple Isle. Van Diemen’s Land. Birthplace of Princess Mary and that legendary debonair charmer, Errol Flynn.
Yep, that’s right—Tasmania.
Over the last decade or so, while we’ve all been dreaming of Capri and her supermodel sisters, Tasmania has quietly gone about becoming just about the coolest island on the planet. After all those years of being absurdly left off maps and awkwardly overlooked at moments of national significance, Tassie is now a serious destination of choice.
And for good reasons. This is an island of total complete gorgeousness and just enough oddity to give it an irresistible edgy coolness. Remember when New Zealand did that to us about 20 years ago? Well, right now is The Apple Isle’s moment in the sun.
Every diva worth her salt has heard of Mona – the Museum of Old and New Art. In 2011, when David Walsh—professional gambler and art collector—opened the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere to house his $110m collection of mind-boggling art and antiquities, a stake was driven into the earth here that said, ‘This place will never be the same again.’
Mona can be confronting and discombobulating. Wear pearls—you will find yourself clutching them.
The Mona effect is felt way beyond the museum walls these days as it hosts the remarkable, annual MOFO and Dark MOFO music and arts festivals which showcase large-scale public art and live performances.
It’s weird, wonderful and uniquely Tasmanian.
The Wonderfully Delectable
The Apple Isle’s good soil, crisp clean air, pristine waters, mild rainy winters and cool summers all conspire to create truly some of the world’s finest produce. What’s emerging from Tassie’s earth and waters? Think wonderful cheeses, salmon, oysters (washed down with a local Chardonnay, of course), wild abalone, local honey, black truffles, olive oils, saffron and, curiously, wasabi.
It’s little wonder then that Tassie has become a foodie destination par excellence, and a recognised source of premium fare the world over. Brand ‘Tasmania’ is *SHRN.
And when Tasmania’s best chefs get their hands on this stuff, magic happens. All over Tassie, restaurateurs are cooking up a reputation for culinary wonderment. Restos like Hobart’s Dier Makr, Fiko, Franklin and the totally divine The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery—that we visit on our fab Delicious and Divine escape in May 2021 —are taking local cuisine to another level.
Half-an-hour from Hobart, The Agarian Kitchen has been luring diners to a former women’s mental asylum [there’s the ‘weird’ again] since 2017 to be seduced by rustic, locally sourced food and excellent wine.
But there’s more to Tassie’s food scene that Hobart’s hot-spots. Head north to where the North Esk and South Esk rivers meet, and you’ll find Launceston—a city teeming with winemakers, artists, chefs, designers, distillers and small-batch producers of just about every artisanal product imaginable.
Lovely Launceston is ideally located to access the fabulous paddock-to-plate gourmet experiences of the Cradle Coast and Tamar Valley Wine Trails. It’s also nice and close to Cradle Mountain to the west and Freycinet Peninsula and Bay of Fires to the east.
If you want an even more immediate Tassie gourmet experience, simply pop on some waders, walk out into the crisp waters of Oyster Bay at Freycinet Marine Farm, and sample delicious pacific oysters straight from the sea. Paired with a glass of Freycinet Vineyard premium wine, of course.
Yes, you will dine and imbibe on The Apple Isle. A lot.
Whether you’re exploring the incredible wilderness areas like The Bay of Fires, Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park or the legendary Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, or simply sinking into a hot tub with a glass of something perfect at a remote luxury lodge, Tassie will make you gasp.
It’s not just the places you travel through that leave divas’ hearts all aflutter. There are some simply divine places to stay, too. From the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses, to the luxury spaces created within original silos at Peppers Silo Hotel, Launceston, and Freycinet Lodge overlooking the blue waters of Great Oyster Bay, this place knows how to treat a diva.
Like Nowhere Else
Tasmania certainly isn’t the only part of Australia blessed with unusual place names, but it does have some beauties. As you explore Tassie, keep an eye out for Snug, Promised Land, Egg and Bacon Bay, Milkshake Hills and—our fave—Nowhere Else.
Tasmania is delicious and divine, and interweaves a dark history with a vibrant modern culture, spectacular natural landscapes and world class everything.
We have no doubt that 2021 will be the year that Tassie takes her rightful place in the supermodel islands club, and the year you tick her off that bucket list of yours.
*So Hot Right Now
Talk again soon and don’t miss out on Tassie…..