Touring Tasmania: A Top Spot for Fine Food

Food and drink experiences to enjoy on your Tasmanian tour

The island state of Tasmania, Australia boasts four distinct seasons, abundant sunshine and rainfall, rich soil and seas, and a culture of innovation.  All combine to make a superb food and wine offering part of the Tasmania touring experience!  The island produces everything from wine to whisky, saffron to truffles, abalone to wasabi.  It’s a foodie’s paradise, in the one of the most stunning natural settings in the world.

Touring Tasmanian distilleries & breweries

Historically Tasmania was divided between the North and South according to which beer was consumed.  In the north Boag’s was the beer of choice.  In the south Cascade beer dominated.  Happily today a rise of craft breweries and distilleries have muddied the division and the variety of options are abundant.

Craft brewing is now mainstream on the island. For a truly bespoke brew, however, try wild-fermented and barrel-aged beers and ciders made from homegrown grain, hops and fruits, and served at a farmhouse bar.

Starting in Hobart are a number of whiskey guided tours. But if hard liquor isn’t your style there are beer, cider and wine tours available throughout Tasmania too.

Tasmanian distillers are known as leaders.  They’re innovative and original creators. Smooth sheep’s whey vodka, gins enriched with sloe berries or lavender. A sassafras spirit, vodka made from Tasmania potatoes. And Australia’s first rye distillery (the only one in the world powered by biofuel). Touring Tasmania delights taste buds.

Tasmania has more whisky distilleries than any other state. Partly it’s the weather, which can be very Scottish at times and perfect for maturing whisky. Plus, all ingredients can be sourced on the island, from highland peat bogs to pure spring water.

But wait, there’s more… Tasmania’s burgeoning cider scene, anchored in the Huon Valley, includes century-old apple farms now turning their hands to hooch, apple brandy, and fruity blends of apple, pear and cherry.

We offer a Tastes of Tasmania tour that includes many chances to sample local foods and beverages. And there’s a trail for your beverage of choice:

Tasmania AKA Seafood Heaven

It makes perfect sense that a small island situated in the Southern Ocean is the ideal place to find exceptional seafood.  From oyster shacks to seaside fish-and-chip vans and fine dining, seafood features prominently in menus and roadside stops when you are touring Tasmania.


Pacific oysters are farmed across Tasmania, and are at their best in winter (Jun-Aug). Many oyster farms have farm-gate eateries on site.  Grab a dozen oysters from the retro caravan at Melshell Oyster Shack and head to the top of the adjoining dunes to eat in view of the racks.

Choose from natural, baked or in a wheel of 13 different oysters at Tarkine Fresh Oysters. And you can get no closer to the oyster action than on a tour of Freycinet Marine Farm with Oyster Bay Tours – they’ll have you wearing waders and shucking direct from the baskets.


Southern rock lobster – known universally in Tasmania as crayfish, or simply crays – is one of the ultimate Tasmanian treats. The fishing season runs from about November to May, when the fresh white flesh becomes one of the tastes of Tasmania.

Head to Bicheno for a lobster roll (and a whole lot more) at the Lobster Shack Tasmania, with its dining deck overlooking the fishing boats. In Stanley, Hursey Seafoods specialises in fresh-caught crayfish – look for the large (fibreglass) cray on the roof.


Tasmania is the world’s largest wild abalone fishery, producing about 25% of the total annual global production. Visit Candy Abalone Tasmania, near Hobart Airport to learn about this important local industry. It runs fascinating tours of its drying operation of wild-caught abalone.

Searching out abalone on local menus is a treasure hunt filled with reward. Most of the catch is exported, but it does make appearances on fine restaurants’ menus. Indeed, it is a regular feature on the menu at Hursey Seafoods and the Barilla Bay oyster-farm restaurant, upstairs from Candy Abalone. So, tasting local abalone is a perfect complement to a tour.


Scallops are a staple item at fish-and-chip shops and vans, and Tasmania’s many fine dining options. They’re at their finest in winter.  But more uniquely scallop pies, found in bakeries across the state, are a Tasmanian institution!

Featuring a cluster of scallops flavoured with curry powder, these pies are a source of continual debate. Which bakery produces the best pie? It’s an argument settled each year at the Tassie Scallop Fiesta, held in Bridport in July, with a contest for the state’s best scallop pie.

Fish and chips

All Tasmanians have grown up on fresh seaside fish and chips, and the experience remains an essential part of the coastal Tasmanian experience.  Stop at a fish van in Triabunna and Doo Town. Pick from the menu at a floating fish punt on Hobart’s Constitution Dock or along the waterfront in St Helens.

No tour of Tasmania is complete without a fish and chip meal. There’s even fish and chips at a winery cellar door. Devil’s Corner mixes wine with views of Freycinet Peninsula and food from the on-site The Fishers seafood eatery.  Or for a different experience you can paddle up to one of the Hobart fish punts for a floating feed of fish and chips on a half-day paddling trip.

Wineries & Vineyards

Renowned for the cooler-climate wines, Tasmania offers cellar doors and charted wine driving routes linking them.  There are four wine trails that connect the vineyards of the north-west, each coast, south and Tamar Valley.  It’s here you can taste the cool-climate pinot noirs, chardonnays and sparkling wines – often with dramatic views of stunning coastline and river valleys.

The Pipers River region is Tasmania’s – and Australia’s – answer to Champagne. Its similar latitude and soils produce sparkling wines of such superior quality even the French have staked out some vines!

Looking for a less traditional wine experience? A number of city cellar doors have sprung up serving the island’s top wines and spirits in chic urban surrounds.  Even Mona, Australia’s most avant-garde art gallery, just north of Hobart, also has a winery, brewery and gastronomy venue onsite.

Short on time?  Then, the Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre might just be a solution. It showcases the magnificent wines of the region, incorporating guided wine, gin and whisky tastings and sales. And it also serves as a retail space for Tasmanian artists, craftspeople and designers all in one convenient spot.

The wine centre offers tastings and sales for all 24 producers on Tasmania’s East Coast, including several that do not have their own cellar door. It also offers tastings and sales of artisan, small-batch, boutique Tasmanian whiskies and gins, as well as a retail space for curated wines from other regions in Tasmania.  During summer they are also open for casual drinks till late on Friday and Saturday, with local musicians on some Saturday evenings in a relaxed and intimate setting.

Pubs & Bars

A visit to a local pub is becoming an essential element in any Tasmanian tour. Tasmania’s old pubs are being made over or reimagined in the best possible ways. Hobart’s quickly becoming known for its hole-in-the-wall bars, defined by their sophisticated tastes in wines and small plates.

One example is Gold Bar, a tiny hole-in-the-wall gin and whisky bar. This place is a local favourite for adventurous drinkers and those interested in trying local and Australian spirits. Gold Bar doesn’t have a drinks menu. Instead, you discuss your preferences with the bar staff who then create a cocktail to match your tastes. Whether you have an exact order or a vague concept in mind, you won’t be disappointed. The pressed tin decor is charming and the low lighting keeps the setting romantic and cosy.

Out of town, you’ll find pubs with views over ocean and mountain, journeys back in time, and back-to-basics brewers capturing the island’s essence in a bottle.  Visionary licensees are breathing new life into the Midlands town of Oatlands, from an old dispensary reborn as a wine, cheese and spirit merchant (The Imbibers) to an 1830’s pub restored to its former glory (The Kentish Tasmania).

One 1842 Hobart hotel is now one of the country’s leading gastropubs showcasing regional produce (Tom McHugo’s). In the north, the colonial-era Clarendon Arms in Evandale is doing smart 21st century drinking and the dining is honest fresh British Pub style.

Going to the source of Tasmania’s delicious local produce

Cellar doors and farm gates are the surest portals to Tasmanian produce when touring through Australia’s southernmost state. Oysters and seafood straight from the ocean. Truffles and heirloom vegetables from the earth. Honey from ancient rainforests… Tasmania is a place where seasonality and hospitality go hand in hand.  And the best way to experience this is through a farm gate or local producer experience.

Touring Tasmania’s north-west, a region that is blessed with exceptional growing conditions and quality produce? Follow the 50-stop Tasting Trail to discover artisan producers of cheese and fruits, salmon and hazelnuts, chocolate, truffles – and – chocolate truffles!

Or you can savour oysters by the lagoon they grew in.  Lobster and scallops sourced straight from local fishermen. Seafood doesn’t come fresher than at Melshell Oyster Shack.  This is a superior oyster experience from their farm in Great Oyster Bay. Premium Natural Oysters together with other local seafood and cheeses. For adventurous guests, a self cook kebab experience at your table is a must.

Farm Gate Producers

Then we move onto dairy, milk a sheep. Make some butter. But leave the cheeses to the experts! They’ll make anything you desire – Manchego-style, camembert and brie, Persian feta – even truffle fondue at The Tasting House farm where you can experience a selection of Grandvewe Sheep Cheeses and Hartshorn Distillery Sheep Whey Spirits tastings guided by a Tasting House staff member.

Or you can join the truffle dogs on a hunt for rare black truffles. This one hour and 15 minute experience provides insight on all things truffle and takes you into the trufferie to unearth a truffle with your own hands.  After unearthing hidden treasure you are invited to sample a tasting of truffle products. (November to May).

Tasmania’s distinctive leatherwood honey is harvested by bees deep within Australia’s largest cool-temperate rainforest of takayna / Tarkine. You can even follow the journey from blossom to honeypot via virtual reality at a honey farm.

Farmers Markets & Farm Tours

Of course, with this much local produce, Farmers’ markets are part of the Tasmania way of life. Once a week, or once a month, island producers bring the bounty of their paddocks and orchards, vineyards and kitchens to cities and towns.

At Tasmania’s diverse farms you can feed the animals and talk to them, too. Sample olive oils cold off the press. Skip through tulip fields. Tour Southern Ocean saltworks. And indulge in genuine paddock-to-plate dining at a heritage-breed pig farm.  It’s all on offer here and is a genuine fresh produce haven.

Touring Tasmania – A delight for your taste buds

Local produce and the amazing things local artisan producers are doing with it is a key part of any Tasmanian touring experience. Our tours of Tasmania include many chances to sample local delicacies. And foodies and wine lovers should seriously consider Inspiring Journeys’ Tastes of Tasmania tour — seven days of gourmet experiences. Not sure what Tasmanian tour will be right for you? Talk to one of our specialists to get expert help finding your perfect tour.