East Coast Tasmania
Tasmania's east coast, with its natural beauty, spectacular landscapes and long beautiful beaches, offers a wonderful Australian coastal experience. Five national parks spread along the coast including the stunning Freycinet National Park. Freycinet National Park comprises a peninsula defined by a Schouten Island and a granite mountain range known as the Hazards. Trails lead up to a lookout for breathtaking views over Wineglass Bay. Freycinet National Park is home to dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches, abundant birdlife and stunning landscapes. Kick back on miles of white sand at the Friendly Beaches and the secluded cove of Honeymoon Bay, or try snorkelling and diving off the rocky Sleepy Bay.
The Great Eastern Wine Weekend
The Great Eastern Wine Weekend is an annual celebration of the region’s finest wine. The weekend officially began Friday evening with a ‘Meet the Makers’ event at the beautiful Freycinet Lodge. Winemakers from across the east coast region gathered at the Lodge for complimentary tastings, wine sales and great conversation. I enjoyed the Melshell Oysters freshly shucked from their farm at Dolphin Sands, a platter of locally made cheeses from Hazards Bar and Lounge, and the tunes of much-loved local musician Luke Parry.
It was a highlight of my weekend to spend time with Claudio Radenti on the gentle slopes of Freycinet Vineyard, overlooking the peninsula. It’s not often one can spend time with a renowned winemaker and vineyard owner on an estate where every drop is grown, produced and bottled on site. Claudio pointed out near 40-year-old vines that have gone on to win national awards and redefine Tasmania’s position as a premier producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sparkling wines. It was a wonderful afternoon of learning, conversation, wine tasting while enjoying a platter of locally made cheeses.
The Great Eastern Wine and Dine Dinner
The Great Eastern Wine and Dine Dinner was the signature event of the weekend, this five-course sunset feast overlooked the stunning Oyster Bay. The evening was hosted by Claudio Radenti, and Curly Haslam-Coates, who shared their wealth of knowledge from decades of experience in the wine industry. The evening began with freshly shucked oysters, east coast bubbles, delicious canapes, before guests were seated for the remaining courses. Each course was beautifully matched with two bottles of wines which our table shared. Local wine makers also joined our table and shared stories about winemaking on the east coast. My glass was always full, the food platters were piled high with regional fare and the dessert and cheese platters were divine. The evening was topped off with live music by local band, The Pretty Things and a delightful espresso martini. To say I enjoyed the evening would be an understatement, I highly recommend that you book tickets for the 2020 dinner.
My wife and I stayed at the superb Freycinet Lodge. With a spectacular waterfront location at the foot of the Hazards, just inside Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge is a great base for exploring the Freycinet peninsula. The lodge has been awarded a certificate of excellence by Trip Advisor and I can see why. We stayed in the new Coastal Pavilion which provided us with a connection to the natural surroundings of Freycinet National Park, all while enjoying a superb level of comfort. We enjoyed the outdoor spa bath; the room was spotlessly clean with a fantastic view over the blue waters of Oyster Bay. The friendly staff told me that the cabins are designed to impart welcoming familiarity and warmth. The lodge itself was cosy and a nice place to spend sometime relaxing while admiring the beautiful views.
Images - Bronwen Hartas