My Hyundai ASX rental at a lookout with Freycinet in view across the water

Round 2 – Trip 3 – Tasmania

Itineraries

September 2018

Day 1 – Sydney to Hobart

Sydney to Hobart Flight – Qantas – Depart 10am, Arrive 12pm

Pick up Hire Car for 3 days rental – Budget – Mitsubishi ASX

Drive to hotel in Hobart, Henry Jones Art Hotel.

Walk around city of Hobart.

Visit Post Street Social bar looking out to Hobart Wharf for a Tasmanian Apple Cider.

Visit Sammy the Seal in the marina. He’s often found around the floating fish and chip shops!

Stock up on more Tasmanian Apple Cider from 9/11 Bottleshop around the corner from hotel.

Visit the IXL Long Bar in hotel foyer for Tasmanian Pear Cider (for variety).

Have fancy Fish & Chips at Mures Upper Deck for dinner.

Drink Apple Cider in spa bath at hotel before bed.

Day 2 – Hobart to Freycinet

Leave hotel around 9am to start journey up East Coast to Freycinet, which is a 200km and 2 hour 40min drive without stops.

Stop along the way to take photos of various vantage points as Freycinet comes into view across the water.

Stop at Spikey’s Bridge, a convict made bridge that looks quite sinister, followed by Spikey’s Beach which has some beautiful orange rocks and great views of Freycinet (15 mins each).

Eat lunch at Saltshaker restaurant in Swansea which has a beautiful view across the water and good food.

Stop at Milton Winery for a tasting.

Arrive at Freycinet National Park, buy 24 hour park pass. Do Wineglass Bay lookout walk. Lots of steep uphill and stairs, only 3km but average duration is 1.5 hours.

Arrive at Freycinet Lodge for the night.

Visit hotel’s ‘Meet the Maker’ wine tasting event in their conference room.

Have burger (very average burger) in hotel bar whilst planning the next day itinerary.

Relax drinking cider in hotel spa bath before bed.

Day 3 – Freycinent to Bay of Fires, to Launceston

Up early to head to Honeymoon Bay in Freycinet National Park, just a few minutes from the hotel. Too cold to swim, stay only 10-15 mins.

Still in Freycinet, visit Cape Tourville Lighthouse. Do seaside walk up to Lighthouse. Cannot go up Lighthouse. Took about 20mins.

Drive to Bicheno – 40kms, 40mins. Visit Blue Edge Bakery for croissant and coffee.

Visit Bicheno Blowhole. Lots of beautiful red rocks to explore. Blowhole is not huge, but occasionally gives a powerful burst so worth seeing. Stay 30mins. Sadly could not stay overnight to see the penguins.

Drive to Bay of Fires – 100kms, 1 hour 20 mins. Climb over all the rocks out to the water. STUNNING! Stayed about an hour.

Drive to Launceston – 160kms, 1 hour 50 mins. Lots of farms along the drive, not many food options so eat before leaving the town near Bay of Fires.

Arrive at Peppers Seaport Hotel for the night. Relax in room after all that driving.

Dinner at Brisbane St Bistro. Fancy, but pretentious. Ate entree and main.

Dessert at Mudbar at hotel. Spectacular.

Day 4 – Launceston to Tamar Valley, to Melbourne to Sydney

Up early to head for a drive through the Tamar Valley. It’s raining, but still beautifully scenic.

Stop at Beaconsfield and look at the mine museum from the outside. Not open to tour inside at that time.

Visit Moon Lily Kitchen and Cakes for coffee and a Nutella Scroll. Highly recommended!

Continue on to Beauty Point, which turns out to not be that beautiful. Don’t recommend.

Turn around and head back to the Tamar wine region and visit Tamar River vineyard. Stunning view of the river from their location high on a hill. I bought the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Head back to Launceston and visit Cataract Gorge. Rode the chair lift across the gorge and did the short walk to the bridge. It’s really just fast running brown water. Fun to visit only if you have time.

Then off to lunch at Josef Chromy winery. This is a MUST DO. The best food I had in Tasmania. Definitely have lunch there. Beautiful setting looking out to the vineyard, plus their Rose is amazing.

Drive to Launceston airport, return hire car. Take 5pm Virgin flight to Melbourne, then 6:30pm connecting flight home to Sydney.

Note you cannot get a direct flight from Launceston to Sydney in the afternoon on Sundays (maybe other days too). Last one leaves at 10am, but then you would waste all your day back home when you could be exploring Tas still and drinking wine. Cheers!!

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Main meal of Linguine at Saltshaker Restaurant in Swansea, Tasmania

Saltshaker Swansea

Foodie Finds

Where: Saltshaker Restaurant, Swansea, Tasmania.

When: September 2018

Meal: Weekday Lunch

Cost: Approx $50 for one (including alcohol)

On my journey up the East Coast of Tasmania I stopped in the cute little town of Swansea do lunch. There looked to be a few a old school pubs in the area, but Saltshaker looked out over the water and it was a beautiful sunny day, so I headed inside.

Being still pretty much the off season, there were very few people inside and I was able to take my pic of tables with water views. The waitress was very attentive and when I selected the Prawn & Scallop Linguini – pan fried scallops and prawns with lemon chilli garlic butter ($29.90) as my main, she said it was their most popular dish. I understand why. It was plentiful and the garlic butter was decadent, but not too heavy, especially considering it was only lunchtime.

I also had the Shaker Bread – ciabatta bread with garlic butter and caramelised balsamic oil ($6.50) for entree (4 pieces) which was good, but not a must have, and enjoyed a Pagan’s Pear Cider on ice (approx $10).

Would I go back? Definitely. That pasta was beautiful.

Would I recommend it to you? Yes, the view is spectacular and the pasta worth stopping in for.

https://www.saltshakerrestaurant.com.au/menus

Freycinet Lodge

Accommodation

Where: Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. Australia.

When: September 2018

Duration: 1 night stay

Room Type: Premier Cabin, Jetted Tub

Cost: $404.10

(Booked whilst Hotels.com had a 10% discount offer on)

Freycinet National Park is simply STUNNING! So why would you choose to stay anywhere else aside from in the park? Well, I mean why would you choose to stay anywhere else besides a hotel in the park. I assume you can camp in there, but I think we’ve established I’m not the tent kinda lady!

I arrived at Freycinet Lodge about 4:30pm after doing the Wineglass Bay lookout walk. It was meant to be an easy walk, but turns out I’m unfit and it was hard AF. I arrived at the hotel quite disheveled, but the clerk on reception gave me a warm welcome.

Check in was fast and I was in my room to enjoy the afternoon sun streaming through my windows. I was pretty impressed with my room/cabin. It was spacious and the spa bath looked incredibly inviting!

After a quick shower and change I headed back to the main building to attend a ‘Meet the Maker’ wine event being held in a conference room off to the side of the main bar and restaurant. Here I was able to try many of the wineries I passed on the way to Freycinet but didn’t have time to stop in.

Having not eaten since early that day, those wines went to my head so I popped out for some air and to see a magnificent sunset off the back deck of the hotel….

I wasn’t overly fussed by the menu at the hotel restaurant, so I instead stayed in the bar and ordered a burger from the bar whilst I planned my itinerary for the following day. There aren’t that many options once you’re in the National Park, but I wouldn’t recommend the bar burger. It was rather half-assed. Perhaps I should have tried the restaurant.

I returned to my room and found that turn down service has been and left me the cutest chocolates with ‘Freycinet Lodge’ printed on them. And because I was travelling alone, I got to eat both whilst drinking wine in that beautiful spa bath! The underfloor tile heating had also been turned on, which would be a welcome surprise in winter I’m sure!!

There was a well equipped mini-bar with lots of local Tassie treats I’ve seen at Salamanca Markets and my favourite thing was complimentary still water. Seriously, it’s such a cheap thing for a hotel to provide, literally cents per bottle, so it really pisses me off when I spent a couple of hundred on a room and it’s not provided.

Would I stay there again? Yes, don’t get me wrong, it’s expensive but I actually felt like I got value for the price considering the high standard of the room and the remote location.

Would I recommend it to you? Absolutely. Go. Now!

Henry Jones Art Hotel

Accommodation

Where: Hobart, Tasmania. Australia.

When: September 2018

Duration: 1 night stay

Room Type: Deluxe Spa Room, Harbour View

Cost: $387

This was my second stay in Hobart within a year. Last visit I chose to stay at the Macq01 which I LOVED, but I was very curious about the Henry Jones in the beautiful old IXL Jam building, so this time I decided to try out the hotel across the road.

I checked in about 5pm and being September, still quite cool weather wise and off-season, the hotel was pretty quiet. My booking included valet parking, but there was plenty of free spaces out the front so I just pulled up, for my bags out and walked inside.

Check in was quick and easy considering I had already prepaid my booking with Hotels.com. My room was on the second floor and the check-in clerk who was a young girl much smaller than myself offered to help me with my luggage as there would be stairs to get to my room. I was lugging around a few bags so I happily accepted her assistance, but felt bad when she struggled with my 15kg suitcase!

The room was quite large with a modern, yet traditional feel. Let me explain that. The facilities, including a spa bath and giant walk in shower felt that of a modern hotel room. However the furnishings style were quite traditional and the balcony exposed the old historical factory facade of the building, so it felt quite old school. It worked for me.

There is art all over the hotel, as the name suggests. In my room I found art that I could purchase if I so desired and it was also all around the hotel in the hallways.

Wifi was included which was fast and plentiful for a one night stay. There was a pod coffee machine in my room and a well stocked mini-bar, which was quite expensive. There was also a turn down service which occurred whilst I was out at dinner, but this was just some T2 night time tea. You’ll win me over with chocolate thanks!

I had a drink at the bar in the foyer but didn’t dine at the restaurants at all. The location suited me. It’s quiet as it’s just off the wharf with minimal traffic, but close to the centre of town including the MONA Ferry terminal and Salamanca Markets.

Would I stay there again? No, it was a good experience, but I felt it was overpriced for what it was, particularly since it was off season.

Would I recommend it to you? No, my pick in Hobart is the Macq01.