East Coast Tasmania Overview
- Secluded bays, pristine beaches
- Coast life
- Fishing, feasting, swimming and strolling
Tasmania's untapped East Coast is home to sugar-white beaches, serene bays and a weird and wonderful assortment of wildlife.
Hemmed by the Bay of Fires and the Freycinet Peninsula, this pristine patch offers a alluring mix of beaches, bushland and rugged island escapes. The cool climate lends itself to stellar wines, while pollution-free waterways and farmlands offer up world-class seafood, meat and dairy goods, making for the ultimate gourmet getaway.
Essentially East Coast TasmaniaEast Coast Tasmania's cool climate produces elegant, world-class wines. Sip knockout chardonnay, pinot noir and riesling at Darlington Vineyard in Orford (+61 (0)3 62571630; www.darlingtonvineyard.com.au); in Cranbrook, slurp pinot gris, pinot noir and a luscious iced riesling at Milton Vineyard (+61 (0)3 6257 8298; www.miltonvineyard.com.au), and aromatic gewurztraminer and sauvignon blanc at Spring Vale Vineyards (+61 (0)3 6257 8208; www.springvalewines.com); and in Bicheno, sample chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine at Freycinet Vineyard (+61 (0)3 6257 8574; www.freycinetvineyard.com.au), and hand-crafted wines, as well as olives and olive oils at Coombend Vineyard (+61 (0)3 6257 8881; www.coombend.com.au).
- Distances can be vast here, so taxis tend to be expensive. Try East Coast Taxis (+61 (0)3 6376 2999), which operates out of St Helens.
- Tipping culture
- Tipping isn't expected, but is always appreciated. If you're happy with the service, 10 per cent will do nicely.
- Siesta and fiesta
- Local shops and banks open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, and often between 10am and 4pm on Saturday. Cafes usually open for breakfast at 8am and close at about 4pm. Restaurants and pubs will often start trading at midday and close up when it gets quiet (during winter that could be quite early).
- Packing tips
- Binoculars for wildlife spotting, hiking shoes for bushwalks and, if you're planning to take a dip beyond the height of summer, a top-to-toe wetsuit.
- Recommended reads
- A Guide to Tasting Tasmania by Graeme Phillips is the definitive guide to eating and drinking on the wee isle, including east-coast highlights. For a rollicking combination of social history and familial discovery, pick up a copy of In Tasmania by British novelist and short-term resident Nicholas Shakespeare.
- Seafood is the star here, so snap up Great Oyster Bay oysters, crayfish, abalone and all manner of fish, including tuna, perch, marlin, whiting, flounder and wrasse. The cool climate is perfect for berries, and the pristine farmlands produce top-notch beef, lamb and dairy goods.
- Australian dollar (AU$).
- Time zone
- GMT +10 hours.
- Dialling codes
- Country code: +61; Tasmania: (0)3 (drop the 0 if dialling from overseas).
- Do go/don't go
- There are four distinct seasons in these parts, and even summer (December–February) isn't a scorcher. It's the peak season, so if it's peace a quiet you're after, perhaps plan for another time.. Autumn (Marc–May) and Spring (September–November) are mild, while winter (June–August) is just plane chilly.
Don't go home without...
sampling Spring Bay mussels close to the source. These plump Tasmanian Blue Mussels are farmed in a pristine pocket of water between Triabunna and Maria Island, and are prized by chefs around the world.