When visiting the land down under, it is most common to explore the major cities, Sydney and Melbourne. However, I got more adventurous this time and visited Tasmania, an island state located more than 200km South of Australia mainland and home of our ferocious friend turned cartoon character, the Tasmanian devil.
As if this destination was not far enough yet, I headed further down and explored the tiny Bruny Island located at the South Eastern coast with one single purpose: to experience the exquisite 7-Course Gourmet Food Tour they are known for.
The tour started at Hobart, the Capital of Tasmania. We were brought to Kettering Ferry and cruised away via a roll-on-roll-off (RORO) ship. We had such spectacular views of their natural landscape!
FIRST STOP: Bruny Island Cheese
Together with locally produced Ale, we sampled four different types of cheese with varying textures and production methods – soft and hard, with washed and natural rind, made of pasteurized and raw milk.
SECOND STOP – Get Shucked Oysters
I was totally looking forward to this part. Plump, juicy, freshly shucked Pacific oysters were served and we had an allocation of six pieces per person. There was a choice between Naked (just with lemon slices) or Dressed (served with three dressings). This experience brought me to food heaven and I ended up gorging almost half a dozen more (donated by generous tour mates who have sensitive tummies for raw food – many thanks to them!). You can also find the world’s first Oyster Drive-Thru here. How cool is that?
THIRD STOP – Cruises Café
We took a little break and admired the sceneries from a beachfront cafe, but the eating continued as we chit chat. There were moist muffins on our table complemented with a choice of tea or coffee.
FOURTH STOP – Honey
We headed to a store called Honey Pot and they showed us at least six different types of honey to try, all of which were 100% sourced from beehives in Tasmania. Some variants include Fennel, Blue Gum, and Bush, which are produced depending on the type of flower the bees pollinate. The prized Manuka Honey, which Australia is known for, was also up for sale.
FIFTH STOP – Premium Wines
We were then brought to Australia’s Southernmost vineyard to taste a couple of white and red wines that they produce. They handed us a detailed menu to better acquaint us with the unique tasting notes of each type.
Now comes the most awaited part: lunch. With a choice between lamb or salmon, I chose the former. We were also given a full glass of our choice. I paired my meal with a Pinot Noir, which has aromas of vanilla and strawberries, but with a cherry-like flavor on the palate.
SIXTH STOP – Chocolate Company
By this time, I could already feel my tummy bursting; but I live by the saying, “There’s always room for dessert.” The chocolates are made onsite and we tried some of their bestsellers while sitting on the outdoor benches. I ended up buying their famous handmade fudge, which is truly love at first bite.
SEVENTH STOP – House of Whisky
I badly needed some digestif after all of the eating, so this was the best way to conclude the food trip. Tasmania is known for its rare single malt whisky and one particular brand, Sullivan’s Cove, has been named the world’s best. A type of handcrafted gin was also brought out for us to try.
When the time came to go home, I was easily a few pounds heavier. I left the island not only with a full tummy, but with a mind full of unforgettable experiences, and a heart full of gratitude for this rare opportunity. Bruny island reminded me that life is meant to be lived, to be savored, and to be felt. With all of the chaos and drama that we always face for survival, we must take time to detach and detox every once in a while.
As such, I am encouraging everyone to take beautiful trips; your older self will later thank you for them.