Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Guide to Tasmania

Location location. Picture empty beautiful crystal clear beaches, oysters plucked right from the ocean and served immediately, berry and dairy farms, viscious Tasmanian devils and endless forests and wilderness. And the occasional wallaby roadkill. That's Tasmania in a nutshell. And boy is it magical. 

Most of the fun's to be had outside of the main cities so read ahead and find out more. Long long post here to make up for a week and a half hiatus but bear with me, adventure is out there! (Charlez Muntz, Up)


Hire a car. That's your best bet. Otherwise besides Launceston and Hobart, you'll be hard pressed to find public transport that'll take you to anywhere besides the two. And drive carefully; the wildlife hold no regard for road safety or their lives. 


Australian weather is bipolar to say the least. Tasmania moreso. One day it could be a solid 35, the next a blistering 12. No joke. Snows, heat, you name it, it's there. Pack layers, shorts, bug spray, sunscreen, swimmers and hiking boots/ walking shoes. You'll need them.


You'll be spending a flipping insane amount of fuel, produce and adventure courses. You don't want to go burning more on a 5 star hotel. Backpackers and motels are the way we went. And I recommend you do the same. Unless you're a princess.


Out east, staying around Swansea is such a joy. It's a great stopover to Freycinet which is tourist-attraction-central. You're also minutes away from the beach and other attractions and it's just perfect for kicking back and slowing down. There's a couple of eateries around the place and there's plenty to do. 2-3 days should be enough to explore the most out of the area.

Kates Berry Farm (eat)

Kates Berry Farm is on the way from Hobart to Swansea. It houses all types of jam, some twisted up adult-style with a bit of alcohol thrown in. 

It's also a sit down cafe where you can enjoy a delicious scone or two with their jam. Really nice place to buy some gifts as well.

Kate's Berry Farm on Urbanspoon

The Ugly Duckout (eat)

Close by to our lodge is the Ugly Duckout. I'm leaving a bit mixed here, one hand the food's decent, the other it takes forever to come out. Minimum was an hour for us, I shit you not. Urgh.

Wallaby makes multiple appearances on this menu. Health conscious rejoice, it's a really lean cut, full of protein but unfortunately ours was dry.

Seafood basket would have tasted better had it not taken so long to come out. All manner of nibbles are on this place, from deepfried mussels, largish fish fingers and chip. 

However, and this almost redeems them, their milkshake is extraordinary. For those who think milkshakes are just ordinary milkshakes, this one isn't. Jam packed with vanilla seeds, it's the best one I've had yet. And at 6 dollars a pop, it's definitely worth it. Cheaper than all the other ones in Sydney that I've had.

The Ugly Duck Out on Urbanspoon

Oysterbay Seafood (eat)

Oysterbay on the otherhand are brilliant. A couple of days a week, you'll want to go to a couple of the restaurants to take advantage of the produce on hand. 

Oysterbay Seafood is in the middle of Swansea and our next stop for dinner. They're just rapidly churning out delicious seafood and the locals know it. Definitely recommended for anyone nearby. 

These pacifics are preshucked but they're fresh as can be, sweet and delicious. They're shucked fairly well with no a broken shell in sight.

Generous portions are great here, particularly with giant pieces of fish and chips served in a cone. Old-school bottled vinegar is available table-side for your chippies just like the British do it. 

Oysterbay Seafood on Urbanspoon


Freycinet (pronounced fray-si-nay) is a fairly drive-able distance from Swansea. This is where it's at and it's just gorgeous.

Freycinet Marine Farm (eat)

A huge tourist destination, this is the sort of place for seafood lovers. It's packed to the brim and you order by the front. All manner of seafood, including scallops, crayfish and lobsters, salmon, mussels and of course oysters are available here; harvested in their nearby marine farm.

Laser precision cooking isn't to be found here but the freshest produce is. And there's a friendly doggy! 

If you can move past the poorly shucked oysters and sea moss still attached to the oyster shells, you're in for a treat. It's the pacifics you can only get here by they're perfect; salty, clean and fresh.

Freycinet Marine Farm on Urbanspoon

Friendly Beaches (sights)

Friendly they are not, this place has barely a soul in site. Peaceful it is, however as you get stretches of empty undisturbed beachland. 

Collect a shell or two here, there's a fair few nice ones to be found. Perfect for a packed picnic and it's very photogenic.

Freycinet Adventures Kayaking (sights)

It's not cheap at 95 dollars for a 3 hour paddle but all  gear provided. I was skeptical with their recommendation at first but it holds true; all you need is some shorts and singlet. Bring your camera even, it'll stay dry with their waterproof pouch.

It's a beautiful paddle, particularly on a clear day where you can see the clear waters and stretches of mountains and they even provide a bit of the area's history for you. More information can be found on their site at http://www.freycinetadventures.com.au/.

Wineglass Bay (sights)

It's a long walk. Let's get that straight. It's hot and there's a lot of mosquitoes. You're conflicted about whether to wear long sleeves and heat up or short sleeves and risk getting bitten. Cause y'know. We forgot the bug spray. And I slipped twice. But boy is it beautiful up there. Up the mountain looking over the rest of it all. It's aptly named so because of the bowl shaped body of water, not that there's any wine to be found.

Down there is a beautiful beach. It's pristine and picture perfect. Clean soft sand, baby blue water. 

I'll finish this with a post of a wallaby we found along on the beach. It had its paws wrapped around the guy's wrist for a solid 3 minutes and would not let him stop scratching it.


Couple of things to see here. There's a multitude of various antiques and oddities if that's your thing. 

Otherwise the bridge is definitely something to see along with the whomping willow-esque tree next to it.

Bakery 31 (eat)

This is home to the apparently famous scallop pie. It's a quaint unassuming little bakery with a dine in area at the back.

Their pies are filled with scallops and a curried filling. These are a little on the small side and the pie isn't even remotely flakey but nice and soft.

You'll see the salmon and cheese combo happening a lot around Tasmania. I can see why; it's rich and decadent and everything you'd like in a pie. They ship these frozen around Australia taking orders in anywhere.

Ross General Store, Bakery and Tea Room on Urbanspoon


Hobart is a coastal town close to the ocean full of amazing eats and happenings. It's full of history and is an easy going place to be at with friendly locals. Many cruises can be found here for an enjoyable day out.

There's not much to do during the weekdays but being the state's capital, during the weekends are where the town lights up. 

Singapore Kopitiam (eat)

You'll be hard pressed to find good Asian food in all of Tasmania sadly. However one place stands out among the rest and it is Hobart's Singapore Kopitiam. 

The food's so authentic, it almost brings Mr Singapore himself, who was with us, to tears, partially because of the absurd amount of chilli he was dealing with I'd imagine.

Our crispy winged nasi lemak is just as good. It's just as it should be: lightly coconut scented rice, hard boiled egg, sweet spicy sauce, anchovies and nuts as well as crispy chicken wings. 

Kopitiam Singapore Cafe on Urbanspoon

Garagistes (eat)

It would appear that Garagistes is the premier restaurant in all of Tasmania. My detailed review can be found here.

Mona (sights)

Art lovers rejoice. Mona is a self guided museum with progressive art as a standout. Thanks to their 'O' which is an ipod with the program inside, you're able to read up on creations. 

Me? I can deal with abstract hence all the maths by anything that requires interpretation boggles me. Some of them where quite interesting to look at but. Close by is also a nice restaurant- The Source but we didn't get to stop by.

Machine Laundry Cafe (eat)

Half machine laundry, half cafe, all hip, there's nothing quite like Machine Laundry Cafe out there. They pull out an eclectic range of food. You might have generous portion of 'fatboy' roti rolled with chicken and bacon for breakfast one day or something from the other side of the world the next. 

Machine Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

Daci & Daci Bakers (eat)

Out of all the things I've eaten in Tasmania, this place undoubtedly do the best food. That's a big statement but I stand by it. They've got the patisserie look down pat with a large selection of baked goods on offer. A glass screen is all that separates customers from an amazing assortment of tantalizing sweets and savouries.

Their pisaladiere is a transcendental experience. Eye-rollingly flakey, buttery sweet slow caramelised onions and salty hits of anchovy and olive, it's just sublime.

Raspberry mini tart is almost as good. Crumbly base and sweet chantilly filling is cut through with a pair of very ripe tart raspberries. Delicious.

Daci & Daci Bakers on Urbanspoon

Salamanca Markets (shopping/eat)

If you're here for shopping, move along. Hobart can't hold a candle to the other shopping centres around Australia. The Salamanca Markets held every Saturday on the other hand is probably the best market I've ever been to.

It's a produce central, ranging from chocolate, to honey and jams, flowers, fruit, ice creams, Mexican, Pizzas, pies (scallop naturally) and coffees.

Deviate off the main street and you'll find yourself at one of the coolest alleys leading to an assortment of cafes.

There's also miscellaneous things with all manner of bibs and bobs. There was even a automobile exhibition happening.

Expect talented street performances from buskers on any day. 

We score ourselves these box of cherries for 6 dollars. We haven't had proper proper fruit for half a week and they were all fresh, juicy and ripe.

There's a pizza pop-up close to the end of the street which make and bake all their pizzas fresh in their wood fire oven.

There's a lot of love that goes into our four cheese one. The crust is crispy and the top is cheesy. Beer in the other hand and you've got a party started. 

Cat & Fiddle Arcade (shopping)

Hobart is Tasmania's state capital but even then there's not much to go to when it comes to shops. They close early and there aren't alot. Still if you've got a shopping tick niggling at you, Cat & Fiddle's your best bet.


Strahan is a nice little town out far west of Hobart. It's population is around 700 but doubles during the Summer period. You'll find a wood shop selling Huon pine products there, a sweet shop and also another fudge shop and plenty of seafood restaurants.

Plenty of ducks as well.

Along the way we decided to take a selfie with cows in the background. As we approached half the herd started defecating while backing off. "Scared the shit out of it" quipped Jen. Quite literally so. 

Nelson Falls Tracks (sights)

It's a short track really, around 10-15 minutes or so. But to the end of it is a fairly high waterfall cascading down on top of you.

It's a safe path with man made walks directing you forward. Might even be able to get away with thongs. Insect repellent is a must here.

Sand Dunes (sights)

My god I'm still it in my calves. Hire a taboggan or board for 14 and 25 respectively at the local Strahan shop near the ocean. Or you could just find an empty beer box, flatten it out and use that. What it is are stretches of just soft sand going down hill. Going down is the fun part. 

Going up isn't. It's a steep climb where the sand just sinks on you. There's various videos of me pathetically chucking my board up trying to make it easier only for it to slide back down again. And blaspheming constantly. But I'm an exercise nut. Going up is just as good. For me.

Ocean Beach (sights)

Fairly close to the sand dunes is the Ocean Beach. It's a large expanse of hard sand and ocean where you can watch the sun set and camp for a spectacular time. You might be lucky enough to come at dusk to watch the mutton birds in flocks black out the sky. 

Rafting Tasmania (sights)

Our one wasn't cheap either at 110 dollars for 2 hours. Set along one of the dams on Brady's Lake, it's a fairly short stretch of water rapids and rocks where you rush down in an inflatable rubberized boat. The guys who run it are ultra friendly and you'll definitely have a good time. It's hard to get bored, even after the fifth time, what with the spinning raft and the capsizing happening every trip. But so good. For more information visit http://raftingtasmania.com/.

Cradle Mountain (sights)

For the walkers, this is where you'll want to be. There's 10+ different walks at anytime during any seaon at Cradle Mountain that you'll definitely want to look at. You could experience anything from a colourful landscape to ancient rainforests and still expanses of water. 

Come properly geared if you're planning the half day and day walks. I hear the place becomes magical at winter with all the ice formations happening. Definitely wouldn't mind going back there again for a visit. For more information visit http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=3297.


Bay of Fires (sights)

Past St Helens on the way from Launceston are the Bay of Fires in the North East Coast of Tasmania. It's well known for it's white sand, picturesque oceans and orange tinted rocks. 

It features prominently on most tourism guides, even making the front covers of many. Definitely not something to be missed.

Melita Honey Farm (eats)

I love this honey farm. It brings out the two year old in me again.This is proper proper stuff with at least 30 different jars you can sample in the middle.. They've got their signature leatherwood as well as fruit varieties, creamed, herbal ones, lemoned, it's a spellbinding place to be at. I actually got told off for sampling too much. Only me.

Tasmania is the 'chillest' place in Australia, both in climate and lifestyle. Shops, unfortunately open up late and close early but it's just so relaxed. If you're materialistic, go else where. For all the other great joys in life, like food, wine and adventure, you're right at home. It's the picture perfect holiday.

Everyone, stop! I'm missing my right foot!
Wow boy that was a long post. Long long long post. I really have no idea what I'm doing. If you've read up to this far, thank you. I'm usually quite prideful of my somewhat decent vocabulary but I hope I didn't end up just recycling words. Please drop me a line on whether you really like these 'guides' or would rather them broken up. I'd really appreciate some thoughts.

Oh right here it is. Silly me.


I've heard of Wineglass Bay but wow, that beach shot is breathtaking! Looks like you had fantastic weather too!

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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