Don’t you love it when you get the invitation to do something quite far removed from your daily routine? This week I had the opportunity to make a flying visit to North West Tasmania to check something out with my Dad, so I immediately said ‘yes please!’ Even though I had a lovely and refreshing time, the trip didn’t start so well.
I’m sure you have felt this before. As you walk down the aisle you see a rather large man, stuffed and squished to fit within the confines of what an airline deems to be enough space, arms and legs encroaching on the passenger next door and out onto the aisle. You think to yourself, man I hope that’s not my seat, or my personal favourite, thank god I am not sitting there! Last night..I sat there. Pinned into a seat is not my favourite way to spend a flight, let alone one with bad aftershave thrown into the mix, but I guess it’s better to rack up that karma on a short haul rather than the 24 hours to London.
My trip wasn’t a sightseeing trip, I was there to provide my “expert” marketing opinion, but I did get the chance to take a couple of pics while driving on the roads I used to love as a child, having spent my formative years down there, particularly seeing the richness of the chocolate like soil again.
In the morning we headed to Penguin to take a look at “The Project”. The drive along Lillico Straight was a stunning reminder that Tasmania really is underdeveloped. The whole waterfront is houseless but offers beautiful views out to Bass Straight. On the way back we ducked into Olivers Bakery for a morning coffee. While I wouldn’t rate it among the best coffee I have sampled, the mini pie I had was a top notch combination of flaky pastry and a rich beef and mushroom gravy…and yes it was only 10am but it looked so good!
Heading back to Launceston to catch my flight, we took a little diversion at Ashgrove Farm Cheese at Deloraine. As you pull in from the road, about 20 painted cows greet you and serve as a reminder that you are in dairy country. Inside the shop you can buy Ashgrove milk, cream, cheese and a host of other local gourmet food. Dad and I went straight for the icecream and both ordered the vanilla bean. Dad was disappointed with his and was referring to it as ice confectionary as opposed to ice cream, but I quite enjoyed mine. Dad has tucked into his fair share of icecream over the years and politely told me that he had about 30 years icecream sampling experience on me so perhaps take his expert word for it instead!
Rather than take the conventional highway route from Deloraine, Dad drove me down the old roads through Hagley, Carrick and Hadspen. I had forgotten how colonial and English the area feels. We pulled off to take a look at Quamby Estate, a country club and golf course. It was closed for bridge repairs but reopens on 27th September, so locals can look forward to that.
The other gorgeous looking place in the area is Peppers Calstock, run by the Peppers group. It was a little too far out of our way but Dad tells me it’s beautiful too. The area is well worth a visit, definitely if you are doing a road trip around Tasmania.