Paddock-to-plate, farm-to-fork and dive-to-dish – the food miles are few on this small island.
It’s not just the chance to taste produce straight from the farm and ocean that’s special. It’s the ease of meeting the makers at cellar doors, farm gates and local markets that makes farm experiences in Tasmania an essential part of any trip.
Farm-fresh flavours come with food for thought, too. “The beauty of sharing our farm with visitors is being able to demystify the growing and cooking of food,” says Matthew Evans, a former Sydney chef and food critic turned Huon Valley farmer, author and presenter of the SBS series Gourmet Farmer. During their years in the Huon, he and partner Sadie Chrestman run occasional workshops, classes, shared farm experiences and leisurely lunchtime feasts with guests at Fat Pig Farm. Their ‘Pork and Pinot’ lunch series is running throughout summer 2023–24.
In a small, idyllic state like Tasmania, it’s easier to instil a new faith in small-scale farming. Matthew Evans
"Growers can care for soil, plants and animals, and still put dinner on the table, without costing the Earth," says Evans.
Head into the countryside and embrace a slower pace of life. Call into farm gates, cellar doors or markets to chat with farmers and makers. Everyone has a story to share.
Meet the maker
Whether it’s a farm tour, foraging experience or an on-site tasting, here’s your chance to meet the person behind the product.
Tasman Sea Salt
The Salt Sommelier is a tour of Tasman Sea Salt’s innovative clean-energy saltworks on the east coast, followed by paired tastings of sea salts with local produce.
Follow the dog on a truffle hunt. The Truffledore runs truffle tours and lunches during winter, and has farm stays. And The Truffle Farm has both winter and summer harvests and hunts, as well as a farm-gate shop.
Visit the rustic cellar door at Swinging Gate Vineyard and meet Nellie the dog. Cosy up inside or settle in the sun as Doug leads you through a tasting. This is the place for a glass of Pet Nat (short for Pétillant Naturel). The wine is bottled before completing its first fermentation, resulting in a light and fizzy natural wine. This is the place to try it.
Fork it Farm
Focused on ethical and sustainable farming, Fork it Farm practises what it preaches to raise its Berkshire pigs in the Tamar Valley. Visit the farm shop, take a farm tour or book a paddock picnic with a charcuterie platter and enjoy the view. There’s accommodation, too.
Freycinet Marine Farm
Pop on the waders and head into the water for a tasting tour. Taste Pacific oysters straight from the ocean, delve into the world of oyster farming, and learn how to shuck your own. They team perfectly with a glass of local east-coast riesling.
Go foraging with an expert from Sirocco South and feast on what you can find. Head into the wetlands in the south-east in search of wild asparagus, venture into the forest to find mushrooms and beachcomb for seaweed.
On the farm
Meet miniature donkeys, see sheep being shorn, brush Highland cows and have lunch with furry friends. Play and stay – many farms offer accommodation.
Guide Falls Farm
Grab a feed bucket and head to the paddocks at Guide Falls Farm in the north-west for a DIY farmer experience, or take a guided tour. Worked up an appetite? Try the farm’s produce at its on-site restaurant.
Meet Frida the miniature donkey, Sheila the sheep, see little Dexter cows or give trout fishing a go in the well-stocked dam at Twamley Farm on the east coast. There’s boutique accommodation at the farm near Buckland.
Hungry? Slip off the gumboots and settle into a long lunch made from seasonal produce plucked straight from the paddock.
Overlooking picturesque Marion Bay, sit back and indulge in 14 tasting plates featuring produce from the on-site vegetable garden at Van Bone, and locally sourced seafood and meat.
The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery
This riverfront restaurant in a restored flour mill has been championing local growers and makers for 20 years, long before provenance became a mainstream concern. Expect relaxed, unpretentious fine dining at Stillwater and menus that reflect the flavours of northern Tasmania.
Take your culinary skills to the next level using seasonal produce at an atmospheric cooking school. Best bit? Indulging in the finished feast.
The Agrarian Kitchen
Seasonal produce is at the heart of the Derwent Valley’s Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School. Forage for ingredients in the on-site garden for a fresh feast, or learn the arts of fermentation, charcuterie, or natural cheesemaking.
With a focus on local ingredients and fresh herbs and edibles from the garden, classes at Sylvia’s Kitchen range from mastering the basics to international cuisines.
Learn to cook rustic Italian dishes, farmhouse French cuisine, nourishing winter meals or a spring harvest banquet with Gert and Ted at Twamley Farm, then sit down with matching east-coast wines to share the outcome.
Join an artisan workshop at ForknFarm in the west Tamar Valley and learn how to make cheese, sourdough, sausages, salami, hot and cold smoking or wood-fired pizza. There are one- and two-day intensive courses available.
The Farmhouse Kitchen
Take a trip to Italy in the Huon Valley with a cooking masterclass at The Farmhouse Kitchen. From pasta rustica and focaccia to an Italian feast, there are a range of workshops. Short on time? Try a mini class.
Follow your nose to farmers' markets, tasting trails, roadside stalls and berry farms.
Head to the island’s vibrant markets for seasonal, fresh produce straight from the farmer. Harvest Launceston starts bright and early on Saturdays and Farm Gate Market in Hobart’s city centre happens every Sunday. Head to Bream Creek Farmers Market on the first Sunday of every month, and Willie Smith’s Artisan and Produce Market in Grove on Saturdays.
Take a gourmet road trip along the Tasting Trail across north-west Tasmania, with almost 50 stops at artisanal producers. It’s a great chance to meet the makers and sample a delicious array of Tasmanian goods from hazelnuts, gelati and chocolate to olives, wine and whisky.
A drive through southern Tasmania reveals small roadside stalls selling seasonal produce straight from the farm. Pull over for apples, pears, cherries, jam and juice and leave your money in the honesty boxes provided.
In the warmer months, berry farms across Tasmania produce sweet plump berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries – and many of them invite travellers to pick their own. DIY at The Berry Patch and Hillwood Berry Farm in the north. And call into Coal River Farm, Sorell Fruit Farm and the south.