Welcome to northern Tasmania, where the world's freshest air feeds one of the planet's rare cool-temperate rainforests, and the fertile earth feeds all who come in search of inspiration.
The Northern Forage is a well-signposted drive journey that covers a network of roads across the north, perfect for planning and road-tripping.
Look at the vibrant colour of the earth and it's immediately apparent why the produce in this region is so fresh and fabulous. Head beyond the farm gate and the cellar door with a hands-on foraging experience. Pick a berry feast at Hillwood Berries, taste freshly cracked nuts on the farm at Hazelbrae Hazelnuts, and pour and wax seal a bottle of whisky at Hellyers Road Distillery.
Follow a taste trail
Take a road trip fuelled by flavour on the Tasting Trail. This route across the north west has about 40 gastronomic stops, with options as diverse as Southern Wild Distillery, making gin in the heart of Devonport; Tasmanian Pickled Onions, served at its pantry and café; and dairy goodness from the paddock at Ashgrove Cheese. On average, there’s a stop at a producer about every six kilometres along the trail, and the scenery is as delicious as the produce.
Inhale. Some of the freshest air on the planet blows across northern Tasmania – it's officially recorded at Cape Grim, on the island’s north-west tip. So inhale again. Not far away you can stand at the so-called Edge of the World near Arthur River and watch swells roll in from across thousands of kilometres of unbroken ocean. Stand atop The Nut, the impressive remains of an ancient volcanic plug in nearby Stanley, and the air is just as cleansing. Feel the difference after a session at Floating Sauna Lake Derby, Australia's only floating wood-fired sauna. Heat up then dive into the lake. It's just the ticket after a day of mountain biking at Blue Derby.
Raise a glass
Plot a course between cellar doors on the Tamar Valley Wine Trail, winding past orchards, lavender farms and forests on your way into the state’s oldest winegrowing region. It’s compact, picturesque and packed with gourmet experiences. The trail links about 30 cellar doors on both sides of the Tamar, from Pipers River in the north to Relbia in the south. This cool-climate region has a global reputation for its sparkling wines, sharing latitudinal position and similar growing conditions with the French region of Champagne. There’s more to the Tamar than bubbles, of course. Much of its reputation rests on high-quality pinot noir, as well as chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc.
Get your hands dirty
Unearth rare black truffles with Doug the truffle dog at The Truffle Farm near Deloraine. Follow up the hunt with a truffle tasting and farm-style platter. Forage, harvest, cook and share at The Truffledore which has tastings and truffle cooking experiences. Head into the paddocks for a DIY farmer experience at Guide Falls Farm, or do a guided tour for immersion in farm life.
The Northern Forage covers territory that ranks among the world’s great mountain-biking destinations, chiefly the network of purpose-built trails at Blue Derby. Its success has inspired the rise of other mountain-biking destinations nearby, including the expanding network at Wild Mersey near Latrobe. Want a new angle on life? Take to the treetops on a ziplining tour or high ropes course with Hollybank Wilderness Adventures.
Nature has worked its magic across northern Tasmania. Northern Forage road trips span Australia's largest cool-temperate rainforest at takayna / Tarkine, great mobs of wildlife in Narawntapu National Park and the gem-like Little Blue Lake near Derby, where old mines have filled with water transformed by minerals into the most brilliant shade of blue.