7 reasons to love a Northern Forage road trip
Welcome to a place where the world's freshest air feeds one of the planet's great temperate rainforests, and the fertile soil feeds all who come in search of inspiration.
1. Go forage
Look at the vibrant colour of the earth and it's immediately apparent why the produce along the Northern Forage is so fresh and fabulous. Head beyond the farm gate and the cellar door with a hands-on foraging experience. Unearth rare black truffles with Doug the truffle dog at Tasmanian Truffles, pick your own berry feast at Hillwood Berries, and pour and wax seal your own bottle of whisky at Hellyers Road Distillery.
2. Follow the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail
Take a road trip fuelled by flavour on the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail. This drive across the north west has more than 30 gastronomic stops, with options as diverse as Southern Wild Distillery, making award-winning Dasher + Fisher gins in the heart of Devonport; Tasmanian Pickled Onions, served at its pantry and café; and the Truffledore, which has tastings and truffle cooking classes.
3. Breathe deep
Inhale. Some of the freshest air on the planet blows across the Northern Forage – 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.
4. Get your hands dirty
Make the most of things, literally, with a hands-on workshop or cooking class. Burnie has a 75-year history of paper making, and in the foreshore Makers' Workshop the tradition continues in paper-making classes with Creative Paper Tasmania. Beyond the purple dazzle of the lavender fields, Bridestowe Lavender Estate runs soap-making workshops. In the Tamar Valley, Hinton Bay Kitchen offers cooking classes extending to the likes of beetroot arancini, Thai curries and dolmades.
5. Seek adventure
The Northern Forage ranks among the world’s great mountain-biking destinations, its centrepiece 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.
6. Marvel at the natural order
Nature has worked its magic across the Northern Forage. It spans Australia's largest 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.
7. 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: 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.
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