Tasmania - A New State of Wine
Spectacular Cradle Mountain.
Complexity, simplicity, wild landscapes and sophistication - yet remarkably unspoilt. This is the impression that I came away with from a recent wine trip to Tasmania. Wine men generally prefer to stick with the familiarity of the environment that they are most comfortable with and those places are with the company of jovial winemakers, fine wine, lots of barrels and bottles. Economically Tasmania has been considered to be a bit of a wasteland, high rates of unemployment, little industry and high running costs for such a small population base. Economics being what they are, the numbers don't always tell the full story, and in Tasmania, the real story is behind the numbers - in fact on a Global basis if it had absolutely no numbers attached to it at all, one could present a very strong argument that the world should subsidize this piece of global paradise - yes place a levy on every soul on the planet, and in return allow them a week exploring the feutures of this beautiful place.
Chubby wine men don't make good mountain climbers and my advise is get fit first prior to departing on your Tassie adventure - and whatever you do, if you're going into the wilderness do as the boy scouts say 'be prepared'. It's remarkable to watch the casual approach that visitors have to the wilderness, going into the wilderness 'gung ho' and hoping to emerge unscathed. In many of the National Parks, the Rangers have established Board Walks for the tourists, and this ensures that the wilderness remains protected and that most members of the touring public return, however, accidents can still happen. I do not propose to make this article into a nature guide, that is best left for others who are more qualified, however, following are some of the more outstanding attractions worth visiting should you ever make it to Tasmania.
This was our first stop over in Tasmania, with the eccentric Simon Houghton, and his roof top bath. This is a place well worth visiting, with Hawley House Pinot and Chardonnay now available for sale.
The Freycinet Peninsula requires time to absorb, and I suggest a minimum stay of 3-4 days. The seascapes are spectacular, and it's a very therapeutic experience to sit on the rocks and watch the waves crashing - being 'bitten' by salt spray.
A delightful large country town with all the ammenities of a big city. Charming architecture and grand gardens with a spectacular harbour.
Acid rain and environmental devastation on a grand scale. An eerie moonlike landscape, mostly stripped of vegetation, but fighting back after many years. A lesson on the follies of man.
A town reinvented. With its main industry of forestry in decline, the innovative townsfolk have discovered tourism and are doing it with style.
Tasmania's Amazon River, tranquil with wonderful reflections in the water due to the high tannin content, which is leached from the button grass. Everywhere in Tasmania the water is brown and provides a mirror for the landscape above it.
Lake St. Clair
A large lake of tranquility, spoiled by the presence of a hydroelectric station on a distant shore that at first glance appears to be a Grecian temple - but on second glance it's a power station.
The tourists are beginning to accumulate in large numbers - the human ants scramble between trees and board walks and are in awe at the breathtaking beauty. Balance is the issue here - man versus wilderness.
Charming coastal town, dominated by 'The Nut' - a large rock formation that creates a surreal experience in this beautiful place.
- Nick Chlebnikowski