Tasmania is an island with vast open spaces and huge tracts of remote wilderness. The island state is blessed with unspoiled forests that are only a day-trip away from Hobart or Launceston, such as Southwest National Park and the Tarkine, the country’s largest temperate rainforest area thought of by many as “Tasmania’s last wild frontier.” For those who love open spaces, look for a field of dreams. Here are five:
1-Lavender Fields of Bridestowe
Close your eyes; breathe in the fragrance and think of France. This blooming lavender farm is situated 55km from Launceston past Lilydale in Tasmania’s North East. Known as the Bridestowe Lavender Estate, the historic farm hugs over 105ha of Mother Earth and comes with a curious past.
It took an Englishman in the Roaring Twenties, who arrived in Tasmania with a bag of lavender seeds he got in the South of France, to toil on this patch of Tassie soil for a field of lavender.
Mr. C.K. Denny spotted the similarities in the climate, the red soil and altitude to the lavender producing areas of Southern France. Time has proven him right.
Self-guided and guided tours are available year-round.
Best times to visit: December and January
2-Fields of Roses
Woolmers Estate in Longford Tasmania celebrates a spectacular Festival of Roses.
The historic property is considered one of the most outstanding examples of 19th century rural settlements in Australia.
It’s here where you can observe some of the finest historic rose varietals in the southern hemisphere.
The formal garden patterned after its 19th century origins has many floral nooks upon which you can relax.
You can literally stop and smell the roses as you scan the nameplates identifying the fragrant flowers.
By the central parterre garden, sculpted beds and grassy walkways lead visitors into a verdant oasis known as the George Adams Memorial Garden. By the Rose Arbor the long archway is festooned in a wall of climbing roses where visitors can stop and smell them as they amble through the floral covered arbor.
3-Bloomin’ Tulips Festival
Table Cape is ablaze in a rainbow of colours as endless fields morph into a tulip extravaganza.
You might even believe you were in Holland if it weren’t for the stunning plateau of the flat-topped Table Cape that drops into the sea.
Tasmania’s tulip season is world renowned. And that’s thanks to Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who was the first European to land here back when Australia was called New Holland.
Now for three weeks in late September and early October, visitors flock to this dreamy seaside plateau to celebrate this much-loved perennial.
Of course, don’t forget Tasmania has lots of other great festivals to plan your trip around.
4-The Raspberry Farm
Travellers often veer off the main road between Launceston and Hobart to stop at her roadside cafe – located on a long dirt road in Swansea – for a nibble.
Immerse yourself among rows upon rows of berries with the dramatic mountains of Freycinet National Park and Great Oyster Bay in the horizon.
For the traveller who wants to take away memories of a berry moment, tuck into some yummy handmade berry jams and ice cream.
Her signature humbleberry pie is to die for and is just the perfect snack with a pot of tea.
5-The farm by Mount Gnomon
The saying “fields make for great grazing” has never been so true at Mount Gnomon, where one couple Eliza Wood and Guy Robertson decided to ditch their day jobs and pursue a dream.
They bought a patch of red dirt, rounded up some farm animals and in the process have created Tasmania’s biggest free range piggery.
To see rural living at its finest, head deep into the foothills of the Dial Range behind Penguin where Wood and Robertson have a 35ha farm with Mount Gnomon looming above.
Guided tours are available. It’s best to contact them ahead for tour schedules and details. Besides the rare Wessex Saddleback pigs, visitors can view rare cattle and sheep breeds.
The farm also has an impressive grove of cider trees, over 1000 of them. For both Eliza and Guy the big mandates are sustainability, animal welfare and producing premium produce.
Ilona Kauremszky is a travel journalist and online producer who loves gardens.