6 of the best gourmet experiences in Northern Tasmania

Sip on award-winning wines, feast on fresh, local produce and work your way through the best Tasmania has to offer, one meal at a time.

The elegant Black Cow Bistro serves premium steaks.
  • Jo Mckay
  • March 2019
Brought to you by Launceston Airport

The city of Launceston is home to an impressive food scene but it’s also the gateway to some of Tassie’s finest culinary delights in the surrounding areas. Whether you’re in the mood for cheese, seafood plucked straight from the water or a hearty steak, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger in this part of the state.

Black Cow Bistro, Launceston

Launceston or “Lonnie”, as the locals call it, offers up some sumptuous fare and buzzy eatery Black Cow Bistro, set on a prime corner in a former butchery in Lonnie’s centre, serves some of the country’s best beef. Top menu picks include the Robbins Island Wagyu Rump, which is perfect for sharing and the Cape Grim Rib Eye ‒ just try to resist gnawing on that bone! There’s an upscale-yet-unpretentious vibe and the wine list is a corker, too.

Freycinet Marine Farm, Coles Bay

Slurping oysters fresh from the ocean is one of north-east Tassie’s most awesome foodie experiences. On Oyster Bay Tours’ twice-daily expeditions around Freycinet Marine Farm, you wriggle into waders before striding through the shallows to see oysters at home in the estuary. Head back to dry land to learn how to shuck them and enjoy half-a-dozen with a glass of local wine and freshly steamed mussels, also grown by Freycinet Marine Farm. Tours leave and return from the Freycinet Marine Farm Shop so you can feast on oysters, mussels, scallops, abalone, hot-smoked salmon, rock lobster and more ‒ before and after the experience.

Freycinet Marine Farm has seafood so fresh you catch it yourself.
Freycinet Marine Farm has seafood so fresh you catch it yourself.

Taste.Walk.Talk, Launceston

The best way to uncover Lonnie’s gourmet hotspots is with a local. Brock Kerslake, who has called this town home since he was 12 years old, launched his Taste.Walk.Talk tours in 2016 – and they’ve become one of the best experiences in Launceston. Excursions range between two and four hours and Brock, a former school teacher, combines interesting snippets about the city’s past with visits to local foodie gems, including cafés, bars, cider makers, beer brewers, delis, providores and more.

Try local treats and meet new people on a Taste.Walk.Talk tour
Try local treats and meet new people on a Taste.Walk.Talk tour.

Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, Apslawn

If sitting on a sun-drenched deck, drinking vino and snacking on seafood share plates and wood-fired pizzas sounds like a good time, put Devil’s Corner cellar door on your list. Located on the Tasman Highway, this impressive cellar door is hard to miss, thanks to a towering 12-metre-tall lookout with sensational views of the Moulting Lagoon and the Freycinet Peninsula. A word to the wise: climb the stairs to the top before any wine tasting. Afterwards, kick back on the deck as you sample up to 10 wines (Resolution pinot noir is a hit) and feast on mussels, oysters and pizza.

Enjoy fine wine and panoramic views at Devil's Corner Cellar Door
Enjoy fine wine and panoramic views at Devil's Corner Cellar Door.

Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Café, Pyengana

Cheese devotees should hotfoot it to the picturesque Farm Gate Café at the award-winning Pyengana Dairy. Wander down to the robotic dairy to see cows being milked then head to the café and peer through the floor’s glass pyramid into the cheese cave below before settling in for a meal – the grassy meadow outside has picnic tables with views of the valley and the farm’s lush paddocks. Cheese tastings are available, with more than 15 varieties on offer. If you try just one, make sure it’s the Vintage Cloth Bound Cheddar ‒ it’s the cheese that put Pyengana on the map.

The gourmet cheeses at Pyengana Dairy are a must-try
The gourmet cheeses at Pyengana Dairy are a must-try.

James Boag Brewery Tour, Launceston

Steeped in history, the James Boag Brewery is one of the longest single operating breweries in Australia, churning out amber nectars since 1881. A brewery tour offers a brilliant behind-the-scenes look into the history and beer-making process. You’ll don safety glasses, a high-vis vest and earplugs for the 90-minute experience, which takes in the brew house, fermentation processes, maturation, lagering tanks and the bottling room. You’ll find out about Tassie-grown barley and hops – and might even get to try hops in its dried, pre-beer form. Save yourself for the best of the tour at the end – a tasting of three beers, paired with local cheeses.