On a recent Instameet, we enjoyed a full day of indulgence in the Huon Valley and Channel with a lovely group of people. We visited Pagan Cider (drinking in the morning is fine when it’s something special), the Cygnet Old Bank Café, Grandvewe Sheep Cheesery & Hartshorn Distillery, and the Art Farm Birchs Bay. Basically, we ate and drank a tonne, then walked it off!
Now, we don’t want to treat you like sheep, but here is the itinerary so you can head off on the same adventure. Get the gang together, nominate a designated driver, and be sure to wear your stretchiest pants.
On a working cherry orchard just north of Cygnet you’ll find a real treat—Pagan Cider‘s cellar door! Their premium ciders are lovingly crafted with real Tasmanian fruit and taste exquisite. In addition to their flagship range of apple, pear and cherry ciders, Pagan also produce small batch blends that celebrate the seasons. These highly sought after, strictly limited releases might include flavours such as quince, wood-aged apple, strawberry, blueberry, apricot, and peach.
Pagan Cider’s intimate tasting room has eight ciders on tap, including ciders found nowhere else. Taste the signature range as well as some of their special small-batch ciders. Relax with a glass or two in the sunny courtyard, or make use of the family-friendly event space. You can even bring some tasty food from one of Cygnet’s eateries to nibble on as you sip your cider.
Cygnet Old Bank
Discover historical richness, grandeur and style at Cygnet’s National Trust-listed former bank building (c. 1909). Today, the Cygnet Old Bank is home to luxury bed and breakfast accommodation overlooking the town square, as well as the beautiful, light-filled Conservatory Café.
In the café, discover an amazing seasonal menu making the most of the Huon Valley‘s local produce, as well as freshly baked sweet and savoury treats. Limited bookings can be made in the front dining room, chandelier and stable lounges.
Grandvewe Cheeses & Hartshorn Distillery
Pop on your overalls and head to the farm for one ewenique experience at Tasmania’s only sheep milk cheesery! Grandvewe Cheeses is perched up on a hill in Birchs Bay, overlooking the scenic d’Entrecasteaux Channel. Wander around the farm, watch the sheep milking demonstrations (3pm, Oct–Mar), pat ‘the girls’, admire the adorable little lambs in summer, check out the distillery, and view the cheese being made. In the café, choose from various seasonal dishes and platters and taste delicious sheep milk cheeses, ice cream, fudge and coffee.
Also onsite is Hartshorn Distillery, a quirky micro distillery making boutique batches of vodka and gin from their own sheep whey—a world first! All of their spirits are unfiltered, leading to more character and complexity. Every bottle and label is hand painted by the head distiller, a testament to the level of care that goes into each bottle.
Art Farm Birchs Bay
After all that indulging, you might need to let out your belt by a few notches. A nice stroll along the Art Farm Birchs Bay Sculpture Trail is just the ticket! Every year, the annual sculpture trail runs from Easter time until around mid-July. One new piece is acquired each year, joining the permanent sculptures along the trail.
Pick up a map or catalogue on entry, and head off on your adventure. Take your time and enjoy every delightful surprise. Allow at least an hour and wear comfy shoes suitable for bush tracks (unfortunately due to some steep and uneven bits, the track isn’t suitable for prams, wheelchairs or walking frames). Dogs on leads are welcome, but please BYO bags and take all rubbish with you. If you can fit any more food in, grab a bite at Fivebob Cafe, or pack a picnic and find a special spot to enjoy it in the grounds.
Written by Isabel Galloway, Southern Trove