The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Derwent Valley travel guide

The Derwent Valley, just north of Hobart, is a step back in time to quiet country roads, bucolic scenery and the relics of early settlement.

The Derwent Valley is the entry point to the World Heritage-listed wonders of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the South-West Wilderness. The Rivers Run touring route takes in all the local highlights from picturesque oast houses or hop kilns and colonial architecture to the magnificent mountain ashes of the Styx Valley, home to the outhern hemisphere's tallest tree. Whether up hill or down dale, there's always something to admire.

NEW NORFOLK

The hub of the Derwent Valley is an impeccably English village of stone houses, poplar avenues and a town square. Settled by Norfolk Island immigrants at the start of the 19th century, it can lay claim to one of Australia's oldest pubs, the circa 1825 Bush Inn on Montague Street, and Tasmania's oldest church, St Matthews on Bathurst Street.

As well as being a gateway to the Tasmanian wilderness and west coast, New Norfolk is renowned for antique shops brimming with colonial, deco and Georgian treasures. Swoon over the pricey pieces and 19th-century department-store interiors at the The Drill Hall Emporium. Stay in a convict-built Georgian mansion at Woodbridge on the Derwent, a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. Regional food and wines dominate at Woodbridge's Pavilion dining room and the hotel has kayaks and bicycles for guests to work off the excess along the Derwent River.

COUNTRY ROADS

The big attraction of touring this slice of Tasmania is surrendering to the charms of peaceful rural roads. Even the smallest towns can have surprising secrets.

Book well ahead at the wildly popular Agrarian Kitchen, a farm-based cooking school in Lachlan run by Gourmet Traveller contributing food editor Rodney Dunn and his wife Séverine. Based in a 19th-century schoolhouse, this unique gourmet experience combines beautiful surroundings with heirloom produce, rare-breed animals and delicious meals.

At Hayes, Two Metre Tall runs a hop-to-tap artisan brewery on a 600-hectare farm. Handmade ales and ciders are crafted for "flavour, sustainability and truth of origin". On the way there, pull over at Pulpit Rock for postcard valley views.

At Bothwell, a picturesque hamlet settled by Scots in 1822, the finest Caledonian customs endure. Nant Distillery produces Australia's only highland single malt whiskey, using Tasmanian barley and pure highland lakes water. The nearby Ratho golf links is Australia's oldest golf course and possibly the only one where sheep still tend the greens. The tiny town itself is charming, with almost 60 buildings on the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

The waterfalls, rainforests and tarns of Mt Field National Park, an hour north-west of Hobart, provide the perfect setting for platypus, echidnas, Bennetts wallabies and Australia's only deciduous winter tree.

See art history in the making at Derwent Bridge, near Lake St Clair, where artist Greg Duncan is hand-carving the history of the central highlands in wood to create a 100-metre long sculpture, The Wall in the Wilderness.

Try some terrific cool-climate wines along the way, like Derwent Estate's standout pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling at Granton.

And don't miss the Salmon Ponds at Plenty, about 9km from New Norfolk. Established in 1864 using imported English salmon and trout stock, this historic hatchery has supplied the state's lakes with around one million fish each year. Tour the grounds, absorb the history and, if the urge to cast a line strikes, you're in luck  - the Derwent Valley boasts some of Tasmania's best trout fishing.

This online feature was published on the Gourmet Traveller website in October 2012.


GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Sri Lanka

On a thrilling circuit of white-sand beaches, ancient cities...

Walk on the wild side

There’s a safari to suit all species, from style hunters to ...

Indie at heart

The freewheeling character of Canada’s largest city is expre...

Swiss credit

Hang the expense. Richard Cooke finds Switzerland’s financia...

Merida, manana

Hot, sleepy and sensuous, the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan st...

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Within medieval city walls, George Epaminondas raises a glas...

Havana travel guide

The nation said to be perpetually on the brink of change is,...

Insider's guide to Dublin

Pippa Holt arrived in the Irish capital via Melbourne and Lo...

Geneva travel guide

Historic lakeside Geneva is a city made for walking, in summ...

Istanbul travel guide

Europe’s gateway embraces contemporary cool and Turkish trad...

Copenhagen's best restaurants and bars

After putting Scandinavia’s food firmly on the global agenda...

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia travel guide

With a vibrant cultural scene, buzzy bars, smart dining and ...

Maldives travel guide

The pristine reefs of the Maldives teem with showy, shimmeri...

Singapore travel guide

Not an island to rest on its laurels, ever-evolving Singapor...

Rio de Janeiro travel guide

Armed with a Caipirinha and a sense of adventure, Tatyana Le...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×