Two factors have inspired today’s article, which comes from the hand of Margaret Morgan. Firstly, the information we’ve shared here is given to guests of Sheoaks on Freycinet Bed and Breakfast. Dan Fellow went to visit the Coles Bay accommodation property for Think Tasmania recently. The details have since sparked much interest, and people are being enticed to explore the east coast now the spring weather is upon us. Where to buy food for a self-catering holiday is a natural extension of the series we’ve published so far.

Self-Catering Holiday - Sheoaks on Freycinet Bed and Breakfast
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Sheoaks on Freycinet B&B, Coles Bay (photo by Dan Fellow)

Self-Catering Holiday: Hobart to Coles Bay

Secondly, we received a question for our Facebook forum from Think Tasmania reader, Christina…

We will be coming to Hobart Monday week and travelling round, can you tell me where is a store nearest to Salamanca Square that sells cheap foam esky/coolers as I want to use this while travelling around then throw it away when we leave.

Self-Catering Holiday - Salamanca Fresh
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Salamanca Fresh, recommended by Margaret Morgan for a self-catering holiday

It’s a sign! Information about a self-catering holiday is an appropriate article-topic to publish right now. But before we launch into the outstanding advice offered by Margaret Morgan, we’d like to share the advice given to Christina by Eucalypt Cafe in Port Arthur

Christina, when we travel we often buy things like that but instead of throwing them away we just pass them onto other holiday makers we meet on the way home so they too can use them for their holiday…. pass it on.

What a great sentiment, and one no-doubt applauded by our friends at Pay It Forward Tasmania. It’s little wonder Tassie tourists go home with the impression that locals are friendly and helpful. They are! Anyway, without further ado, we give you a detailed shopping list for your self-catering holiday from Hobart to the east coast.

Self-Catering Holiday - Orford Picnic
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Self-Catering Holiday or even just a picnic for locals: Orford by the Prosser River

Food for Your Self-Catering Holiday

by Margaret Morgan

Coles Bay is very small place. Whilst you won’t starve if you arrive empty handed, what you can buy here is of necessity limited and because of the transport costs, will be expensive. We do have a local bakery though, so unless it’s more convenient to buy elsewhere you can buy bread etc here, though it often runs out early. Iluka Tavern and Coles Bay Trading stock a limited range of local wines. Also at Iluka you will find the local Hazards Ale.

Self-Catering Holiday - The Hazards
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The Hazards, namesake of local Hazards Ale from Iluka Tavern (photo by Dan Fellow)

Butcher and Baker in Bicheno

The butcher in nearby Bicheno is outstanding. If you are staying for a while it’s well worth the half hour drive there. In addition to top quality Tasmanian grown meat and poultry, he makes excellent small goods, sausages and bacon. The chef who works with him makes delicious pâtés and terrines, ready to cook dishes, pies, quiches, etc.


 

They also sell free range eggs, cheeses and fresh fish, including crayfish. To order in advance for your self-catering holiday ring 6375 1182. It’s wise to do this at peak times. If you are going to the butcher’s then you may also want to see what’s on offer at the excellent bakery a couple of doors away.

Self-Catering Holiday - Bicheno Butcher
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Rob Breier, owner of Sir Loin Breier Gourmet Butcher in Bicheno

Self-Catering Holiday - Bicheno Baker
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Ian Cunliffe, baker and owner of the Blue Edge Bakery in Bicheno

Salamanca Place, Hobart

If you are staying in Hobart before coming to Coles Bay buy your fruit and vegetables there, or in Sorell. If you are going to Salamanca Market (Saturdays) stock up on fresh vegetables grown by the Hmong people, apples from the Huon Valley, cheeses from Heidi and Elgaar Farm, fresh pasta and a delicious range of cakes. You’ll also find lots of interesting jams and sauces and Tasmanian olive oil.

Self-Catering Holiday - Salamanca Market
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Fruit and Vegetables from the Salamanca Market in Hobart on Saturdays

Any other day Salamanca Fresh fruit and vegetable shop in Salamanca Place is a great place to shop. It’s one of the best in Tasmania. They also stock a good range of deli goods, breads and free range eggs. Just round the corner in Montpelier Retreat (Retro Café on the corner) is Wursthaus, a wonderful deli where you’ll find cheeses, small goods, ready to cook dishes, coffee, oils, wines and so on. If you want a picnic lunch to eat on the way, Wursthaus can supply you with all manner of suitable goodies for your self-catering holiday.

Self-Catering Holiday - Wursthaus Kitchen
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Deli meats at the Wursthaus Kitchen near Salamanca Place in Hobart

Tassal for Tasmanian Salmon

Tassal sells Tasmanian salmon – smoked, fresh, whole, portions, frozen, etc. If it’s salmon, they sell it – and at a good price. You’ll find Tassal in Salamanca Square, off Salamanca Place and for most of the year they are open till 6.00pm. If buying something like marinated fresh salmon portions ask the assistant to cryovac them and to wrap them with fridge blocks to ensure your salmon’s safe arrival in Coles Bay.

Self-Catering Holiday - Tassal Salmon, Salamanca
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Tassal Salmon Shop in Salamanca: supplies for your self-catering holiday

As the airport is on our side of the city you may prefer not to detour into Hobart at all. In that case follow the signs to Sorell. On your way you pass through Midway Point – after the first causeway. In summer there will usually be a couple of roadside stalls selling local cherries, tomatoes and apricots. Check them out.

Self-Catering Holiday - Midway Point
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Travel from Hobart to Sorell via Midway Point and two causeways

Grocery Shopping in Sorell

Sorell is after the second causeway. To reach the east coast you turn left at the T intersection. To find Woolworths and Coles supermarkets turn right instead. When you reach McDonalds and the roundabout, turn left immediately after McDonalds and you’ll be in the Woolworths car park, or turn right immediately after the roundabout and you’ll be in the Coles car park. Both are fairly large supermarkets where you’ll find most things. In the season they usually have competitively priced scallops too.


 

There’s a bakery and a butcher in the arcade on your way into the Woolworths supermarket so you can really do a one stop shop here. The supermarket sells bags of ice. If buying perishable foods ask for a cardboard carton, put a bag of ice in it and pack your food round it to ensure its safe arrival. It’s a two hour drive to Coles Bay from there.

Self-Catering Holiday - The Ugly Duck Out
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On the drive to Coles Bay, visit The Ugly Duck Out in Swansea (photo by Dan Fellow)

If you have time, the Sorell Fruit Farm is worth a visit from November till May. They grow berries of all descriptions, soft fruits and apples. As you pick your own, they couldn’t be any fresher. A neighbour’s flavourful tomatoes are often available there too. To find it turn right at the T intersection, go past McDonalds then turn left down Pawleena Road, which is signed. The Fruit Farm is a short way along on your right.

Self-Catering Holiday - Sorell
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Rotunda in the park near the Information Centre at Sorell

Swansea: Berries and Wines

Just before Swansea you will see a sign on your left to Kate’s Berry Farm. You can’t buy berries there because she uses them to make her delicious jams and sauces. Buy some jam for breakfasts though, to enjoy on your self-catering holiday. The wine outlet Swansea Barrel is in the middle of the town on your left behind a café called The Trellis. Entry is from the side or through the café. A single stop will enable you to buy wines from all the local wineries. Alternatively you will pass them all between Swansea and the Coles Bay turn off if you would prefer to call in and buy the wines at source.

Self-Catering Holiday - East Coast Tasmania
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Collect wines from local vineyards on the east coast of Tasmania (photo by Dan Fellow)

Oysters, Mussels and Crayfish: Freycinet Marine Farm

Freycinet Marine Farm will be on your right when you are almost at Coles Bay. It’s the place to buy the freshest oysters and mussels imaginable and crayfish (rock lobster) in summer. If no-one’s around (in winter) there’s an honesty box payment system. This is another place where you can order in advance so that your goodies are ready for you to collect in passing. Phone 6257 0140.

Bon appétit!

For more information, visit Sheoaks on Freycinet B&B website, email Alan and Margaret Morgan or phone (03) 6257 0049 for bookings. You can also follow Sheoaks Bed and Breakfast on Facebook. You’ll find the property at 47 Oyster Bay Court, Coles Bay.

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Map: Sheoaks Bed and Breakfast, Coles Bay Tasmania…