We were asked in a recent interview if we’d eventually run out of things to write about Tasmania. Well, frankly no. With such clever, entrepreneurial people in this state, there will always be a new product to buy or new attraction to visit. Take Port Arthur Lavender for example.
Port Arthur Lavender: Purple Patch
To be honest, in the last five years we’ve had the opposite problem. There’s so much to write about, we can barely keep up with demand. In this one day-trip to the Tasman Pensinsula alone, we were able to scope out two newish attractions. Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed and Port Arthur Lavender. Both were genious ideas for new attractions, and both will become regulars on the tourism trails of Tasmania. We’ll certainly be recommending them to our readers now we have first-hand knowledge of the offerings.
Our meals from the spacious and well-designed cafe were perfect. We’d already eaten oysters as a starter at Bangor near Dunalley en route. We chose a bit more seafood for lunch (totally Tasmanian fish and chips) and a toasted chicken panini from the display cabinet. We had been planning to visit Federation Chocolate on the way home, just to round out the day’s food intake with some sweet stuff. However, we spent too much time at Port Arthur (and then Nubeena) and missed the chocolate-boat altogether.
One reason for our dalliance was the gift shop. So. Much. Stuff. Tourists can select from an extraordinary range of Tasmanian souvenirs. There’s everything from the traditional lavender soaps and candles, to the more unusual stuffed Tasmanian devil (very iconic) and a whole heap in between. If we’d been really savvy, we would’ve grabbed a block of lavender-infused chocolate for the trip home.
Tasman Peninsula Distillery
We were fortunate to be on-hand for the very first session in the distillery. It’s not something you could overlook… the smells from the processing shed wafted all over the entire farm. Culinary-grade oil is gathered for gourmet items; other varieties of lavender are used for purely scented products.
By chance, we crossed paths with Maurice Curtis, the master chocolatier from Federation Chocolate, makers of Fudgey. Along with several other interested parties, Maurice was at the distillery for the first public showing of the extraction process for the culinary lavender oil. What a fantastic situation. There’s not many food-miles in that production, with the chocolate factory practically neighbours of Port Arthur Lavender Farm.
After lunch, we chose to walk around the lake and the paddocks of lavender. The entire site has been meticulously designed for the enhanced experience of the visitor. The farm is already picture-perfect when the flowers are in bloom, and will only gain more notoriety with photographers and tourists as the plants mature.
Lavender Farm and Tourism: Winning Formula
Prior to our visit, we spoke by phone to Clare Dean, co-owner of Port Arthur Lavender, just to make sure our timing was right for the flowering season. Apparently the blooms grown at the tourist attraction aren’t harvested, so they’re on show for as long as possible. The farming venture has been growing lavender elsewhere on the Tasman Peninsula, and using that product commercially.
We really enjoyed our day trip to the Tasman Peninsula. No doubt there will be plenty more visits to come, and yet more stories to share.
For more information about Port Arthur Lavender, phone Clare and Brendan Dean (03) 6250 3058. You can also follow on Facebook, or visit the Port Arthur Lavender website. Otherwise, visit in person at 6555 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur.
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