Our expectations of the rugged West Coast of Tasmania was spectacular scenery, rugged mountains, beautiful rivers and lakes, dense forests, the changeable weather (be prepared for four seasons in one day!), but nobody told us about the fabulous food!
The day after arriving in Strahan we were booked in for the Gordon River Cruise, where we were pampered with good food and wine. For morning tea we were offered choices of wonderful Tasmanian Cheeses, dried fruits and Leatherwood honey (Leatherwood trees seem to be abundant in Tasmania and the bees produce a delicious strong flavoured honey).
After the Heritage Walk we enjoyed a buffet lunch with cold meats, salmon and salads, and hot dishes Chicken, Fish and Couscous – with a glass of wine.
That evening we attended the play “The Ship That Never Was” at the amphitheatre on the Strahan harbour foreshore, so had a late dinner at the Hamer’s Bar and Grill in the Strahan Hotel – Grilled Fish for me and Crumbed Cutlets for Pete.
Our first taste of Strahan was on our first evening there, when we went on the Bonnet Island Cruise to watch the Little Penguins come home for the night. The boat trip was wonderful, leaving at dusk and arriving back in Strahan at about 10pm. During the evening and as the day was fading and we were waiting for the Little Penguins to come home, we were served a tasty collection of Tasmanian cheeses, crackers, crudités and dips with glasses of wine. After exploring the tiny island and welcoming the penguins home we had a cup of hot chocolate on the trip back – lovely introduction to Strahan.
The picturesque town of Stanley nestled under the gigantic Nut provided some delicious breakfasts and dinners. On our first night there we had a great pub meal at the Stanley Hotel that has been a meeting place for the Stanley community since the 1840s. It was very special to watch the sun set in the west from the hotel windows as we had our meal.
Yet another highlight was the Arthur River Cruise on the western coast, about a 70 minute drive from Stanley. We stopped at Turk’s Landing where our Skipper “Cagey” guided us through the rain forest and Guide “Mouse” prepared a great Aussie bar-b-cue for us, which we enjoyed in the pristine air of the Arthur River, surrounded by trees and ferns, and received a visit from a Tiger Quoll – what a special day! Cagey has invented an innovative bar-b-cue from a 4-gallon drum, although our lunch was cooked on the larger bar-b-cue.
Our favorite breakfast cafe became Moby Dick’s as they are open early, and we had some early starts. On the morning we set off for the Arthur River Cruise we had an enjoyable breakfast at Moby’s looking out over the beach. Muesli and fresh fruit for me, and scrambled eggs for Pete.
After our Arthur River Cruise and on our last evening in Stanley we had dinner at Stanley’s on the Bay, an elegant bluestone building on the Bay, built as a bond store with ships ballast in 1835, but now an elegant restaurant serving great food. Lamb Shanks were on the menu – one of my favourite meals.
Moby’s again for breakfast on our last morning, and before setting off east with our destination being Devonport later today. I opted for fresh fruit with yogurt, while Pete liked the toasted tomato sandwich.
I wonder what the North Coast has to offer?
Read more on my Tastes page