Freycinet, Tasmania: Where to Stay, High and Low

Saffire5

Saffire resort in Freycinet, Tasmania, Australia (Photo by Brad A. Johnson)

Halfway up the eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia, you’ll find the breathtaking Freycinet Peninsula—a protected national park that dips southeastward into the cold Tasman Sea, forming spectacular bays on either side. Fronting the wild Tasman Sea, you’ll find the legendary Wineglass Bay, renowned for its beaches, the best of which are accessible only by foot. On the island side, there’s the vast Great Oyster Bay, one of Tasmania’s most treasured troves of seafood: Pacific oysters, Angasi oysters, mussels (as big as chihuahuas!), rock lobsters, scallops, abalone, calamari, squid and sea urchins, plus flathead, bream, tuna, mullet, flounder, blue-eye trevalla… It’s a nature lover’s paradise and seafood lover’s dream.

Here are two great options for accommodations (each with terrific cuisine) overlooking Great Oyster Bay (which encompasses the smaller Coles Bay and Honeymoon Bay).

Saffire1Saffire2Saffire8Saffire6Saffire7

High: Saffire Lodge (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)

Saffire
Opened in late 2010, the 20-villa Saffire is the first and only five-star luxury resort in Tasmania. A member of Relais & Chateaux, it is an architectural stunner that accommodates a maximum of 40 guests at any given time. Every villa offers floor-to-ceiling views of the pink granite Hazards Mountains across the bay, and most villas come with private plunge pools. One of Australia’s most acclaimed chefs, Hugh Whitehouse, heads up the resort’s restaurant, where he serves steamed blue-eye trevalla with dashi custard and sea urchin in a green tea and seaweed broth, as well as grilled grass-fed beef (from Tassie’s famed Cape Grim) with braised oxtail, smoked bone marrow and onion rings. Villas from $1,500.

Freycinet1Freycinet7Freycinet5Freycinet3Freycinet2Freycinet4

Low: Freycinet Lodge (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)

Freycinet Lodge
Sixty rustic cabins are scattered across more than 14 acres of hillside overlooking the bay. The accommodations are basic but comfortable, not quite luxury, but not quite camping, either. All rooms come with a French press coffee maker and some pretty darned good beans, as well as a 3-way radio that picks up a decent radio station that plays the likes of Billie Holliday and Frank Sinatra. The restaurant’s kitchen is far more sophisticated than its modestly furnished dining room might suggest, serving locally harvested crayfish and a killer jambalaya that’s made with Great Oyster Bay mussels, shrimp and scallops mingled with spicy Tasmanian chorizo. Cabins from $170.

Colesbay4a-1Colesbay6aColesbay5aColesbay3aColesbay7

Coles Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)

Hmoonbay2Hmoonbay5Hmoonbay4Hmoonbay7Hmoonbay8

Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)

A version of this article originally appeared on Food Republic.

I invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. (And you can also follow my Instagram feed on Facebook.) 

 Kiva - loans that change lives

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: