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).
High: Saffire Lodge (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)
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.
Low: Freycinet Lodge (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)
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.
Coles Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)
Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania (Photos by Brad A. Johnson)
A version of this article originally appeared on Food Republic.