14 Mar Hmmm, Lavender Lovin’
So our first touristy thing we did in Launceston was to head to the Bridestowe Lavender Estate! The week before we left for Tasmania, it seemed that this was a must visit place on social media. Photos of my friends frolicking in the lavender fields were EVERYWHERE.
We left off bright and early in the morning with a coffee in hand and it was about a 50 minute drive from our apartment in Launceston. We used the GPS in the car so getting there was a breeze. Roads can get a little windy but it was generally manageable. You won’t be able miss it!
You’ll come across a big sign along the driveway.
And look for that little hut by the side of the road!
Entrance fees were $10 per person during flower season (December & Late January) and this included the tour of the estate. There is no entrance fee for the rest of the year.
When we were paying, their staff told us that there was a tour in about 15 minutes. Talk about good timing! There is a carpark with plenty of parking lots but we decided to park along the fields like everyone else.
The tour started off with giving us some background on the lavender farm. It is the biggest lavender farm in the world at 125 acres! The she showed us where are how the lavender is being harvested. We were then led into the laboratory where the lavender essence is extracted.
Where the magic happens!
These are the dried shells of the plant after the oils have been extracted.
Who could resist a photo of dried flowers? Heh
Lavender is used in so many different products and it is edible if processed correctly. I’ll show you guys how the store and cafe looks like in a bit!
We then proceeded to the fields and took loads of photographs. It was quite a shame that the skies were grey that day and it was drizzling on and off. But we made the best of our day and still managed to get some great photographs!
After training my dad how to use my camera!
I used my new Sony A5100 camera for this trip and I must say that I’m very pleased with how my photos turned out 🙂 Photographs from previous posts were all taken using an iPhone 6. LOOK AT THAT PURPLE & DEPTH OF FIELD.
Sorry I digress!
The fields look extremely empty in the photos but trust me, there were so many tourists. We tried as much as possible to get a shot of fields with nobody in it. All we needed was a good angle and about a 2 minute walk to the bottom of the slope.
After we took enough photos in the fields, we paid the gift store a visit. They had everything infused with Lavender!
Their lavender oil are pure 100% lavender and comes in 3 different sizes.
(6ml: AUD6.95, 25ml: AUD36.95, 100ml:AUD93.95)
They had a selection of teas too. Lavender is infused into teas like Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Lavender and Mint etc. Packaging is on point too!
Lavender for cooking! They even had leaflet with easy recipes for lavender scones and pancakes too.
Talk about variety!
A whole selection of candy, jams, salts and fudge were available too. Amazing part is that these are not expensive, and they candy and tea which I bought were pretty tasty too.
After doing our shopping, we went over to the cafe where, surprise surprise, the menu was almost everything lavender.
Cafe is pretty simple with a counter for ordering and there was indoor seating as well as outdoor.
Lavender Latte (AUD4.50), Lavender Tea (AUD3.80)
Of course I ordered a lavender latte, Judith ordered scones and jam, dad ordered lavender tea to share. The lavender taste in the coffee was really overwhelming. First few sips were really refreshing, but I couldn’t get past half the cup.
Mmmm warm and buttery, with little bits of lavender in them. (AUD 7.50 for two pieces)
Like we weren’t full enough… Ice cream time!
I went to get a scoop of lavender ice cream from the ice cream truck outside. It was drizzling and I was freezing but no regrets at all. You can’t leave the place without indulging in ice cream.
You can find them @:
Address: 296 Gillespies Rd, Nabowla TAS 7260, Australia
Tel: +61 3 6352 8182
Opening Hours: 1000hrs – 1600hrs daily
Once we were done at Bridestowe, it was just about lunch time. En route to our next destination which was in the direction back to Launceston, we stopped over at Leaning Church Vineyard.
As the name suggests, they own a vineyard alongside a cafe they named “Knives and Forks are Optional”. Most of the food offerings are home grown local produce which obviously tastes great with the wine they make.
Open air seating is perfect for summer weather!
2015 Sweet Riesling (AUD$8) – How can anyone leave a vineyard without a glass of wine?
Here comes the yummy part!
Leaning Church Grazing Platter (AUD$52)
Just looking at this makes me so happy. This beautiful platter tastes better than it looks, with the right combination of sweet and savoury. It’s a mysterious dish – doesn’t say what is going to be served on the menu, but we took our chances and never regretted it.
What is served: Wasabi Cheese, Goat’s Cheese, Caramelised Figs, Tassie Apples, Beetroot Marmalade, Hummus, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Salmon with Chives and Garlic, Wallaby Sausage, Olives, Frittata with Sweet Potato and Zucchini
Vineyard Salad with Lenah Game Smoked Chicken (AUD$25)
Not you usual green salad – this concoction consists of Spicy Smoked Pumpkin, Pearl Cous Cous, Italian Parsley, Coriander, Red Onion, Westhaven Natural Yoghurt & Home-Made Dukkah. Very refreshing, and although it has heavy ingredients like pumpkin and cous cous, the dish doesn’t feel heavy. One portion is sufficient for a main course. Both the salad and the platter were just enough for the three of us after all we’ve eaten at Bridestowe.
The fresh air added a perfect touch to our meal.
You can find them @:
Address: 76 Brooks Road, Lalla, Tasmania 7267
Tel: +61 3 6395 4447
Opening Hours: 1000hrs – 1700hrs daily (from September 1st to May 4th)
Next up – Launceston Cataract Gorge!
Before we headed to Cataract Gorge, we checked the website to be sure that the chairlift that they are known for was opened so we don’t make a wasted trip. Imagine if you went all the way to the site and then realised that it’s not opened, that would have been a real shame and waste of your precious holiday time!
Apparently the chairlift at the gorge is the world’s longest single span chairlift at 457 metres long! The chairlift is not free of charge – there are different adult, child and concession rates for one way or a return journey. Rates can be found here (http://www.launcestoncataractgorge.com.au/rates.html) Opening hours are also stated, be sure to check as they close earlier during winter!
Excited dad with tickets!
It looked pretty scary from where we were standing as there weren’t any seat belts, just a wooden pole (the red stick down the side of the seats) that was flipped over our laps once we got seated.
Look at dad’s legs just dangling off the seat!
View from the chairlift.
For someone who is slight afraid of heights, I still managed to take photos, of course while holding on to my camera for dear life. The ride wasn’t too exciting but I guess it was a pretty relaxing experience. The chairlift took us across The First Basin, which is on the southern side of the gorge. It took just under 10 minutes to get from one side to the other.
We bought a one-way ticket because we decided to return to the main entrance via the suspension bridge and the hiking trails.
Mama trying to be funny as usual.
My parents are getting better at taking direction from the photographer heh
Once we crossed the bridge, we took a slow and easy walk through one of the trails. As you can probably tell, the weather was amazing. We just had to put on a windbreaker/jacket and it was comfortably chilly.
All smiles means that the walk was a piece of cake 😉
We ended our day back at the main entrance at about 5 in the evening, where there are public toilets and the Basin Cafe, which unfortunately we did not get to try.
You can find them @:
Address: 74-90 Basin Rd, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia
Tel:+61 3 6323 3000
Opening Hours: 0900hrs – 1630hrs (Winter), 0900hrs – 1700hrs (Spring & Autumn), 0900hrs – 1800hrs (Summer)
We made a total of 3 stops in a day and it was a comfortable pace. I’m not a fan of packing my day and tiring myself out. We took things really slowly and ended up feeling satisfied at the end of our first day in Launceston!
Can’t wait to get started on Sheffield, more Tasmanian adventures coming up!