12 Apr Farm Stay, Berry Picking & More!
The last farm stay experience I had was in New Zealand when I was 10 years old. My parents planned everything and wifi was not a deciding factor 15 years ago at all when it comes to planning for accommodation. I don’t even remember where the farm was, only that I was given a bag of sweets by the farm host when she took me out grocery shopping.
Side tracking a little – during dinner with the family, the farm host asked for our thoughts staying with her and her family.
“So Amanda, what did you like about your first stay on a farm?”
I was meaning to say “This is a lot bigger than expected!” but my 10 year old English capacity and shyness led me to say “I expected it to be bigger”.
YIKES… talk about awkward…
She replied with “That’s not a very nice thing to say”. I didn’t realise what I said until much later and yes, this haunted me till now.
Anyhow, back to Tasmania – my family loves Airbnb. Apartments bring so much more warmth than hotels, especially if you’re looking to cook or do laundry. Most of the time, it is the more affordable option as well. Dad found an apartment on Airbnb for Sheffield called “The Vale”.
The owners own a huge plot of land, together with a horse, 3 dogs and a whole flock of sheep. It is a one bedroom cabin that is built separately from their main house, with the same amazing view of the land.
Now, let’s move to inside the cabin! The interior of the cabin is beautiful too – simple, clean and cosy.
Look at that view!
The kitchen came with a coffee machine and tea, and the refrigerator was stocked with bread, juice and milk, which really helped us fix a quick breakfast.
My parents’ queen sized bed was in the same room as mine. The host just included another single bed in the same room when she found out I was joining my parents for this trip. My bed was right beside the window, I was actually excited to go to bed! (Although in the end, I dragged my mattress out of the room and slept on the living room floor at night because my parents’ snoring drove me insane.)
One thing that you should take note of is that there is barely any phone or internet connection there. Even though we had Australian SIM cards and were using mobile data, it would take a really long time to send even a WhatsApp message. The only time when I managed to get decent connection was when we drive into town which was about a 15-minute drive away.
I’ve always liked animals so it was incredibly fun to spend the next few days being around the animals, especially the dogs which were a delight to be around! They were so warm playful, they even got my dad running about with them!
She’s my favourite!
Weather was perfect for sitting on the porch in the evenings when the sun wasn’t too hot. Some days were colder and windier than others. Be careful of days that are sunny though. The sunlight felt so good on my skin but so I didn’t realise that I was getting sunburnt as it wasn’t humid and hot.
Sheffield was already off to a good start with the homely apartment which we loved the moment we saw it on Airbnb. The host gave us some material on what to do in Sheffield. We decided to do a one-day food tour. It is a self drive tour where you could pick places on the map to visit and the map is great as it showed us where all the pitstops were located so it made it easy for us to plan what was and wasn’t on the way. The map of the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail can be found here.
We took a look at the map and decided where we wanted to go the previous night (with whatever little internet connection we had) and settled on 4 -5 places, depending on how much time we had the next day.
Note: We were sure to check the opening hours before we headed to each pitstop as it was the weekend in between Christmas and New Year. Some shops are closed for the entire two weeks.
We only set off about 10 in the morning after having breakfast in the apartment.
First stop – House of Anvers Chocolate!
It seemed like a no-brainer that we absolutely had to visit this place! Dad and I are chocolate lovers and would never pass up on a chance to buy or taste chocolate. This was a 35 minute drive from The Vale. Parking was not a problem when we got there even though there seemed to be a lot of visitors when we got there close to 11am.
House of Anvers Chocolate are split into 3 different sections.
Tasting Centre and Sales -This is where we got to try the chocolates!
The whole place smelt heavenly and the variety of chocolate was insane! They had some packed and ready to be gifted, the more high end ones in the glass display, chocolates for baking, and also those is packs that can be bought off the shelf!
Hot chocolate bombs! Fuss-free and great as gifts for people who are too lazy to melt chocolate in their milk.
A little tasting corner.
The second section of the place was split into two parts – the museum and the cafe. When you walk in, the whole place smells like chocolate and waffles, it’s like you’ve walked into heaven. Cafe is on the left towards the right, that’s where the entrance of the museum is.
The museum is not a big one but there are cool displays of moulds that are used over history.
Viewing area – how these delicious pieces of magic are created!
Unfortunately, we did not get to try their food as we were saving our stomach space for lunch. But everything did smell amazing and from the little peek we had at the menu, you’d know without a doubt that you’re in a chocolate place.
You can find them @:
Address: 9025 Bass Highway, Latrobe 7307
Tel: 03 6426 2958
Opening Hours: 0700hrs – 1800hrs daily
Second Stop – Drift Cafe Restaurant!
Once we’ve felt guilty enough from all the chocolate tasting, we decided it was time to get some proper food in our tummies. The sun was out and we initially want to head to Devonport for a segway tour. We tried calling beforehand to ask about availability but we couldn’t get through to anyone, but we decided to head down any way as we were on the hunt for lunch too!
When we got there, we couldn’t see anything set up. Apparently they will set up a counter/booth from the starting point of the tour. After asking around for a bit, the staff at a nearby cafe informed us that the guys that operate Tassegway weren’t in town over that week. What a bummer!
We took our disappointment and went to hunt for lunch instead. Asked our best friend, Google, for restaurant recommendations and Drift Cafe Restaurant was one of the top restaurant on TripAdvisor. It is ranked #7 of 59 restaurants in Devonport and was a short drive away from where we were so we made our way there!
The restaurant is located at the Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club, along the Devonport Cycle and WalkingTrack.
Take your pick between indoor and outdoor seating.
We were lucky we didn’t have to wait long for a seat!
Let’s get down to the yummy part, shall we? The food produce that they use are both free range and organic. Apparently menus are seasonal but they are still serving the same dishes from 4 months ago when we were there.
Drift Cafe Restaurant is one of the higher ranked restaurants that served seafood- and we were in the mood for seafood.
Chicken Caesar Salad, Crisp Streaky Bacon, Garlic Croutes, Anchovies, Creamy Dressing, Poached Egg (AUD$16)
The salad was fresh and quite substantial on its own. Bacon was flavourful, chicken was succulent and the garlic croutes added a nice crunch! Only issue was that the yolk of the poached egg wasn’t runny enough. Other than that, it was a refreshing start to the meal!
Duck Leg Peking Style, Udon Noodles, Soya and Shitake Broth, Coriander, Chilli(V option) (AUD$28)
If you read about my trip to Antwerp, you will remember that my dad loves noodles and chili. Yep – even in a cafe by the beach, he was eyeing the dish that had “noodles” and “chili” in the the description. I was a little apprehensive towards ordering my favourite staple in an Australian restaurant. I must say, the duck was very tender, the noodles were cooked just about right and the broth was light but tasty.
Now are you ready for the… STAR OF THE SHOW!!
Seafood Plate; Selection of Tasmanian Seafoods, Dips and Accompaniments (AUD$65)
Based on the description in the menu, we weren’t sure what to expect but we took the waitress’ recommendation and ordered it. When the dish arrived we were blown away. we could immediately identify the different textures in the platter – deep-fried calamari, fish and soft shell crab, grilled scallops, smoked salmon and fresh oysters, plus fries to top it off. EVERYTHING WAS SO YUMMY! My favourite was the juicy scallops and the fish. Not a fan of oysters because of the fishy taste but these were so fresh that I actually enjoyed it!
We enjoyed our meal at Drift Cafe Restaurant very much. Staff were very friendly and prompt event though the place was bustling. The food was fresh and variety was good – there will definitely be something for everyone in the family (including my noodle-loving father). Pity we didn’t get a chance to taste everything because there was just so many items on the menu that caught our eye.
There was a takeaway counter outside as well for coffee and fast food like burgers and salads, but coffee took a while as there was only one waitress attending to takeaway customers, plus she makes the coffee for dine-in customers as well.
We decided to walk off our lunch and I managed to get some good shots. You can literally walk right up to the water, although I wouldn’t recommend swimming because it was very windy and we would freeze our Singaporean asses off.
You can find them @:
Address: 41 Bluff Rd, Devonport TAS 7310
Tel: 03 6424 4695
Opening Hours: 1100hrs – 1600hrs (Mon – Wed), 110ohrs – 2200hrs (Thurs & Fri), 0830hrs – 2200hrs (Sat), 0900hrs – 1600hrs (Sun)
Last Stop – Turners Beach Berry Patch!
A 20 minute drive away, Turners Beach Berry Patch was the highlight of my day.
A lot of these pitstops are similar in that there is a place to dine, and a separate area for viewing or activities. This proves to be very useful when you are traveling with a group of people. In our case, Judith wanted to take a break and bask in the sunlight, while dad and I wanted to soak in the sun while picking berries. You don’t get to pick berries in Singapore so it was quite an exciting activity for me!
Ready to start?
Step 1: Pay $5 for a plastic container.
Head through the entrance where the corner is. You will have to pay an upfront cost of $5, which includes entry into the farm and enough berries to fit into the container they provide.
Step 2: Enter the farm and get our bearings right!
At different times of the year, they have different berries available, depending on the harvest – some of which I’ve never heard of before! They already got on my good side by being organised. Because we are no experts in berries, the signs at each segment of the farm were really helpful.
Step 3: Start picking!
Dad and I were surveying the place for a bit because we wanted to find the best spot. There were other people in the farm too but because the farm was rather big, we didn’t have a problem finding some rows with no people and we got to picking! We thought if there were nobody, it meant that there were more berries for us to pick from. Not sure if this strategy works – what do you guys think?
Dad was clearly more focused on the berries, I was more focused of getting good shots of him heh
Look at the beautiful colour of the raspberry!
Successful berry picking!
The sun was out and we got a good tan as well. Definitely wear proper shoes. There were parts of the farm that got a little muddy. So unless you want to get your feet dirty, covered toe footwear is recommended.
Step 4: Weigh your berries!
Remember how I said that it’s $5 for all the berries that fit that container? Well, you still have to weigh your container once you exit the farm.
We had to pay a few dollars extra for our containers. They won’t charge you extra if what you picked did not exceed about 500grams. This is to prevent people from stacking the berries up in the container. The $5 would get you just about one container’s worth (without stacking about the height of the container).
We gave them an extra rinse when we got back to the apartment before consumption just to be safe. The taste of the berries were rather hit and miss. There was no way of telling how sweet the berries were except by judging the colour of the berries. Some were sweeter than the others, most of them okay, some were just sour (imagine wrinkled grimace).
Overall, it was quite a fun experience and I’m glad that dad and I got to bond over berry picking. There was a cafe and a store as wellMinor scratches here and there but we survived! Thank you Berry Patch for having us!
You can find them @:
Address: 4 Blackburn Drive, Turners Beach TAS 7315, Australia
Tel: 03 6428 3967
Opening Hours: Closed in June
We wanted to head off to an olive farm on the way back to Sheffield. Tried calling before heading there but we did not manage to confirm if they were opened or not. We decided to give it a shot anyway. Unfortunately they were closed when we got there, but the place was beautiful!
Managed to get a few shots of the place nonetheless.
We started making our way back to the apartment as we wanted to get back before dinner time and just relax in our apartment.
Map courtesy of Google Maps
This is a screen shot of our route on the map! As you can tell, we tried to plan it such that it every stop was along the way so we didn’t have to waste time traveling back and forth. Plus you’ll see that the drive isn’t very long.
Dad brought out his wireless Bang & Olufsen speakers (he is very proud of them) and pulled out the chair to right in the middle of the field to enjoy the moment. I could tell that my parents really enjoyed being with nature and were taking in every moment. My heart was full just looking at the both of them.
This Airbnb apartment provided us with an unforgettable experience. It seemed that everything was the way it was supposed to be – family and a perfect view. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my parents happy.
Till next time!