Tasmanian travelling tips – Bridestowe Lavender Estate »
A relaxing and quite purple experience!
By Kerry Scambler
North East Tasmania is home to some famous wine names – Jansz, Pipers Brook and Bay of Fires to name a few. But since 1921 it’s also been home to Bridestowe Lavender Estate, now the oldest and largest lavender farm in the southern hemisphere.
Being a Tassie girl, many people ask me which wineries to visit and, as you'd expect, I always have a few suggestions. But when it comes to North East Tasmania, no tour of the region would be complete without a visit to this beautiful lavender farm.
Stroll the fields and take up a perfect picnic point under one of the old oak trees (planted in 1881) to absorb your surroundings or visit the café and visitor’s centre for some refreshments, friendly information and retail therapy (more relaxing when surrounded by lavender of course!).
When to visit Bridestowe? Whenever! This is a place that brings your senses alive in every season. Visit in the height of the flowering season (Nov-Jan) and you’ll be greeted swathes of purple fronds waving gently in the breeze, the wafting scents of lavender swirling around you and the sound of ... well, not much really, apart from the songs of the birds, the buzz of very happy bees and probably a friendly hello.
In autumn and winter, the occasional mist will drape itself across the rolling hills and around the old oak trees (planted in 1881) giving a ghostly feel or on a cool clear day, the crispness of the air and light make for some amazing photographs.
In spring the lavender bushes are flourishing and working up to producing those all important blooms. Around the gardens, bulbs and flowers complete the country scene.
Oh and the sense of taste gets a good run all year round too! Most people are familiar with lavender's soothing qualities but now there's a whole new and delicious world of culinary lavender to explore.
Get inspired in The Woodcroft Café which offers up some delicious flavours with lavender a key ingredient in more dishes than you'd expect. (A cone loaded with half blueberry and half lavender Valhalla ice-cream is my favourite).
Bridestowe’s culinary lavender also makes it way into Beerenberg products and to other mainland restaurants and producers.
The visitor centre is literally a sea of purple and offers a myriad of lavender products whether for indulgence or pampering, wearing, special gifts or taking to the kitchen. (Check out the brand new Spa range, just released).
You’ll also meet Bobbie the famous lavender bear and find out why he’s become so well travelled!
The oil: lavender harvest starts in January. The flowers are then teased in the distillery to give forth their pure oil which makes its way around the world to leading perfume houses and aromatherapists where it is highly prized.
Note: entry is free from February to November, entrance fee applies in December and January. Check for opening times.
- North East Tas (TAS)
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