Finding the perfect whisky itinerary in Tasmania

hobart at night with reflections

Tasmania is quickly becoming known as The Whisky Isle. In Tassie we have around 25 whisky distilleries with more coming on every month.  We also have quite a few stand-alone gin distilleries and others making something other than whisky.

In short, its an awesome place to come for break if you’re really into great spirits.  Add to that some world class bars, a selection of tasting houses and great whisky and distilling based experiences and ‘Whoa – Tassie here we come.’

As we started to build our Foundations of Distilling experience at The Academy, we had to do some distilling-based research around our island state.   What we discovered was that this little island has some really funky stuff going on. In short, if you really want to see what our distilleries have to offer to then you probably need to set aside at least 4-5 days for a complete whisky itinerary.

There are however, some devastating distractions which makes it almost impossible to visit the Whisky Isle. Great food, great bars, lovely sites, cheeseries, snowy bars on top of mountains, seafood cruises – you see the problem!

So a quick Tasmanian whisky itinerary is not the easiest thing to manage – due to all of those sumptuous distractions. Below we’ve created a Tas Distilleries map (THIS ONE IS CLICKABLE WITH LINKS) that will make it a bit easier to plan your trip, and we’ve provided our thoughts on where to travel. So even is you have 1 day in your itinerary or 5, there are some great options.

Its just a suggestion and we recommend you contact the distilleries first. But if it was us, this is how we would start our Tasmanian Whisky Trip.

Where to from here?

The good news is that there are many ways you can find out more about Tasmanian distilling and distilleries.  Our Introduction to Distilling experiences are designed for people who just want a bit more about whisky, and for those thinking of getting into it. Check out our courses page for more information.

Tasmanian Whisky Week is also a good way to sample what our distilleries have to offer.

Or contact Tas Vacations who can help with your planning.

We recommend our accommodation partners Hadleys and The Old Woolstore in Hobart.

 

 

Thanks to our partners

      Sullivans Cove     Moo Brew logo    Nonesuch Distillery logo

Day 1 – The Southern Sip (Hobart)

Centred around Hobart, out to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur or The Huon Valley.

Lark: Most people that love whisky will want to start their trip where it all began, at the Lark Distillery. You have two options for the Lark Distillery – the first is to visit the bar which has probably one of the best bar selections in Hobart. Or you can take a trip out to the distillery via one of their scheduled tours, or try out Drink Tasmania’s tours.  While you’re there you can also find out more information about Overeem, which became part of the Lark family in 2016.

Sullivans Cove: Sulli’s is on our list not just because they’re a partner of the Tasmanian Whisky Academy but also because you can’t ignore that Tassie distillery that won “World’s Best Whisky”. Sullivans Cove offers tours of the distillery or you can come behind the scenes with The Academy through our Introduction to Distilling course.

Nonesuch DistilleryAnother friend to The Academy Rex at Nonesuch will add unique colour to your Hobart trip.  Sharing his love of small batch gin, sloe gin and sloe-malt creation you  will enjoy every second with this passionate man. Rex also offers some unique learning experiences worth asking him about.

What else: If you only have 1 day down south, its going to be hard to visit all the distilleries.  We have a few other favourites as well, and while many of the distilleries don’t open for formal tours, you can often get into visit them if you pre-arrange and they’re onsite. Check out the map for these options but some of these may include McHenry Distillery – Bill makes some of our favourite whisky and the the distillery itself is worth finding a day for and spending some at the distillery and some looking around Port Arthur); Willie Smiths down the Huon – These guys make a cracking cider and have just starting distilling so is brandy or armagnac is your thing then go for lunch and make it worthwhile; Hartshorn Distillery – or the Grandvewe Cheesery which is owned by the same family and is offering a very unique vodka made from sheep’s whey. In Hobart there are amazing restaurants, bars and sites. We also recommend a visit to Destination Cellars in Hobart for a great selection on Tassie whiskies, gins and other things.

Day 2 – The Central Snifter (Derwent Valley)

From Hobart, head north toward Launceston and you’ll come across a run of great distilleries. You can do this day from Hobart return or make these visits on the way north.

Shene Estate: Probably one of the prettiest distilleries in Tasmania. The estate is based on the highway just past Brighton. Distiller Damien Mackie is making a unique Irish style of whisky. An inspiring place to visit from reports of everyone who visits. Tours and experiences available, check the website prior.

Redlands Distillery: Just up the road in Kempton is the Redlands Distillery in the historic Dysart House. While Kempton is off the main highway it is worth a visit and if you’re lucky it may be scone day. A great selection of their own and others whiskies if you want to take some with you.

Belgrove Distillery: Belgrove has to be the most unique distillery in Tasmania. Peter Bignell is a farmer distiller and grows and makes his whisky onsite. The original innovator, the Belgrove Distillery shows you what is possible when you set your mind to it.  A brilliant man, making brilliant spirits. Try the Peated Rye and the Ginger Hammer.

Nant Estate: Still one of the most stunning distillery locations in the state, while it’s had a rocky year the future is positive. The Nant Estate can be visited by prior arrangement and the distillers and staff onsite can offer you an intimate view of the distillery.  Call prior.

Day 3 – The Eastern Tipple (East Coast)

Perfect if you’re heading north from Hobart and planning to overnight on the coast or in Launceston.

Spring Bay Distillery: One of our newer distilleries, the Spring Bay Distillery is based on Orford on the East Coast.  It has already produced a great gin and laid down some tremendous whisky to age. They’re not always distilling, so give them a call if you want to catch up.

Ironhouse Brewery and Distillery: A great destination if you want somewhere cool on the East Coast to stay.  It has a restaurant and accommodation and you’ll see the sun come up over the ocean the next morning.  Not yet selling whisky but they have beer and gin on site (as well as a great restaurant). Very kid friendly too.

What else? As you head up the Coast there are some great little towns.  One of these is Bicheno and a new eatery and bar called The Farm Shed has a good selection of goodies. Stop a while and chat.

Day 4 – The Northern Nip (Launceston)

Well done, its the fourth day and you could see just the highlights today or pick one or two between Launceston and Burnie and focus your time visiting those.

Fanny’s Bay: Fanny’s Bay is in the very north of Tasmania and has one of the best views in the state. Sit on Mathew and Julie’s deck and you may just see Melbourne (No not really). Mathew is a fabulous bloke and worth sharing a story with.  Give him a call prior if you want to visit or catch up. You’ll also find Fanny’s Bay’s newest whisky at the Kingsway Bar in Launceston.

Launceston Distillery, Adams and Corra Linn: These three distilleries are all within close driving distance of Launceston.  All three are fairly new distilleries and will be releasing spirit in the next year. Launceston Distillery is based at Hangar 17 in Launceston and we’ll be sharing a Tasmanian Whisky Week event with them in August 2017. John at Corra Linn has one of the most beautiful Column still setups in the state and is a great guys to boot, and Adams Distillery is worth a look if you’re interested in barrel and spirit investment. Contact them directly if you’re interested to meet.

What else? Launceston is a beautiful little city on the edge of the Tamar. Famous for its wine and fresh produce there are many things to look at and visit.

Day 5  – A north-west nightcap (Burnie and surrounds)

These previously industrial part of Tasmania has probably the most amazing produce in the state. Visit this area fr cheese, chocolate, fruit, beer and whisky.

Southern Wild Distillery: This Devonport based bar and distillery brings something to the sleep town of Devonport that is really exciting.  Stay overnight, visit the great laneway cafes and have a few long drinks at the distillery bar. You must try the locally inspired and farmed gins produced by distiller George. Absolutely worth a visit.

Hellyers Road Distillery: This icon of Burnie produced some of Tasmania’s most successful exports. A complete visitor expereience with tours, tastings and a restaurant, it is a great place to while away a few hours. Open most of the time.

What else? There are a few smaller distilleries in the north including the Wilmot Hills Distillery and the Cradle Mountain Whisky.  When you’re in the north of the state you must visit Ashgrove Cheese (near Elizabeth Town) and Anvers Chocolate near Latrobe and both on the highway. If you’re heading further out then there is a little whisky nook called The Angels Share in Stanley you can visit.

North-west

North east

Central Tasmania

South – Greater Hobart

East coast

Further Southern Tasmania