Eating out on Tasmania’s East Coast is an experience in and of itself, the Great Eastern Drive will lead you to the most delicious experiences in Tasmania, in some of its most beautiful locations. The East Coast’s mild climate creates perfect growing conditions for the state’s premium fresh produce, and the region has long attracted passionate growers, producers, winemakers, cheesemakers and chefs, whose creations are just waiting for you to try.
Savour a seafood feast
No visit to Tasmania’s East Coast is complete without tasting the region’s incredible local seafood. The clean seas and inland streams here offer up some of the best aquatic morsels you could wish for—from oysters, mussels, rock lobster and abalone, to deep sea fish and succulent freshwater trout.
Visit restaurants all along the coast, from exclusive dining to casual bistros, to sample menus inspired by the region’s premium local seafood, or savour it right at the source.
Spring Bay Seafoods at Triabunna is an award-winning certified organic seafood producer specialising in premium blue mussels and farmed and wild-caught scallops. You can take a tour of the Freycinet Marine Farm at Coles Bay to taste oysters and mussels, freshly harvested and shucked before your eyes, or enjoy fresh seafood prepared on site and accompanied with Tasmanian wines and beers.
Given the quality of the fish and seafood that is sourced right on their doorstep, it’s unsurprising that many east coast restaurants specialise in local seafood and fresh Tasmanian produce.
Sample a cellar door
The Great Eastern Drive takes you along the path of the East Coast Wine Route, and straight to some of the best cellar doors in Tasmania. This is one of the state’s premier wine-growing regions, known for its fine cool climate varieties. Cellar doors along the coast offer tastings and wine sales, and east coast restaurants showcase the finest vintages, as well as handcrafted beers, stouts, spirits, whiskys and ciders, from all over the island. Visit cellar doors including Boomer Creak and Darlington Vineyard at Orford, Devils Corner and Freycinet Vineyard just before you reach Coles Bay, Gala Estate, Milton Vineyard, and Spring Vale Wines at Cranbrook, Overtime Vineyard near Bicheno, Priory Ridge Wines, near St Helens to sample wines and chat to the winemakers.
Premium wines by other east coast winemakers and vineyards are also available at restaurants and wine sellers, such as The Farm Shed in Bicheno, a dedicated Wine Centre for the East Coast region.
If handcrafted beer is more to your taste (or, perhaps, also to your taste), visit the BrewHaus café and bar at White Sands Estate, Four Mile Creek, (between Bicheno and St Helens), to taste the specialty beers, stouts, wine, vodka and whisky brewed on site at the Ironhouse Brewery using premium ingredients and water sourced from the property’s own spring.
Go to the source
Farm gates on the East Coast are about as diverse as you can imagine. The region’s mild climate, clean ocean and fertile soils create an environment where Tasmania’s world-famous produce is grown in abundance—from fresh fruits and crisp local vegetables to world class seafood and award-winning cheeses.
At the Pyengana Dairy Company, in the genuinely lush Pyengana Valley, you can sample award-winning cheddars, homemade ice creams and creamy, real farm milk (from the happiest cows you’ll find anywhere). And no food-lovers’ visit to the East Coast is complete without a stop at Kate’s Berry Farm, where you can pick your own berries (November until May), and purchase preserves, dessert wines, berry ice creams and handmade chocolates.
Further north, at Scamander, you’ll find more fruit and farm-made jams, chutneys and sauces at Eureka Farm. Local markets are great places to source truly fresh, organic local produce. Swansea, Coles Bay, Triabunna and St Helens each have regular or seasonal community markets where you’ll find tables laden with fresh, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, preserves, baked treats and other irresistible produce. East coast providores are also a fantastic source of gourmet local produce. Also try the East Coast Village Providore at St Helens for some choice morsels.
The Bicheno Food and Wine Festival is an annual celebration of the east coast’s passionate and talented producers, fresh produce and culture. Held each November on the Bicheno waterfront, the festival showcases Tasmanian and east coast producers, chefs, wine and beer makers and other gourmet innovators with a day of tastings, demonstrations and cooking classes, food stalls and pop-up cafes. Think of it as the best all-day lunch of your life…
Make a date for dinner
You can sample the best fresh seasonal produce, matched with local wines and boutique beers at restaurants and cafes on the Great Eastern Drive. From exclusive dining at high-end restaurants to casual meals in family-friendly bistros and treat-laden afternoon teas in cosy cafes, you’ll find a dining experience that is perfect for you.
In Orford, tasty casual meals, Tasmanian cellar door sales and local gourmet products are available at the Gateway Café. For a special dining experience, treat yourself to the degustation or à la carte menus at the award-winning restaurant at Piermont Resort, Swansea. Soak up the view over a long lunch or dinner at the waterfront Saltshaker Restaurant, also in Swansea.
House guests at Saffire Freycinet can experience true indulgence at the resort’s Palate Restaurant, where seasonal Tasmanian and east coast ingredients are transformed into an unforgettable culinary experience. You can also dine at the Bay Restaurant or Richardson’s Bistro at Freycinet Lodge, located within Freycinet National Park.
Further north, visit the family-friendly BrewHaus Café and Bar at White Sands Resort, Four Mile Creek to sample modern Australia cuisine, matched to the Ironhouse range of brews.
Inland from St Helens, at Pyengana, is the Holy Cow Café at the Pyengana Dairy Company, featuring light meals, lush handmade ice cream and fine Pyengana cheeses. Also at Pyengana is the quintessentially Tasmanian Pub in the Paddock—the St Columba Falls Hotel.
You can still find a traditional Devonshire tea in a quaint east coast tearoom or indulge yourself in luscious gourmet treats in a stylish café. Try Artifakt Gallery and Café in Swansea for delicious coffee and snacks and a chance to browse the collection of local art and crafts.
Visit the Bark Mill Tavern and Bakery in Swansea for a tasty snack or light meal, and a chance to visit the Bark Mill Museum. The quirky Pondering Frog, south of Bicheno, specialises in house-made berry icecreams, Devonshire tea (with enormous fluffy scones) and a selection of house-made cherry liqueurs, preserves and local honey (and frogs. Lots of frogs…).
Visit Blue Edge Bakery and Pasinis Café, Wine Bar and Deli in Bicheno and Granite Bakery and Cafe at Coles Bay, where your espresso need will be met with ever popular Ritual Coffee, as well as sweet treats and light meals made with local ingredients.
At St Marys you’ll find The Purple Possum, a café and wholefoods store, mini-gallery, produce garden and bric-a-brac shed.
Swims East Coast Coffee is quaint and artistic pause point in Scamander, just across the road from the beach and a fantastic park for little ones to stretch. In St Helens, don’t miss the Lifebuoy Café and Quail St Emporium. Coffee Away is a hole in the wall coffee stop, a firm local favourite.
Pack or pick a hamper
Possibly one of the most memorable dining experiences you can have on Tasmania’s East Coast is to pack a hamper of the local produce you’ve gathered at providores, markets and farm gates along the Great Eastern Drive, match it with your favourite East Coast wine or beer and unfurl your picnic blanket.
Alternatively, East Coast Grazing and Bicheno Pop Up Picnic offer hampers ready made. Your only remaining challenge will be choosing which incredible view you’d like to soak in while you indulge your taste buds…
Are you ready to plan your East Coast Tasmania itinerary?
Take a weekend, a few days or longer to explore, feast and wander on the Great Eastern Drive, and experience a true food lover’s adventure.
Contact us below to get started.
PS. To help plan your visit, you can check our travel times and driving distances.