The Channel is one of Australia’s great (yet lesser known) coastal drives. There’s tonnes to do, including exploring secret bays, visiting seaside towns, browsing shops and galleries, searching for treasure at artisan markets, indulging in amazing local eats, bush walking, and learning about the region’s history. Here are nine wonderful things to do on your Channel adventure.
1. Tasmanian Jet Ski Adventures
Tasmanian Jet Ski Adventures are located in the sleepy seaside town of Coningham. They offer the only jet ski tours in the state, with three to choose from: a leisurely and fun thirty minute run to North Bruny Island; an exhilarating one hour adventure which includes Bruny Island’s tranquil Duck Pond; or a 90 minute full-on run to the glass-like waters of Simpson’s Bay, where north and south Bruny meet at The Neck. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll visit stunning beaches, jet past spectacular coastline, and discover the local wildlife.
2. Grandvewe Sheep Cheesery & Hartshorn Distillery
As Australia’s only organic sheep cheesery, Grandvewe is truly a ewenique experience. Visit the farm and onsite cafe, nestled amongst the rolling hills of Birchs Bay, to taste their amazing variety of cheeses, enjoy lunch with spectacular views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, pat and feed the adorable lambs (in season), and watch a sheep milking demonstration (3pm, Oct–Mar). Hartshorn Distillery, the world’s first sheep whey distillery, is also located onsite. Don’t be sheepish – have a tipple!
3. Inverawe Native Gardens
Inverawe Native Gardens, located behind the Margate Train, is Tasmania’s largest landscaped native garden. It will enchant and delight you. Enjoy thousands of colourful native plants and stunning views, with interpretive signs dotted throughout the gardens. Relax with a pot of tea on the terrace. Guided tours are available.
4. The Channel Museum
The Channel Museum offers an insight into the fascinating history of the region, and admission is free! Their informative displays shine a light on the social and commercial heritage of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel area. Feature displays change regularly, so there’s always something interesting to discover. Be sure to check out the local artwork on display in the gallery. If you have a family history in the region, see what you can find out about your ancestors in the Research Room. Pop into the onsite cafe for lunch and refreshments.
Image: Channel Museum
5. Woodbridge Hill Handweaving Studio
The Woodbridge Hill Handweaving Studio offers a textile experience with colour and textures. The studio is in a beautiful location with spectacular views over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Browse the handwoven wraps, scarves, cushions, rugs, knitwear and wall tapestries, made from hand spun alpaca wool and silk. They also offer the opportunity to observe a weaver at work!
6. Art Farm Birchs Bay
The delightfully quirky Art Farm Birchs Bay, at Five Bob Pepperberry Farm, hosts the renowned Annual Sculpture Trail, plus exhibitions, workshops and events. The awesome farm and forest walks are open all year round. You can even take your four-legged friend, as long as they are kept on a lead.
7. Hartzview Vineyard
Visit Hartzview Vineyard for cellar door tastings, delicious food, and magnificent views. Tastings on offer include hand-picked Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, plus a large range of preservative-free fruit ports, liqueurs, Tasmanian cassis and mead. In the restaurant, we highly recommend the combined vineyard and cheese platter! Step back in time and discover the fascinating history of the property on a self-guided walk around the heritage pickers huts.
8. Peppermint Bay Hotel
The Peppermint Bay Hotel is nestled on four acres of waterfront headland at Woodbridge, with amazing views across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and north to kunanyi / Mt Wellington. Take the cruise from Hobart and enjoy a relaxing day travelling onboard the luxurious catamaran. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink in the bar. It’s a really beautiful spot and the food is to die for, featuring fresh produce from their gardens and local suppliers.
9. The Woodbridge Smokehouse
Pop into The Woodbridge Smokehouse and taste mouthwatering free samples of their sensational smoked Ocean Trout and Atlantic Salmon. They actually hand smoke their fish using wood from their organic apple orchard! Visit their Taste House between 10am–4pm weekdays and 12pm–4pm Saturdays.
If you’re keen to stay awhile, accommodation options include: Oyster Cove Chalet, Snug Beach Cabin & Caravan Park, Woodbridge Hill Hideaway, Kingston’s Southern Lights Hotel, the Hartzview Vineyard Homestead, and the charming Villa Howden.
Channel Museum & Hartzview: Rich Heritage & Delicious Food
Hidden Gems: Seven Stunning Walks in the Channel
Paul Fleming Finds Charm in the Channel
Channel Drive: Unearth the Local Gems on a Road Trip
The Peppermint Bay Hotel, @peppermint_bay_hotel/Instagram