With Spirit of Tasmania docking in neighbouring Devonport, if you’re embarking upon a self-drive tour of Tasmania, one of your first stops should be Launceston. By timing your visit to disembark at 6.30am on a Saturday morning, by the time you get to Launceston you should be just a little shy of Harvest Launceston’s 8.30am kick off.
This produce-focussed farmers’ market that takes place in a quiet, inner city carpark is the perfect spot to load up the ice boxes before you venture forth to your first AirBnB.
There’s no need to find a café before you visit, either. Every manner of cute caravan has been converted into a food service vehicle and they're parked around the edges of this market.
You’ll find coffee, along with a range of breakfast and brunch eats, with morning tea options if you prefer to fill up on artisan doughnuts, gelato, pastries and cake.
Low wooden stools under a covered tent plus live music help to make this market an easy breakfast option.
In terms of the rest of the market, what you can expect to find is a range of Tasmania’s freshest, seasonal produce. For me, visiting in early January, that meant I saw an abundance of berries.
Bring your canvas bags and load them up with all the fixings for a fabulous cheeseboard; berries, Tassy cheeses, and naturally-leavened breads from Apiece Boulangerie.
Condiments you’ll find in abundance, with lots of chutneys and jams, either for your opening cheeseboard or to pack in the luggage for the journey home.
While produce doesn’t seem quite as wide ranging as Sydney markets, all of the fresh vegetables were top notch. Heaped radishes, red onions, beetroots and heirloom carrots made for a vibrant marketplace, even on a grey ol’ day.
Erinvale Farm potatoes are grown and packed locally in the Tamar Valley, and a five-kilo sack of these spray-free spuds will set you back ten bucks.
Team them with locally grown garlic and your favourite mix of micro-herbs from Huski Greens. What’s even better, they – like nearly every stall - cite a belief in natural, regenerative, organic farming that is also pesticide-free.
Seafood and meat are also well-represented, with the same ethical emphasis, be that line caught and sustainable, or hormone and antibiotic-free. Scottsdale Pork, located in Cuckoo Valley, run three pig breeds – Duroc, Large White and Landrace – and use cross breeding to produce the most tender pork. Animal welfare is paramount to their operation, with their sows living in large eco-shelters so they are free to forage, wallow and socialise with other pigs. At the Tamar Artisan Smallgoods stall, you’ll find dry cured bacon made using pork from Scottsdale pigs. It’s been salted with Tasman sea salt, and smoked with fruit woods (apple and cherry) plucked from the heart of the Tamar Valley.
My best find was Lenah Game Meats, the company who produced the wonderful wallaby shanks we enjoyed so much at The Taste of Tasmania. Wallaby meat is mild and low-fat (I like it much better than kangaroo). It’s also wild-sourced from the animal’s natural environment, with good environmental credentials too. A wallaby’s water consumption per kilo of edible meat is 70% less than sheep, and nearly 90% less than beef, plus they also do less damage to the land than their heavy-footed ovine and bovine neighbours. It’s enough to leave me pondering why we’re not all reaching for wallaby more often than the other two…
Every Saturday from 8.30am—12.30pm
71 Cimitiere Street, Launceston, Tasmania
Ph: (0417) 352 780
Heading to Tasmania? Does My Bomb Look Big In This? has you covered...
The Taste of Tasmania: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4.
Breakfast (Hobart): Born in Brunswick, Dandy Lane, Room for a Pony & Macquarie St. Food Store.
Lunch (near Hobart): Willie Smith's Apple Shed & The Dunalley Store.
Dinner (Hobart): The Source, Franklin, Frank & Templo.
Beyond Hobart: Freycinet Marine Farm, Harvest Launceston & Mudbar Restaurant.