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Ben stops at the Shot Tower.
Ben stops at the Shot Tower.
Driving along the Huon River.
Snug River is looking glorious.

Tasmania Best Western Drive

Thursday, November 1, 2001
Ben takes a glorious drive on Tasmania's south-east coast along the Huon Trail.

Hobart is a great place to start your discovery tour of the south-east of Tasmania. Australia's second oldest city was founded in 1804, and Salamanca Place, a row of sandstone warehouses, is a good place to have breakfast and finalise your route.

It's best to follow the highway along the coast, through Taroona where the Huon Trail begins, and travel along the Channel Highway.

Not far past Taroona is the Shot Tower, which is made from around 8000 curved sandstone blocks and is 48m tall. It is where lead shot for muzzle loading guns was made. The liquid was dropped through a sieve at the tower's top and, by the time it cooled and hit the ground, was round and cold. Shot is made the same way today.

Just before reaching the small town of Margate, it's worth a look at the Tasman Limited, Tasmania's last passenger train. It opens for tourists each day and has a bookshop, glassware store and buffet car. Next door is an antique and second-hand store called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Hard to resist a visit there.

Margate is a shipbuilding town, and there are state-of-the-art ferries being built there for the European market.

Next stop is the beautifully named small town of Snug. Just 1000 people live there, and it was given its name because early European explorers found it to be a safe, sheltered anchorage for their ships. Sadly, most of the town's homes were destroyed by bushfires in 1967.

Kettering is the gateway to Bruny Island. It is tiny with 507 people living there, but has a great marina and wonderful aspect. The Channel scallops and salmon industry in Kettering is very important, and it is a popular place with recreational sailors.

The Oyster Cove Inn is a pub that was built in the 1890s for a Sri Lankan tea plantation owner who spent summers in Tasmania. It has Tasmania's first private telephone line and private botanical gardens. Succulent oysters and fresh salmon are guaranteed to satisfy the traveller's appetite.

At Woodbridge the road forks, and you can follow the coast all the way around the peninsula, or cut through Gardners Bay. You will see quaint villages, apple and cherry orchards and timber production farms.

The small town of Cygnet — once named Black Swan Port — was named by French Admiral D'Entrecasteaux. Each January, it fills with people for its folk festival, but the rest of the year it is just the quiet home for fishermen, bushwalkers and fruit growers.

Ranelagh is where you can visit the Huon Valley's newest winery, Home Hill. The four-hectare vineyard is a family-run business and produces about 35 tonnes each year of chardonnay, pinot noir, sparkling, sylvaner and sticky wines. After tasting, you can make purchases at the cellar door, see wine being made and enjoy delicious food in their restaurant. Home Hill was made from rammed earth, so is interesting from the outside as well as inside.

Moroccan Salmon Fillets with Mango & Avocado Salsa & Orange Verjuice - Courtesy of the Oyster Cove Inn, Kettering


(T=tablespoon t=teaspoon)
200g boneless Atlantic salmon
1T olive oil

Moroccan Spices
2T ground paprika
1t ground garlic
1t tarragon leaves
1t ground coriander
½ t ground cumin
1t ground cloves
½ t ground turmeric
pinch chopped parsley
pinch black pepper

Sprinkle spices over salmon and pan fry over medium heat. Turn when spices begin to colour. Salmon is best cooked medium to prevent drying. Put aside for 2 minutes and make sauce in the same pan.

Orange Verjuice Sauce
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup verjuice*
1 T butter

Add orange juice and verjuice to pan and deglaze the spices. Reduce to half or less, add butter and melt by stirring over very slow heat until sauce thickens.

Mango Salsa
2 diced Roma tomatoes
½ red onion diced
1T chopped coriander
½ diced mango
1T chopped Italian parsley
½ diced avocado
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 olives chopped
½ cup chopped spring onion
Tabasco to taste

Combine and season. Place salmon on plate and pour sauce over. Place salsa on the side. Serve with favourite salad or vegetables.
*Verjuice may be purchased at delicatessens, but it can be made with equal portions of white wine, white vinegar and water which is reduced to half its quantity.

Location

The Huon Trail in south-east Tasmania.

More information

Best Western: Ph: 131 779 (for accommodation information only)
Website: www.bestwestern.com.au
Tourism Tasmania: Website: www.discovertasmania.com

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