My whole family loves being in nature and, my goodness, Tassie is amazing. It’s so beautiful. Every day we’d get up and my mum, the boys’ nanna, would take them for a morning walk. We’d all take walks along the beach. Mum loved being with the grandkids. It was so nice to be part of a big family together for that time. The best holidays are always the ones that get you closest with the people you like the most and, for me, that’s my wife and boys, and my extended family.
The boys enjoyed being out and about in nature. There were all these little wallabies hopping about. They were happy for you to get up quite close and personal and Hudson and I were able to take photos at every angle. I guess it’s what tourists imagine Australia is like everywhere. We even saw white wallabies, which I had never seen before in all my travels. That was pretty awesome.
We spent some time down on Bruny Island. They say it’s an island off an island. We took a beautiful cruise off Bruny Island with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and saw just some of the most gorgeous wildlife in the ocean. We sailed by sheer cliff faces; it was such a magical spot, and wild ocean, too.
Tasmania is so amazing in that there’s incredible gourmet stuff everywhere. It feels like this untouched little part of the world. You drive around and everywhere you look there’s another cellar door to stop at or a different cheesemaker to visit. There are live crayfish being sold on the side of the street. There’s stuff everywhere. It’s a gourmet mecca of Australia. There’s the dairy industry, and also grazing animals – beautiful lamb and beef come out of there. And then there’s the wine. It’s everything and everywhere. Just take a drive.
I get inspiration for my menus on these sorts of trips. I want to get back straight away and start thinking about things I saw and ingredients that I experienced.
The absolute highlight was lunch at a restaurant called Van Bone in Bream Creek. It was genuinely the best meal I’ve eaten in the past decade. The cooking! I think head chef Tim Hardy will become one of Australia’s best chefs without question. There was so much to rave about on the menu. It was really whimsical, pretty food and everything tasted delicious. The handmade chips made from local potato topped with “flavors of the sea” such as dehydrated sea lettuce and wakame were incredible. And there was a goat’s cheese pastry that was made in the shape of a snail with flowers they grew in the edible garden. They grow pretty much everything they serve on site.
We didn’t do a ton of preparation before the trip, but I always look at what the best restaurants are or what I should eat. Lindsay is pretty good at planning a trip. She’s always better at it than I am, to be honest. We wanted to get to Mona – that was one of the number-one things we wanted to do – but we just got so into everything that we saw, we didn’t have time for it in the end.
We’re back in the US now, and the things I miss most about Australia are family and friends, and the sense of humor Australians have – we’re smart-arses and we like a little sarcasm. And I miss the AFL.
This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com