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South Bound - Margate Train, Channel Highway, Lunch at Kettering and 2 Vineyards

On a cool (mid winter) sunny day, we head off south bound for our first stop - Margate train.

The Margate train is a tourist attraction and shopping area, that is approx. 18km from Hobart CBD (18 minutes), located adjacent to the Channel Highway in Margate.

The Margate train, was formerly known as the Tasman Limited and has said to have made its final rail journey on 28 July 1978. It was actually built in England in 1950 and served as a passenger service between Hobart and Launceston. Now, you will find a number of shops and outlets, housed within the old carriages. You’ll find a shop with gifts, arts n crafts, a little dress boutique or two, a beauty therapist, a barber, biltong and beer and a pancake parlour. There is also a huge antiques shop, where we picked up a rug, along with toilets, a childen’s play area and plenty of parking.

It is worth noting, going there on a Monday, we found more than half of the shops shut. The lolly shop and pancake parlour were both open as was the antiques store, however some were closed Monday and Tuesday and others closed Monday and Sunday. At times there is also a mobile coffee van on-site.

We jumped back in the car and shortly down the road, you come to the Channel Museum.

The Channel Museum is open Sunday to Friday 11am-3pm. It opened there in 2012, with an extensive artifact collection, that has been amassed over the past 42 years, and now includes more than 6,000 pieces. It is mainly comprised of common every-day items that have been used and donated by the residents of the Channel community.

The permanent exhibits explore early exploration, Aborigines, timber getters, boat building, fruit growing, fishing, transport, the 1967 bushfires, and militaria. You will find interesting representation of a school room, a shop and colonial-style rooms (kitchen, bedroom, laundry, and workroom) display authentic features of everyday life as was for earlier generations in regional Tasmania. There was a huge camera collection along with other sporting memorabilia, churches, and social life recreate important social interactions. The ticket prices are $7.50 per adult. Children under 16 free. Discount rate for pre-booked groups: $6.00 per adult Except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, ANZAC Day (to noon) and Easter Friday.

You will find extensive car parking available, parking for large vehicles and caravans nearby, along with toilet facilities - including disabled toilets. There is a café on-site also, which is open 9am – 3.30pm daily.

We then drove a further 5 minutes down the road to Oyster Cove Inn at Kettering for a pub lunch-. The bar and restaurant is located on top of the hill looking out towards the beautiful Bruny Island & North West Bay. There is a range of meals including chicken parmi, lam shanks, meat rissoles, and fish, chips & salad and when the weather permits, you can sit out side in the huge outdoor seating area. There is a lovely warm fire on in winter, helping warm up the pub area.

Lunch is 12-1.30pm 7 days a week and dinner 5.30pm – 7.30pm (Monday through Saturday).

We decided to drive around to Cygnet (50mins from Hobart CBD), there is a few art galleries, cafes and we followed the signs to Harztview vineyard.

There is spectacular views there, looking across vineyard slopes, and Port Cygnet to the Hartz mountains. There is some interesting history to see there as you can wander around the old heritage listed pickers huts, seeing some of the old equipment used in the day.

You can enjoy tastings there from estate grown hand-picked Pinot Noir, Sauvignon blanc and chardonnays. Tastings are also available of their unique preservative-free fruit fortified wines and liqueurs. All are made from 100% high-quality Tasmanian fruit. Ranging from the dryer Blackcurrant Port (similar in style to a Tawny Port), Blackberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Tasmanian Cassis and Spiced Apple Liqueur Mead. We purchased their 7 pack sampler of each, along with a bottle of their sauvignon blanc.

Open: 10 am-4 pm on Monday- Saturday, Closed Sundays, public holidays and closed June, July, August

Further down the road, we called in on our friends at Elsewhere Vineyard. They are in the process of renovations so watch this space for when they re-open down the track. Their local wines are available through Jam Packed café and other local eateries and bottle shops.

Elsewhere had been an award winning Vineyard but was in slow decline for many years. In desperate need for attention, They found the place in 2015 and fell in love.

What a task they began, remediating and developing the almost 80 acres with a view not only to improving the 30 acres utilised for viticulture, but creating a sustainable and symbiotic farm. Everything will have a purpose, and everything will compliment one another to satisfy the needs of the wine, the property and them.

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