Friday, 23 October 2015

Two gourmet reasons to visit a small town in Tasmania

Geeveston is a small town on a road to nowhere in the south of Tasmania

It is on the Huon River, around 60 kilometres south of Hobart, and is reputedly the largest town in Tasmania without a pub. 

Not that it is that big. At a guess, the population of this former timber town, now reinventing itself, would around 1000 people. 

The town takes its name from William Geeves, an English settler, and is the gateway to the Hartz Mountains National Park, as well as being on the Huon Highway, which ends south of the town as the road eventually runs out south of Dover and Southport. 

Geeveston is one of Tasmania's main apple growing centres (the local speciality is, no kidding, the Geeveston Fanny apple) and was once home to a pulp mill. 

Today, most people pass through Geeveston en route to the National Park, or the Tahune Airwalk, a tourist attraction that overlooks the state's majestic southern forests (which some of the local would be happy to see chopped down). 

Geeveston is home to several cafes and craft shops, but it is also home to two gourmet destinations; both of which draw visitors from around the state - and further afield. 

Attraction No.1 is Masaaki's Sushi, home of what many good judges consider to be the best Japanese food in the state - by a long margin. 

Masaaki Koyama, a Japanese sushi chef married to a local woman, Lucy, serves a limited menu two days of the week for lunch. But if you arrive without a booking, particularly after 1pm, you might find he has sold out. 

Go for a set menu at $30, a delicious lobster-based miso soup using local vegetables, a sushi platter using local seafood and vegetables (and local wasabi, when available), and maybe some delicious roasted duck on the side. 

It is ridiculously fresh, absurdly tasty and mind-blowingly cheap. But Masaaki's is only open Friday and Saturday (when he is not in Japan). On Sundays you can find him at the Farmgate Market in Hobart. 

Just around the corner from Masaaki's is the Wall of Lollies (left), a traditional English-style sweet shop with hundreds of different lollies from around the world in jars. Whether you are looking English favourites, Dutch licorice or American treats you'll find it here. 

And the Wall of Lollies is open seven days 9am-5pm and also sells ice cream. If you catch a Tassielink bus from Hobart and the driver's name is Grant, ask him where his wife's lolly shop is. 


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