Foodies in Launceston have the chance to experience the best of north west produce as part of Devonport Food & Wine 2019.
Ingest North West Food Trail, encompassing a cluster of premium north west food, beverage and scenic stops along the north west coast, has partnered with That's the Spirit Tours to offer a fully inclusive food tour departing and returning from Peppers Silo Hotel.
The Launceston to Devonport tour is the second listed as part of the food and wine festival, with the Ingest/That's the Spirit partnership also offering a Devonport to Stanley tour departing from Devonport's Bass Strait Maritime Centre.
The premium food trail concept was created, promoted and funded by local hospitality professional and marketer Paul Fielding with wife Claire in early 2018.
"We had a steady stream of mainland visitors we needed to entertain; they all love their food and wine", he explains. "Most had never visited Tasmania, especially the North West Coast, and we wanted to show off the uniquely stunning scenery as we ate and drank as tourists across the coast.
"I'm aware of the Cradle Tasting Trail, but find it too vast and too confusing for tourists wanting a purely gourmet food trail experience- something that can inspire a day trip further west or an overnight stay in the region. This trail is about tourism advocacy straight from the plate or cellar door; the whole concept is based around giving tourists an array of 'instagramable' experiences and a tag to share and explore them, #ingestnorthwest.
The Ingest North West food trail is designed as a self-drive experience, though both parties feel there is a market for a premium, all-inclusive food tour focusing on an immersive experience for guests.
"We keep hearing about the nation's food bowl and you drive past these farms, but where and how do tourists stop to sample this gourmet produce on a plate or in a glass? I wrote to a strategic group of my favourite restaurants, cafes and beverage producers with the idea for promotion, created the map and away we went."
A tourism sentiment survey, released by the Cradle Coast Authority in early 2019, suggested memorable food and wine experiences across the region weren't being received or explored by tourists, certainly not to their potential as far as Paul and Claire are concerned.
"I'm a strong advocate of the greater North West. I simply don't believe you can pass through Devonport without experiencing a coffee at Boat Harbour and something fresh from the sea at Stanley." Paul adds. "This region should be in the same sentence as national gourmet leaders like Margaret River, the Barossa, the Yarra Valley and the Hunter Valley, and the Ingest trail is our way of continually contributing to that."
The tours are priced at $275 per person, with a maximum of 10 guests per tour. The price includes all meals and tastings across the day plus relaxed interactions with business owners and chefs. More information and tickets are available at ingestnorthwest.com/tours.