Botswana Butchery

Leaving the ferry after our wonderful day on Waiheke Island we enjoyed a supplementary beverage at Viaduct Harbour before exploring further.

1.Viaduct Harbour

With evening meal time still a couple of hours away, we scouted the restaurant menus along Princes Wharf. There were some definite possibilities but the doof-doof music emanating from the establishments wasn’t really enticing for a relaxing dining experience.

2.Princes Wharf

Returning to the old Ferry Building, we settled in the sunshine at Botswana Butchery for, you guessed it, another beverage.

3.Botswana Butchery

We were very comfortable watching the ferries come and go


and, after perusing the menu, we moved inside to dine as the light was fading.

5.Botswana Butchery6.Botswana Butchery

The stunning décor coupled with genial waiting staff made for a lovely, relaxing ambience.

9.Botswana Butchery

10.Botswana Butchery

Using the best local ingredients, the meals were superb. I had Crispy Half Duckling with blackberries, parsnip puree, baby vegetables, watercress & duck jus, while Michael opted for the Raukumara Venison Loin (from the Raukumara Ranges, Bay of Plenty). Steamed Seasonal Vegetables completed the main event.

There was only one element left to make my day complete – Vanilla Crème Brulee with cherry sorbet, rice flakes, pickled cherries and a meringue cigar.

14.Vanilla Creme Brulee


Last Saturday brought the first day of winter, a perfect sunny day to drop the top on Cooper and take her for a drive to Boat Harbour for lunch. The restaurant at Killynaught Cottages has borne a few incarnations over the years and we hadn’t yet experienced the latest – Illume.

1.Illume Restaurant

The open fire was welcoming as we stepped through the doorway,


it wasn’t the only cosy niche to relax with something tasty.

There are two large dining areas indoors,

5.dining area

one with an elegant leadlight window and quirky workstation.

The sun-filled patios are well protected from the elements


and there are outdoor options for the warmer days.

10.outdoor seating

The views are absolutely stunning across rolling green farmland and the pristine waters of Bass Strait.

For those wishing to stay, there are five heritage themed cottages to choose from, all furnished with authentic antiques and memorabilia of the Victorian and Federation eras.

13.Annie's Cottage & Victoria's Cottage

There is a variety of Tasmanian wines on the list, we chose a favourite, Ghost Rock Pinot Gris. Michael ordered the Salt & Pepper Calamari with apple slaw and aioli, a little disappointed at the lack of accompanying fries. We remedied this with a side order. I couldn’t resist the Wood-Fired Braised Lamb with potato mash, sautéed vegetables and honey & ginger dressing. I expected something along the lines of ‘pulled lamb’ and was surprised to see a lamb cutlet centre stage. There were, however, shards of succulent lamb under the solitary chop and the dressing was delicious.

The dessert menu offered the traditional treasures, resistance is futile. The Flourless Chocolate Brownie and Sticky Date Pudding received high praise.

In the name of research (if Crème Brûlée is on the menu, I am obliged to appraise), I ordered Honey Crème Brûlée, not suspecting there was a salty element to the crust. I don’t know if there was a mix up between the salt and sugar shaker in the kitchen but, despite the perfect consistency, I was not enamoured.

19.honey crème brûlée

The presentation of the Lemon Meringue Pie was quite spectacular.

20.lemon meringue pie

Next time, we will try the wood-fired pizzas, they looked amazing.

The Gorge

We recently crossed another item off the bucket list with a wonderful lunch at The Gorge Restaurant in Launceston. Located in the Cliff Grounds at Cataract Gorge, the building was constructed in 1896 as a tearooms, replacing the white refreshments tent that previously served picnickers.

1.The Gorge Restaurant

In the early 1970s, the Gorge Restaurant opened, being the first licensed alfresco dining area in Australia.

2.The Gorge Restaurant

The Victorian style gardens were showing signs of spring.

2a.Cherry blossom

We opted to dine inside, the relaxing ambience was most welcoming.

3.The Gorge Restaurant4.The Gorge Restaurant

Our window seat afforded lovely views over the garden and tree tops.

5.the view6.rhododendrons7.the view

We settled in with a refreshing Clover Hill sparkling rosé from the Tamar Valley

8.Clover Hill Non Vintage Rosè

while nature provided the entertainment.


The extensive wine list was narrowed down to a Frogmore Creek 2016 Riesling, sustainably grown in the Coal River Valley. It proved to be the perfect choice.

The friendly waiter was very patient while we decided on our meals, there was so much to choose from. We were very happy with the Crispy Spiced Quail, red cabbage & gin slaw, cauliflower puree and maple bacon,

12.Crispy Spiced Quail

Braised Beef Cheek, Paris mash, thyme roasted baby carrots & lager jus

13.Braised Beef Cheek

and Tasmanian Bush Pepper Calamari, chilli & lime rice vermicelli, coriander & rocket.

14.Tasmanian Bush Pepper Calamari

We savoured the wine while the chairlift glided past the window, sometimes with a passenger, sometimes uninhabited, before ordering dessert.


My Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie, candied pecans, ginger crumb & spiced cream had to be seen to be believed.

We shared tastings of the Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie, white chocolate parfait & raspberry coulis

19.Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie

and the Coconut Lime Tart with rhubarb & blue curacao sauce.

20.Coconut Lime Tart

We walked off some of our decadence returning to the car park, pausing on the suspension bridge to take in the stunning landscape.

21.Cataract Gorge upstream22.Cataract Gorge lower basin

It was difficult to focus on this magnificent cormorant enjoying the sunshine, the bridge was swaying not me.



Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city, after Sydney. It is an intriguing mix of old and new and the waterfront precinct is captivating. The Georgian sandstone warehouses lining the dock were built in the 1830s. The IXL Jam Factory is now the Henry Jones Art Hotel and others have been converted into businesses, galleries and restaurants.


There are many fabulous restaurants to choose from, with seafood the specialty. The Drunken Admiral is very popular,

2.Drunken Admiral

unfortunately we missed out without a reservation.

Looking across Victoria Dock,

5.Victoria Dock

Mures Lower Deck offers casual dining while the Upper Deck is a unique experience with fresh seafood caught, prepared and served by this local family owned business.

6.Victoria Dock

Strolling along Franklin Wharf, we encountered a series of bronze sculptures, a tribute to the Antarctic Expedition of 1899. Louis Bernacchi was raised in Tasmania and is immortalised in this, “Self Portrait, Louis and Joe”.


Nearby are other sculptures depicting the penguins and seals of Antarctica

as well as some of the supplies and other animals present on the expedition.

Sullivans Cove, on the Derwent River, was the original landing point in 1804 of Hobart’s founder, Lieutenant Governor David Collins and the site of initial European settlement in the area.

13.Sullivan's Cove

Further along the wharf is Constitution Dock, the finishing line for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. We were very excited to be there for the celebrations.


Wild Oats XI had claimed its third consecutive line honours. Even for someone who doesn’t know a thing about yachts, I think she is a magnificent vessel.

17.Wild Oats

The dock was bustling

but this gull had seen it all before.


This heritage travelling steam crane, built in 1899, sits proudly on the wharf since retirement in 1969.

23.steam crane

Elizabeth Street Pier underwent a transformation in 1997

24.Elizabeth St pier

and now comprises an apartment style hotel, conference centre and eateries.

Moored at the pier is a full size replica of the Lady Nelson, one of the vessels arriving in 1804 with the first free settlers. She now spends her days sailing the River Derwent with passengers who wish to enjoy a tall ship sailing experience.

27.Lady Nelson

A short walk across the lawns of Parliament Square is Salamanca Place. Each Saturday there is a very busy market

offering a great variety of wares, mostly from local artisans.

Even the world famous can be seen busking in Salamanca.

Behind the market stalls are rows of sandstone buildings built in the 1830s to house grain, wool, whale oil and imported goods. They have since been converted into restaurants, galleries, craft shops and offices.


There are many laneways and squares to discover around Salamanca

and the new is starting to encroach on the old.


When a break is needed from the shopping and exploring, Irish Murphy’s is the perfect spot

39.Irish Murphy's

for a light refreshment

40.Irish Murphy's

to give you the strength to carry on.