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Get (away) to Freycinet

It seems impossible to write about Saffire Freycinet without repeatedly using adjectives like breathtaking, stunning or spectacular. It is difficult to imagine Saffire disappointing any guest. By staying at this luxury lodge you are choosing a remote and meditative retreat, located in one of the most striking national parks in the world, Freycinet. At Saffire, every element of your stay will match and reach the heights of the astounding natural beauty of the location. 

Designed by Tasmanian Robert Morris Nunn, the architecture of the building has won numerous awards – its organic shape melds with the landscape, and utilises local materials. Special glass is used to minimise glare and maximise the spectacular view. The suites are beautifully designed; the height of understated contemporary luxury, built to maximise privacy and to experience the surrounding landscape, uninterrupted by any sign of man-made construction beyond a walking path. On waking, I simply pressed a button for the blinds to lift, revealing the amazing view across Wineglass Bay.

Both light plane and helicopter transfers are available from Hobart International Airport, but not having visited Tasmania before we chose to drive to see some of the landscape and it was truly one of the most beautiful country drives I have been on. Ten minutes out of Hobart and we were on a single-lane highway. For the next two hours we drove through varied landscapes, across lakes, through fields with country estates and barns, past vineyards, and along rivers and coastlines before arriving at our destination.

There we were met and whisked onto the viewing platform in the entrance and greeted by the first of many charming and charismatic Saffire staff who would make our stay over the next few days an extremely pleasant experience. Glass of champagne in hand, we relaxed in the library’s leather seats and then enjoyed a buffet lunch with grilled local fish and a selection of healthy salads. We then went to our suite and were delighted by the space, light, comfort, and of course, the view over the mountains. With its own fully equipped kitchen and dining facilities, guests are able to dine in-room should they wish to spend the night in.

From our suite, we walked down the bush track straight onto the beach of Wineglass Bay. There we wiled away the afternoon before going to meet some Tasmanian devils. Saffire has an open-range enclosure for the devil, an endangered species.  Watching these carnivorous marsupials rip apart their dinner made us opt for a pre-dinner drink in The Lounge rather than our own dining experience.

Appetite recovered, we headed to Palate Restaurant where we ordered à la carte, tasting fresh, creamy Freycinet oysters from the farm down the road. Shaped like a crescent, the restaurant has well-spaced tables for two alongside the floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuring each couple has privacy to enjoy the extraordinary sunset. The second night we ordered the degustation menu, sampling the local produce including wallaby, all matched by perfect wine chosen by Saffire’s in-house sommelier.

In the morning we went on a gentle bush walk in the national park and then in the afternoon we went to the Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm, donning waders to enjoy oysters that were freshly shucked, along with a glass of champagne. The demand for these oysters is so high that they are all consumed in Tasmania and not distributed elsewhere. It was a fascinating trip to learn about the oyster farming process. Saffire staff are informed, enthusiastic and discrete, well able to cater for clientele that hail from all over the world. In our brief stay we met guests from Russia, America, Switzerland, England and Canada. I finished my stay with a relaxation massage at Saffire’s spa: it was so truly soothing that despite not wanting to miss the spectacular landscape, I fell asleep and continued to snooze all the way back to Hobart Airport.

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