25 November, 2020

Fall in love with the island’s purple heart: Bridestowe lavender estate

Visit in summer to experience legendary Tasmanian beauty, or anytime for lavender treats and gifts.

Want to find the perfect place in Tasmania? A 45-minute drive north-east of Launceston, Bridestowe lavender estate is one of the most photographed places in Tasmania. Who needs France’s purple fields when its 650,000 plants are blooming on our doorstep? Year-round, this farm’s bounty awaits, from lavender tea and scones to candles, plus an adorable lavender-hued teddy bear.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate (Image: Brian Dullaghan)

What’s so special?

At 260 acres, Bridestowe is the world’s largest privately owned lavender farm. Row upon curved row (adding up to 200 kilometres in all) of lavandula angustifolia stretch to the hills. This landscape becomes a divinely scented purple vision when in bloom from December until harvest around late January or early February.

The farm was established in 1922 when London perfumer CK Denny migrated to Tasmania with a packet of French lavender seeds. The property has grown over the years, and also become popular with visitors – now some 50,000 annually.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate (Image: Luke Tscharke)

Frolic on the farm

Try to time your visit when the lavender is flowering. During this peak season there’s an entry fee of $20 (free for under-16s and Tassie residents), which includes a guided tour plus all the priceless photos and sensory pleasure you can manage.

There’s also the chance to see oil being extracted from flowers in the distillery during harvest. Another fascinating summertime experience is watching the resident beekeeper gather honey from hives that are home to 500,000 lavender-loving bees.

The estate is open year-round, so you can always go for a wander. Read about the farm’s history and agricultural science, and see machinery, tools and memorabilia from Bridestowe’s past in the old tractor shed.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh, Ocean Photography)

Treat yourself!

When you’re done exploring, relax in the spacious indoor-outdoor café overlooking the fields. Lavender adds extra joy to many menu items, from ice-cream that’s irresistible in summer, to cosy tea and scones ideal for chilly days. There are also more substantial savoury dishes, and a sheltered picnic area too.

The adjoining shop offers more temptation. Of course you’ll find pretty bags of dried lavender for keeping linen cupboards and wardrobes nice, and other heavenly scented classic gifts including soap, essential oil and tins of tea.

Other souvenirs include Bridestowe’s own lavender-infused honey and jams, lavender hand cream, bath salts, heat packs and room spray, and the super-cute Bobbie bear range. From cuddly teddy to Bobbie travel pillows, mugs and tea-towels, this little guy reminds young and old of happy times in Tasmania.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate (Image: Luke Tscharke)

What’s nearby?

Launceston’s fab food and heritage isn’t the only reason to linger in Tassie’s north-east after visiting Bridestowe. The Tamar Valley wine region, internationally renowned for its sparkling, is a cork pop away. Treat yourself to a taste if not a few bottles for home at these valley vineyards we recommend.

Golfing paradise – plus fine food, spa treatments, accommodation and Bass Strait views – is also close by at Barnbougle resort. Its two courses were rated the nation’s second and fourth best in Golf Australia magazine’s 2020 list. Get back to nature at Narawntapu National Park, known as Tasmania’s Serengeti because of its abundant wildlife, or watch the world’s cutest birds waddle up the beach on a Low Head penguin tour.

About halfway between Bridestowe and Devonport, there’s also Lavender House, Tasmania’s only working perfumery. With numerous lavender varieties flowering from September to May, the chance to watch perfume-making in action, and a shop full of pampering and healing products, you’ll want to continue your lavender journey here.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Barnbougle Dunes Golf Links (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Bill Bachman)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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