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Gold Coast, Australia
October 22, 2004
After 75 years of making cheese, I think they may have perfected it. They have Neufchatel in various flavours, including chocolate and strawberry; Brie; Camembert Cheddar; and all your favourites.
It is a really great opportunity to taste basically all of them, and I liked to be able to compare the differences in taste and texture. I came home with a few to continue enjoying.
The shop allows you to purchase other locally made produce, including unusual honeys, sauces, and chocolates.
I would recommend you stop in if you are in the area, as it is well worth it!!
From journal More than the 'Apple Isle'
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
January 19, 2003
There’s more to Tasmania’s northeast than beaches--venture off the highway into its lush hills and valleys and you’ll find many surprises, but not many people. This is a region rich in history, a region of little-explored wonder.
We exit the highway west of St. Helens, winding through sculpted farmland on an undulating, narrow road that soon turns to gravel. Entering Mount Victoria Forest Reserve, the landscape changes to dense woodland and the road deteriorates. At a break in the treeline, St. Columba Falls appears, throwing almost 200,000 liters of water a minute down its 300-foot rock face. It’s cooler here, the scent of sassafras and myrtle melding with the sight of giant tree ferns as we make the 20-minute walk to the base of the falls to complete the sensory experience.
Nearby, the Pyengana Cheese Factory provides gourmet travelers with a smorgasbord of 8-week to 1-year-old cloth-bound cheddar cheeses for tasting, clinging faithfully to a 100-year tradition. We stock up on delicious chili and caraway offerings and head for the Pub in the Paddock for lunch and some Aussie culture.
Appropriately named, this 1880s house-cum-pub-cum-bed-and-breakfast does sit in the middle of a paddock. Two locals prop up the bar while a dog retrieves a tennis ball, delivering it to the feet of the older man. In one deft motion, he grabs his beer and kicks the ball out the door. The dog exits.
We order toasted sandwiches, vegetable soup, and beers. It’s an atmospheric old place and you can stay here for around A$40. But the star attraction is "Slops." He’s the "pig in the paddock", the beer swilling oinker that slurps stubbies by the dozen (his record is 76). For A$2 the barman will give you one (stubbie) and you can "feed" him yourself.
We decline, farewelling a disappointed Slops and head north, first through hilly dairy country dotted with old wooden houses and homesteads, then beautiful rain forest as we climb higher. The road becomes a rough, single-lane track, eventually quitting at the ghost town of Poimena on top of a mountain plateau.
This is the Blue Tier, known to pioneers as the "mountain of tin." But the miners have gone, the rain forest returned, and the area is now a haven for bushwalkers keen to explore old pack trails and discover relics from the past.
Lichen-covered rain forest is littered with white moss known as "east coast snow," like some magical storybook waiting to dispense families of fairies. We’re both hypnotized by the beauty and delicate balance of the place, again awestruck by the menu of natural wonders offered by Tasmania, Australia’s smallest and only island state.
And again, we are the only visitors here.
From journal Australia's Great Southern Island (Into The Sunset)