A gem of a destination on Tasmania’s, Coles Bay, Saffire Freycinet is one of those rare places where time stands still.
By Caroline Tapp-McDougall
Here the air is clearer, the colours are brighter and the local experience is stylishly raw, authentic and truly immersive. The connection to the magnificent Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, the Lodge’s distinct design and individually tailored service makes each Saffire day all the more captivating.
Distinct in its design, Saffire features 20 private suites arranged along Great Oyster Bay as if marking the tidal shoreline. Each appears moored like a small boat run up on the sand. It’s an out-of-this world getaway, detached from ordinary life with an unforgettable culinary offering and a captivating day spa where one can’t help but feel truly engaged in every moment.
Tight to the sea
Built and opened in 2010 Saffire was designed by Circa Morris-Nunn Architects—an adventurous practice known for clever conceptually organic designs that reflect their surrounding environment. Circa Morris-Nunn’s layout of Saffire was meant to evoke a dramatic connection to the sea by marrying wave, sea creature and sand dune references to the thoughtful use of timber, stone and leather. Each element from the suites to the spa encourages an authentic tactile experience that takes its inspiration from nature: the pink granite of the mountains, the bay’s white beaches and sapphire-blue waters and the grey-green of the native bushland.
In perhaps one of the most interestingly immersive offerings we’ve discovered, Saffire’s onsite apiary offers a one-of-a-kind “Beekeeping Experience.” For this fascinating, particularly sweet experience, adventurous guests are invited to don full-body apiarist suits and head for the property’s collection of bee hives overlooking the east coast’s Hazards Mountains. There, under the tutelage and guidance of Horticulturalist, Rob “The Bee Man” Barker, participants not only approach the hives, but are invited to extract the honeycomb and witness the breathtaking natural phenomenon of the Tasmanian bees.
With Tasmanian honey production on the rise, and local apiaries drawing international attention for their decadent, golden produce it’s perfectly fitting that local honey is part of a unique encounter at Saffire Freycinet.
Donning waders to visit the working sites of Freycinet Marine Farm is another flagship experience. Guests find themselves standing knee-deep in the water shucking oysters. Paired with sparkling wines and assorted dressings, they are treated to both fresh oysters and a talk from a wise local who introduces the curious to these internationally significant wetlands as well as shares his knowledge of the oyster life cycle.
The devils await
And, only here, rare open-range encounters with retired breeding devils from Tasmania’s Save-A-Devil program are also on the Lodge’s Signature Experience Menu. Recognized as the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials, these somewhat fierce and feisty beasts with red ears, wide jaws and big sharp teeth are battling for their lives as a nasty virus called DFTD, attacks their remaining population on the island.
If they dare, the Devil Watching outing not only exposes guests to a respected research program but it teaches them more about the history and lives of these legendary nocturnal creatures. And, if you’re feeling benevolent, there’s even the chance to adopt a little devil.
Tasmania calling. Saffire Freycinet is on the east coast of Tasmania where the Mediterranean-like climate contributes to the production of cool-climate boutique wines that have won international acclaim. Local fishing villages supply a parade of crayfish, scallops and deep-sea fish lifted, dripping, off the local boats, salty-sweet and fresh from the water. Plump oysters and mussels are farmed in Great Oyster Bay. And, the best of Tasmania’s succulent grass-fed beef and lamb, full-flavoured game meats, fresh herbs and spices along with seasonal fruit and vegetables are chosen daily by our chefs to craft cuisine that accentuates the best of premium local produce.