Sometimes you visit a place and it really just sorta gets into your soul.
That… is Tara’s Richmond Farmstay, in Tasmania.
We had been driving around the wilds of Tasmania for a few days, and we now parked our rented SUV at Tara’s Richmond Farmstay in the dark. (The above photo was taken the next morning.) Being quiet polite Canadians, we didn’t want to bother Tara too much so we just silently checked ourselves in. I forget how she had it set up… but it was genius. She really has it worked out well. I just remember that fact.
We were unpacking and delighting in this thoughtfully set-up apartment, when there was a knock at the door. Tara! I was excited to finally meet her. I was afraid that my tentative politeness would result in me never meeting her. But she wanted to know one thing very urgently: when would we like breakfast? Wow, this included breakfast! She had officially won me over forever. Then she also urged us to go for a walk on the property to find possums and wallabies. We were actually already winding down for the night… but because she told us it was part of the experience and I 100% trusted her, I urged Andrew to wake up. And so off we went, onto a large rural property which we had never seen in the daylight. True to form, I forgot to bring along our trusty headlamps.
We were walking blind, in the general direction she had indicated to me. We walked as quietly as we could, listening very carefully. And then it happened:
Rustle rustle rustle! In the nearby trees. Andrew shone his iPhone’s flashlight on it. A very very old gum tree, gigantic and mostly dead, and there was something in the tree, looking at us. A possum!
We stood still. In the distance, we could hear thump thump thump… wallabies hopping across the field!
At this point the only wallabies we had seen… were roadkill. The roadkill in Tasmania is insane. The first 15 wallabies I saw were dead ones by the side of the road. Sad but true. And now I could hear alive, thriving wallabies… but could not see them.
We were still. Our eyes adjusted to the inky darkness. I could make out the field… and some lumps on it. A collection of wallabies! Then they were on the move! Thump thump thump, mysteriously disappearing through a thicket before us.
And then more rustling in the haunted-looking trees to our left. Even though I knew they were possums… I was so glad to be with Andrew. We ventured further… Tara had told me the path ended at the river. Our eyes adjusted enough that we could see there was a lovely picnic area by the river… but we were kinda nervous too, without a light, in the dark, hearing the wild nocturnal animals awakening all around us.
Once we were sufficiently freaked out, we returned to our apartment which was safely connected to Tara’s abode. We slept very very well.
In the morning, I went to the door, and found a breakfast basket awaiting me. I couldn’t stop yelping out my delight as I prepared the high-end coffee in the french press, and sliced the still-warm, freshly-baked bread. “This is amazing! I love Tara so much! Ahhhh look at this organic juice!” She had thought of everything! Also, just so you know, Australia has the best butter ever. Tasmania’s is next-level delicious.
Brief interlude here… one of the tiny jars was of lemon butter. I’ve had lemon butter before and liked it. But there was something about Tara’s Lemon Butter that was above and beyond. I was yelling a lot of swear words because I was so in love with the taste, I couldn’t contain myself. Before we left, I made sure to purchase an entire jar just for myself to take home:
After breakfast, we joined Tara and the other guests for a walkabout the farm as she did the morning feeding. We got to feed the chickens:
See the lemon tree:
See her vineyard…
(By the way, I also purchased a bottle of her wine. It’s red wine so I couldn’t drink it, but we served it to neighbours when we got home and the told us it was very delicious. It certainly smelled fantastic!)
And we met her other animals:
And then we had to pack up and leave. I regretted leaving after only one night. When you go, please stay for at least two nights. Spend time by the river. Bring a flashlight. And tell me about it.
(Feature photo: behind the apartments, looking down toward the river. The old gum trees are along the left side, where the possums were, and the field is in front of us, where the wallabies were the night before.)