Explore the Lavender at Bridestowe
The Bridestowe Lavender Estate in northern Tasmania was once a genteel place that produced premium fragrance for Yardley. Then social media went crazy for the colour purple and the estate – a 45-minute drive from Launceston – was transformed.
Bridestowe Lavender Estate
was named after the town in Devon, the area around Saint Bridget’s Church, where the founder’s wife was born. It is an old English word and town.
Bridestowe turns 100 years old in 2022, and was established by an English family with very strong roots to the fragrance and perfume industry in the UK. England, with the Yardley and Mitcham lavender brands led the world in fragrance and cosmetics.
In the early 1920s, London perfumer C.K. Denny
arrived in north-western Tasmania with a packet of lavender seeds sourced from the famed fields of Provence
. The soil and climate of this region are similar to those in France and the lavender thrived
. Denny’s farm became Bridestowe Estate, Tasmania’s largest lavender producer and the world’s largest privately owned lavender farm.
Bridestowe lavender became known for being Tasmanian, but in essence it is from the French Alps
, transferred and harvested in the rich soils of Tasmania every year and blended into one of the world’s great fragrances.
At Bridestowe, more than 650,000 plants cover 100 hectares and produce high-quality lavender oil that is used in a range of home and body products
, as well as gourmet foods. Sample lavender tea, infused salt and pepper, hard candy and fragrant lavender and rhubarb syrup
, or take home culinary lavender to add to fruity desserts and roasted meats. See the fields ablaze with the signature blooms in summer, try a scoop of lavender-infused ice-cream or tuck into the lavender scones.
Visit the distillery
, where audio-visual displays show how the lavender is distilled into oil when in bloom in January and February. Also discover how soaps and candles are made
in the off-season.
One of Bridestowe’s most popular souvenirs is Bobbie the Bear,
a cute take on the lavender-stuffed heat pack. Bobbie was created in 2009 when there was an abundance of dried lavender and the estate was looking for a way to manage those stocks. This led to the idea of a heat pack bear.
Bobbie is globally famous
, and appealing to the travelling public as a great souvenir
. The pack weighs 850 grams, and smells deliciously fragrant. Put it in the microwave for two minutes and get a warm bed companion which is great in winter. Bridestowe Estate also has a very good mail order business, and Bobbies are sent to places as far afield as Russia and Asia all the way from Tasmania.
Tasmania is a genuine four-seasons destination
. In winter it is moody, and there are warm fires and wonderful things to eat and drink. In summer there are spectacular landscapes to explore
, in autumn the foliage is rich and colourful
, and in spring, the countryside comes alive.
Distances are short, so in four hours you can go from the top to the bottom
of Tasmania or from east coast to west, with the chance to discover so much in a brief period. These constant changes of scenery in short distances are what make Tasmania
such a special place. There is something for everyone in Tasmania – wilderness, horticulture, farmland, vistas, good food and wine
– it is for people who enjoy life. And the locals are always friendly and creative.
Bridestowe is 45 kilometres by a very good road from Launceston. The best time to see lavender in full bloom is during summer, from 1 December to 28 February, as the evolving climate is bringing the flower into full bloom earlier.
Join APT on a 12 Day Tasmania Complete to visit Bridestowe Lavender Estate as well as many other Tasmania Highlights such as Freycinet National Park and Cradle Mountain.