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Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Located about 50 kilometres north of Launceston, the Bridestowe Lavender Estate is open all year round. When in full bloom it is a sight to behold, with flowering commencing mid-November and peaking in December and January. The 105 hectare farm has 44 hectares of lavender plus landscaped gardens and native bush. Harvesting for dried flowers starts mid-December and for oil distillation the first or second week of January, depending on the seasonal variation. Most of the lavender is grown for oil production of which about 85% is exported.
The visitor centre has an audio-visual presentation that details how lavender farming came to Tasmania and explains the harvesting of the lavender and distillation of the oil. Self-guided tours can be undertaken all year round and are also available in Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian.
The visitors centre has a range of lavender products for purchase including the fine, top quality oil, massage oil, soap, shampoo, body scrub, room sprays, pot pourri, candles, boiled lollies, jam and honey. A new addition to try is their lavender and rhubarb sauce. A lavender heat pack bear sounds just the thing for winter! There are also locally made arts and crafts.
Woodcroft Cafe provides refreshments and the chance to try lavender in brownies, ice-cream and other delights. Full cafe menu is available 11am-2.30pm.
A seasonal entry fee of $7.50 may apply from 1 Dec-31st Jan - please confirm with Bridestowe. Under 16 years of age are free. Guided tours take place every half an hour from December through January.
If you are just going to buy lavender products, you may be disappointed. Though they have a great range they are no cheaper than found in other stores that stock their product. However, if you are going for overall experience you can come away enlightened and delighted with your visit. Rows and rows of purple to please the eyes and to wander amongst. Relax under the elm trees with lunch or a snack. Drink in the amazing scent of lavender and marvel at the sheer amount of it. Take a self-guided tour. See where the oil is distilled from the flowers and find out about the London perfumer who arrived in this part of Tasmania with his family and some lavender seed.