The Complete Visitors Guide to Tasmania’s East Coast Wine Region


The East Coast is lined with stunning natural sites and historical highlights. It’s home to one of the state’s most important wine regions with fabulous cellar doors to visit.

East Coast Wine Country

The stunning East Coast is full of impressive draw cards for any visitor to Tasmania. It’s also a major winemaking region, and home to some of the state’s best wineries and cellar doors to visit. Read on to find out everything you need to know about visiting Tasmania’s East Coast wine region.

Where are the wineries on the East Coast?

There is certainly a high concentration of vineyards halfway down the East Coast, around Swansea, Apslawn and Cranbrook, at the confluence of the Wye, Cygnet and Swan rivers (just on the edge of the Freycinet Peninsula). However, Tasmania’s East Coast wine region isn’t really like other wine regions of Tasmania – such as the Tamar Valley, Pipers River and the Coal River Valley – which are confined to a particular, relatively small geographic and climatic area. Instead, the East Coast wine region encompasses vineyards stretching about 300km from St Helens and the Bay of Fires in the north, all the way down to around Bream Creek and Port Arthur in the south.

East Coast Wine Country

How to get to the East Coast wine region

That’s a lot of potential ground to cover. Whichever way you look at it, though, the easiest way to get there is by car – it just depends where from.

From Launceston (add on 1 hour from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal at Devonport), it’s about:

  • 2 hours to St Helens along Highway 1 and the A3 (or 2.5 hours via the Tasman Highway-A3 “scenic route”)
  • 1.5 hours to Cranbrook, via Highway 1 and the Leake Highway

From Hobart (minus 20 minutes from Hobart International Airport), it’s about:

  • 45 minutes to Bream Creek on the Tasman and Arthur highways
  • 1 hour to Triabunna via the Tasman Highway and A3
  • 2 hours to the area around Swansea, Cranbrook, and Apslawn, on the A3

Tasmania East Coast Wine Varietals

The East Coast wine region shares similar cool-climate characteristics with other Tasmanian wine areas. Like much of the state, therefore, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do very well here, and typically dominate production (especially Pinot and Pinot blends, including Rosé). These classic varieties are typically crisp and complex here, thanks to generally slow-ripening conditions. However, parts of the East Coast have also set themselves apart for producing outstanding Riesling and Sparkling wines, so you’ll find plenty of these on offer, too.

The Best East Coast wineries and cellar doors to visit 

Cape Bernier Vineyard 230 Bream Creek Road, Bream Creek

Cellar Door: 11:30am-4:30pm, Fri-Sun

Occupying a stunning spot overlooking Marion Bay, just 45 minutes from Hobart, Cape Bernier is a small, hands-on, family operation. They specialise in different uses of their (primarily) Pinot grapes. The 100% Pinot Noir Rosé has a bright, summery vibe, with a refreshingly dry palate balanced out by a strawberry shortcake richness. Perhaps the most intriguing release is their Pinot Amphora (inspired by the Phoenicians and a 6000-year-old tradition of fermenting in clay pots), which is light in colour but surprisingly punchy with fruity intensity and soft tannins.

Craigie Knowe 80 Glen Gala Road, Cranbrook

Cellar Door: 11am-4pm, Fri-Mon

If you're looking for a rustic, traditional experience, then this is probably the best East Coast winery to target. The oldest vineyard on the entire East Coast, Craigie Knowe blends historic charm with gorgeous surroundings at their Cellar Door, housed in an 1840s home, where they even offer High Tea (book in advance) along with tastings of their impressive range of vintages, which have garnered respect around Tasmania and well beyond since the late 1970s. Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Pinot Noir have always done well here, with Craigie Knowe’s Rosé also coming into its own in recent years. 

Devil’s Corner Cellar Door 1 Sherbourne Road, Apslawn

Cellar Door & Restaurants: 10am-5pm, 7 days

At the other end of the scale from Craigie Knowe, although only 10 minutes down the road, Devil’s Corner embraces modernity. The sleek contemporary refit of their winery and Cellar Door (the “Devil’s Den”), completed in 2021, highlights this approach. Climb the Devil’s Corner Lookout Tower, a quirky structure, for magnificent 360-degree views over the winery. Their wines are largely, by Tasmanian standards, rich and bold – particularly their reds. Pinot is the star of the show, with a number of releases offering different expressions: try the rich, savoury, dark berry-laden Resolution Pinot Noir, or the earthy, spicy, cedar notes of the Mt Amos Pinot. 

Devils Corner Winery

Boomer Creek Vineyard and Cellar Door 10922 Tasman Highway, Little Swanport

Cellar Door: 11am-4pm, Wed-Sun

This is boutique family wine-making at its best. Run by third-generation farmers on a stunning piece of land, first farmed in the early 1800s, this impressive vineyard overlooks Little Swanport inlet towards Ram Island. Hand-picked grapes from the 3-hectare vineyard site produce a good range of typical cool-climate wines, from a Sparkling Joy and juicy Rosé to a well-rounded Chardonnay, and both sweet and slightly-tart Rieslings. The operation isn’t limited to wine, either, with an olive grove, heritage cattle, and even fine-wool merino sheep. The cute, bare-bones Cellar Door, with a spacious outdoor area taking advantage of the views, also serves locally made beers and grazing platters showcasing local products.

Other worthy mentions…

If you’ve got time, you might also like to put these East Coast wineries on your itinerary:

Up north…

  • The Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre: If you literally can’t make it to any vineyards on the East Coast, this one-stop shop will give you a rundown on (and sample of) the entire region!
  • Priory Ridge Wines: Although there’s no regular visitor centre or Cellar Door, these quality wines produced from the Bay of Fires region are available at several local outlets or online.
  • Sterling Heights Vineyard and Winery: The first to bring their wine-making chops over from the Tamar Valley to northeast Tasmania in 2004, Sterling Heights have since won several awards out of their cute, mountain cabin-like winery.
Farm Shed Wines Bicheno

Around Freycinet…

The rolling hills and valleys of the Swan, Wye and Cygnet rivers, between Cranbrook, Swansea and the stunning Freycinet Peninsula, is the most concentrated wine-making area of the East Coast. You could plant yourself anywhere and you wouldn’t be far from a good winery. Here are a few suggestions ....

  • Gala Estate: Looking for somewhere you can find both elegant wine and luxurious sheep skins made on site? Look no further!
  • Freycinet Vineyard: A pioneering vineyard and stalwart in the area since 1979, Freycinet Vineyard has remained refreshingly unaltered by the development around them.
  • The Bend Vineyard: Occupying a stunning spot overlooking the Swan River, The Bend is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon and open by appointment only.
  • Milton Winery: Another sheep-farm-cum-winery in the area, Milton specialise in sparkling and often have a food truck at their Cellar Door, open 10:30am-4:30pm.
  • Spring Vale Winery: Pumping out a broad range of both red and white wines, this Cranbrook winery has a cute Cellar Door for tastings, converted from the old stables.

Around Triabunna…

  • Darlington Vineyard: With great wines and a stunning setting just a stone’s throw from Prosser Bay, this Orford-area vineyard is well worth a stop for a tasting and a “DIY cheese platter”.
  • Lisdillon Vineyard: Combining boutique wine production with boutique accommodation in its 19th-century stone buildings – and even an artist’s retreat and artist programme – Lisdillon is a unique, creative, family-run winery. 

Towards Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula…

  • Bream Creek Vineyard: Singular specialists in all things Sparkling, this emerging winery has no on-site visitor centre, but the owners (and wine!) can be found most weeks at the Bream Creek Farmers Market.
  • Bangor Vineyard Shed: Handily located near Dunalley on the tourist route to Port Arthur, this do-it-all vineyard has a tasting room, comprehensive wine shop, and full restaurant.

Where to stay when visiting Tasmania’s East Coast wine region

Northeast Coast

  • Bicheno: A popular resort town at the top of the East Coast, Bicheno adds a bit of beach bliss into any wine-tasting trip. 
  • St Marys: Surrounded by breathtaking mountain views 10kms inland from the coast, St Marys is a quiet township handily placed for exploring both the East Coast’s natural beauty and its bountiful wineries.
  • St Helens: The “game-fishing capital of Tasmania” is a busy little hub close to the magnificent Bay of Fires, Binalong Bay, golf courses, mountain-bike trails, and nature reserves.
Fishing at St Helens

Central East Coast

  • Swansea: Overlooking Great Oyster Bay towards the Freycinet Peninsula and National Park, you can see why European settlers supposedly chose the location of this tiny town as just the third settlement to be established in Australia, after only Sydney and Hobart!
  • Dolphin Sands: Adjacent to Swansea with prime beaches and easy access to surrounding nature, you’ll soon see why Dolphin Sands is among the most popular beachside resorts on the East Coast.
  • Coles Bay: The hub of the Freycinet Peninsula and perched beside beautiful Wineglass Bay, the only issue with setting up in Coles Bay is that you might get distracted by all the attractions nearby, and forget about the wineries!

Southeast Coast

  • Orford: An attractive riverside town well positioned near Freycinet and the wineries around Cranbrook to the north, and Port Arthur and the wineries around Bream Creek to the south, Orford has the added bonus of nearby Spring Bay and beach.
  • Port Arthur: (see below)
Port Arthur

What else is there to see and do along the East Coast of Tasmania?

Well, where do we begin? The East Coast is sure to be full of highlights on any Tasmanian road trip itinerary, from top to bottom. Here are just a few things to do between visiting wineries along the East Coast of Tasmania (for a full rundown, see FLT’s blog post on things to do on the East Coast of Tasmania):

Bay of Fires

One of Tasmania’s biggest drawcards, the beautiful Bay of Fires combines otherworldly rock formations with stunning coastal views, great beaches, and crystal-clear water over an expansive area. 

Wineglass Bay

Soak up breathtaking vistas of the white-sand bay from the top of a hill up a winding rocky path, or simply relax and enjoy the gorgeous turquoise water and remote feel of this East Coast gem.

Freycinet Peninsula

Rugged mountains, pristine white-sand beaches, dense forests and stunning views at every turn. Take a hike, or pick from among the many campsites for a serene wilderness experience.

Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula

Essentially an open-air museum and as good a view onto Australia’s penal-settlement past as you’re going to get, Port Arthur sits atop many “must-do” lists for trips to Tasmania.

If you’re ready to start planning your trip to the East Coast wine region, have a look at First Light Travel’s designated Tasmania blog for more information. They also have a number of Tasmania self-drive itinerary packages that include several stops along the East Coast!


David Mckenzie
David Mckenzie
: 19 Jul 2022 (Last updated: 19 Jul 2022)

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