Just over an hour from Cradle Mountain we found ourselves in sleepy Mole Creek. Home to the Mole Creek Karst National Park, it is worth stopping for the night to do the underground caves and glow worms tour. We drove up from Hobart through the Western Wilderness, a region so alien to this country. It looked bleak and desolate like the moors of Scotland – not a single other soul was on the road, and it was raining. It was strange and exciting to drive through a region so different from the one we had just left, and the one we were about to enter.
As we were about to enter the Western Wilderness, this rainbow popped up over the road.
We stopped in at the amazing Nant Distillery in the Central Highlands on the way to Mole Creek.
Eric is a, well, whisky professional. He drinks whisky like his life depends on it. But not in an alcoholic way – in an appreciation for the finer things in life type of way. His collection of whisky is possibly valued higher than my whole wardrobe. He wrote up the following whisky notes about the whiskys he tried.
The Nant Single Malt Whisky (Port Wood)
A well-balanced whisky with a complex sweetness to it, reminiscent of port, but at the same time not too overpowering.
The Nant Single Malt Whisky (Sherry Wood)
Similar to the port, it too, was very well balanced, but it had a slight nuttiness to it, as well as being sweeter. It was good, but the port was better.
The Nant Single Malt Whisky (American Oak Bourbon Wood) Cask Strength
It took the best parts of the previous two whiskys, the nuttiness and the sweetness, and added in maple and vanilla notes, as well as a much longer finish, due to the higher alcohol content. A fantastic whisky, far better than the previous two.
‘The Nant Single Malt was offered in three varieties, each distinguished by the barrels used to age the whisky. In tasting each variety, I found that it was easy to identify the true flavour of single malt, as well as identify the effect of each type of wood used. The Port wood was the first I tried. It was a well-balanced whisky with a complex sweetness to it, reminiscent of port, but at the same time not too overpowering. Next up, the sherry. Similar to the port, it too, was very well balanced, but it had a slight nuttiness to it, as well as being more sweet. It was good, but the port was better. Finally, I tried the Bourbon Wood Cask Strength whisky, aged in ex-bourbon barrels from America, this whisky was 63% alcohol, compared to the others which were only 43%. This drop is the pride and joy of the Nant Distillery, as it famously scored 95.5/100 when reviewed by Jim Murray. I was not disappointed when I tried it. It took the best parts of the previous two whiskys, the nuttiness and the sweetness, and added in maple and vanilla notes, as well as a much longer finish, due to the higher alcohol content. A fantastic whisky, far better than the previous two. ‘ – Eric
This last whisky that Eric refers to is listed as one of the Top 50 whiskys in the world in 2012.
We continued on to our accommodation, the gorgeous Mole Creek Guest House. Run by a lovely couple who are both excellent cooks, the house was built in the 1890’s – in stunning condition and meticulously restored, the rooms are quaint, the family room warm and cosy when the fire is lit, and the gardens green and lush (if you are lucky you might spot their resident platypus in the stream).
For breakfast, house made granola, fruit compote and Greek yoghurt are laid out in the dining room, along with fruit juice. You can then select one of their delicious hot cooked breakfasts along with teas and coffees, all included in your room rate. They serve Petuna smoked salmon, a definite must-try if you haven’t had the pleasure.
The next day we went to visit the Karst Glowworm Caves. To get to the caves you can either drive or take a rainforest boardwalk. Can you guess which one we chose?
Awe-inspiring and humbling, the caves are beautiful and timeless, and the tours are perfect. Step into a dark cave with low headroom, and through to a dimly lit platform.
In steps your tour guide, who flips a switch to hundreds of strategically placed lanterns, placed in and around stalactites, stalagmites, crystals and massive rock formations.
Nant Estate Distillery
Mole Creek Guest House and Cafe
100 Pioneer Drive, Mole Creek, Tasmania
134 Tarleton st Devonport, Tasmania
Karst Glowworm Caves
Mole Creek Karst National Park, Tasmania