Discover Tassie's Unique Leatherwood Honey
As part of my six day Tasmania tour, we stop at the R. Stephens Honey Factory in Mole Creek. This has been in operation since 1920 and is now in its third generation of the Stephens family. They produce over 35% of Tasmania’s honey with over 2,500 hives, their specialty is Leatherwood Honey.
After inspecting the factory, sampling the honey and learning about the leatherwood production and qualities, my group of 5 decided to stock up and purchased over 40 jars of this unique distinctive honey.
The Leatherwood Honey story starts on the west coast of Tasmania, and this is the only area in the world that the leatherwood trees grow, and as Mr. R. Stephens was an original pioneer of its harvest in 1920 they have established sites situated in the world heritage wilderness areas, the only beekeepers authorised to operate in the national park, thus insuring their honey is absolutely pure and organic. There even sites in the Teepokana wilderness where there no roads and are accessible only by rail. The semi trailers loaded with beehives are transported into the wilderness by train using the old mining railway.
The Leatherwood trees have to be 70 years old to flower and then only between late December and March, giving a very small window to collect the honey. Leatherwood honey is very distinctive in taste and aroma and once tried you are hooked as all other honey pales in taste by comparison. The health value has also been assessed to compare more than favorably with Manuka honey having similar health giving properties. The R. Stephens brand “Golden Nectar” is available through cellar door sales direct from the factory or throughout Australia in Woolworths and selected health and deli outlets. They also export worldwide, their largest customers being New York, USA.
The factory is always an interesting and educational stop on my Tasmanian tour and is followed up by visits to some of the actual beehives/sites situated in the west coast wilderness. We also see first hand the actual leatherwood trees in their natural surroundings. For more information : www.leatherwoodhoney.com.au
Article by Robert Wilson. Robert Wilson is a tour operator and tour guide for Fun Tassie Tours who has a wealth of knowledge and experience on all things Tasmania. Fun Tassie Tours provide the best Tasmania Tours for people looking for an interesting and personalised tour to the best parts of Tasmania.
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