Meet the local: 41° South Tasmania
41° South Tasmania is a unique tourist attraction featuring an inland salmon farm and ginseng nursery located a short 45-minute drive from Devonport, in the middle of a peaceful natural setting just outside of Deloraine. Tucked away off the winding highway, 41° South has a small cafe where light lunches are available and free tastings are offered. A selection of local beers and wines compliment their delicious salmon-based menu. A stop in at the farm makes for a relaxing afternoon along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail!
The farm itself was carved out of of willow and gorse-infested scrub in 1998, and then ponds were built and wetlands created. The farm includes a patchwork of wetland grasses, freshwater ponds, wetlands, marshes and ferns set along the Western Creek rivulet. The wetland was not only created to attract a wide variety of birds, its aim was to also be used as a natural bio-filter for the salmon farm.
The changing seasons make the farm an especially interesting place to visit throughout the year as various birds migrate through it. A unique place for bird-watching, the farm offers a place for them to feed, breed, nest and rest. Enjoy the natural environment as you learn about the farm: take a self-guided tour of the freshwater salmon ponds and ginseng display and walk along the boardwalk through the wetlands to the foot of Montana Falls.
An inland salmon farm
A unique farm in Tasmania, 41° South salmon farm is an inland fish farm rearing salmon in the cold and pristine fresh water sourced from nearby Montana Falls. There are 20 freshwater ponds on the property, which at any given time house around 10,000 Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon in various stages of growth. The smallest fish are 10 cm in length and the salmon are generally harvested at a length of 45 cm.
All salmon grown in Tasmania are born in fresh water in a hatchery and then usually moved to be farmed in the ocean. The salmon at 41° South are unique; these fish live in fresh water throughout their entire life.
Another unique aspect to the farm at 41° South - the water feeding the fish farm and carrying organic waste products from the growing fish is reticulated from the ponds and through various levels and stages of native wetlands. The wetlands act as a completely natural filter, removing all the organic waste and feeding the native flora and returning the pristine water back into the Western Creek Rivulet, the very creek that creates Montana Falls - the source of the farm’s water. This makes 41° South an incredibly environmentally friendly inland salmon farm.
The history of 41° South
Today the site is a beautiful example of a native Tasmanian wetland with hundreds of species of native flora and fauna, which includes many species of birds. As well, it's home to the platypus, a testament to the pristine state of the water. The wetlands and site was not always this pristine though. When the property was purchased, the wetlands were infested with introduced English flora species of willows and gorse which were drawing large volumes of water from the wetland, choking the flow of the Creek.
The improvements to the land at 41° South began slowly, first clearing introduced species and establishing a small wetland filtration system. This consisted of just two earth-based grow-out ponds and a third, larger one which acted as a settlement pond. The two earth-based ponds were not efficient however, so in 2003, major property renovations took place, including a much larger scale recirculation system. These changes included: 20 concrete salmon grow-out tanks, 150m boardwalk, excavation and creation of wetlands to act as natural bio-filter, 100% removal of the introduced species, creation of numerous natural walking paths, a salmon filleting and smoke-house facility, as well as a cafe, tasting room, shop and administration offices.
The majority of the project was completed with manual labour and extraordinarily the whole project was finished in one year!
A little more on ginseng
When you visit 41° South, you'll notice that they not only are an environmentally friendly inland salmon farm, but that they also grow and develop both Korean and American ginseng products! When you're exploring the farm you can learn all about ginseng and sample a number of products made and infused with ginseng.
What is ginseng exactly?
Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial plant with fleshy roots, belonging to the Panax genus. Typically it is grown in the cool-climate areas of China, Korea and other parts of Eastern Asia. The English word ginseng derives from a Chinese meaning: “man-root” which refers to the root’s forked shape, resembling the legs of a man.
Ginseng has many Traditional Chinese Medicinal applications. It acts as a nourishing stimulant, immune booster, muscle relaxant and is also used in the treatment of type II diabetes and stress.
Typically the ginseng root is harvested between seven and 15 years of age. 41° South's goal is to grow organic, high-potency, ideally shaped ginseng. Ginseng can be sold fresh, dried or utilised as a natural additive in a range of foods, drinks, cosmetics and other uses.
The history of ginseng at 41° South
The 41° South German-born owners, Ziggy and Angelika Pyka had a long standing interest in ginseng and its myriad medicinal and culinary properties. When they previously lived in Western Australia, Ziggy had identified that the cool climate and soil in Tasmania would be ideal for growing both Korean and American ginseng. Convinced of the opportunity, Ziggy and Angelika moved their family to Tasmania and made their first research and development planting in 1995, on a small farm in Westbury. Many years were spent clearing, building and experimenting with tree growth and mulching methods for the small but growing ginseng crop. It was all done experimentally; with little help or advice.
41° South is constantly developing a range of new ginseng based products. You can view their current product range on their website.
Experience the farm
When you arrive at 41° South, there's a few different ways you can experience the farm.
The small licensed café features an outdoor seating area and you can enjoy a variety of light salmon lunches, complimented with a local juice, wine or beer.
Either before or after sitting down to enjoy some lunch, you can take yourself on a walking tour around the farm to see the working salmon and ginseng farm. Various paths meander around the farm, along the wetlands and towards the Montana Falls Cascades. A small fee is collected for this, and these walks include a free bag of fish food and a map to help guide your way.
Alternatively, if you have a group of ten or more, guided tours are available, where a guide will take your group around the farm, answering questions and providing additional information. Tours can also be offered in Mandarin, Cantonese and German on request. Bookings for this are essentials.
Purchase the goods!
Craving a little salmon and ginseng after reading this post? Products are available from these stockists or through ordering online. They're perfect for gatherings, events or a Sunday arvo platter. Choose from: Classic hot-smoked salmon fillet and snack packs, The original hot-smoked baby salmon®, Smoked Salmon Rillettes, 41ers, Ginseng Spice, Tasmanian Leatherwood Ginseng Honey, China Sencha Ginseng Tea, and Ceylon Orange Pekoe Ginseng Tea
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