Often we visit a venue and don’t know the story of how it started. I love finding out about businesses that have organically grown in the local area, it enhances the experience. Visiting Fuchsia Fantasy in Lillico was an absolute gem and has an amazing story behind it.
Ken Mason and his wife Stephanie were potato farmers in north-west Tasmania. For their hobbies, Ken competed in table tennis and Stephanie collected fuchsias from around the world. Eventually they started to offer their floral treasures for sale. As their flower business grew, people asked if they could sell coffee etc. as well. Fast forward to today and their tea rooms in Lillico, Tasmania attract as many admirers as do their plants. They are one kilometre off the Bass Highway between Devonport and Ulverstone, and well signposted from the main road.
The 80 seat café has amazing views that look out over rolling green grassy pastures to the blue waters of Bass Strait. Indoor seating is best in winter, or out on the deck when the weather is warmer. The view is just as wonderful in or out, as large glass windows encourage you to look outside as you dine here.
The fuchsia theme is everywhere, even on the tablecloths and cups.
I ordered the nachos with chicken and a coffee. Both were delicious and the food presentation was lovely to look at. My lunch had been arranged like a flower, very appropriate for the setting, with the corn chips looking like petals.
There are over 1700 varieties of fuchsias here, and most are for sale, between $8 and $49. Ken was on site to tell me stories about those I was interested in. There are so many different types. Some were so tiny and delicate, smaller than my finger.
I was surprised at the variety of colours and types. There are over 110 recognised species of the flower, most being native to South America. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three to five. They are between 1 and 25cm long and are so pretty.
It was pleasant wandering around the various trestle tables and admiring these beautiful creations. This is the largest fuchsia nursery in Australia, and the largest variety of fuchsias on display in the Southern Hempisphere. It is free to come and admire the flowers.
75 Lillico Road, Lillico, Tasmania
(03) 6428 2348 – call to check opening hours