THE largest tourism attraction of its type in Tasmania has opened just south of Sorell, employing several locals and looking to hire more.
The Iron Creek Bay Farm Stay is the redeveloped Orani Vineyard and Fruit Farm which was purchased by the Tao family in 2016.
Sitting on 60ha of land, with 7ha of orchard, the project offers accommodation, including 18 blocks with 91 rooms offering private pavilions to backpacker lodges.
The South East Employment Hub and the South East Region Development Association have been instrumental in assisting the business attract locals with the right skills.
As of the middle of last month, 227 people had expressed interest in working at the farm stay. Andrew Hyatt of SERDA said local people “came out of nowhere to apply to work here”.
Currently 12 people had been supported by the two groups with an expectation of about 50 people being employed once fully operational.
The cafe opened last month and the accommodation side of the business opened at the start of this month.
Owner and director Carrie Tao said her family had fallen in love with Tasmania when she attended high school and university in Hobart.
Ms Tao said the family business had a strong commitment to being in Tasmania well into the future.
The original plan had been for it to be an attraction bringing in international visitors but Covid and border restrictions meant a reset to attract Tasmanians.
General Manager Zafer Agacan said he had worked in many high-end hotels in several countries, but Iron Creek offered something unique.
It is also the only facility in the municipality with facilities that offer a large-scale hospitality venue for weddings and conference.
“It can be a retreat for the family, or an escape from the city for business meetings and you don’t have to drive hours, it’s just 30 minutes from Hobart,’’ Mr Agacan said.
Ms Tao said the cafe, restaurant and general store focused on supporting local suppliers for fresh produce.
A children’s playground has been installed with equipment shipped from Denmark.