Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Café is down a quiet country road in the small rural community of Pyengana, 25 minutes from the coastal town of St Helens in Tasmania's beautiful Northeast. Pyengana is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘the meeting of two rivers’ which perfectly describes this flourishing green river valley area. The farmers of Pyengana have been handcrafting traditional cloth-matured farmhouse cheddar for over 130 years.
As custodians of the original recipe and heritage vats that have been handed down through generations, Pyengana Dairy proudly continues this local cheese-making tradition. Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Café is a peaceful place to sample award-winning cheeses and produce, have a delicious farm-fresh meal, tour the state-of-the-art dairy or shop for gifts or hand-crafted tasty treats to take home, or enjoy along your journey through Tasmania.
Pyengana Dairy was founded in 1992 by fourth-generation Pyengana dairy farmer Jon Healey. Jon had a passion for continuing the tradition of making cheese on farms in Pyengana. This tradition started in the 1880s with farmers bringing cheese-making techniques from their European backgrounds to make on their farms in Pyengana.
Ten years later, the first cheese factory was established in the area. It became a cooperative in the 1900s and continued cheese production into the 1950s. Its closure may have marked the end of an era, but local farmers decided to keep making cheese the way they had learned through generations.
Today, Pyengana Dairy is a member of the TasFoods Group, and their traditional cheese continues to win awards for excellence. The dairy is proud to be the custodians of these treasured local recipes and their Heritage Farmhouse Cheeses are carefully crafted in the same vats that have been used in the Pyengana Valley for decades.
Pyengana Cheddar is one of Australia’s most-awarded cheeses. Its bold and earthy flavour comes from a combination of high-quality ingredients such as creamy milk sourced solely from Pyengana cows, locally crafted methods, and traditional maturing techniques.
The recipe has been refined over decades by farmers in the area who became true artisans. It incorporates a method of working the curds by hand to build texture and bring out its unique flavour.
The cheese is matured in a traditional cheesecloth under the Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Café in a dark cave-like room that can be viewed through glass. Natural ventilation draws cool air through a one-kilometre underground tunnel to create the ideal temperature for maturing cheddar cheese.
The cheddars are aged for up to two years and graded along the way to determine their maturity. The finest of these become Pyengana Reserve Vintage Cloth Matured Cheddar that Pyengana Dairy has become famous for.
Pyengana Dairy is in Tasmania’s northeast region - a 30-minute drive from the coastal town of St Helens and an hour from Scottsdale.
Pyengana Dairy is open seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm and closed only on Christmas Day.
One of the friendly team will be happy to show you the Pyengana Dairy and its well-fed cows. Grazing on the lush pastures, the cows have been trained to decide when they want to be milked!
When they’re ready, they wander in for milking several times each day using a robotic milking system. There’s not a human in sight! The cows even stop for a back scratch on their way back to the paddock. The system creates the ideal low-stress environment for the cows and the ideal environment for high-quality milk production.
Visitors can also watch the cheesemakers at work and sample a selection of award-winning Pyengana cheddars and blue cheese. The milk for the cheese come from just 100 metres away, making it a no-mileage, environmentally friendly true paddock to plate product!
Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions about us or our tours. Fill out our form and we will get back to you soon.