Hellooooo, I am still alive. :) Today I want to share with you one of the many things I have been up to in the last month, namely – visiting Hobart, Tasmania (which is a supremely excellent place).
So, why Hobart? I’m glad you asked! Four of our very dearest friends came up with the amazing (seriously amazing) idea of giving Mario and I a weekend away as a gift for our wedding, and as they are all v. big fans of Tassie, Hobart was their choice of destination. It was a complete surprise for Mario and I, and one that we couldn’t have been happier about. They organised everything – flights, hotel, even a list of places and restaurants to visit. It was excellent in every way.
This was Mario and my first visit to Tasmania, and we were determined to cram in as much as we could. Hobart is a beautiful little city that is known for its excellent food, whiskey, art and markets, and it didn’t disappoint. We pretty much didn’t stop eating for the entire trip, it was amazing.
So if you are planning a visit to Hobart and would my top picks of what to do and where to go, please read on!
EAT & DRINK
Jackman & McRoss (breakfast and lunch). Reportedly the best croissants outside of France. I haven’t tried all the croissants outside of France yet, but these ones were good. Damn good. The range of pastries and other sweets was delectable. My mouth is watering just thinking about the brioche with fresh raspberries that I ordered.
Fish Frenzy (lunch and dinner). Delicious, fresh seafood at v. reasonable prices. We had the warm octopus salad, which was incredible.
Dr Coffee. Mario became instantly obsessed with their single origin coffees (which change daily). I, on the other hand, fell for their Belgian couverture hot chocolates. A little on the pricey side, but totally worth it – like drinking liquid chocolate, with an enchanting note of subtle spices.
Jack Greene (lunch and dinner). DELICIOUS burgers, amazing ambience. The burgers weren’t overly fancy, just fresh and tasty as hell. The chips were to die for – thick and crispy, but fluffy on the inside. Plus we shared a rocky road sundae for dessert – incredible.
Salamanca Market (Saturday only). I gorged myself at this market – there was just SO much to try. For breakfast, I had raspberry and rose chocolate fudge, followed by the freshest, softest hot jam doughnuts, followed by a delicious punnet of organic raspberries, followed by a jaffa ice cream (this was all before 11am… pls don’t judge me!). There was plenty of other delicacies to try too – go on an empty stomach!
Farm Gate Market (Sunday only). This market is far more food-oriented than the Salamanca market, with just tonnes of fresh produce, flowers, seafood, pastries, you name it. We queued up for an hour to try the Maasaki sushi which is made individually by hand, and is reputed to be the finest sushi in the Southern Hemisphere (Mario was suitably impressed, but my heart still belongs to a different roll). We also enjoyed the Bury Me Standing bagels more than I would have thought humanely possible. I would highly recommend their blueberry bagels, fresh with home-made butter and topped with sugar and cinnamon. In addition, their spiced hot cocoa was to die for. Amazing. Hot tip – they actually have a coffee shop that’s open on other days, in addition to their market stall.
Salamanca Place. Beautiful architecture (reminded me of Edinburgh), great ambiance (very San Fran), amazing food, and heaps of galleries, bars, pubs, stores and second-hand book shops.
Salamanca Market (Saturdays only). As I mentioned above, the food is fantastic. However, this great market is so much more than just food. It features a whole range of hand-crafted gifts and artworks, beautiful local treasures, organic beauty products, and very little kitschy tourist crap (a huge plus).
The docks and piers. Walking along the docks is lovely at any time of day (in summer). There are fresh seafood restaurants, ice creameries, stalls, sailing tours and even (on one of the days that we were there) a car show. The beautiful boats and rustic fishing vessels give Hobart an otherworldly sense of history.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. These gardens are so beautiful and peaceful, which a whole range of different themes areas. They aren’t too big either – you can easily walk around the gardens in a hour or two. Definitely worth a visit.
The Solider’s Walk. Even if you are not particularly interested in military history (which I am not), this trail is worth a visit. It’s a bit of a hike up into the foothills, but affords a beautiful view of the mouth of the Derwent river, the botanic gardens, Queen’s Domain and the Tasman bridge.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). How to describe MONA? The museum (if you can call it that) is the brainchild of Australian professional gambler David Walsh. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia, and features art from Walsh’s private collection. It is confronting, dark, complex, funny, irreverent, harrowing, facile. It is also (one of?) the biggest tourist attractions of Tasmania. It’s a short 20 minute ferry ride from the Hobart piers. Don’t miss MONA, but be warned – this is not the Louvre. You might see some things you will never forget…
Mount Wellington (kunanyi). If you have the option to hire a car, take the 30 drive up Mt Wellington to soak in the stunning panoramic views. From the lush bush at the foot of the mountain, to the desolate landscape at the top, you will enjoy every moment. Take a coat and hat though – it is SO COLD up there!!! The mountain looms over Hobart, and you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the entire city from the summit.
Port Arthur Historic Site. OK, so Port Arthur is technically about 90 minutes out of Hobart, but close enough, right? The penitentiary is 100% worth the drive and the slightly pricey admission ($37 for an adult ticket), as it is visually stunning and rife with fascinating history. The ticket price includes a walking tour of the site and a short boat trip around the harbour. After that, you are free to walk around and explore at your leisure. For all that it is a place with some pretty dark history, the guides manage to make Port Arthur an enjoyable experience.
For those of you who have spent time in Hobart, or who are natives, how did we do? Are there any favourites that we should check out on our next trip?