If you live in tropics but you’re drawn to cold climes, hold a fascination for history, openly admit to being a Europhile (someone who is passionate about Europe) and love to travel to foreign shores but your budget doesn’t permit such extravagances then zip over to Tasmania. You fly or ferry there so you immediately feel you’re on an adventure, escaping the daily drudge.
Affectionately referred to as Tassie, this remote island boasts rugged wilderness, protected parks and reserves for the adventurous, guaranteed to appease any history buff. If you’re limited to one destination due to time restraints, head for Hobart.
There’s plenty to see and do but here’s a quick line-up that will help you cull your tourist list quickly and get on with experiencing this super city.
Drive to the top of Mt Wellington for panoramic views.
Head to Battery Point for the best breakfast – take some time to stroll around this area – it’s old, quaint and boasts lots of character. Jackman & McRoss is a fave with the locals (57 Hampden Rd Battery Point) but don’t head there right on peak hour Sunday morning; there’s usually quite a crowd. Wander down the street to the Jam Jar (super cute and great service) but it has changed hands since we were there – it is now Milli Vinilli. A Tiny Place is also has a reputation for being wonderful, full of charm and character. (20 Francis St Battery Point)
Dinner at Rockwall Bar and Grill – great food and service. Named Rockwall because it literally has a huge rock wall at the rear of the restaurant!
Mure’s is a must for lunch. They’re renowned for their seafood chowder and won’t disappoint. Sit outside overlooking the dock, breathe in the fresh salty air and soak up the thrill of simply being there. There’s also Mure’s Upper Deck. For a while it had become quite ordinary but it has picked up its game and is now back to being a top spot for dinner.
Bar hop – do bar hop; it’s great fun trying different beverages and chatting with the locals. Start at the Henry Jones IXL Long Bar and ask for The Fire Cracker!!!!
Sit up at the bar and watch the cocktail mixologist work his magic.
When you’re ready for your next destination, head to Salamanca Place and attack Hobart’s cool bar scene. It’s only a short stroll to this stretch of Georgian sandstone warehouses now transformed into bars and restaurants.
Salamanca Market + Scallop Pie – this is a must to try. The only place to get the real deal is at the Salamanca Market. You’ll see the famous pie van – can’t miss it.
MONA – while there check out the extraordinary collection of public art sculptures outside the museum. They’re created from bits of iron by Wim Delvoye. Some of his artwork is polarising but his sculptures are visually impressive. (Inside MONA is his Defecating Machine which leaves nothing to the imagination.) Remember to upload the MONA app so that you roam MONA freely, walk around the art spaces and learn about the artists and the artworks at your own pace.
MONA food. A hearty ploughman’s platter and glass of local Moorilla wine at the Wine Bar – is a great alternative to the restaurant and a better location sitting amongst it all, looking out at the sprawling grassy open spaces with the Derwent River as its backdrop.
MONA ROMA is fun. You can drive to MONA or take the direct route via the gallery’s MR-1 MONA FERRY. Recommended: purchase tickets online for the Posh Pit – sit in comfort, drink champagne and eat gourmet nibbles both there and back.
The Glass House is a real treat – located at Brooke Street Pier, Franklin Wharf. (It’s at the rear of the Mona ferry terminal glass house). Pre-book a table some weeks in advance to guarantee a seat at the floor-to-ceiling glass wall and be entertained by a pod of dolphins frolicking in the water.
The view, the wine and the share plates create a memorable incredible dining experience. The location is sublime – it feels like you are cantilevered over the water.
Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum. Get an insider’s look at how the real explorers lived.
Port Arthur. The perfect day-out excursion. Lovely relaxing drive there and back. Guided tour of Port Arthur by one of the locals was a hoot.
Beer lovers (Cascade Brewery) and nature lovers (Bruny Island) are also in a for a treat.
All of these destinations and experiences were done in three days. Get a move on!