Tasmania, or Tassie, as it’s often known, has been on my travel hit list since I arrived in Sydney. Then last year I watched the film ‘Lion’ on a flight to New Zealand (and cried my eyes out!), and knew I had to make it happen. The film is largely set in and around Hobart, and the scenery just looked incredible. So I booked some flights for a long weekend in Tasmania.
I wasn’t disappointed. I love this city. It felt like we were going on a European city break. Hobart, is Australia’s second oldest city, and you can really feel it. There are beautiful old buildings, a gorgeous wharf and it is situated at the foot of the stunning Mount Wellington.
How to Get There/Getting Around
You can fly direct to Hobart from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with the major Australian carriers (Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jet Star, Tiger Air). I would recommend hiring a car to make the most of your stay. From the airport it’s a 20 minute drive into the city.
Where To Stay
We stayed at Mantra Collins Hotel, which I would recommend as the location is great. You can read my review of the hotel here. I’ve heard good things about The Henry Jones Art Hotel, and we had an amazing dinner there. For budget travellers there are a couple of hostels including Hobart Central YHA and Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse.
What To Do
Take a drive up Mount Wellington for spectacular views of the city and surrounds. On a clear day you can see for miles, and even if it’s cloudy it’s still a pretty special view. If you have time, there are plenty of hikes or you can hire mountain bikes.
One of the cities most famous attractions, the Salamanca Market takes place every Saturday. There are a huge selection of stalls selling everything from local food and spirits to crafts, jewellery and clothing. Make sure you sample some of the Tasmanian cheeses, and the delicious Lavender Malt.
MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art)
This is definitely the coolest museum I have been to. Even getting there is awesome, via the funky MONA ferry, complete with cow and sheep statues! This is definitely not your average art gallery and includes some interesting exhibitions including the Cloaca Professional – a machine which replicates the human digestive system. Essentially it turns food into faeces at scheduled dining slots.
If time allows, take a drive to Port Arthur, the former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula. The open-air museum is a World Heritage site and offers an in-depth look at the history of the early British settlers and prisoners in Tasmania. Take one of the guided tours that includes a boat trip out into the harbour.
On the way to (or from) Port Arthur is the Tessellated Pavement which is situated next to a lovely Bay. This is a geological phenomenon (although please don’t ask me to explain the science!) It is well worth a stop and definitely doesn’t look natural.
Food & Drink
Hobart has an awesome foodie scene and everything we ate was delicious! A definite highlight was Peacock and Jones. The menu is all about Tasmanian produce and changes regularly depending what’s in season. We also had a great meal at Fico, run by two Italian chefs who create some pretty unusual (and tasty) sharing plates. For brunch, head to the Laundromat Café in Battery Point. We also found a great whisky bar for a few after dinner drinks!
I can’t wait to go back and explore more of Tasmania. Would love to hear your tips!