If you’ve never been to Hobart, you’re in for a treat. This little city packs a lot of punch – it has old, it has new, it has a tonne of amazing food! The city is very walkable, and should your trip be short there is really no need to leave, spending days meandering around the old streets around Salamanca or trudging up the hill towards Sandy Bay for a little more newness the unique heritage of the city makes it a visual feast. If you are there for a weekend (or a little longer) I highly recommend you hit up the highlights below… and bring some stretchy pants!
Things to do:
- MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) – MONA is an obvious and very worthy cultural highlight of Hobart. If you have the weather, time, and legs I would suggest cycling one way to MONA in the morning after your breakfast – your ticket can include bike hire and a ferry pass. Cycling is a fun way to see parts of Hobart you wouldn’t see otherwise and is mostly on a bike path. Plus, you will receive the full impact of arriving through to the museum through the vineyard, although at this point I felt it was perfectly acceptable to get off and walk up the hill! The museum showcases the private collection of Tassie heavy weight David Walsh as well as some visiting exhibitions. Like any museum you should at least spend half a day here for maximum impact but don’t despair, after indulging in art for a few hours you can have a break and a brew at one of the many eateries and dive right back in! There is a lot of art and it’s a lot to take in so treat yourself to the Ferry on the way home to allow for digesting time.
- Mt Wellington – Firstly, bring a coat, as once you wind your way to the top of the mountain it is usually a good ten degrees cooler than in the town, but oh, boy is it worth it! The view itself is spectacular (when you can see it through passing clouds) and there is a fantastic indoor lookout to keep you warm while you admire the view. I was most drawn to the landscape of the mountain itself! With the blowing winds and bitter cold, the top of the mountain looks very Martian, with small bushes and ruddy rocks – it’s a whole new world. There are a few places to pull over on the drive up (which is very green and lush) to do a small portion of the Mt Wellington walk, or have a warming drink from a pop-up van (bring your reusable mug!) if you’d like to linger a little longer. I’m fairly certain there is a path the whole way up that is considered “easy,” should you wish to embark on that – I’ll meet you at the top!
- Battery Point house tour – For tired legs and full stomachs, it’s okay to have a break. A casual stroll around Battery Point shows off some of the oldest houses in Hobart! Battery Point has a classically English vibe – including local pubs, a café brimming with sweets, and innumerable rose bushes. On Saturday’s you can walk through Battery Point into the historic Salamanca Markets, which sells everything from trinkets, produce, Tasmanian delicacies and bees wax wraps!
Things to Eat:
The food scene is Hobart is off the chain at the moment and it’s very exciting. From delicious bakeries to fun cafes, and fancy restaurants you should be covered. I couldn’t possible list all the places, but I’ll list have a go…
- Etta’s on Elizabeth Street – Etta’s serves fresh and amazing modern Australian food. Every dish is polished and perfect, and I would come back again and again. The restaurants interior is a gorgeous contrast between dark and intimate and bright and airy. I’m told, although I didn’t get to go, there is a great wine bar downstairs on weekends as well!
- The Glass House – Part of the David Walsh empire. The Glass House is the perfect place for a night cap or holiday cocktail. The bar staff are friendly and the view endless. The bar is situated at the end of the MoNA ferry wharf and is another extension of Walsh’s passions for local produce and sustainability. This was one of the first places I encountered metal straws!
- Cascade brewery – I admit, I was a snob about this to begin with. I don’t drink beer and previous experiences at breweries has been a mixed bag. The Cascade Brewery is like a mirage in the dessert! Enter the fabulous garden to soak up the sun and enjoy chicken wings and nachos.
- Salamanca and Farmers market – For a more casual vibe head over to the Saturday and Sunday Markets. Saturday, of course, hosts the Salamanca Markets in the historic town centre. These markets are a popular tourist destination but also a great place to seek out local produce from visiting areas. You can buy fresh oysters, smoked salmon, trout and mussels and try an array of cheese. Special shout out to the salmon sausages at the Salamanca Markets! Was juicy and splendid – loved it! The Sunday markets are a touch more local, with local butchers, farmers and a great bunch of food stalls. I loved the, generously sized and fresh as Boa! If your accommodation has a kitchen these are great places to stock up for your own Tassie themed cook out.
If you’ve got a spare day, just shy of Hobart are a number of vineyards and local farms. We visited Frogmouth Vineyard and Coal River Farm Cheese for many bubbles and light refreshments!
Where to Stay:
If you follow my gram (which is full of unearthly delights) you would have seen where we stayed in Hobart. The gorgeous Monty’s hideaway, a converted container with a bathroom extension inspired a flurry of Small Architecture books for Christmas. Monty’s hideaway had heated floors, a fantastic bathroom and A RETRACTABLE ROOF! I love it, take me back!