Hobart Winter Escape
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Short stays are a great way to unwind and relax for a few days. A recent winter escape for us was four days in Hobart, where we enjoyed great hospitality, food, views and sightseeing. The weather wasn't bad either, it only rained on the day we arrived and one night. The days were cold but the sunshine made everything pleasant.
We stayed on a wharf at the harbour, Somerset on the Pier
, was our hotel. The location of this apartment-style hotel is perfect for walking to nearby Salamanca, the CBD or the other wharves. This is not a cheap hotel but good for a short stay. It is clean, modern, serviced, and rooms have a kitchenette, a washing machine and dryer. The staff is friendly and helpful too.
The food at Hobart eateries is fresh and servings are hearty. We enjoyed lunches and dinners at seafood restaurants, pubs and cafes. Even the toasted sandwich I had for lunch at the Port Arthur cafe was tasty. Whenever I bought a coffee, it was good too. Especially the lattes I had for breakfast at Harbourlights Cafe
. This cafe is only a short walk from The Somerset and worth going to.
I was told the food was good in Tasmania and this proved correct. Wherever we ate, the food was top quality. My partner had oysters at Blue Eye Seafood
and has not stopped talking about them. I have to say, the restaurant has a pleasant atmosphere that matches the great food. I recommend it for dinner but it is pricey.
We were only a seven-minute walk from Salamanca Markets
and were lucky enough the rain from the day we arrived held off for these Saturday markets. The street is closed off and there are over 230 artisan, producer and designer stalls to browse through. Again, the food available here is tasty, even the hot roasted chestnuts. Reasonably priced too.
I love a good market and Salamanca Markets is full of lovely artisan products. We spent a few hours browsing and buying. This market has been voted the best in Australia and I can see why. Visit it, you will enjoy the atmosphere as well as the goods.
If you enjoy art, then MONA
is a must when you visit Hobart. This Museum of Old and New Art is a 30-minute ferry ride from Hobart Harbour with the ferry being as quirky as the museum. There are sheep you can sit on and a white cow to lean on while you enjoy the views. We saw dolphins frolicking behind the ferry going to MONA and coming back.
Your tickets for the ferry and entry to the museum explain what you might be in for, especially the 99 steps to arrive at the entrance. There is also a tunnel entrance for prams, wheelchairs and those who do not want to do the stairs.
We were at the museum for four hours and found this enough time to see everything. The installations are different, confronting, and imaginative. My partner, being an engineer, was impressed by the building and how they managed to build such a structure.
One of the rooms had bookshelves full of white books in all different sizes. Called The White Library
, this room is a statement of books and their importance. Well, this is what I felt when I was in the room.
There are cafes, a children's play area, music, and other things to see outside too. Make sure you have time to see these, enjoy some live music and the lovely views as well.
Another must-see is Port Arthur
, the historical penitentiary that is a 90 minute drive from Hobart. We travelled by bus with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
, one of the many tour companies you can choose from. If you have a car, it is an easy drive.
The trip has lovely views along the way and the bus driver shared a few historical stories, which were interesting yet eerie. Port Arthur has a notorious history and we learned much about our convict past. I recommend setting aside one day to visit this site because you need that time to see everything. Also, the area where it is situated is picturesque.
A memorial garden for the victims of the unfortunate massacre in 1996 is behind hedges and our guide only mentioned this once. It is a beautiful space to spend some time reflecting.
There is a lot of walking involved so wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. As this was a winter escape, wearing warm clothes was a must, although from what we were told, you still need a jumper in summer.
We did a guided walking tour to hear some eerie stories about life at this remote place. Our ticket also included a ferry ride to two small islands. I recommend doing both and Pennicott will help you with tickets. They also offer more adventurous tours, which I hope to do on my next trip to Hobart.
With only four days, we were not able to see Bruny Island, Freycinet, or do any hikes. We will enjoy these sites next time.
Visiting Hobart was a highlight for us and I recommend you take a short break, or longer to see more, when you next think about travelling. Australia has many stunning cities to visit, Hobart is definitely one of them.
Photos are courtesy of Maria, MPG Communication.
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