I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the Fishing Monthly Group and Australian Fishing Network.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published May 3rd 2016
Eat your way around Hobart and the Houn Valley
Some say that Tasmania is the forgotten state in Australia. This is definitely not true for me, even though it has been so many years since I last visited Tasmania with my wife. At the time, Leanne was pregnant with our eldest son, Chris, and we had decided to go for a trip of about three weeks touring around Tassie.
Since then we have always wanted to go back.
Even though we have had plenty of chances to go back and visit Tasmania, it wasn't until just recently that we got together with a group of friends (G8) and took the opportunity to see how much Tassie had changed from the eighties.
Many months of planning had gone into our trip down to the Apple Isle and after many emails by our troop organiser Ian, with the help of all going we had sussed out where and what we were going to do over the four days in Hobart.
It was decided that we should concentrate our touring to the area of parts of Hobart and the Huon Valley.
The Lenna of Hobart was our base for the weekend and it was walking within walking distance to whre we ate. Image by Gary Brown.
Our base while we stayed in Hobart was the historical B]Lenna of Hobart[/B]. Built in 1874, the Lenna is a magnificently restored sandstone mansion, classified by the National Trust and listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register as a superb example of early colonial architecture. Lenna is a landmark Hobart hotel associated with Hobart's early maritime history.
The salamanca Markets were the biggest I have ever been to. Image by Gary Brown.
From here, we were able to walk down to where the Salamanca Markets that are held every Saturday from 8am to 3pm, except when it falls on ANZAC Day. Having visited a number of markets before, I wasn't ready for the sheer size of these markets and the number of stalls that were displaying everything from fresh produce, through to carved timber, coats, hand-made bags and jewellery. You could quite easily spend hours here and still not see it all.
If you like a bit of beer & cider mixed in with some history, then you need to visit the Cascade Visitor Centre. Image by Gary Brown.
While on the tour, you'll learn about Australia's oldest brewery, its finest beers, the brewing process and a little something our brewers call 'The Feel". At the end of the tour, you will also get to go to the bar and taste some of their finest beers and ciders. You should also take the time to walk about the beautiful 'Woodstock' gardens.
In the afternoon we jumped on the Mona Roma Fast Ferry to the Mona Museum. The Museum of Old and New Art is an art museum located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The museum presents antiquities, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection.
The Mona Roma Ferry will get you to the Mona Museum within 25 minutes or you could go by car. Image by Gary Brown.
If you have never been there before, you will experience some very weird artwork. From a poo machine, to paster cast of female private parts, plus sculptures made of steel. While there, we had one of the best ever cheese platters at the outdoor café.
A concrete truck made of steel on top of a semi trailer was quite impressive. Image by Gary Brown.
While still having a bit of time to spare, we hopped in our Avis Hire people mover and headed up to Mount Wellington to see the views from 1,269 metre above sea level.
Day 2 had us heading down south through the Huon Valley to take a tour through the Wooden Boat Centre Tasmania which has been producing a range of beautiful timber boats, crafted by hand on the banks of the Huon River, in Franklin, Tasmania for over 25 years. Here you learn about how students enrol into a boat building course and over 7 weeks learn how to construct and build a boat of their own.
The Wooden boat museum tour was well worth the time. image by Gary Brown.
While there, we also joined another group and took a ride up the Huon River towards Huonville in the Yukon of Copenhagen, a sailing ship built of oak in 1930 that was rescued by Australian shipwright David Nash and Ea Lassen from the bottom of a harbour near Copenhagen.
All aboard the 90 minute cruise up the Huon River on the Yukon of Copenhagen. Image by Gary Brown.
On our way back to Hobart, we made a couple of detours (some not planed) to have lunch at the Apple Shed museum, Ciderhouse and Organic store. While here, we munched on Mexican food from The Funky Cactus and tried out the paddle of cider and black beer.
It can get crowded at the Apple shed on Sundays. So get in early. Image by Gary Brown.
After dragging ourselves away from the food, cider, beer, apple and music of the Apple Shed, we headed to Cygnet for the award winning hand-made Cygneture Chocolates. To find out what they tasted like you will have get buy your own when you next visit Cygnet!
So, by now you think that we would have had enough food, cider and beer. But no, there was still one more place to visit before heading back to Hobart. Having never had cheese that has been made from sheep's milk, the next stop on our world wind tour of the Huon Valley was Grandvewe and Sheep Whey Distillery in Birchs Bay. Here we couldn't help tasting a variety of cheese and home-made vodka.
Cheese and home-made vodka. What could be better. Image by Gary Brown.
The morning of day, 3 had us having breakfast at the Retro Café at 31 Salamanca Place Hobart before heading off once again in out trusty Hyundai people mover up to the Mount Nelson Signal Station to view Hobart and its surrounds from another perspective. It was amazing to see that you were able to see as far as the hills near Port Arthur and Bruny Island.
Sorry about the wind at the Mount Nelson Signal Station girls. Image by Gary Brown.
During our stay in Hobart we had the absolute pleasure of dining at a number of first class restaurants and cafes. So much so that all of us have come back to Sydney vowing not to eat so much again. How long that lasts, I don't know. Maybe until our next trip away.
If you are thinking of going Tassie and staying in Hobart, I have listed the restaurants and cafes that we dined at while we were there. I have also listed whether we had breakfast, lunch or dinner there, given it a rating out of 10 and what I thought of it. They are:
Restaurant: SMOLT Description: Italian and Spanish Type: Dinner. Out of 10: 10 My thoughts: What I liked was that we had the chef's selection and everything that came out was beautiful. The meal sizes were just ideal, so that everyone had just enough food to make you feel comfortable. The service was brilliant from start to finish. Website:www.smolt.com.au
Don't forget to try the lamb cutlets, mushrooms, tomatoes and asparagus at Anatolia. Image by Gary Brown.
Description: Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine. Type: Dinner. Out of 10: 10 My thoughts: I have had Turkish food before and this would have to rate at the top of what I have had. Once again we left it up to the chef to make these decisions as to what was served up and we were not disappointed. The only thing was that we did have to tell the chef not to bring any more food out. Website:www.TasteOFAnatolia.com
Restaurant: Rockwall Bar and Grill Description: Meat and seafood. Type: Dinner. Out of 10: 8.5 My thoughts: I will start off with the negative first. Two of the items that were displayed on the special's board they had run out of by 7pm and the restaurant was very noisy. This was a shame because it was shoulder of lamb and apple crumble with cream and this is what I had my heart set on. The food that I had was absolutely beautiful though. Website:www.rockwallbarandgrill.com.au
Café: Daci & Daci Description: They serve breakfast, lunch, savouries, Petits Grateaux, cakes, tarts, Viennoiserie, hit and cold drinks and they also have a small wine list. Type: Breakfast. Out of 10: 9.5 My thoughts: I decided not to have the big breakfast as it look too much. So I had poached two eggs, two slices of toast and two sausages with a freshly squeeze orange juice. Website: www.dacianddacibakers.com.au
Café: Retro Café.
Pop into the Retro Cafe for breakfast or lunch. Image by Gary Brown.
Description: Cafe, Modern Australian, Vegetarian available, plus its cheap and the décor is retro. Out of 10: 9.5 Type: Breakfast.
My thoughts: Small, but would easily fit around 24 inside and around 12 outside. All the food was freshly made and plenty of it. A place you need to try and it has internet available. Website:www.facebook.com/pages/Retro-Cafe/141307422582612
Place: Lenna of Hobart. Description: Dining room. Out of 10: 9.5 Type: Breakfast. My thoughts: The continental breakfast had everything you wanted. From 4 different cereals, fresh fruit, tea, coffee, 5 different breads, 7 different jams and yoghurt. Value for money. Website:www.lenna.com.au
Cafe: Rendezvous Lounge Café.
Check out their breakfast menu. Image by Gary Brown.
Description: Best known for our $10 breakfast special - two eggs cooked to your liking and two rashers of bacon or two breakfast sausages, served on two slices of light sourdough toast with optional tomato relish. Type: Lunch. Out of 10: 9.5 My thoughts: Rendezvous is a family-owned, family-oriented cafe right in the heart of Hobart's famous Salamanca Place precinct. Situated in the picturesque, and traffic-free, Salamanca Square, Rendezvous is the perfect place to meet family or friends for breakfast or lunch or a cup of coffee and a cake. Website:www.rendezvousloungecafe.com
Place: The Funky Cactus Description: Mobile truck cruising the streets of Tasmania, dishing up some tasty American/Mexican street food. Out of 10: 10 Type: Lunch. My thoughts: I shared a pulled beef nachos with Leanne and went back for a hickory pork burrito. If you every come across this travelling food fest you should try some. Website:www.facebook.com/The-funky-cactus-298351480326750/timeline?ref=page_internal
Jet Star and the crew, with a little help from Charlie Brown and his mates got us to and from Tassie. Image by Gary Brown.
During our stay in Hobart we did experience a little bit of rain, thunderstorm and some very strong cold winds while walking around Battery Point, Mount Wellington and the Huon Valley, but nothing that stopped us from fitting as much as we could in from Friday afternoon to Monday lunchtime.
When Leanne and I next visit Tasmania, we will most probably base ourselves in Launceston and visit places like Cradle Mountains, St Helens and Stanley.