Colonial heritage flourishes around the city's main harbourside as you wander along the docks dreaming of the seafaring past of the busy port. Daily history tours are on offer from the Hobart Visitor Information Centre around the harbour and Battery Point. I ventured out on the Old Hobart Pub Walking Tour where my guide Roger took me on a 90 min sojourn pointing out the stories of bawdy bygone taverns, brothels and pubs of old Hobart. I visited Australia's oldest pub – and learnt why it claims to be so – and a nighttime walk to the old whaling district of Salamanca Place and stories of smugglers, convicts and others that were part of influencing the city's history and legends.
Salamanca is the place to be on Saturday with the plaza transformed into hundreds of markets stalls selling Tasmanian fresh food and gourmet produce, arts, crafts and handiwork. The markets are open from 8.30am to 3pm and a must for a weekend visit. A shopper's paradise anytime for those seeking authentic crafts with many galleries and outlets adjacent in Salamanca Place open each day selling many artisan crafts and wares.
A weekend trip to Hobart isn't complete without a visit to The Museum of Old and New Art, known more affectionately as MONA. This extraordinary museum is a 30 minutes ferry ride away. It both challenges and intrigues with its exhibits of art ranging from Egyptian mummies, Sydney Nolan artwork to a mesmerising waterfall spurting out trending social media words as it cascades down a rock face.
Hobart and Tasmania as a whole has a wonderful range of craft beer that you wouldn't get on the mainland. A personal favourite of mine was the Dark Ale from the Moo Brewery owned by MONA founder David Walsh, who also has a winery on the slopes of MONA. Both offer tours.
North Hobart is host to the T-Bone Brewing company with its selection of crafts beer made on the premises and a rich flavoured choc-milk stout a beer to remember.
Spirits are on offer at the Lark Distillery close to the harbour. Sample a range of gins and premium malt whiskies from the Apple Isle in a paddle or by the glass.
Wineries abound as you travel even a short way out of Hobart with many available in the city at venues for purchase and offering tastings. Visits to the Joseph Cluny Winery in the north and Pooleys in the Clare Valley provided a personal insight into these delightful wines.
A myriad of cafes, pubs and restaurants around the Salamanca and harbour areas provide for many opportunities to taste Tasmanian delights from the land and sea. Fish 'n chips never tasted as authentic as eating alongside the docks a mix of locally caught fish brought from one of the floating fishing punts such as Flipper's or Mako seafood.
Away from the CBD venture along Elizabeth Street to North Hobart to the Republic Bar & Café for tasty pub, well-portioned fare and live music to accompany you at weekends.
Hobart has plenty to offer over a few days or more. It may seem a long way from the mainland but it is pretty much accessible with daily flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Perfect if you can make it a 4 day weekend.
Information on all there is to do in Hobart – and indeed Tasmania – can be found on the Tasmanian Travel & Information website and at the Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre, 16-20 Davey St, Hobart or by calling (03) 6238 4222.