EXPLORING HOBART BEFORE YOU HIT THE TRACK
Over the last 15 years or so Tasmania has become the toast of the country – with its growing art scene, its celebration of locally produced food and wine and – of course – its amazing natural beauty.
And Life’s An adventure showcases the length and breadth of this wondrous island with an excellent selection of pack-free guided walks. From the Three Capes in the southeast to the Bay of Fires in the north and the Tarkine wilderness in the west (and everything in between!).
And if you try one of these walks it’s highly likely Hobart will be your first port of call. So, here’s our list of things to do in Hobart and surrounds. You’re welcome.
If you fancy exposing yourself to art catch the quick boat ride to MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art and experience something out of the ordinary. It’s the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The museum presents antiquities and modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection. Walsh has described the museum as a “subversive adult Disneyland.” And if that doesn’t tempt your curiosity nothing will!
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery – the second oldest museum in Australia – is another great option. The gallery’s collections sit in a stunning contemporary design, integrated with the museum’s heritage buildings. Known as TMAG, the museum’s art collection includes works from Tasmania’s colonial period through to contemporary Australian and international artists.
FOOD & WINE
If you love local food and wine you’ve come to the right place! If you’re in Hobart on a Saturday the Salamanca Market is located at historic Salamanca Place, next to the Hobart waterfront and with over 300 stallholders it’s an experience that’s hard to beat. And on any other day, there are plenty of shops selling excellent produce in the city’s CBD. Plus, there are loads of local pubs and restaurants to choose from. Click here for more info on them.
If you fancy warming up for your Life’s An Adventure walk… with a walk … there are plenty of discovery trails in and around the city – like the 2km Battery Point Sculpture Trail that links nine large numerical sculptures. There’s also the 2.4km Cascade Walking Track in Wellington Park and the 6.7km City to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Loop. Want something longer, then try the 9.2km Organ Pipes Circuit in Wellington Park, a wonderfully diverse loop walk, past historic huts, curious geological features and through a variety of vegetation. There are loads of other walks available so get your hands on a local walking guide.
Hire a car and drive out to a number of vineyards within easy reach of Hobart. Tasmania’s cool climate, mild summers and long autumn days are perfect for cool-climate winemaking. In fact, Tasmanian wines have been winning awards since the 1840s! You’ll find a fine selection of cool-climate wines with Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir are all grown here. So, take your pick, and take a sip!
If you have free time before or after your Three Capes Walks a visit to Port Arthur is a must. This former 19th-century penal settlement and now open-air museum offers a dramatic snapshot of what life was like almost 200 years ago. Ruins include the huge penitentiary and the remaining shell of the Convict Church, which was built by inmates, under much duress no doubt! Solitary confinement cells in the Separate Prison building were used to inflict mental punishment in place of floggings – charming.
Port Arthur was named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land. The settlement started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony. From 1833 until 1853, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Rebellious personalities from other convict stations were also sent there. In addition, Port Arthur had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.
On your walk make sure your guides tell you about Martin Cash a former inmate of Port Arthur who was one of the only bushrangers to die of old age! It’s a fascinating story.
Now if you’re not on Life’s An Adventure’s Bruny Island walk we still recommend that you get over there. Simply hire a car for the day and drive to the jetty just south of Hobart and hop on the 15-minute car ferry. The island contains an appealing mix of towering dolerite cliffs, long sandy beaches, rich heathlands and eucalypt forests. This wonderfully diverse landscape offers diverse flora and fauna as well as many threatened and endemic species so it’s great to discover on foot. Plus, there are plenty of businesses making excellent local produce like cheese, so it would be easy to fill a day exploring this little piece of paradise. For more info on Bruny Island visit www.brunyisland.org.au