Hobart, City Skyline
Just an hour’s flight from the mainland, tasmania’s personality is shaped by dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, rainforests, rich history, and an abundance of wildlife, including the tasmanian devil. over a third of the state’s natural assets are protected by a network of national parks and the tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. interestingly, fine fresh food, local wines and friendly locals are never far from the wilderness. Hobart is a port city built around the River Derwent. Fishing boats and cruise ships moor right by the central business district. The 19th-century convict heritage of Australia’s second-oldest capital city is woven through modern Hobart. Beyond the wonderful sandstone facades of the waterfront are many of Hobart’s grand colonial-era homes, public buildings, workers’ cottages and heritage gardens. Battery Point might be the most faithfully preserved colonial-era suburb in Australia. With a population of about 200,000 people, Hobart is wonderfully uncrowded. The forested Mount Wellington, rising steeply behind Hobart, is a reminder that the state’s vast World Heritage wilderness is just a few hours away.
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attractions salamanca Place
This is Hobart’s favourite hangout. The facades of Georgian sandstone warehouses that once stored grain, wool, whale oil and apples make Salamanca regal. Nowadays, you can wander under heavy stone arches to find jewellers, cafes, restaurants, the Peacock Theatre, subterranean bookshops, fashion boutiques and artists’ galleries. Wafted scents of incense and bratwurst will tell you that the Salamanca Markets are on. Retro fashions, Antarctic images, fruit loaves, organic vegetables, and jewellery by emerging Tassie designers are found right here. If you need a rest, take up a spot in a cafe or bar, or on the extensive lawns under the shade of a boulevard of plane trees. Cascade Brewery, Hobart Every Friday night from 5.30 to 7.30pm, a cavernous courtyard rocks to the sounds of Rektango. This is one of Hobart’s funkiest attractions. Bands play gypsy, jazz and swing music.
island cycle tours
Take a thrilling 22-kilometre ride from the 1270-metre peak of Mount Wellington into Hobart. A downhill rush that is every bit as hair raising as a roller coaster. Island Cycle Tours offers a range of tours for adventurers. If your adrenalin is still pumping when you get into Hobart, you can add a two-hour sea kayak around the waterfront with Pedal ‘n’ Paddle tours. - www.islandcycletours.com
cascade brewery tour
At 175 years old, the Cascade Brewery Company claims to be the nation’s oldest manufacturing enterprise. The brewery’s historic facade dates back to the 1820s. On a tour, you can learn a lot about beer here, including the beer lovers’ secret that making good beer is a more complex process than wine making. Wonderfully, beer tasting is part of the tour. - www.cascadebrewery.com.au Island Cycle Tours, North East, Freycinet National Park
the royal tasmanian botanical Gardens
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens’ first superintendent, William Davidson, was appointed in 1828. He set about importing plants from England and collecting native species from Mount Wellington. There are stately and significant trees all over the garden. There is a conservatory, the sub-Antarctic house and a carefully tended Japanese Garden – Hobart has a sister-city relationship with Yaizu in Japan. A restaurant is nestled between the trees and flower displays. - www.rtbg.tas.gov.au
cadbury chocolate Factory
Indulge your chocolate craving and polish up your history at the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, Claremont. A tour includes entry to the Visitor’s Centre where you can try some tasty treats. The Cadbury Chocolate Shop offers exclusive factory discounts on a huge range of products. - www.cadbury.com.au The Conservatory, Hobart Botanical Gardens
tasmanian museum and art Gallery
An eclectic and extensive insight into Tasmanian life, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has displays of indigenous culture and artefacts from the whaling and convict era, and models of extinct mega fauna and the Tasmanian tiger. Special interest collections – minerals, fossils, exquisite glass and jewellery, and colonial art – also feature. Our most celebrated landscape artist, John Glover, is on show here. Hobart’s role as the base for Australia’s Antarctic activities comes to life at the Antarctic and Southern Ocean displays. See expedition equipment and curios from the great white continent. Special displays and art exhibitions are a regular feature. - www.tmag.tas.gov.au
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Female Factory Historic site
The Female Factory in South Hobart is a significant historic site that was once the Cascades Female Factory, a euphemistic name for a terribly overcrowded prison for Australian women in the 1820s. It was the setting for Bryce Courtenay’s novel The Potato Factory. You can walk about the site at your leisure or take a guided one-hour tour. - www.femalefactory.com.au
This Wildlife Park nurtures orphaned and injured animals for release back into the wild. The park is by the Tyenna River, only 40 minutes from Hobart. Spot a platypus from a viewing area set above the river. Other animals here include Tasmanian devils, golden possums, masked owls, and squirrel gliders. - www.somethingwild.com.au Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is a gruelling 628 nautical mile event. Thousands of people cheer the crews as the sailors arrive in Hobart. This race has captivated Australians since 1945, and is renowned as one of the most demanding ocean races in the world. - www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
Tasmania has a mild maritime climate with four distinct seasons. The average maximum temperature in summer (December – February) is a comfortable 21°C. In winter (June – August), the average maximum is 12°C. Spring and autumn are warm, though weather patterns during these delightful seasons vary, with maximum temperatures ranging from 14°C to 22°C and minimum temperatures from 3°C to 10°C. Hobart, with an annual rainfall of 626 millimetres, is the nation’s second-driest capital city. Weather within the state can vary enormously. On the west coast, the rainforest thrives with an annual average fall of 2,400 millimetres. The weather changes quickly, and in the mountains, a mild sunny day can quickly turn cold. Battery Point Cafe, Hobart
DininG & entertainment
Hobart has restaurants to suit all palates and budgets.
Around Salamanca Place, Sullivans Cove and Battery Point you will find cafes, seafood, Thai and Indian restaurants. The Quarry, with its beautiful courtyard hived from rock, has a tapas-style menu. Fish Frenzy on the Elizabeth Street Pier serves fast and fresh fish and chips, and calamari salads. Fashionable T42 is a bar on the same pier. Grape is behind another of Salamanca’s sandstone facades. Some of the pubs including the Shipwrights Arms in Battery Point offer great-value bar meals. Jackman & McRoss is a bakery and cafe in Battery Point. The bakers make everything in-house, from loaves of crispy bread to chocolate croissants and pastries. If you are interested in self-catering there are also a number of specialist delicatessens in Hobart and across Tasmania where you can buy locally made produce. Wursthaus in Salamanca is a provedore offering a selection of gourmet meats, cheeses and other finely crafted foods.
Dining al fresco in Hobart
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North Hobart is just an $8 cab ride from the CBD. Restaurants and cafes line the roads. From cheap Thai to fine French, this short strip caters to African migrants and long-time locals with a bohemian flavour. Have a drink with the locals at the Republic Bar. Live music seven nights a week makes this a great spot for a night out. Mai Ake Thai’s stylish designs and clean lines are wrapped around the restaurant’s flaming wok kitchen. The red duck curry is a specialty.
mures Gourmet Products
Mures Fish Centre is a Hobart institution. It’s on the bustling wharf next to the fishing boats. Taste seafood delicacies such as smoked salmon patés, terrines, roulades and a range of classic seafood soups. Try the bistro or pop upstairs for a la carte dining.
barilla bay oysters
Barilla Bay is an oyster farm, restaurant and gourmet food store at Cambridge, a 15-minute drive from central Hobart. Naturally, the restaurant features the famous Barilla Bay oysters.
coal river Valley
Meet the vintners at boutique vineyards, such as Meadowbank Estate. Also specialising in regional produce, some vineyards have restaurants. The Coal River Valley is just 20 minutes from Hobart. The nearby colonial village of Richmond features a convict-built bridge, the oldest in Australia.
Tasmania is a compact island with a varied network of open highways and country roads. Car hire is an excellent option for exploring Hobart and the surrounding regions. - www.discovertasmania.com.au. You can easily explore Hobart and beyond on a Metro bus. For timetable and fare information phone 13 2201 or visit its website. - www.metrotas.com.au Clean, comfortable and efficient taxi services operate in Tasmanian cities and major towns. A one-way fare between Hobart Airport and the city is around $36. - www.discovertasmania.com.au The Airporter Bus meets all commercial airlines landing at Hobart Airport and stops at hotels, motels, B&Bs and hostels in the CBD, Sandy Bay, Battery Point, North Hobart and New Town. The service also returns passengers to the airport. Call 0419 382 240 to make a reservation. The one-way fare is $12 per adult.
Ben Lomond National Park
beyonD Hobart launceston
Launceston City Park Launceston, at the junction of the North and South Esk Rivers, is Tasmania’s second largest city and a major gateway to Tasmania. From here, the broad Tamar River valley opens north to Bass Strait, 58 kilometres away. Elegant historic streetscapes and century-old parks and gardens sit beside revitalised areas such as Launceston Seaport, where you will find the perfect restaurant or cafe. A boardwalk links the Seaport to Inveresk. Here you can visit one of Australia’s best regional galleries. The boardwalk also takes you to Home Point rowing course, skirting Royal Park and Kings Park, passing Ritchies Mill, with its galleries and restaurants, before zig-zagging into Cataract Gorge, a place of mystical beauty. If you like to climb, its steep, rugged cliffs are perfect for you.
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Base yourself here to visit the cool-climate vineyards of the Tamar Valley and national parks such as Narawntapu where you can easily spot wallabies and wombats. The historic villages of Evandale and Longford, with their grand old farms and mansions, are worth a visit.
The captivating Tamar Valley is Tasmania’s premium wine-producing region. Sixteen of the 24 vineyards in the official Tamar Valley wine route are smaller family-run vineyards. You can meet the winemakers and chat about our wonderful cool-climate wines such as pinot noir and chardonnay. Tasmania also produces some of the finest sparkling wines in Australia. Tamar River Cruises explores both Cataract Gorge and northern parts of the river. Their luxury catamaran carries up to 60 guests and will take you through some of the best of the Tamar Valley toward Seahorse World. You will be intrigued by the many species of seahorses and pipefish here. Rosevears Estate, Tamar Valley Next stop is Platypus House. The still-mysterious platypus is an Australian icon and just might be the world’s most unusual animal. Watch them play in an indoor setting at this unique Tasmanian attraction.
the north east
This trail mixes cities, countryside and the coast. Walk through the patchwork farmlands, Mount William National Park and the Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm, which supplies lavender oil to the perfume houses of Europe. Forester kangaroos and wallabies are easy to spot in the national park, which boasts stretches of spectacular undeveloped coast. You will not quickly forget the Bay of Fires beaches and the Eddystone Point Lighthouse. Just inland from the east coast, wonderful English-style cheeses are crafted at Pyengana. The Pub in the Paddock is nearby. So is St Columba Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania. Spectacular Barnbougle, near Bridport, is the site of one of the finest public access golf courses in the world.
Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm, North East Tasmania’s east coast is made up of charming fishing villages and astonishing stretches of white sand, such as Freycinet National Park’s Wineglass Bay, Tasmania’s most acclaimed beach. The village of Coles Bay, on the clear waters of Oyster Bay, is a popular holiday destination and not far from the charming fishing villages of Swansea and Bicheno. Live your own story of “the one that got away” in Tasmania’s game-fishing capital of St Helens. There are stylish B&Bs and contemporary boutique hotels all along this coast.
Port arthur and the tasman Peninsula
Between 1830 and 1877 about 12,500 transported convicts were imprisoned at Port Arthur. One in seven died. Despite the barbarity (or perhaps because of it), a mix of industry including shipbuilding flourished. Port Arthur is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia. An expansive mix of ruins and buildings, the site spreads over 40 hectares. Archaeologists and historians have pieced together the history of the prison and the sad story is told in an excellent display in the visitors’ centre. By day, Port Arthur is a remarkable heritage site. After dark, you’ll have goose bumps listening to its stories on the lantern-lit Ghost Tours. Beyond Port Arthur you’ll find a world of nature, spectacular coastal scenery, abundant wild and marine life, and some of Tasmania’s best short walks. The Tasman Peninsula has over 250 kilometres of coastline with towering dolerite cliff faces and hidden beaches. Tasman Island Cruises will take you to see dolphins and seals. Meet a little devil at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park.
Port Arthur Historic Site; The Penitentiary
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the Huon trail
The fertile Huon Valley, the spectacular D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island are part of this trail, as are the Tahune AirWalk and Hastings Caves – great places to step out into the Tasmanian wilderness. Suspended via steel towers, the AirWalk is up to 48 metres high. See spectacular views over forests and mountains, and the Picton and Huon Rivers. At Woodbridge you can have one of the finest dining experiences in the state at the award-winning Peppermint Bay restaurant. Just up the road from this waterside restaurant and bar is Grandvewe Cheesery where sheep-milk cheese is produced. You can watch the sheep being milked or dine in the restaurant.
the Wild West
Bushwalking, Cradle Mountain Strahan is the unofficial capital of the West Coast and a major gateway to the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Harbour-side Strahan is the home port of cruise boats that ply the waters of the mighty Gordon River. They cross Macquarie Harbour to enter the lower reaches of the river, gliding past rainforest that is perfectly reflected in the tannin-stained water. You can also go up river via the sailing ketch “Stormbreaker” or on a seaplane flight. The West Coast Wilderness Railway is a steam-powered ride through the mountains and rainforest between Strahan and Queenstown. If you are travelling from Hobart to Strahan, The Wall in the Wilderness Gallery is about halfway – near Derwent Bridge. Sculptured Huon pine panels depict aspects of Tasmania’s social and natural history with uncanny realism. Each metre of panel, including horses, thylacines and miners, represents a month’s work. There almost certainly is nothing like this anywhere else in Australia.
Cradle Mountain is the symbol of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Walk amid rainforest where some trees may be up to 1,000 years old. If you only have time to do one walk, make it around Dove Lake, which nestles under the mountain. After dark much of the wildlife – wombats, wallabies, potoroos, pademelons, possums, Tasmanian devils and spotted quolls – can be seen feeding. Take a tour or go spotting yourself. Cradle Mountain is not all wilderness. There are fine places to dine and even day spas, where treatments include locally made natural therapy products. There are therapy rooms, steam rooms and a hydrotherapy spa bath. Some spa suites at Cradle Mountain Lodge look over the surrounding ancient wilderness.
Cradle Mountain Lodge
the north West
Through Devonport and Burnie the highway follows the coast westward almost always in sight of Bass Strait. Boat Harbour is a glorious coastal village. Further west, visit Smithton and the Dismal Swamp, where you can make a spectacular entrance into this curiously named rainforest via a twisting slide. The historic village of Stanley is watched over by the Nut – a dramatic bluff and local landmark. Nearby is the heritage-listed farming property of Woolnorth. On the north-western tip of the property is Cape Grim where, thanks to the Roaring Forties, you can breathe some of the world’s cleanest air. The Nut, Stanley
- www.australia.com - www.discovertasmania.com
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