Waterfront cities are the best, aren’t they? No matter where, as long as the city leads to a body of water, I’m sold! Think Barcelona, Reykjavik, Sydney, even Singapore, for that matter!
So obviously, I love Hobart. Well, more like I love Tasmania’s wilderness and then I love chilling out in the “city” for a couple of days.
I’m going to be really honest with you and tell you that you probably don’t need more than 2-3 days in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city.
But it is a great place to base yourself if you’re taking day trips from Hobart, like to Lake St Clair, Mt Field National Park, Bruny Island, Huon Valley, Port Arthur and Tasman Peninsula.
(That said, I would recommend a stay at Pumphouse Point if you’re headed to Lake St Clair – trust me, you will love the accommodation ON the lake!)
But back to Hobart!
Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Hobart!
Franklin – Located in what used to be an old Ford showroom, this industrial chic space with an open kitchen shows off chefs working hard to present you with innovative dishes utilising unique, native ingredients. Reservations needed.
Templo – a 20-seater, neighbourhood joint with one chef running a 9-course degustation menu at just $65 each. You can have the items ala carte if you wish. Reservations essential.
Capital – Italian with a difference at North Hobart. Best to reserve.
Maldini – classic Italian with uber-friendly wait staff. Portions are huge! We walked in early on a Monday, but it got crowded later.
We loved the best brunch place in Hobart – Berta! It was a perfect fuel stop before our visit to MONA.
Also, we stumbled across this charming café serving the best Orange Almond cake ever – Augustus! It also sells cute homeware, that for some reason, I notice had a cat theme to them!
We can’t go without mentioning whisky, can we? Having won the world’s best single malt whisky title in 2014, Sullivan’s Cove has become a worldwide name. The last I heard, there were only a couple of bottles of the whisky left and people were offering $20k for a bottle!
Well, there’s no need to dig that deep to have a taste of what Tasmania is capable of producing. Lark Distillery, Nant Whisky Bar and Kitchen and yes, Sullivan’s Cove (near the airport), all offer tours and tastings for you to get your dram on.
Graham is in North Hobart, so that was a good chance to explore the multicultural dining scene of NoHo. This is also where Capital, Berta and Room for a Pony is.
Woolmers is nearer to the Salamanca area, about 20 minutes walk, but really, if you’re driving around, either apartment will do. The apartment at Graham is much bigger, and both have good self-catering facilities.
Salamanca place and the Waterfront:
Strolling this area is wonderful!
The old Georgian sandstone warehouses at Salamanca place now play host to buzzing restaurants and shops.
This area is also where the most famous Saturday activity in Hobart happens – the Salamanca Market. It is a must-do in Hobart, especially for food-lovers. You will find the freshest produce being sold directly to you from the farmer, harvester, distiller, apiarist, etc.
A short walk across leads you to the waterfront where fishing boats dot the vista and the smell of seafood wafts through the air.
Drop in to the Brooke Street Pier, the funkiest floating ferry terminal ever, and check out what’s cooking at Aloft, The Glass House and Brooke Street Larder.
This is also where you take the ferry to MONA and the Peppermint Bay lunch cruise.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery:
Discover more about the Tasmanian aboriginal people, its convict past, its unique geological history and move on to admire modern Tasmanian at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. General admission is free.
Standing tall at 1270m, Kunanyi looms over Hobart like a protective, cloudy granddaddy. If it’s a clear day in Hobart, the 30-minute drive up will reward you with expansive views of the city.
David Walsh thinks he’s God. Yes, and he just might be that to Hobart because MONA really is a godsend to the tiny capital “city” of Tasmania.
From the moment you step into the funkiest ferry terminal ever to board the funkiest ferry over to the funkiest museum in the whole world – well, yeah you get the point.
Ride over in style with Posh Pit tickets that gets you sloshed on bubbly before you step into the museum or take the regular ferry or drive. Which is what we did, since we had a car with us. And it was the worst rainy day of our entire Tasmania trip, so riding the ferry wouldn’t have been half as scenic.
MONA’s collection is eclectic, electric and at times, profane. It is, as they proudly proclaim, all about love, sex and death.
When you’ve had enough artistic stimulation, you might want to start imbibing at the wine bar onsite. Tip – don’t wait till closing time to get a drink. You can, but you’ll miss out on trying the cheese and bar bites.
This is also where Moorilla winery is, so you can taste some wines onsite at the cellar door.
Some of the artwork at MONA. Warning! They get progressively “R-rated”!
Time your visit to Hobart over a weekend, to visit the market and the museum on Saturday and MONA on Sunday. After 2-3 days, you will probably want to do some day trips out of Hobart anyway.
We went to Bruny Island over 2 days – one for a gourmet tour and the other for the wildest adventure ride of my life! I will be writing up Bruny Island soon, but very quickly, it’s about 30 minutes drive to Kettering, from where you will take the 15-minute car ferry ride to Bruny Island and it’s an easy drive exploring the island, tasting cheeses, oysters, chocolates, wines and whisky.
So, that’s about it, folks! Do check out my Top 9 Experiences in Tasmania for a snapshot of how beautiful this lovely island is! And my Tasmania Road Trip – The Ultimate Guide for a more detailed guide!