3 Days in Hobart
DAY 1: HISTORIC HOBART AND DARING ART
Start your morning with a stroll along Hobart’s pretty working waterfront toward Salamanca Place, where rows of Georgian sandstone warehouses have been converted into galleries, theatres, restaurants and cutting-edge boutiques. On Saturday mornings you can wander around more than 300 stalls at the Salamanca Market (8.30am-3pm) for fresh local produce, handmade arts and crafts and antiques. Or browse the works of designers and artists at the Spacebar Gallery in Salamanca Arts Centre. Enjoy lunch at Jack Greene in Salamanca Square and dine on gourmet burgers and craft beers.
Leave two to three hours to explore the provocative collection at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), Australia’s largest privately owned museum. The Mona ferry departs from Brooke Street Pier and takes roughly 25 minutes. The cavernous galleries are filled with controversial, thought-provoking works, and information and interviews with the artists is available via The O, a unique device available for all visitors. Head back to Hobart for a waterfront dinner at Frank, dining on Argentinean-style dishes such as fire-roasted oysters, Southern calamari and charcoal-grilled meats. Afterwards catch a performance at the Theatre Royal, Australia’s longest-running theatre, or taste Tasmania’s finest tipples at Lark Distillery. Rest your head at Moss Hotel, which is housed in a converted warehouse on Hobart’s waterfront.
DAY 2: SCALE MOUNT WELLINGTON
Tuck into sourdough crumpets or a chilli omelette at Room For A Pony, before the 30-minute drive up to the summit of Mount Wellington, 1,270 metres (4,167 feet) above sea level. From the lookout you can take in sweeping views over Hobart, Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula. Wellington Park is threaded with tracks and trails for bushwalking, bike riding and horse riding. Hike to Silver Falls along the Pipeline Track (40 minutes return) or follow the Lenah Valley Track (45 minutes return) to Sphinx Rock.
Back in Hobart, join a one-hour Historic Cruise up the Derwent River to see the city's notable landmarks, including the Botanical Gardens, the Tasman Bridge and Government House. Or visit TMAG (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) to delve into Tasmania’s Aboriginal history and see objects from the country’s oldest scientific society, the Royal Society of Tasmania, established in 1843. The museum also houses an extensive collection of colonial and contemporary art. For dinner, book well in advance for the 20-seat restaurant Templo, where chef Matt Breen delivers a tasting menu of Italian-inspired dishes.
DAY 3: DAY TRIP TO BRUNY ISLAND
Drive 40 minutes south from Hobart to the sleepy seaside town of Kettering. From here you can catch the 20-minute ferry to Bruny Island via Sealink Bruny Island and explore the wild coastline, tall forests and gentle green hills on foot in your own time. Climb the stairs to the lookout above the Neck – a narrow, sandy isthmus connecting north and south Bruny Island – to take in 360-degree views over Adventure Bay. Cross over to South Bruny Island, where you can walk along the coastal track to Penguin Island and Fluted Cape (2.5 hours return), or stroll along the white sands of Sandy Bay. For a more in-depth experience, choose one of the many tour options available. Pennicott Wilderness Journeys offers a three-hour wilderness cruise where you can spot Australian fur seals, dolphins, migrating whales and sea birds, or opt for their Tasmanian Seafood Seduction tour.
Bruny Island is renowned for its food and wine. Sample artisan cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses at the Bruny Island Cheese Co. and freshly shucked oysters at Get Shucked, both at Great Bay. Call into Bruny Island Providore at Adventure Bay to stock up on chocolates and handmade fudge, then visit Australia’s southernmost vineyard, Bruny Island Premium Wines in Lunawanna. To round up your culinary adventure, head back to Hobart and enjoy the final meal of your stay at Dier Makr.
Tasmania road trip with friends
Friends don’t let friends miss a road trip in Tasmania. Grab the crew for a whole lot of fun and feasting in the island state.
Surrounded by 125 kilometres of custom-built trails scribbled through rainforest and bush, the former tin-mining town of Derby is mountain-biking magic. Plummet off the Blue Tier through dense forest to Weldborough and beyond, or descend the Tier’s other side on the 42-kilometre Bay of Fires Trail, finishing on the cloud-white sands of Swimcart Beach. Finish the day with a restorative session at the Floating Sauna Lake Derby, alternating between the heat of the sauna and plunges in the chilly water – a bake and a lake.
BOOTS ON BRUNY
Take the car ferry to Bruny Island for superb scenery and walks, whether heading past a beachside arch of rock at Mars Bluff on the way to Cape Queen Elizabeth, or wandering the wild shore of Cloudy Bay to East Cloudy Head. Then satisfy the resulting appetite and thirst at Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co, Get Shucked oyster farm, Bruny Island Premium Wines and the Bruny Island House of Whisky.
IN THE SPIRITS
Tasmania’s whiskies are world-beaters – in recent years they’ve been named world’s best single malt and world’s best single cask single malt. Appoint your designated driver and follow the Tasmanian Whisky Trail to more than 14 distilleries, including Shene Distillery, a grand 1819 colonial estate where you can craft your own single malt. Gin lovers should head to Southern Wild Distillery, the Devonport maker of premium Dasher + Fisher gins.
Set out by car and foot to discover some of Tasmania’s wildest natural scenes. Ferry across to Maria Island National Park to climb Bishop and Clerk – bristling dolerite towers at the island’s northern tip – or to stroll between the contrasting coastal wonders of the Fossil Cliffs and the Painted Cliffs. A former logging tramway near Rosebery on the west coast leads to the state’s tallest waterfall: 104-metre Montezuma Falls. Nearby, stride out on a series of rainforest walks from Corinna Wilderness Experience in the takayna/Tarkine – the short Huon Pine Walk will introduce you to Tasmania’s most cherished tree species, while the Savage River Walk heads to Australia’s furthest inland shipwreck.
TOUR THE TAMAR
The Tamar Valley Wine Trail connects more than 30 cellar doors through Tasmania’s oldest and largest wine region. Appoint your designated driver and head to Pipers River for bubbles at the likes of Jansz Tasmania, Clover Hill Wines and Delamere Vineyard, and call ahead to Glendale Vineyard, with its cellar door inside an old apple shed, to arrange a picnic among the vines or on the shores of its lake.
With four courses that have been rated among the top 10 in Australia, Tasmania is prime territory for a round of golf. Barnbougle combines two stunning, dune-top links courses – Lost Farm and The Dunes – plus a new 14-hole short course on a potato farm in the island’s north east, with a luxury lodge, restaurant, bars and day spa. Just an hour’s drive north of Hobart, Ratho Farm is Australia’s oldest golf course, and the oldest remaining outside Scotland, with accommodation sprinkled among convict-era farm buildings.
These days the Huon Valley’s orchards turn out as much cider as eating apples. Settle in for a session in the cider garden at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and keep an eye out along the way for roadside stalls selling local produce, including those apples. The Little Black Fridge is a roadside stall in Geeveston selling freshly baked goods.
LUNCHES WITH A DIFFERENCE
Forage and then feast with Sirocco South, harvesting the likes of seasonal wild asparagus, mushrooms and saltbush, which are then teamed with Tasmanian meat and seafood for a long-table outdoor lunch. A foraged lunch is also the reward after a hunt for rare black truffles with Doug the truffle dog at Tasmanian Truffles. And prep in style at the cooking school at beautiful Red Feather Inn.
Welcome to adventure island. Squirm through a canyon in the shadow of Cradle Mountain with Cradle Mountain Canyons. Take the challenge of the world’s highest commercial abseil from the Gordon Dam with Aardvark Adventures. Kayak across Coles Bay to the foot of the Hazards with Freycinet Adventures. And slow things down as you paddle in search of platypuses in the River Derwent with Tassie Bound.
The convict itinerary
From historic Richmond to the Tasman National Park, Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur Historic Site, this fascinating trail is rich in convict history and natural beauty. The Tasman Peninsula is a place of breathtaking seascapes, some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world and wild ocean views.
HOBART - RICHMOND 25 MIN (27 KM)
- Drive to the village of Richmond with its colonial past, antique shops, art and craft galleries, restaurants and tea rooms.
- On the way you'll pass through the Coal River Valley wine region with more than 16 vineyards dotted throughout the valley surrounding Richmond.
- In Richmond, learn about Tasmania's rich colonial heritage and take in Australia's oldest bridge, oldest still-standing Catholic Church and oldest gaol.
- Visit Old Hobart Town, a carefully constructed outdoor model of Hobart as it was in 1820.
- Stop at Sweets and Treats for a large selection of traditional sweets, or indulge in award-winning ice cream from the Coal River Creamery.
- Close by is the artist co-op Peppercorn Gallery, which represents over 50 local artists and artisans and boasts a variety of pieces in a wide range of mediums.
- Take a walk along the riverside and have a picnic by the bridge.
- Overnight Richmond.
RICHMOND - PORT ARTHUR - 1 HR 11 MIN (83 KM)
- From Richmond or Hobart head towards the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur.
- Enjoy lunch in Dunalley, a quaint fishing village built around the man-made Denison Canal, with a swing bridge for road traffic. Sample local produce, including fresh seafood from the Dunalley Fish Market or Bangor Vineyard Shed.
- Continue to Eaglehawk Neck and the many attractions of the Tasman Peninsula including the Port Arthur Historic Site.
- Stop at the lookout over Pirates Bay - a magnificent beach bounded by dramatic coastline. Pick up coffee from Cubed Espresso and then follow the road down to the water's edge.
- Visit the Tessellated Pavement, an expanse of rock 'tiles' that look as though they've been neatly installed rather than naturally formed.
- Once down at Eaglehawk Neck itself, walk the 'dog line' near the Officers' Quarters, now restored as a museum interpreting the history and life of the region. Built in 1832, it's reputed to be the oldest wooden military building remaining in Australia.
- A short drive south are the impressive coastal rock formations of the Devil's Kitchen, Tasman Arch, the Blowhole and Remarkable Cave.
- From here, take the walk to Crescent Bay, a secluded curve of striking beauty backed by huge sand dunes.
- Overnight Port Arthur and surrounds.
PORT ARTHUR - HOBART - 1 HR 27 MIN (100KM)
- Allow a day to explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site with more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, dating from the prison's establishment in 1830 until its closure in 1877. During this time about 12,500 convicts served sentences.
- Afterwards, if there's time, drive to the convict ruins at the Probation Station and the World Heritage listed Coal Mines Historic Site, where only the worst convicts were sent to work.
- In the evening, take a ghost tour and experience Port Arthur Historic Site by night; it will seem a very different place after sunset.
- Overnight Port Arthur and surrounds.
- Before leaving the Tasman Peninsula, take an unforgettable sea journey with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and migrating sea birds as you pass the dramatic coastal cliffs and rock formations of the open eastern side of the peninsula.
- There are walks of varying lengths and difficulty, including Waterfall Bay (60-90 minutes) and Bivouac Bay (3 hours). And for those with more time, the correct equipment and bushwalking experience, there are the three capes - Cape Hauy, Cape Raoul and Cape Pillar - which pass through heaths and coastal woodlands to dramatic sea cliffs.
- On your return to Hobart, stop off at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo for a closeup encounter with a Tasmanian Devil.
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