Tasmanian Travels 1/4: Home base, Hobart
My parents both had holidays from work and decided to take my sister and I on a family holiday to explore Tasmania. The Island state of Australia has been on my travel radar for quite some time now, so I was so excited when my parents suggested the trip.
We had to stop off in Melbourne on our way to flying into the capital of Tasmania, Hobart. It was strange to fly with QANTAS, as I have come accustom to budget airlines (the life of a student), so it was exciting to get snacks and drinks for free! Whilst flying over Victoria I looked down at the patchwork rug of farm paddocks which was a stark difference to flying over Tasmania where all I saw was trees, lakes, and a few scattered houses. This made me so excited to start exploring the Tasmanian wilderness.
We arrived in Hobart and headed straight to our accommodation to drop off our luggage before setting out to explore the suburb we were staying in, Sandy Bay. I instantly fell in love with Hobart, it is an understated city that doesn’t ask for attention (that was the vibe I got). It was full of quaint houses, beautiful gardens, and idyllic water views. It is extremely hilly which means most of the houses all have a stunning view of the city and the harbour, to be honest I think it is the prettiest capital city I have ever visited.
The salamanca markets are held every Saturday morning so I would highly recommend being in Hobart for the weekend. The markets are huge and have all sorts of stalls- fresh food, Tasmanian made alcohol, stalls to buy shark socks (obviously important to me); stalls to buy books, wooden goodies, and truffles, and seriously almost everything you could imagine! Exploring the streets around the markets are also a must do, they have a very European vibe, full of stone buildings and hidden courtyards.
MONA is the Museum of Modern and Old Art. It is a must see when in Hobart and the history and economic success of the MONA is almost as unique as the art inside. You need to go with an open mind and you will come out not really being able to describe your experience to anyone else (hence my vague description).
Port Arthur is the world heritage site where a convict jail was created in the 1800s and many of the remains of the buildings are still there today. It is also infamous due to the horrific 1996 massacre that occurred at the tourist site. I was not sure what to expect, aside from history (obviously), however I really enjoyed the day. Walking through the old buildings was fascinating and we were lucky enough to have an exceptionally funny guide who made the walking tour interesting and insightful. We also made many stops on the way back to Hobart; the coastline is rugged and unique and there were many photo opportunities. A particular highlight was tessellated pavements which is a rocky beach that has a pavement like floor (all natural!).
We took the ferry over to Bruny Island which is about an hour trip from Hobart. The Island is full of delicious stops including a cheese factory, berry farm, whisky tasting, a winery, and seafood farms. There is also a lot of pretty coastline, including the adventure bay lookout which was a highlight, as well as thick, green rainforests. We were hoping to do a wildlife cruise, however it was booked out which was disappointing as I think it would have topped off the day. Regardless though Bruny Island is worth a look.
Hastings caves and thermal spring-
Our last stop near Hobart was Hastings caves. You drive through thick, dense rainforest and then walk up to cave where you get a guided tour. Once again we had a wonderful guide who genuinely cared about the conservation of the cave. When we read a thermal spring we were extremely excited (I was particularly excited as I had been to a wonderful thermal spring in New Zealand), however we were disappointed when we saw a 25 metre pool in the middle of some lawn. It was the natural spring water, but that was the only thing natural about it. Luckily the cave was so incredible that it made up for it.
Stay tuned for Tasmanian Travels 2/4: Home Base Swansea & for the Hobart Vlog~