In my previous post Tasmania – a foodies delight I shared with you the delicious food we enjoyed on our discovering Tasmania holiday. It was the second post in my Discovering Tasmania series where I will be sharing our travels throughout this small, but delightful State in Australia.
In this post we explore Hobart and Surrounds and although we didn’t see everything, we saw a lot, and of course we always have a reason to return to the Apple Isle.
First up on our discovering Tasmania driving holiday was Hobart for 5 nights. We flew into Hobart from Brisbane via Melbourne so that took up most of the first day.
Travel Tasmania – Hobart & surrounds
Although not a bustling city like Sydney or Melbourne, Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, has a charm that visitors immediately are drawn to. We stayed for 5 nights, arriving on the first day late in the afternoon.
A 5-night stay was plenty of time to visit the city and also take a day trip or two using Hobart as a base.
MONA – Museum of Old & New Art
When we said we were coming to Tasmania, several friends and even our doctor said that MONA is a ‘must see’ when in Hobart but must be visited with an open mind. It definitely is something I’ve never experienced before and was a sensory experience for sure. Catching the MONA ferry, a 30-minute ride from Brooke Street Pier along the Derwent River, the visitor is afforded views of Hobart from the water.
Arriving at MONA there are 99 steps to be navigated before arriving at the complex, made up of the Museum, restaurants, garden and vineyard with views back to Hobart. You can drive and avoid the steps but the ferry ride is a lovely way to travel and see Hobart and surrounds from the water.
The Museum takes about 2-3 hours to see all the exhibits and as I wrote above, one must keep an open mind. The photos of creative works I’ve included are very tame but there is such a wealth of creativity – some I understood and others I had no idea what the artist was thinking. You are encouraged to download the ‘O’ app to be used when walking through the museum. The app explains each piece of work and the artist.
The building is very impressive and you can get easily lost. There are also restaurants outside the museum and areas to sit and ponder.
The consensus is you either ‘love it’ , ‘aren’t sure’ or it isn’t your ‘thing’ but it is definitely an experience you should take whilst in Hobart. In fact, the next day we were having lunch at Pearl & Co and the group at the next table were discussing one of the more controversial exhibits. It was an enlightening conversation that’s for sure.
If you plan to visit MONA, is only open Friday to Monday and at different times for Winter or Summer so check when you are in the planning stages of your trip so you don’t miss out.
The Waterfront Area
The waterfront area, of Hobart is a great place to wander and has many restaurants, coffee shops and historic buildings. Constitution Dock is the finish line of the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which starts on December 26 each year.
Each Saturday, Salamanca Place, close to Hobart’s Historic waterfront, comes alive with artisans, designers and producers presenting their wares. The area is full of galleries, coffee shops, restaurants
Rising 1,271 metres (4,170 ft) is Kunanyi or Mt Wellington, which affords beautiful views of Hobart and beyond is a ‘must do’ when visiting Hobart. It is said that on a clear day you can see almost a third of Tasmania. We took the 2-hour kunanyi/Mt Wellington explorer shuttle bus from the Brooke Street Pier to the summit. Our driver was informative and a just a word of warning, the weather can change in an instant. We arrived and it was sunny, then showery then it started to snow. The shuttle bus has multiple departure times and you can stay at the top and take walking tracks back if the weather is good.
Hop-on-hop-off Bus Tour
The Hop-on-hop-off Bus is a great way to see Hobart. You can stay on the bus for the 1.5 hour round trip or hop off at various stops and then jump back on when you are ready. It departs regularly from the Information Centre and you can select from 24 hour, 48 hour or 48 hour plus Kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Some of the stops include Battery Point, Wrestpoint Casino (first casino in Australia), Cascade Brewery and The Female Factory, Sandy Bay Village, Hobart CBD, The Botanical Gardens.
Perfect base for Day Tours
Bruny Island or Port Arthur are ideally located for a day trip from Hobart. We took a one-day tour with Pennicott Wilderness Journey Bruny Island Cruises around Bruny Island which I will be writing about in a future post. It was great and I highly recommend it.
When we travel, we like to have self-catering accommodation. This provides extra space as well as the flexibility to prepare meals if we want to, which can cut down on costs. I’m an early to bed and early riser and Mike is the opposite so having a one bedroom apartment is the best solution for us. I can get up early and have a coffee without disturbing him and he can stay up late without disturbing me. It is also more comfortable having a sitting area to relax.
The following photos are the view from our balcony looking over Hobart.
No car required
We decided not to have a car during our stay in Hobart. If you are staying in the City it is so easy to walk everywhere, however if you are staying in West Hobart, where we stayed the hills are very steep. We chose to walk into the City which was downhill and then catch a taxi home which cost about $10 a trip and only took about 7 minutes. This was still cheaper than having a hire car, paying a daily rate and also then having to find parking.
Don’t rush – take your time wandering and discovering
Keep a short daily diary of where you visited and what you did.