Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. Wasn’t expecting much from this little city but turned out to be a little lively and colorful, with plenty of possible day trips nearby. Here’s how I spent 3 days in Hobart after a week on the Overland Track.
Arrived in Hobart after a small detour from the end of the Overland Track. I was with my hiking buddy, an ex-colleague who wanted to give a long distance hike a shot. It was a good week long hike in the Tasmanian wilderness, and we were ready to get back to city life. Taking the bus from Launceston, we arrived ready to stretch our legs with a quick exploration around town. The sun was setting, just perfect for us to grab dinner and call it a day.
Hobart Day 0: First impressions
We were hungry, having missed lunch to catch the bus and quickly started looking for food. Our stomachs didn’t allow time for in-depth research. A quick search brought our attention to Flippers and Mures Lower Deck, both in the Franklin Wharf area, so we headed over.
The area around the waterfront/ wharf turned out to be an attraction itself, showcasing the heritage of Hobart, as we would find out more 2 days later.
Flippers Cooked Seafood
Flippers was kinda more fuss free without seating area while Mures Lower Deck had indoors seating. We were too hungry to find somewhere else to enjoy our food, and sat on one of the benches along Constitution Dock. The seagulls harassed throughout, but we somehow kept our food to ourselves. Some came in cars and I thought that looked like the best way to enjoy the fresh Fish and Chips and the evening waterfront view without the seagulls. Oh and almost forgot about the food. It was pretty good but I can’t really say mindblowing. Do it again? Yes, but not something to die or travel out of the way for in my opinion.
Van Diemens Land Creamery
After we were done with the Fish and Chips we couldn’t wait to get in to the floating stall next door, Van Diemens Land Creamery. We got in mainly to get some seagull relief, but were in for a surprise. They serve Tasmanian artisan ice cream and gelato here. Simply delicious, with the right amount of creaminess, sweetness and fragrance in the flavors I had gotten, which I have forgotten by now. There’re some seats inside, away from seagulls and with a view of the dock. Definitely not cut out to be a food blogger.
The ice cream was perfect to end the day with, even with the slight chill waiting outside. More warmth waiting the next morning!
Hobart Day 1: Bruny Island Day Tour
For our first full day in Hoabrt, we booked a day tour to check out the nearby Bruny Island (AUD 110). I’m not a tours kind of person but not having to do any prep or research for a full day trip felt kinda refreshing. The tour did not disappoint, and we had lots of fun checking out the variety of sights and flavors of Bruny Island. All details about our day tour to Bruny Island here!
Hobart Day 2: City walking tour and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Hobart Free Walking Tours
Yup they’re free walking tours in Hobart too. Practically not free though, but you’re free to pay any amount you think is reasonable. More details on Hobart Free Walking Tours on their website. It was fun, but as you’d know these are quite subjective, depending on your guide and group. Nonetheless great to get a deeper perspective on landmarks around Hobart, a history of Tasmania and how it relates to the landmarks, as well as insider tips on the best spots in the city. Here are some highlights along the way.
Revisited Franklin Wharf on the tour, this time adding a layer of story to it.
Day trip to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
After the tour we continued with a half day excursion to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary (2.5 hour trip, AUD 66 total), to check out some Tasmanian wildlife and of course, Tasmanian Devils. All details on our trip to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary from Hobart here.
Mawson Place/ Lark Distillery
Got back from Bonorong and went back to the wharf, this time around Mawson Place (also around the wharf area).
Whiskey production in Tasmania has itself an interesting past, which you might find out more on the walking tour. Lark Distillery is known for their signature gin and signature whiskey. I tried some whiskey tasters while my friend tried the gin tasters. Definitely more affordable than a bottle of any of those.
A little too much to drink, a little too early. Anyhow, we ended up spending the evening at Salamanca with a friend we made at the hostel. The night was alive at Salamanca, and it was the only place we found in the city center that had some semblance to nightlife. Was feeling a little off though and had to leave early to rest.
Hobart Day 3: Salamanca Weekend Market, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) and Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
Had to rush a little to complete the Hobart to-dos. It was Saturday, so our first stop was the weekend market at Salamanca.
Salamanca Weekend Market
Salamanca Market happens every Saturday from 8.30am to 3pm. Here you’d find the best of Tasmania, all in one place, with over 300 stalls. Handicrafts, woodwork, snacks, spreads, fresh food and more. There’s simply too much to try on too little stomach space.
Other than the food I finished, left with some jams and peanut butter, both handmade and really, really good. More good stuff to discover there next time.
Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
TMAG is where you can learn a little bit of everything about Tasmania. Entry is free, and it is open between 10am and 4pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. A little on nature and wildlife (present and extinct), aboriginal history, art, people, and a section on Antarctica, given Tasmania’s established role as a base for Antarctica expeditions.
Museum of New and Old Art (MONA)
One last thing I was excited to check out in Hobart, the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA). We took the ferry from Brooke Street Pier near the Salamanca end of Franklin Wharf. Bought our admission and ferry tickets at the pier (AUD 52 total) and were soon on our way! It was quite crowded on that Saturday afternoon. Spent 3 or 4 hours at the museum checking out the mind boggling exhibits before taking the last ferry back to Hobart. All details on the trip to MONA on another post here.
Aurora Australia (icebreaker)
Next to Brooke Street Pier there might be a huge, red ship in the dock. The name Aurora Australis got me curious to find out more. Turned out it was aptly named, as this is currently Australia’s main vessel for Antarctica resupply and research expeditions. Also the second icebreaker I had ever seen, the first being a much smaller, retired one in Irkutsk. Was in awe of it. It is due to be replaced in 2020, possibly by something even more spectacular? Anyway, if you don’t see it there, then it’s probably chasing the Aurora Australis somewhere down south.
Time for dinner! One more round of fish and chips in Hobart, this time at Fish Frenzy, as recommended by a local. Thought it was slightly better, and the fact that we didn’t had to watch out for seagulls made the whole experience a lot better. Fish Frenzy is at Elizabeth Street Pier, also by Franklin Wharf.
Harbour Lights Cafe
Finally, for something more Tasmanian, scallop pies! Harbour Lights Cafe (near Brooke Street Pier) is one of the well regarded places for scallop pies, and is in a convenient location. Seemed like a nice place to chill, but we got one to takeaway (AUD 9) since we were still full from fish and chips.
Don’t have a good picture, but it’s basically filled with fresh Tasmanian scallops in a light curry paste. Interesting mix of flavors. Quite savory.
Done with Hobart, back to work
That concluded my week and a half long trip to Tasmania. It was my first trip to Australia and I’m sure it won’t be my last. Hopefully not my last to Tasmania too, with such intriguing nature and culture. Granted, this was one of the most expensive destinations I have visited, but certainly much to see and experience, with generally friendly folks. Thanks for the memories! Next, a list of possible day trips from Hobart, before moving on to the beaches of Palawan.