These days what starts as a ‘quick’ visit to Hobart and the South can lead to a lot of flight booking adjustments. The city’s heritage sites and surrounding wilderness are well known but a recent explosion of cultural events, eco activities and new food destinations are extending the adventure.
Described by creator David Walsh as “a subversive adult Disneyland”, the Museum of Old and New Art – Mona will do nothing short of blow your mind. Stretch that feeling to last a weekend with dinner onsite at The Source and a stay onsite at The Pavilions.
2. kunanyi / Mount Wellington
Sweeping views of Hobart and the surrounding waterways can be appreciated either from kunanyi / Mount Wellington’s peak or from a bike careening down its slopes. Bushwalk to the Organ Pipes or keep to the foothills and take a Cascade Brewery tour.
3. Apples in the Huon Valley
Go hunting for apples in the Huon Valley; the drive itself is worth every minute of it. Just-picked apples can be taste-tested almost anywhere you stop in the Huon Valley. The Apple Museum in Grove displays 386 heritage varieties (or pick up a shrunken apple head from the gift shop). Huon Valley knife maker John Hounslow-Robinson hand-forges Damascus steel blades that are very good for apple quartering but probably dangerous for peeling.
4. Ghost Tours at Port Arthur
Digest your dinner then explore the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur site by lantern-light. Inspired by ghostly tales dating back 200 years, this after-dark tour has been known to spook even the most hardened of skeptics. But don’t worry; even if you visit in the day time – it’s still an amazing place.
5. Abseiling the Gordon River Dam
If the ghosts didn’t scare you then a walk down the wall of the Gordon River Dam with Aardvark Adventures might. The world’s highest commercial abseil point seems a lot further than 140 metres when you’re looking down. If your not up to it, the surrounding wilderness experience is worth it on its own.
6. Salamanca Market
Since the 1970s, Salamanca Market has been Hobart’s Saturday ritual. Pick up some fresh bread and/or local honey and browse arts and crafts stalls along the historic sandstone strip.
7. Cruising Tasman Island
This famous turning point on the Sydney to Hobart route is more than just a yachting landmark. Eco cruises along the Tasman Peninsula offer close encounters with dolphins and humpback whales as well as the seals who pose at the bottom of Tasman Island’s giant dolerite cliffs.
8. Bruny Island’s Food Trail
Storm Bay meets the southern ocean on Bruny Island – home to Australia’s only certified raw cheese maker. Bruny’s food trail includes entrée and desert as well: oysters, wine, berries and fudge.
9. Mt Field National Park
Visit Mt Field National Park and take a short walk to three of Tasmania’s prettiest waterfalls.
10. Whisky Tasting
This now-renowned Tasmanian industry began in 1992 with a barrel distilled by Hobart local Bill Lark. Lark Distillery is a great starting point but save room for single malts at Sullivans Cove, Nant Estate, the Old Hobart Distillery and Port Arthur’s William McHenry and Sons.