There's a lot more to our island state than just cider and salmon, and its capital is no exception. Rich in history, brimming with produce, and fast catching up to the big cities' forays into modern, flavoursome cuisine , Hobart is now a destination for history buffs and foodies alike.
Sarah Ayoub takes us through her favourite Hobart haunts...
Stay: Just a stone’s throw away from Salamanca Place, Battery Park and the CBD, the award-winning Somerset on the Pier boasts serviced apartments that are clean, modern and functional. Decked out in a loft-style to maintain privacy between the living area downstairs, and the sleeping area upstairs, the rooms offer views of the pier and are right on the ferry wharf that’ll transport you to a host of other attractions. www.somerset.com
Visit: Take the super-cool, cow-printed ferry out to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, where you’ll find a mix of eclectic pieces and modern fixtures alongside artefacts from the days of the pharaohs. Inside, you’ll see everything from a household broom hanging off a wall to delightful installations made entirely out of insects, plus a few things that will definitely make you go hmm. My fave exhibit? The all-white library of course, even though I couldn’t touch (or read) any of the books. www.mona.net.au
Shop: Hobart might not be a shopping mecca for the fashionistas, but there are a couple of places to check out a fine array of Aussie labels, should you need a fine frock or ensemble for a night out on the town. Luxe (134 Liverpool St) is a self-defined store, stocking luxurious Aussie labels like Banjo and Matilda, Jac and Jack, Camilla and Marc, Viktoria Woods, Zimmerman and more, as well as a selection of accessories and lifestyle products. Across the road and slightly down the way, you’ll find the slightly more trend-focused, but just as stylish, Belle and Paige (147 Liverpool St), home to the likes of Alice McCall, Cameo the Label and House of Harlow.
Experience: One of Hobart’s most iconic tourist traps, the Salamanca Markets is a long stretch of stalls showcasing everything from antiques to handmade wares, fresh food to knick-knacks. Head there early (most stalls start trading from around 8:00am) to avoid the crowds that will swarm you not two hours later. Skip breakfast and sample everything from Dutch pancakes and fruit muffins, to bacon and egg rolls and fresh juice. This is the place to stock up on pantry delights: jams, chutneys and curds, Tasmania’s oldest Federation chocolate, and of course, some good old Tassie honey. www.salamanca.com.au
Day Trek: If there’s a car handy or you’re not opposed to a day tour, take a trip out to historic Port Arthur, home to a significant part of Australia’s convict history. This expansive venue is home to old buildings that shed light on our past, and your day pass includes a ferry ride past island cemeteries, access to well-maintained historic cottages, and an orientation tour. If you’re not afraid of the dark, stay back for the ghost tour – 1.5 hours, 2kms and eerie stories of things that go ‘boo’ in the night. www.portarthur.org.au