Only a short flight from anywhere in Australia, a long weekend in Tasmania offers cultural, culinary and thrill-seeking delight and its small size makes it very accessible. Hiring a car makes travel in a short time frame more convenient and will easily connect you up to the east coast from Hobart, as we’ve explored…
Kick start your time in Hobart with a trip to Salamanca Market. Hit the stalls early and mingle with families, diverse stall holders and live musicians as you make your way down the market’s cobblestone street. The historic sandstone Georgian buildings of Salamanca Place are the backdrop of this picturesque waterfront market that’s open every Saturday from 8.30am to 3pm. Enjoy breakfast from one of the produce stall holders and pick up some seasonal fruits to snack on throughout the day. Tasmanian artisans sell wares including chopping boards and rolling pins made from local timber, beautiful preserves and homemade chocolates – perfect items to bring a piece of Salamanca home with you.
While you can easily spend days wandering around Hobart’s extraordinary Museum of Old and New Art, heading in mid morning for a full day can provide plenty to stimulate the senses on your first visit. MONA can be reached by ferry, bus, bike or car and on arrival, the unique landscape instantly stirs the mind for the creative journey ahead. Armed with an ipod touch, visitors move through the museum’s three levels exploring, discovering and being challenged with the confronting ideas and themes on display. The Theatre of the World exhibition is currently running until 8 April 2013, showcasing 4,000 years of human history and culture and questioning traditional historical and cultural classifications of art.
Freycinet National Park
Drive north east from Hobart for around two hours onto the rugged Freycinet Peninsula coastline and into Freycinet National Park. The stark peaks of the Hazards welcome you to a parkland rich in pink granite boulders, secluded beaches and breathtaking views. Ripe for exploration, this national park boasts plenty of walks suitable for a variety of fitness levels. The Wineglass Bay lookout takes you on a short but fairly steep climb up to a saddle between Mt Amos and Mt Mayson and its view over Wineglass Bay is one of Tasmania’s most celebrated. If you want to continue, the Hazards Beach circuit leads you down to the beach and then around the base of Mt Mayson. If you’re staying at Freycinet Lodge, they can prepare a picnic lunch for your walk – and there is no shortage of picturesque lunch spots.
Palate at Saffire
After a long day exploring, unwind with an evening at Saffire’s Palate restaurant, around 10 minutes drive from Freycinet Lodge. On arrival, diners are treated to complimentary drinks and canapés in the lodge’s lounge, a glass-walled room that exudes ‘classic cool’ with original 1950s designer furniture. Moving into the restaurant, Palate offers an a la carte menu or a five-course degustation menu matched with local wines. Expect to enjoy the best of Tasmania’s produce and impeccable service in a contemporary space that’s all curved glass, soft light and woven metal. A menu standout are the plump, succulent oysters farmed in the surrounding waters of Great Oyster Bay.
For more information about travelling in Tasmania visit discovertasmania.com.au