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Travel Log: Hobart, Tasmania

Updated on April 19, 2019
Sivakumar Sathiamoorthy profile image

Siva likes to explore the world through photography. Please contact me if you want to buy the pictures below.

Toast of Australia

I believe Tasmania should be the toast of Australia. Most people visiting Australia would go to the iconic cities such as Sydney or Melbourne. Nothing wrong with that. But i like going off the beaten track. My first visit to Tasmania was to Hobart and after spending a week exploring the neighbouring towns, i felt that Tasmania is undervalued. The nature, fantastic food and wine, the cool crisp air and down to earth people left an indelible impression on me. Tasmania will surely feature in my plans for the future. My friend jokingly urged me to start an ashram there!

Purple Flower
Purple Flower
River Derwent
River Derwent
Tasman Bridge
Tasman Bridge

Getting to Tasmania

I flew into Tasmania from Singapore. Transiting at Melbourne is better than at Sydney because the domestic and international terminals at Melbourne are under one roof and this makes it easier to transit. The flights from Mainland Australia to Tasmania tend to get delayed sometimes. I remember that on a different trip to Tasmania, the plane had airconditioner problems and I got delayed by a hour! I was worried i would miss my connecting flight.

Tasman Bridge
Tasman Bridge
Brilliant Light at Hobart
Brilliant Light at Hobart
T&G at Hobart
T&G at Hobart
Hobart Harbour
Hobart Harbour

Delicious Risotto at Maldini

When i arrived at Hobart, it was cold and gloomy. This was expected given that i arrived during autumn which is great as i liked the cold. It was a reprieve from the oppressing April heat in Singapore. I stayed at the RACV Hotel at Hobart which was a comfortable place to stay given its proximity to the Hobart harbour.

I was starving after my long, delayed flight from Singapore to Hobart so after unpacking at the hotel, I walked towards Salamanca Place which is well known for its restaurants. My stomach started to growl when i saw the Italian Restaurant Maldini! I loved Italian food! I was greeted by a flamboyant Italian waiter who sensed my hunger and recommended me a seafood Risotto which was excellent!

Breakfast at Daci & Daci Bakers

While i was walking around Hobart town on my first day, i discovered Daci & Daci Bakers and decided to have my breakfast there the next day. In fact, i had breakfast there everyday! The sprightly chinese lady at the espresso machine made excellent coffee. I think Melbourne is overrated for its coffee. Come down to Tasmania. My favourite dish was scrambled eggs, fresh tasmanian salmon and toast.

Coffee at Daci
Coffee at Daci
Breakfast at Daci
Breakfast at Daci

Take it Easy

The greatest joy is in discovering and exploring new things. I prefer not to have an itinerary during travel and go with the flow. I didn't even use Google Maps and relied more on my instinct and curiosity. The gloom soon made way for blue skies and i decided to saunter around Hobart harbour. This was perfect for a photographer like me!

Spirit of Hobart
Spirit of Hobart
Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
Boats at Hobart
Boats at Hobart
Reverse Reflection
Reverse Reflection
Metal Giraffe
Metal Giraffe

Catamaran to MONA (Museum of the Old and New Art)

While roaming along Hobart harbour, a military camouflage catamaran was berthed and i found that it went to the MONA Island which has the world famous MONA museum. The catamaran ride from the harbour to the island was more interesting than the Museum itself. The Wellington mountains in the background, the view of River Derwent and the Tasman Bridge made it an excellent ride. The air was very cold and dry and as the catamaran accelerated, the cold was unbearable and i had to move inside the boat.

MONA is famous for its quirky artifacts and though interesting and unique, i didn't find it appealing. MONA also has a vineyard and after having a nice sandwich and wine, i headed back to Hobart. I would definitely recommend the catamaran ride to anyone coming to Hobart.

MONA Catamaran
MONA Catamaran
Wellington Mountain
Wellington Mountain
Nyrstar Hobart Smelter
Nyrstar Hobart Smelter
Blue Skies at MONA
Blue Skies at MONA
Art at MONA
Art at MONA
Pyramid at MONA
Pyramid at MONA
MONA Vineyard
MONA Vineyard

Giant Trees at Huon Valley

Having experienced the sea, i wanted to experience the land and i have heard that there is a giant tree near Huon Valley area that is older than Christ. To get to Huon Valley, i took a coach. Trekking at Huon Valley was great but i don't think it is a good idea to do it alone. I found myself surrounded by trees during my trek with no one else in sight. The swinging rope bridge and the cantilevered tree top walk gave me some excellent view points of the river and trees. Now, i am wondering where is that giant old tree!

Palm Leaves
Palm Leaves
Giant Tree
Giant Tree
Flood Markers
Flood Markers
Treetop at Huon
Treetop at Huon
Paper Tree Bark
Paper Tree Bark
Huon River
Huon River
Trees
Trees

Best Fish and Chips at Blue Eye

Famished and tired after the Huon Valley Trek, I wandered around the Salamanca area after the coach dropped me off there. I chanced upon a slightly upscale restaurant called Blue Eye. The waiters were enthusiastic and friendly and sat me at a table even though i had no reservations. I ordered fish and chips because that was the easiest dish to order at a seafood restaurant! And given i am a wine student, i paired the fish with a cool climate crisp tasmanian chardonnay. It was the best fish and chips i ever tasted and it was a great way to end the evening.

Hobart is also a gateway for Antarctic and Marine Research and just opposite to Blue Eye is the Centre for Marine and Antarctic Studies. The icebreaker ship Aurora Australis sails from this centre to the Antarctic for research missions.

Antarctic Research Center
Antarctic Research Center
Harbour View
Harbour View

Sad but True

The weather took a turn for the worse the next day and i decided to go to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. I found Our Land: Parrawa, Parrawa! Go Away! exhibition the most interesting and honest as it talked about the Black War, the invasion of the aboriginal lands by the colonialists. It was a sad part of Tasmanian history that was acknowledged.

Prison Island

Tasmania Is also known for its convict history and has housed many British criminals. And some of them were imprisoned for the most petty of thefts. Port Arthur is one of those prison sites which is now converted to a heritage site. I refused to enter certain parts of the prison as i have heard that some parts of it were haunted!

Port Arthur
Port Arthur
Locked Up
Locked Up
Port Arthur Remnants
Port Arthur Remnants

Richmond Village

On my way back from Port Arthur, i stopped by at Richmond, which is a quaint town steeped in Britishness. It was a very peaceful place flanked by vineyards and is known for its iconic bridge which was built by convict labour. It was also known to be haunted!

Another interesting site is St John's church in Richmond which is known to be the oldest Catholic Church in Australia.


Richmond Bridge
Richmond Bridge
St John's Church
St John's Church
Crosses at St John's Church
Crosses at St John's Church
Arches
Arches

Observations

There were many other places that i could have visited at Hobart or its surrounding areas but time was running out and did not want to stress myself out. I will keep coming back to Tasmania for sure. My personal observation is that Tasmania remains a bit "disconnected" from Mainland Australia. Some of my Aussie friends say it is a backwater place which surprises me. I find the quality of life here to be high in terms of air quality and fresh produce. I believe Tasmania is undervalued. It is a good thing and perhaps better left that way!

The High Life
The High Life

© 2019 Sivakumar Sathiamoorthy

Comments

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    • Sivakumar Sathiamoorthy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sivakumar Sathiamoorthy 

      4 weeks ago from Singapore

      Thanks for your kind words Liz. I appreciate it

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      This is one of the best illustrated articles I have read on Hub Pages. Your hub gives an interesting view of Hobart.

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