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Hobart: A long weekend in Tasmania’s historic capital city

Hobart is awash with history that dates back to convict-era settlement. The former British colony, now waterfront city of Hobart, is a perfect long weekend getaway. Check out Skyscanner Australia’s guide to spending 48 hours in the Tasmanian capital.

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Day One – Morning

Fly to Hobart International Airport and pick up a hire car on arrival to get the best out of a visit to Hobart. At the base of Mt Wellington (which is snow-capped for much of the year) Hobart city straddles the Derwent River with its heritage city centre on the Derwent’s western shore.

Take a drive to the magnificent summit of Mt Wellington to get your bearings. Located at 40 degrees south, Hobart is susceptible to some wild weather. Some days you can see far and wide, from the Organ Pipes, Derwent River and Hobart below, across the Tasman Sea and to the wild Southwest National Park. On other days you cannot see your shoes! Make sure to pack warm clothes as it’s substantially cooler on the mountain than it is in Hobart.

Mt Wellington Lookout, Photo Tourism Tasmania

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Check into Salamanca Wharf Hotel in the heart of the historic Salamanca Wharf district. A boutique apartment style hotel that blends seamlessly with heritage architecture that Salamanca Place is famous for, custom made furnishings and floor coverings are crafted from Sassafras and Tasmanian Oak. Spoil yourself and book into a rooftop Loft Penthouse which is graced with cathedral ceilings and 5m tall windows that bathe the apartment in natural light. All rooms are well-equipped, spacious and modern with the hotel making quirky use of limited spaces with Tasmania’s only car-stacker garage.

Salamanca Wharf Hotel Hobart

An alternative Hobart hotel is Salamanca Inn for its terrific location with large rooms equipped with convenient kitchenettes.

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Day One – Afternoon

Wander Hobart’s wonderful waterfront including Salamanca Place with its Georgian sandstone warehouses, Constitution Dock (where Sydney to Hobart yacht racers dock), Elizabeth St and Brooke St Piers. World class chefs using the best Tasmanian produce have created award winning restaurants, fish mongers sell seafood fresh from the Southern Ocean and galleries and boutiques are stocked with fine artworks and one off pieces.

Brooke St Pier and Glass House Restaurant, Tourism Tasmania

Day One – Evening

The Glass House is one of Hobart’s swankiest restaurants. It’s suspended over Sullivan Cove on a floating pontoon with floor to ceiling glass walls framing one of the city’s very best views. The restaurant houses a splendid collection of glass and crystal ware collected from some of Tasmania’s grandest homes. Order a cocktail and choose the glassware you’d like it served in. A sharing-style menu created by chef by Ikuei Arakane from Iron Chef fame features Tassie oysters, line-caught fish, grass-fed beef and wild-clover lamb.

Day Two – Morning

Start the day with breakfast at Salamanca Wharf Café, sharing a large communal table with locals calling in for a quick bite on their way to work or holiday makers lingering over poached free range eggs.

Head south from Hobart towards Eagle Hawk Neck for an opportunity to swim with seals off the Tasman Peninsula. Board a small rigid inflatable boat with Wild Ocean Tasmania after getting kitted up in a fleecy onesie (it gets cold in these parts!) topped with a watertight drysuit. Operated by a young couple passionate about wildlife conservation, if the wild seals are in a playful mood it’s an unforgettable experience. Even if they’re not the seascape is spectacular with caves, towering dolerite cliffs and freestanding monoliths carved by wind and waves.

Tasman Peninsula, Tourism Tasmania

Day Two – Afternoon & Evening

On the way back to Hobart pop into Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed for lunch. Oysters come natural, with Thai lime, Soy and Ginger or Mignonette dressings on the side, Grilled, Kilpatrick or with Macadamia Pesto. If oysters don’t float your boat, lamb pie or a mulled wine, pear and goats cheese salad are worthy alternatives. Try Bangor’s own Pinot Gris, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir from Tasmania’s most southerly vineyard.

Back in Hobart it would be remiss not to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), the brainchild of entrepreneurial outcast David Walsh. Love or loathe modern art, MONA is the antithesis of conservative art forms, shaking visitors by the throat (metaphorically) and forcing them to rethink and reassess their own art-influenced headspace. In his own words, MONA is ‘one man’s crusade to piss off art academics’. Plan to spend half a day to soak it all in, then linger over dinner accompanied by Moorilla wine or Moo Brew beer at The Source Restaurant. The best way to travel is via MONA’s own ferry service which runs between MONA and Brooke St Pier, especially if you book the Posh Pit which includes champagne and canapes.

MONA, Tourism Tasmania

Call into Salamanca Place’s Grape Wine Bar for a cheeky Tasmanian-inspired nightcap before calling it a day back at Salamanca Wharf Hotel.

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Day Three – Morning

If you’ve timed your visit well you’ll have time to explore world famous Salamanca Markets, held each Saturday until 3pm. An outdoor market that buzzes to busker rhythms, it’s one of the best places to pick up an original Tasmanian memento. Clothing, jewellery, gifts and gadgets made from Tasmanian products by Tasmanian artisans along with cafes, food stalls and fresh produce suppliers are the attraction.

Salamanca Market, Tourism Tasmania

Day Three – Afternoon

On your way back to Hobart International Airport allow enough time to divert to the historic town of Richmond. Home to Australia’s oldest bridge (built in 1825), Richmond village oozes character and charm from every ancient pore. Georgian architecture dominates with heritage pubs, churches, galleries and museums lining its streets. Favoured by foodies who can’t get enough of Tassie’s world-class food and wine scene, Richmond is a fabulous lunch destination.

Richmond, Tourism Tasmania

Book your exciting Hobart getaway with the best flight, hotel and car hire deals from Skyscanner Australia. With no booking fees there’ll be more dollars to spend on Tasmanian food and wine – that’s got to be a good thing!

About the author

Fiona Harper is one of Australia’s most respected travel writers. Follow her at Travel Boating Lifestyle as she travels the globe road testing holidays.

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