A trip to Hobart isn’t complete without visiting the Salamanca Markets held every Saturday between 8am and 3.30pm, although it is best to get in early as they are very popular and can be quite crowded. You can shop here for locally grown organic fruit and vegetables, freshly cut flowers, fine Tasmanian arts and crafts and an array of odds and ends, as well as meeting the people who actually make or grow what they sell. There is always a variety of buskers to entertain and a tantalising array of street food to ensure your lunch will be a delicious one.
After lunch, explore Salamanca Place. Once the haunt of sailors, whalers and workmen, the old Georgian warehouses that line the street are now Hobart’s cultural hub; home to galleries, theatres, cafés, craft shops and restaurants.
A little further along Constitution Wharf you will find Lark Distillery Whisky Bar, where you can sample tastes of the Tasmanian whiskies which have won awards around the world.
Stick your head into the Drunken Admiral hotel. It is crammed full with interesting memorabilia. Boats & barrels hang from the ceiling, a skeleton steers the helm and the menu descriptions are hilarious.
Hobart’s horizon is dominated by Mount Wellington and a trip to the summit is a must. On a clear day, you can see as far away as Maria Island, while in winter it is often a snowy wonderland. Rising 1,270 metres above Hobart's harbour and the wide Derwent River, Mount Wellington provides a wilderness experience within a 20-minute drive of the city and is much loved by locals. The 21-kilometre drive to the summit ends in panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula.
Mount Wellington is part of Wellington Park, wilderness area which provides scenic bushwalking, climbing, abseiling, cycling, horse-riding, 4WDing and other sightseeing opportunities. Once you’ve earned your lunch with the fun activities on offer, enjoy the selection of picnic and barbecue facilities at The Springs.
Drive south from Hobart for half an hour and you will reach the seaside town of Kettering. If you are visiting between October to May, Roaring Forties Ocean Kayaking, located on the marina, operate kayak tours or rentals. Whether on a tour or on your own, a couple of hours of paddling can be an enjoyable way to explore Oyster Bay where you may encounter penguins, sea eagles, stingrays, seals and dolphins!
Enjoy lunch at the Mermaid Café, well-known for its delicious food and the great views of the boats in the Oyster Cove Marina. This afternoon, take a tour around Bruny Island. To get there, simply drive your vehicle on to the Bruny Island Ferry for a 20-minute crossing.
There is a host of attractions for everyone at Bruny Island. It has so much local fresh produce it has become a foodies paradise. Take the kids to the Bruny Island Berry Farm where you can enjoy the delicious berries that you’ve picked yourself, savour a yummy berry ice-cream or browse the shop for assorted berry jams, berry sauces, sweets and berry-themed gifts. Take a tour of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse which has kept its vigil over the south-western edge of the cape on South Bruny Island since 1838. If you feel like some more paddling, Bruny Island also offers kayaks for hire through Alonnah Paddle Boats and Kayaks. For nature lovers, a personalised bird-watching and wildlife tour with Inala Nature Tours is a must. If you still have time and are feeling particularly active, there are plenty of walks to enjoy within the South Bruny National Park before heading home.
Today, head south to the Hastings Caves. Hastings Caves is a 90-minute drive from Hobart but is well worth the trip. Take a 45-minute tour of Newdegate Cave, a large and highly decorated dolomite cave. Formations in the cave are spectacular and include flowstone, stalactites, columns, shawls, straws, stalagmites and the unusual helictites - tendrils of calcite that grow in all directions in tiny filaments. Follow your cave tour with a dip in the thermal pool which is surrounded by forest and ferns. If you’ve already worked up an appetite, there is a large picnic area here, equipped with change rooms, showers and toilets, electric barbecues, shelters and forest walks.
From below ground to above it, the Tahune AirWalk is a 620m long walk, suspended in the treetops. You can experience walking among the treetops past rare species, some found only in Tasmania, such as King Billy and Celery Top pine, myrtle, beech, blackwood and sassafras. The walkway rises up to 48 metres above the ground and extends for around half a kilometre over the Tahune State Forest and Picton River. The walkway is a very sturdy steel structure; with the best views seen from the cantilever that juts out over the river 48 metres below, it is truly spectacular.
Port Arthur is probably Tasmania’s most famous landmark and it is definitely worth a visit. Take one of the many guided tours during the day (or come back after dark for the historic ghost tour.) Enjoy the 600 metre walking trail that takes you into the surrounding bushland so you can discover the wonders of Port Arthur’s convict engineering works. You can even enjoy a 20-minute harbour cruise before settling in for lunch at either the bistro or the café.
This afternoon consider taking one of the many fantastic bushwalks in the Tasman National Park, which features spectacular coastal scenery. If you are here at dusk you will be in for a real treat, the sunsets in the area are truly spectacular.
Richmond, located just 25km from Hobart, feels like it is a world away. Richmond has the oldest bridge in Australia, the oldest gaol, and the oldest remaining Catholic Church, St John’s. Richmond is a great place to look for souvenirs, many local artists and craftspeople have stores here. It is also a great place for a bite to eat and perhaps along the way you can stop off at one of the many vineyards in the nearby Coal River Valley. Tasmania is famous for its Pinot Noirs. Try them while you are here as you will not regret it.
In and around Hobart there are numerous other attractions well worth a visit. Highlights include, the Female Factory, the Cascade Brewery Tour, the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site, the Peppermint Bay Cruise and the Cadbury Factory shop. The shop is worth a visit for chocoholics. Another must see on the Peninsula, is the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. Here you can see Tassie Devils, feed kangaroos and see the “Kings of the Wind” free-flight show, you can even help to save the Tassie Devil while here.
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