Hobart, and the state of Tasmania used to have a bit of a reputation for being a bit backwards when compared to the rest of Australia. But that reputation has done a complete 180. Hobart is now one of the countries most thriving cultural capitals. It’s a world class food destination, cause one of (possibly ‘the’) best art galleries in the country, and is shock full of fascinating history. Weekend warriors will not be disappointed with a quick trip to Hobart, and with the growth of budget airlines in Australia, a quick trip to Tassie is now easier than ever.
The below itinerary is based on a Saturday and Sunday visit (as the Salamanca market only happens on a Saturday morning).
Morning : Salamanca Market
If you are starting your trip on a Saturday morning then you absolutely must not miss the Salamanca Market. This is the most happening place in Hobart on a Saturday morning and here you will find everything from fresh produce, arts and crafts, to all sorts of gourmet food and drink. Tasmania has made a name for itself as a world class food destination, and what better way to start your morning than breakfast and coffee from Tasmania’s most famous waterfront market.
After your breakfast and time at the markets, hop on the ferry and head to MONA. Even if you are not a modern art enthusiast, no trip to Hobart would not be complete without a visit to this world famous gallery. The gallery is the brain child of David Walsh who made his fortune as a professional gambler. Described by its owner as a “subversive adult Disneyland”, the collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art taking up three floors within an underground gallery.
We spent about 2 hours there (there is only so long a 4 year old can handle an art gallery), and we barely finished just one floor of a special exhibition which was on at the time. Every room and every corner has something with “wow factor”. Even my 4 year old was engaged pretty much the entire time we were there.
There is a great cafe on the upper level with great waterfront views if you need a bite to eat or some coffee to refuel after a bit of art overload.
Morning: Cascades Female Factory
This UNESCO world heritage site is where Hobart’s female convicts were sent to be put to work. 1 in 4 of the people transported to Tasmania for (often minor) offenses were women. You can learn about their history and struggles at the Cascades Female Factory. It is possible to explore the site via a self guided tour, but you will get a much better idea of the place and it’s significance by joining the “Her Story” dramatic guided tour.
You can get here via bus or via a pretty walk along a rivulet which starts near the center of town.
Afternoon: Cascade Brewery Tour
While you are in the area, you might as well check out the home of Tasmania’s most famous beer. Cascade is not only Tasmania’s most famous beer, it is also the oldest brewery in all of Australia. There are family friendly tours available, although the main tour is 16+ only. Book ahead to secure the time that suits you best.