I arrived at the airport, which is tiny, in the early morning and hopped on the shuttle bus to town. The shuttle bus is great, it’s 30USD return and will drop off/pick up from most the hotels and hostels in town. I was dropped at The Pickled Frog, ditched my bag and set off to Bathurst Street’s farmer market.
Tas Farm Gate Market
I left the hostel and headed down the hill, with my directions scrawled on a crumpled receipt and a spring in my step. I crossed a few streets knowing I needed to turn left at some point, left on Lizzy and right on Bathie, but the street names seemed hard to spot. Eventually I noticed them, and just in time, located high up on tiny plaques on the corner buildings.
As I turned right on Bathie my hypersensitive nostrils began to tingle, I must be close! Then, as promised, I came across the entrance to the deliciously scented farmers market. It was a beautiful day, coming towards late Autumn but warm in the midday sun. The market was alive with families, groups of friends enjoying a coffee and travellers hunting for a cheap lunch, all to the background music of buskers.
I wandered along the food stands trying to decide what to have, and it was a tough call! After what was possibly the hardest decision I’ve ever made, I settled on a burrito from Pacha Mama. I grabbed a coffee and took a seat at one of the tables, where I could watch the locals doing their weekly grocery shop. The burrito was amazing, so much so that I decided the only way the day could get any better would be to have another!
The market prides itself on sustainability and the support of local businesses. You won’t find a plastic bag at any of the stalls, but you can purchase a re-usable one. All the ingredients in the food are locally sourced and the stalls are packed with local products, from fresh veg to local crafts.
As I rounded a corner, the path soon gave way to broken steps and boulders. Not one to turn down a challenge, I threw myself at the wonky stairs and jumped the boulders as effortlessly as a gazelle on the great African Planes. I jest, of course. The lack of railing teamed with my unnatural lack of balance resulted in me stumbling down the first step and then literally throwing myself at the first boulder I could in a desperate attempt to steady myself. Perhaps I hadn’t nailed this whole traveller thing after all.
With more caution in my step, I made my way down the twisting path around the mountain. There were many places I wanted to visit on my journey, the first of which being the Organ Pipes. Named for their resemblance to a church organ and their eerie ability to create music from the wind. These are incredible to walk beneath.
As we continued down the steep path the views continued to steal my breath away. Which was fortunate, because my elegant embrace of the stairs at the beginning of the track had left my ankle quite sore: I was finding I needed to rest it more and more frequently.
Eventually, as the path crossed over the road I decided I should call it a day. Angrily I left my friends, promising to see them back in town, and sulked off down the road in the hope of hitch-hiking back into town. I came across a camping ground next to the road, with a large stone building in the middle. I decided to take shelter from the wind and rest my ankle on one of the benches inside. It was only on entering I realised how cold I had gotten and decided to sit here a while to heat back up. It was a perfect place for me to hide from the view of people and wallow in my own self pity at my sheer patheticness.
As I sat drinking my lager and eating a well earned cheese and ham toastie by the fire my mood thawed, just in time for one of my more successful friends to walk in.
It really isn’t a hard walk down Mt Wellington and back to Hobart. Anyone can do it, really. And it’s a gorgeous route down the side of the mountain. At the very least, the view from the top is incredible and you can always hitch-hike back down!
We wandered into their whiskey bar on Davey Street and were greeted by a large room, decorated with wooden flooring, dark beams and exposed brick work, very gentlemanly indeed. The distillery has created three delicious and unique single malt whiskys in varying strength. Ask at the bar and you will be invited to give them all a try, plus one other spirit of your choice, for just 10AUD. If I ever heard of a bargain in Australian drinking, this is surely it. I chose their rum as my fourth taster, my second favorite, whilst my drinking partner opted to try their brandy. The tasters are served in generously sized shot glasses and accompanied by a large glass of water.
This was one of the highlights of my time in Hobart, offering a lovely backdrop to indulge in a tipple… and a great excuse to get merry in the afternoon!
On my last day in Hobart I succumbed to the endless queries, parted with 20AUD and went for a look inside. From the building alone I couldn’t understand why the locals were so proud of the museum. On entering the building I found myself puzzled, how could this tiny building be home to a huge art collection? It soon becomes clear that the building stretched down through the rocks, creating 3 floors of cavernous space behind the cliffs. This alone is very impressive.
Walsh seems to have a love for, erm, weird art that is both beautiful and uncomfortable at the same time. For example, one of my favorite pieces was a weird collaboration of macro taxidermy and a fairy wonderland. It was peculiar in all the best ways, fascinating, grotesque and beautiful all at once.
I’m not going to talk any further about the actual art because, as I’m sure you have just noticed, I don’t know much about art or how to actually talk about it! But I do know that it was lovely to see.
The museum exhibitions are hugely interactive and will keep you occupied for hours. There are mini maze-like rooms to explore and play in, and mysterious rooms to enjoy. On entering the museum you are given an ipod style gadget that allows you to read more information about what you are looking at, and often has recordings from the artist. As you leave, the device gives you the option to have the information that you have accessed sent to your email. I thought this was a nice little bonus, giving you access to the information about your favorite pieces whenever you like.
There are, of course, countless more things to do in Hobart. There are more museums to explore, the waterfront to wander around and more coffee houses than you could hope to frequent. I loved Hobart, I loved how quiet it is, the locals’ attitude to the environment and I loved the friendly atmosphere that was present everywhere I went. This being said, I need to be honest. If, like me, you can spend days wandering with no destination in mind and hang out in coffee shops reading or writing then this is a great place to visit for a week. If not, a long weekend is likely enough to see and do everything you would like to. It is a small state capital with a limited number of attractions, so don’t expect Sydney sized entertainment. In all, though, I thought the city was beautiful, warm and inviting.