MONA complete with audio (ZAC)
September 2013. 2 hour plane trip from Sydney. the apple isle is small, with Hobart having only a population of 220k, but is perfect for a weekend, ultimately long weekend away. they are defining themselves, utilising mother nature with distilleries, wineries and farm to table produce starting to attract world wide attention (that’s before MONA!).
TIP: If heading there from Sydney, there are only early morning direct flights it seems across all carriers, otherwise its a painful stopover in Melbourne, which effectively doubles the destination time. if time permits, travel on the Friday. on return, there is a Sunday 4pm service direct, but books up quick.
HOBART TOWN CENTRE
Hiring a car is a must, even for the simple fact it would be a $40 trip from the airport to the city centre. all the major hire car companies are in the airport and open in line with flight times.
STAY: Henry Jones Art Hotel. boutique hotel. can be pricey, but if flexible, you can get a weekend room from $265 a night. former jam factory and early harbour side colonial building, renovated to its old glory and now housing 300+ artworks. perfect spot to walk to the ferries and into the city centre. the building is beautiful, rooms are spacious although the bathroom has been thrown in with little attention to detail or craftsmanship.
Henry Jones Art Hotel. (ZAC)
COFFEE: Pigeon Hole Cafe. the CBD is deserted on the weekend. great hole in the wall, about a 15 minute walk from the hotel (sort of) on the way to the markets…
- Salamanca Markets. a must. saturday mornings from 9am. a 10 minute harbourside walk from the hotel. a plethora of stalls ranging from fresh produce to bespoke craft, most with a focus on a Tasmanian source. great for breakfast including the standout organic, wood fired brekky pizzas. perfect start to the day, before jumping on the ferry to MONA.
Salamanca Markets. the pizza patience is worth it (ZAC)
- MONA. Museum of Old and New Art. it has been described as “subversive adult disneyland” which is about right and tops many an international travel magazine. even if you are not into art, this place is truly amazing. 4 storeys built underground showcasing David Walsh’s private collection, who has single handedly put Hobart on the to visit map. you can get there by car, but catch the MONA ferry right next to the markets (20-30mins). if you are arted out (2pm for us), then you can head to the adjoining Moorilla vineyard (Riesling and Pinot stand outs) there is a cellar door and wine bar or you can just partake while lying on the grass overlooking the harbour. they also produce Moo Brew beer, also available on the ferry if you are too busy getting through the 8 odd wines. amazing building, content and worthwhile visiting Hobart alone for this.
MONA. camouflage ferry to 4 storeys of underground fun (ZAC)
TIP (MONA): Pre-booking is an absolute must. for $80 you get 2 return ferry tickets and entry to the museum. we left on the 11am and returned on the 3.30pm, which seemed to be the perfect time allocated. the MONA cafe actually has some great fresh salads, homemade pies and the like (not the usual tourist trash). plan to have lunch early though as it gets really busy post 12.30pm.
- Lark Distillery. whiskey and rum. one of the key producers of the area putting the Apple isle on the distillery map. great bar where you can try a number of malts with the standout being the dark rum. conveniently across from the MONA ferry. they are even doing joint ventures with local cider counterparts barrel ageing a limited edition brew.
Lark. follow the sign post MONA. (ZAC)
EAT: We were warned that Hobart shuts down at 8.30pm and judging by walking through the main streets, 7pm might be a little more accurate.
- Ethos Eat and Drink. farm to table. degustation. bring an empty stomach as there is no shortage of food. fancy food in a rustic style barn. very adaptable to dietary requirements and the menu changes daily depending on what produce is available. wine list focus on the locals.
OUT OF TOWN
Even with a 4pm flight departure, you can make a roundtrip day of wineries, small towns and Tassie countryside with ease. we started our Sunday at the Farm Gate markets, which opens at 9am. a simple and local affair, but perfect for a bacon and egg roll post a rich dinner. we headed west to New Norfolk, then back through Richmond and winery rich, Coal Valley before rounding out to Hobart airport. a mere total of about 70kms. here is a road stop tour…
Drillhall. New Norfolk. antiques and great “favourite places” list on their site (ZAC)
- Stefano Lubiana. vineyard. Derwent Valley. about 20 minutes out of Hobart. some of my favourite wines of the region. new cellar door makes full use of the Tassie landscape.
- Drill Hall Emporium. New Norfolk. antiques. a treasure trove of antiques sourced local and overseas, great to look at with a coffee in hand.
- Flywheel. stationery.New Norfolk. vintage office and letterpress. you can purchase the old letter heads.
Flywheel. New Norfolk. vintage letterpress for sale (ZAC)
Pick up a sandwich/platter (bakery was decent too) in the picturesque town of Richmond and head to nearby Puddleduck Vineyard, family run vineyard where they actually promote BYOL (Lunch). a quirky little place with cellar door and beautiful grounds. you can purchase their wines by the glass to accompany your food along with cheese platters starring local produce like the Wicked Cheese Company nearby.
Puddleduck Vineyard. lunch view. (ZAC)
TIP: The Coal Valley promotes the “Tasmanian Dozen” where you can have a mixed case from multiple wineries in the area and then your last stop you can leave it there and get it sent back to anywhere in Australia. you just pay the postage and they even cover the insurance. an awesome wine community initiative. just check with cellar doors which vineyards participate especially when you are getting close to making your quota.
WINERIES: Coal Valley. there is a cluster of vineyards specialising predominantly in Riesling and Pinot, within a 10km radius. the standouts were Pooley Wines just outside Richmond, Coal Valley Vineyard, and Pembroke who are a tiny operation that make 1 pinot a year, although you can try multiple vintages. Craigow gets a massive wrap, but is only open by appointment. Frogmore Creek is a bigger operation with an upmarket bistro adjoining, but also worth a stop. you can easily create your Tassie dozen amongst this lot alone.
WE READ.USED. ABUSED.