With a population of just over 200,000 – 100,000 less than Canberra – you could easily get away with calling Hobart a country town. But honestly, that’s what makes it satisfying as a holiday destination.
A small city equals less annoying tourists and a small population equals a peaceful getaway, and together it means there’s so much to discover – simply because so much of what happens in Hobart stays in Hobart.
So, with me being a recent visitor to this island further down under, I’m here to bring you the most luxurious places to stay and the popular places to see.
And as of today we are giving away a luxe $4,000 three day Tasmanian escape to explore the forgotten state for yourself. So start your planning with my top tips.
Every holiday requires the perfect place to rest your head after a day of sightseeing. But while offering you a comfy bed, they should also offer something more. They should offer a picturesque location, an accompanying restaurant, and ultimately a sanctuary. Here’s my top three list:
It sits on the breezy waterfront of the River Derwent overlooking the harbour of Hobart and it’s the peak of informal luxury. Each of the 114 rooms tells a story of famous and infamous characters that have walked the land of Tasmania. They’re told through the designs of each room; a story you can see, hear, touch and even feel.
And as well as offering stunning rooms, there’s even the perfect place onsite to have a casual brunch or a lavish dinner. And if you want somewhere else to nibble at, head across the road to Peacock and Jones for a different taste of local produce.
And for our lucky Tasmanian Escape winners you’ll be spending two luxury filled nights at this stunning hotel!
Don’t forget you have to be in it to win it!
The Henry Jones Art Hotel
While the previous MACq 01 hotel offers stories of the past, The Henry Jones Art Hotel offers stories of the present. It’s walls and it’s ceilings share the local artistic talent of Tasmania, giving a visual experience like no other, and it’s all built around the architecture that has sat on the spot for well over a century.
As well as the room, this place offers a restaurant, a cafe, a bar, a gym and even conference and meeting facilities for the business oriented.
The Islington Hotel
This is the place if you seek divine intimacy and personable service. It features 11 uniquely designed rooms, each coming with all-inclusive breakfast, barista-made coffees and loose-leaf teas, WiFi and a in-room iPad, secure off-street parking, and a selection of cookies, muffins and fruit. It’s the ultimate seclusion.
This place also includes conference facilities for the business-oriented.
While there’s plenty to do outside Hobart, to which I’ve made a separate road trip list here, there’s also just as much to do inside the confines of Hobart and it’s immediate surroundings. So, get out of that hotel bed, get dressed, sport some sunnies, and join me on a sightseeing tour.
If you want to truly immerse yourself in local culture, local cuisine and local knick knacks, then your first stop must be the Salamanca Market. That’s if, of course, it’s a Saturday.
Between the hours of 8:30 and 3pm, Salamanca Place near Battery Point is saturated with locals and the odd tourist looking for something new. You can find some eccentric fashion, second-hand books, daring cuisine and charming local artists of all sorts. My personal note is to keep an eye out for the ginger beer tent selling variations of the much-loved beverage – from spicy to alcoholic.
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
David Walsh, the owner of MONA, is considered to be the man who put Hobart on the map. It features art that is designed to make you scrunch your face up and think or make you cover your eyes in shock. As well as sharing new exhibitions every once in a while, it contains permanent artwork such as a wall featuring real-life ceramic vaginas with a tongue-in-cheek name and, as it says on the website: “stuff David bought when he was drunk”. One of the latter is a monkey skeleton.
The museum also contains plenty of food options and an onsite hotel, as well as winery adjacent to the museum called Moorilla Winery. And, for $75,000 dollars, you can become a lifetime member and get all the perks, “then, when you die, we have you cremated and put in a fancy urn in the museum”.
This place is a must-see.
Ah, nothing beats the fresh mountain air mixed with panoramic views of southern Tasmania. And the drive up is part of the fun. But, while the views are spectacular and while the drive up is scenic, I must warn you that it can get cold up there. Especially during the winter months where it snows. I visited Hobart in late September and it was nippy.
But, you cannot get the best view in the world without a bit of harsh wind. Pack a camera!
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
To some, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is one of the top botanic gardens in Australia, and to a handful it’s considered one of the best in the world. It features a wide variety of plants, trees and flowers, enough to afford you and your loved one a romantic walk for a sunny afternoon, or, if you are a plant enthusiast, it’ll be the place to sink your teeth into.
Take a Road Trip
Okay, look, the thing about Tasmania is that Hobart is not all it has to offer. I mean, sure, there’s plenty of museums to visit inside Hobart (not including the MONA), there’s heaps of cafes and restaurants to have a nibble at, and many little nooks and crannies worth capturing on camera, but Hobart is a small area compared to the rest of the Tasmania.