Things to Do in Hobart - page 2
Art, wine, boutique accommodations—with a brewery thrown in for fun—that’s the experience waiting here at this vineyard just north of Hobart, where imposing Mt. Wellington rises in the distance yet you still smell salt on the breeze. Housed at one of Tasmania’s oldest vineyards, Moorilla Estate winery uses tight clusters of grapes that are grown on exceptionally mature vines, and crafts them into Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Nearly 20 different wines in total are produced right here on the vineyard, which is conveniently set right next to MONA—the fascinating Museum of Old and New art that houses Australia’s largest private art collection in its modern, quirky interior. Combine a tour of the museum and vineyard before sitting down for a tasting, discussing the elements of art on display while swishing and sniffing your wine. If the entire experience is too good to leave, the boutique, luxurious MONA pavilions are located right on sight.
Originally, when this Georgian-style, 19th-century building was built near Sullivan’s Cove, it was destined to be a custom’s house for Hobart’s developing trade. As the politics of the island increased, however, and “Van Diemen’s Land”—as it was then known, grew as an independent colony, the building was chosen to house the customs, as well as the city’s Parliament. Today, Hobart’s Parliament House has been a hub of politics since 1841, and is still the site where Parliament and lawmakers gather to govern the state.
On a guided tour of the Parliament House, learn the fascinating history of the building and all of its renovations, as well as tour the underground basement full of history, legends, and lore. On the outside of the buildings, the surrounding Parliament House gardens are a relaxing place to either go for a stroll or rest in the shade of an oak, before venturing over to Constitution Dock or nearby Salamanca Market.
More Things to Do in Hobart
Tasmania is known for its stunning scenery and wealth of natural beauty, and of the island’s 19 national parks, Mount Field National Park is the oldest of them all. Established in 1916, this area set an hour from Hobart offers tumbling waterfalls, backcountry hiking trails and diverse wildlife that includes the awkward-looking platypus and the famous Tasmanian devil. Of all the sights within the park, Russell Falls is one of the most popular thanks to its ease of access. A 20-minute, paved walk leads to the thundering three-tiered waterfall, and adjoining hiking tracks lead through gum forests and brilliantly green patches of ferns.
During the months of April and June, the upper slopes of the Mount Field National Park are ablaze in the colors of fall. Deep reds and bright oranges blanket the thinning treetops, and there is enough snowfall from July until September to sustain a popular ski lodge.
In the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, hip locals head to North Hobart and its main strip, Elizabeth Street, to visit its restaurants and coffee shops, bohemian bars, boutiques, bakeries and live music venues. A real “eat street,” Elizabeth Street cuisine ranges from Turkish to Spanish tapas, Indian to modern Australian. It’s also popular to visit North Hobart’s delis which sell local Tasmanian produce. With plenty of atmosphere day or night, on 375 Elizabeth Street the independent State Cinema is an institution that’s over 100 years old. Inside there’s a curated bookstore, rooftop cinema, and coffee shop.
A good spot for brunching and people watching, from North Hobart there are great views of downtown with Mount Wellington towering over the city. Wander the back streets off Elizabeth Street to check out the old Hobart homes, and to check out the street art and murals along Tony Haigh Walk.
Hobart, Australia’s southernmost capital city in the country’s smallest state, sits at the mouth of the Derwent River -- the gateway for visitors to explore southern Australia. This picturesque harbor town set beneath the shadow of Mount Wellington was settled in 1804, making it Australia’s second oldest city and a destination brimming with colonial heritage.
How to get to Hobart
When you step of your cruise ship, you’re practically in Hobart already. The charming waterfront Salamanca Square in downtown Hobart is less than 15 minutes away on foot, and if you don’t feel like walking, or if you’re heading a bit further afield, you’ll find taxis waiting at a designated point just outside the terminal. Hobart International Airport is located about 20 minutes from the city center and is accessible via taxi or the Airporter Shuttle Bus.
Though Australia as a country is relatively young when compared to the rest of the world, Hobart as a city is relatively old when compared to the rest of Australia. This scenic port town on the island of Tasmania is Australia’s second oldest city, and at the Runnymede House just north of town, visitors can walk through a domestic time portal to a Tasmanian era long gone.
Originally constructed around 1836 for Tasmania’s very first lawyer, the Runnymede House is a fascinating look at 19th-century Tasmania. Though an Anglican Bishop also lived in the house, it took the name “Runnymede” when a salty ship captain—Charles Bayley—bought the house and subsequently named it after his favorite boat. For 100 years the Bayley family lived in the humble homestead, and since the furniture and belongings are such prime examples of middle-class living at the time, the house is administered by the Australian National Trust as a well-preserved window to the past.
Tasmania’s apple orchard, the Huon Valley is a lush and pretty region on Hobart’s doorstep. Centering on the little riverside town of Huonville, on the Huon River, it’s a region of hillside orchards and villages. The large orchard industry now embraces berries, vineyards and stone fruit, and the towns offer tearooms and antique shops. Book a jet-boat ride on the river, sample hundreds of varieties of apples, drop into a cellar door for some wine tasting, go fishing or relax at a country-style cafe. The Huon Valley also makes a great base for exploring Tasmania’s wild national parks and going for a stroll on the Tahune Forest AirWalk.
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