It’s been a while since I updated the blog and we’ve had a slew of trips since New Years including an awesome long weekend spend in Tasmania with our friends Kass and Simon.
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN HOBART
Since we didn’t have much time off and wanted to make the most of our days there – we decided to take a late flight into Hobart on a Friday night so we could start off bright and early Saturday morning. It’s less than two hours by plane from Sydney to Hobart so we arrived just after 9PM. We rented a car and drove directly to the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Now, this wasn’t our first choice for hotels. We were initially given recommendations to Somerset on the Pier and Henry Jones Art Hotel, but unfortunately booked too late on a holiday weekend and they were both fully booked. The Grand Chancellor actually worked out well though. Central location directly across the street from the MONA ferry and a short walk from Salamanca Markets. While it was a bit corporate, the rooms were comfortable, staff was lovely and there was parking for $8/night.
Day 2: SALAMANCA MARKETS, MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART, GARAGISTES
Salamanca Markets are open from 8AM – 2PM so we headed there first thing in the morning and explored the stalls. We started off the morning right with a sausage sizzle of course – breakfast of champions. There are a lot of kitschy items on offer – I was pretty stoked about my Tasmanian Devil Oven Mitts and Simon got some sweet Tassie Devil socks, but aside from that I highly recommend seeking out the lady that makes the Champagne Jelly and other assorted jams – delish. Also recommend picking up a pair of Mongrel socks. They are awesome. And sold all over Tassie, but are cheapest at the market. You’ll scold yourself later when you want to buy them for $20 more at the airport…A Timber Cheeseboard is also a lovely souvenir – we didn’t buy one this time around, but McKay’s Dad brought us one back from his last trip to Tasmania and we use it ALL THE TIME (could we be bigger yuppies?).
Next up – we headed over to catch the ferry to the Museum of Old and New Art (The MONA). The museum is the largest privately owned art collection in Australia owned by David Walsh, a professional punter (gambler) who made his fortune developing a system used to bet on horse-racing. I won’t spoil it for you by describing too many of the weird and awesome exhibits, but I will say two things: 1) We are people who don’t typically like “art/culture” and “museums”, but this is an absolute must-see. 2) The Wall of Vaginas exhibit is no longer on, but you won’t be disappointed. If you hate it, there is also a winery and brewery on-site so you can drink your sorrows away. The museum is a 10 minute drive from Hobart, but I recommend you take the 45 minute ferry ride. The experience is so much more dramatic – $15 round trip + $20 admission to the museum.
After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to relax for about 5 minutes before we realised we needed to get over to Garagistes by 6 if we were to have any hope of getting a table. This restaurant came highly recommended by pretty much everyone and it lived up to the hype. Set in a former garage (hence the name) it’s run by former chefs from renowned restaurants Tetsuya’s and Noma. They don’t take bookings so get there early and then head over to Sidecar, a bar by the same owners, just around the corner to have a drink while you wait.
Day 3: JACKMAN & MCROSS, WINERIES, FREYCINET LODGE
Another establishment that was highly recommended was a gorgeous little bakery called Jackman & McRoss. Don’t skip this one and come hungry. We came for brunch and needed to be rolled out.
We pushed on though and said farewell to Hobart as we made our way North towards Wineglass Bay (a 3 hour drive). Our initial intention was to hit up several wineries on the drive, but due to the Jackman & McRoss food comas – we only ended up hitting one lovely winery – Pooley Wines. Owner, John Pooley, and his daughter, Anna, will hook you up. They do a lovely Riesling and a few amazing Pinot Noirs.
At about 4PM we made our way to Freycinet Lodge where we enjoyed the views, had some drinks, relaxed, hung out with some wallabies, played an INTENSE game of iPad Monopoly, and had an okay dinner at their restaurant. The hotel is fine, a bit pricey, but there aren’t too many other options in the area. Dinner at the restaurant could have been better, but we’d been spoiled with Garagistes the previous night so maybe my expectations had been set too high!
Day 4: WINEGLASS BAY (SORT OF), FROGMORE CREEK, HOME
From Freycinet Lodge, the hike to Wineglass Bay takes about 3 hours – return trip so we’d decided it was a bit too late to attempt it the night before. Probably a mistake as we woke up to ridiculous fog and light rain. It was our last day there though and sort of the whole point of driving up to Freycinet was to see Wineglass Bay so we suited up and attempted the 30 minute hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout Point. Sad times – it was TOTALLY FOGGY. You could just make out a body of water in the distance, but not much else. A bit of a shame, but we’ve seen photos from friends trips and on a nice day this is totally worth it. Damn you weather!
We drowned our sorrows with a boozy lunch at Frogmore Creek on the way back to Hobart Airport. The food, again, was s0-so, but the view was tremendous. Great way to cap off a lovely long weekend!