Separated from mainland Australia by more than a 200 kilometre stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land apart – a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people – a pleasant, temperate climate; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle.
Tasmania has an enviable lifestyle and a diverse natural environment ranging from temperate rainforest and mountains on the west coast to sandy beaches on the east coast.
The capital Hobart, and the northern centre of Launceston, have all the services and facilities of thriving modern cities combined with easy access to beaches, rivers, lakes and national parks.
Salamanca Place is Hobart’s favourite hang out. It’s where the hip meets the homespun and everything in between.
Salamanca is lined with a long row of simple Georgian sandstone warehouses built in the 1830s. These mellow north-facing buildings once stored grain, wool, whale oil, apples and imported goods from around the world. Nowadays, you can wander under the heavy stone arches to find craft and design shops, jewellers, coffee shops, restaurants, the Peacock Theatre, subterranean bookshops, outdoor gear, and fashion boutiques or climb the stairs to the Salamanca Arts Centre.
Each Saturday at the Salamanca Markets you can buy anything from a handmade wooden toy or a hand-spun, hand-knitted sweater to fresh fruit and vegetables or a 50-year-old china plate. Across the road there are green lawns and park benches shaded by plane trees that twinkle with lights in the evenings.
Every Friday night from 5.30 to 7.30pm, the Salamanca Arts Centre Courtyard rocks to the sounds of Rektango. The band sets every toe tapping as they play gypsy, jazz and swing music. Mulled wine, beer and soft drinks to buy and when the months are cooler you can keep warm around winter braziers.
Port Arthur Historic Site
An hour’s drive from Hobart is Port Arthur, the site of one of the oldest convict settlements in Australia. Established as a timber station in 1830, it became important within the penal system of the colonies.
During its time, Port Arthur housed over 1200 prisoners, 128 guards and their families, and supported an infrastructure made up of penitentiary, prison, hospital, school, and industries of shipbuilding, shoemaking, smithing, brickmaking, and timber and flour mills. The last convict was shipped out in 1877.
Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race
Over the past 70 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, which starts from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events such as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England.
Tasmania’s most popular summer event, The Taste of Tasmania, returns to Hobart’s waterfront 28 December 2016 – 3 January 2017, and it’s free to enter.
The majestic River Derwent, Hobart’s historic wharves and Salamanca Place provide a stunning backdrop to this annual celebration of quality Tasmanian produce. Think Tasmanian seafood, cheeses, berries, our famous cool-climate wines and boutique beers and ciders, combined with a fabulous entertainment program and family-focused activities.
Museum of Old and New Art – Mona
The Museum of Old and New Art – Mona is Australia’s largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world.
Described by its owner as a “subversive adult Disneyland”, the collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art.
With around 300 art works on display, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress.
The 3.5 ha site includes a function centre, Moorilla winery and vineyard, a cellar door and wine bar. There’s also the Source restaurant, a 63-seat cinema, the Mona Library & Gallery and eight accommodation pavilions.
Visitors can catch a high speed ferry from Hobart’s waterfront for a 30-minute ride up the Derwent River right to the steps of the museum.
Mona is open six days a week, closed Tuesdays.