- Cityscape Salt-air and sandstone
- City life Seafaring, fine dining
Incredible coastlines, lush valleys and ancient peaks comprise Tasmania’s geography, so add to this a unique heritage, succulent seafood and famous wildlife and you can’t imagine a seasoned traveller asking for more.
This southern isle is staggeringly beautiful, awash with an artist’s palette of natural colours spanning cerulean seas and skies, white sandy shores, verdant valleys and sun-kissed hops. The island’s intimate capital, Hobart, is especially enticing, with its historical harbour and tempting restaurants, backdropped by the looming Mount Wellington. It’s unlikely that Hobart’s earliest European inhabitants – convicts shipped over by the British Empire – appreciated Tassie’s coastal expanses, volcanic peaks and fertile orchards though. Instead, their relentless graft culminated in the capital’s prized 19th-century architecture. Two centuries on, Hobart is a feelgood destination for all.
Do go/Don’t go
Foodies should head to Hobart in November or December to reap the fruits of Hobart’s harvest; in these months, farm shops sell rations for your day’s adventures by the roadside: juicy berries, fresh juices, creamy yoghurts, just-baked breads, cheeses and other goodies. Avoid Hobart in winter (June to August) when the island is lashed with rain and the Roaring Forty winds.
Planes Hobart International Airport (www.hobartairport.com.au) is about 17 kilometres east of the city centre. Regular flights are available from most major cities in Australia (Melbourne’s an hour away) with Qantas (www.qantas.com.au), Jetstar (www.jetstar.com) and Virgin Blue (www.virginblue.com.au). A taxi from the airport to the city is AU$25–$30.
Boats Ferries to Tasmania from the mainland are provided by Spirit of Tasmania (1800 634 906; www.spiritoftasmania.com.au). Its service operates year-round, with daily departures between Station Pier in Port Melbourne and Devonport on Tasmania’s north coast. On-board accommodation ranges from functional airline-style seating to private deluxe cabins.
Automobiles Most major car hire companies can be found at Hobart Airport or in the city itself, including Avis (www.avis.com.au). Although Hobart is small enough to navigate by foot, it’s definitely worth getting a car to explore the surrounding sights.
- Taxis Nicknamed Slo-bart, the city makes for pleasant walking. Cabs are easily hailed though, or call United Taxis (03 6274 3120) for a reliable service around Hobart and the surrounding areas.