Things to Do in Hobart - page 2
Cape Bruny Lighthouse is situated on Bruny Island in Tasmania and is the second oldest lighthouse tower in the country. Commissioned by Governor George Arthur following a series of mishaps and shipwrecks just off Bruny Island, the lighthouse took two years to build by convict labor and was first lit in 1838.
Technological advances in the 1980s and 1990s meant that the Cape Bruny Lighthouse was lit for the last time on 6 August 1996 and replaced by a solar powered light nearby. In December 2000, the lighthouse was declared part of the South Bruny National Park. Visitors should be prepared for rough roads and a steep walk to reach the lighthouse, although you’ll be well rewarded on arrival; with some fantastic views out to sea, migrating humpback and southern right whales have been spotted from this vantage point.
Whether it’s settling in for a sunset viewing of Bruny Island’s Little Penguins, or climbing the 273 steps up towards the Truganini Memorial, visiting the famous Hummock Lookout is a highlight of Bruny Island. At this windswept promontory overlooking Bruny Island Neck, visitors can get a panoramic view of the thin isthmus of white sand that connects the two parts of the island. Penguins are most commonly sighted on this shoreline between the months of September and February, and since they’re officially the world’s smallest species of penguin, there’s an undeniable cuteness factor to watching them waddle ashore. During sunny periods in the middle of the day, it’s possibly to make out the Tasmanian Mainland across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and visit the memorial at the top of the stairs that’s dedicated to the last known, full-blooded Tasmanian aborigine to live on the island.
In the Coal River Valley, the historic town of Richmond is one of the most popular visits in Tasmania. Known for its 19th-century Georgian buildings and cottages that are today home to galleries and teashops, boutiques and museums, the small town is half an hour from Hobart by bus. Richmond began life in the 1820s as an important military staging post and convict station that linked Hobart with Port Arthur. Known for its excellent restaurants and for its wines grown in the fertile soils nearby, wine-tasting tours of the surrounding vineyards are a popular daytrip. The town’s most popular photo stop has to be the picturesque Richmond Bridge. The oldest stone bridge in Australia, it looks straight out of Stratford-upon-Avon, but it was actually built by Tasmania’s convict workers in 1825.
Hobart is set on the Derwent River estuary, which sets it apart as one of the world’s great sailing cities and harbors. Take a cruise by jet boat or ferry on the Derwent, or cross the water by water-taxi. Cruises go upriver to Moorilla Winery or the Cadbury Factory, or out to Iron Pot Lighthouse near Bruny Island.
The harbor is indented with sandy bays and beaches and crossed by several bridges. From the water you can see Mount Wellington, the docks, botanical gardens and suburbs. Sea kayaking is another way of experiencing the Derwent, leaving from the Hobart docks and paddling around the city.
Experts at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary have been nursing some of Australia’s most-beloved creatures back to health since 1981. When the park first opened, its team of passionate volunteers worked tirelessly to provide orphaned wildlife, like its family of 17 Tasmanian devils, with a safe home and adequate care in a near-to-natural environment. For more than 20 years the sanctuary has continued to promote its mission of reducing rates of extinction by raising community awareness.
Visitors to Bonorong get a guided explanation of the sanctuary’s rehabilitation efforts, as well as a real-life lesson on the impact of wildlife conservation while on a tour of the grounds. Guests of the park can also get up close and personal with Australian animals by feeding one of the largest mobs of free-range kangaroos and wallabies in the world.
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.
More Things to Do in Hobart
Bruny Island has a reputation as an Australian foodie paradise, and the Bruny Island Berry Farm is part of the reason why. Here on this family-owned berry farm near the shores of Adventure Bay, locally-grown berries are deliciously transformed into ice cream, scones, jams, cheesecakes, and a wide assortment of desserts. If some of the farm’s 7,000 strawberry plants happen to be in season, visitors have the chance to wander the fields and pick their own berries from the vines. Blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and youngberries all sweeten a visit to the farm, and even if the berries aren’t currently in season, the rural café is a relaxing spot for a coffee, tea, or scone.
Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art showcases modern and contemporary art alongside antiquities to create a surreal museum experience.
Opened in January 2011, MONA has quickly become one of Hobart’s top museums. The museum primarily sources its art from the private collection of owner David Walsh. Described as a ‘ghost train for adults,’ MONA is certainly a unique experience. Exhibitions are intense, the experience larger than life.
Exhibitions in MONA change regularly. Currently on display are three exhibitions ranging from 10 to 3 months in length, as well as the permanent ‘Monaism’ collection – described as an evolving exhibition of the highlights of the collection. Recent and future exhibitions include showcases of world theater, an exploration of Lewis Carroll’s The Red Queen character, and the work of specific artists. Themes, concepts and the work of individuals form powerful exhibitions within the building.
From Richmond to Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur, take the Convict Trail from Hobart to get a real feel for Tasmania’s history and natural beauty. To get the most out of your visit, take a leisurely approach and spread your tour over a couple of days. Take a cruise on the water lapping the Tasman National Park, then allow at least a couple of hours to take in the history of the Port Arthur penal settlement. Detour to visit a wildlife park, for a face-to-face encounter with a Tasmanian devil.
Then visit Richmond, an intact Georgian town of lovely houses, restaurants and its famous convict-built bridge over the Coal River. The tiny Richmond Jail pre-dates Port Arthur, with its well-preserved cells and flogging yards. Along the way, drop into produce stalls and vineyards, antique shops, tearooms and yet more wildlife parks.
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.
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.
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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