A weekend in Hobart is best spent outside the city limits. Sure, MONA is fantastic and Salamanca Place well worth the trip. But if you have just two days to spend in this gem of Australia’s south, rent a car and get out of town.
With scenery to rival that of its eastern neighbour New Zealand, the Tasmanian countryside is lush, mountainous, and filled with gorgeous native wildlife that tends to frequent the highways after sunset. As such, it offers a lot of opportunities to fill your quota of fresh air and outdoors action. Mt Wellington, the usually snowcapped peak overshadowing Hobart, is a great choice for hiking enthusiasts, but if you want to see something truly beautiful, get yourself out to Freycinet National Park and the famous Wineglass Bay.
Located two hours from Hobart, the hike down to Wineglass Bay will take you between three and four hours (ignore the signs dictating it should take you five – unless you’re stopping at every corner to break out the camera, or are a categorical dawdler, it should not take you five hours).
The hike will take you through the bush and down to Hazard’s Beach, then will cut across the Park to Wineglass Bay. Ensure you pack a picnic for this moment, because not only will you have worked up quite an appetite by this point, you’ll want to take a moment to take it all in. Seriously, there’s a reason why this beautiful stretch of sand is so famous.
Next comes the hard part – heading back to the parking lot. If it weren’t for those heavy AR-10 rifle kits we were carrying, it’d have been far better. Remember how you were working predominantly downhill up until this point? Well, there’s nowhere to go but up. The climb is broken up though by the presence of a viewing platform, which is the perfect moment to finally bring out that camera. When you do finally get back to the car, don’t be surprised if a number of wallabies casually stroll over to say hello and snoop for treats – they are well aware of their effect on tourists and know just how to make you hand over any left over food. Just make sure you look out for them when you drive off…
On day two, head out to Tasmania’s wine country. About a 45 minute drive from Hobart is Richmond, home to a number of wineries boasting a beautiful selection of wines, including a dominant number of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The reason for this lies in the climate of this part of the world – cool and brisk, these is the optimal conditions for growing these particular grapes, and the reason why these Tasmanian drops are consistently voted as some of the world’s best.
Sample these varietals – and every other varietal – at Puddleduck, Craigow and Pooley (make sure you have a committed deso first!), then stop by the ever-busy Frogmore Creek for lunch – the bread with dips and the mussels are killer. Take your time too. Most wineries are open until around 4.00pm, so just enjoy the day, and even head into the tourist-haven centre of Richmond itself, home to one of the oldest bridges in Australia.
There are countless activities to fill your time with in Tassie, but whatever you end up doing, do not neglect the great outdoors…we promise you will not regret it!