The Tasmanian devil may be ferocious and threatening in appearance, but the state of Tasmania, Australia couldn’t be any more different. Tucked away just off the continent’s southeastern coast, Tasmania remains a welcoming, picturesque yet accessible land mass.
If you, like many others, are planning on visiting Tasmania/Sydney or Tasmania/Melbourne on a single trip, here is a recommended one-day itinerary of 4 places you should visit when on the Hobart side of tantalizing Tassie.
1. Marvel at the morning beauty of Hobart from high atop Mount Wellington
Located just a 30-minute drive away from the city of Hobart, looking eastward from Mount Wellington’s peak (1270 m/4166 ft above sea level) gives you a breathtaking, panoramic view of Hobart. The best part? You get to drive all the way to the top without breaking a sweat (or having to brave the cold)! Several of the foot trails around the summit weave through immaculate rock formations bound to excite the geographer in you, while signposts detailing the rich history of Kunanyi (the aboriginal name for the mountain) give you a glimpse at the mountain’s symbolic and cultural significance for the Muwinina people. Early birds may also wish to catch the sunrise!
Tip: The Pinnacle can get up to 8 degrees Celsius (about 46 degrees F) colder than at its base, so be sure to bring sufficient warm clothing; it can get pretty chilly when the wind blows – even in the summer!
Opening hours: There are no opening and closing hours, but the Pinnacle observation shelter and toilets open at 8 am daily, and close at 8 pm on daylight saving months and 4.30 pm during winter months.
2. Feast your taste buds over brunch at Salamanca Square’s alfresco bars and restaurants
Before you know it, you’d have spent quite a fair bit of the morning admiring the scenic beauty of and from Mount Wellington. Head back to Hobart for a satisfying meal at one of Salamanca Square’s many alfresco bars and restaurants and soak in Tassie’s laidback atmosphere. If you’re a fan of pulled-pork burgers, Jack Greene serves a pretty mean gourmet burger rendition for 17.50 AUD (approximately 14 USD).
3. Wow your eyes at the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA)
Having finished your gastronomical feast, it is now time to feast your eyes. MONA (its nomenclature presumably a pun on the Mona Lisa), Tasmania’s state-of-the-art art museum, is located just a 25-minute drive from Salamanca Square and presents visitors with a fresh binary blend of classical art with modern design. As you take the lift right down to the beginning of the visitors’ route, a 3-storey indoor waterfall display immediately captures your attention.
From abstract installations of a gargantuan dead chicken to its slick interior design, entering MONA is like entering a world of sophistication – so much so that even the toilet cubicles themselves are art installations! Of note is also MONA’s personal interactive tour guide on an iPod Touch issued upon each visitor’s entry: it can detect exactly where in the museum you are and allows visitors to select which artwork in their vicinity they wish to listen to commentary on. Who says museums have to be old and boring?
Hours change seasonally, so be sure to check the web-link below for up-to-date opening hours. Admission costs 25 AUD (approximately 20 USD) for adults and admission is free for those under 18.
4. Experience sunset serenity at Tasman National Park
Man-made art can be beautiful; but none can compare to the stunning beauty of natural coastal rock formations reflecting off crystal blue waters. Take a 1 hour 20 minute drive from MONA to Tasman National Park for a leisurely evening stroll. Near the coast lies Tasman Arch, a hidden treasure trove – one both nonbelligerent and majestic.
There, an unusual rock formation resembling a cave brings to mind the set of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; peer through the formation’s entrance and gaze at the juxtaposing allure of rock and water – it’s truly something you have to see to believe. If you’ve got the time to spare, stay there to witness the sunset and feel a sense of quietude overwhelm you.
Tasmania offers a unique tranquil experience that few other places on earth do. So don’t rush by attempting to squeeze in a visit to every site if you only have a day to spend in Hobart; soak it all in, unwind, and go ahead – let your senses be tantalized.
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