By Waheeda Harris
This island offers mountain hikes, surfing spots and plenty of friendly locals. With its vibrant artisan culture, Hobart, the largest city of Tassie is a perfect spot to satiate shopping needs, indulge in cuisine inspired by local ingredients and maybe meet a real Tasmanian devil.
Where to Stay
The Henry Jones Art Hotel provides modern lodging with original local art displayed throughout the historic former waterfront warehouse and in all guest rooms. Guided tours of its art collection and Hobart’s local art scene are hosted by an in-house curator. Unique property Moorilla features the Moorilla Estate vineyard, Moo Brew beer brewery, MONA: Museum of Old and New Art (to open in January 2011) and eight pavilions aka hotel rooms, containing selections of art ranging from ancient times to contemporary Australian collected by owner David Walsh (and mixed with modern décor).
What to Do
Wander the harbourfront area to see (and buy) from the numerous Tasmanian craft and art galleries such as Handmark Gallery or Bett Gallery. Every Saturday for the past 25 years, The Salamanca Market takes over three blocks of the waterfront, offering temptations such as local produce, handcrafted clothing, gourmet delicacies and island souvenirs. Learn about single malt whisky, gin, vodka and range of other spirits at Hobart’s Lark Distillery, a perfect spot to spend an afternoon; or take a short drive to elegant Meadowbank Winery for a tasting of award-winning vintages and locally-inspired cuisine on the outdoor patio.
Where to Eat
Join the trendy set at Smolt, offering modern Italian and Spanish flavours mixed with Aussie style: salmon ceviche, sardines with Spanish onion, braised lamb and fennel pizza or spanner crab with fettucine. Marque IV has waterside views and a seafood-inspired menu featuring a seafood tasting plate with local oysters, smoked salmon and ceviche, pan-fried prawns, seafood pasta, battered fish of the day or pan fried trevalla in lemongrass curry. Make sure to leave room for a visit to Sweet Envy Patisserie for tempations such as macaroons, lemon tart, or a red velvet cupcake.