Island life: 48 hours in Tasmania
Beautiful southern island state Tasmania has so much to offer from stunning wild mountains to pristine uninhabited beaches to exceptional eats and drinks to local arts and crafts and it takes one easy flight to get there making it the perfect weekend escape. Here Rebecca shares where to stay, what to do and where to dine:
WHERE TO STAY
The Henry Jones Art Hotel is a heritage sandstone and timber warehouse-turned-boutique hotel. It's been lovingly restored, with art and design playing an intrinsic role in the space. It's situated right on Hobart's waterfront, making it an ideal place to base yourself.
Saffire at Freycinet: The location is simply spectacular but it's the service, spa (I can recommend the La Prairie hydration facial) and the restaurant's connection to local produce that make staying here such a special experience. Then there's the incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with one of state's most iconic animals - The Tasmanian Devil. In conjunction with the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program, Saffire have created a one-hectare enclosure for mature devils that were once part of the breeding program. It's basically a luxury retirement home for devils!
If you are up in the north of Tasmania then book a few nights at Quamby Estate. There's a mini golf course on the grounds for those inclined but for those who aren't, the gorgeous breakfast and beautifully restored rooms will be enough to keep you occupied. Just perfect.
The MONA Pavilions are a super luxe accommodation option situated on the Berriedale Peninsula, overlooking the River Derwent. Surrounded by gorgeous gum trees, these rooms are very private, and a second level and bedroom makes them a great option for families or two couples. There is a pool and gym overlooking the river with chickens and ducks meandering around the property.
WHERE TO EAT
Jackman & McRoss Bakery was my first stop off the plane! This place is a bit of a Hobart institution and the pies are next level. But when it comes to pastries, they tie for equal first place with Daci and Daci.
The Agrarian Kitchen has to be one of the most incredible and inspiring restaurants in the country! We couldn't fault a thing - from the space (which used to be the town's mental asylum), to the service and of course, the food. The house-made bread is particularly spectacular. Visiting this restaurant was an absolute highlight of our time in Tasmania. It's about a 35-minute drive from Hobart, located in the beautiful Derwent Valley.
Hobart's Franklin is another must. The dining room and kitchen share a beautifully and simplistically designed space. Their lamb in potato bread is so delicious - I think I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of it! The wine list is a great mix of both local and international, hard to find labels. The staff in this restaurant operate with such a relaxed elegance and the service style was truly refreshing.
Fico is a lovely Italian bistro in Hobart. The owners of this restaurant are partners in business and life - much like Al and I with NOMAD. Their grilled rainbow trout with tarragon butter and charred lemon was one of my favourite dishes on this trip.
WHAT TO DO
About 20 minutes north of Hobart in Berriedale is The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the largest privately funded art museum in the country. It's pretty wild and wacky - and you won't find any written descriptions alongside the artwork, so you'll need to grab a headset before you get to exploring.
Hobart's famous Salamanca Market takes place every Saturday in the historic Salamanca Place. Get there early (it gets busy), grab a coffee and wander through the stalls of locally made food and products.
Get out of the city and head south to the wilderness of Bruny Island. Pick up some local cheese and beer from Bruny Island Cheese Co, some fresh oysters from Get Shucked and find a spot overlooking the pristine water for an afternoon picnic. Be sure to keep an eye out for fur seals and whales.
Whether you hike up to the lookout or go all the way down to the beach for a swim - Wineglass Bay is an absolute must. Another way to do it is to hire a boat and get out on the water. It's a beautiful and much less strenuous way to see this striking part of the world.
Visit a winery or five, and get to know your way around some incredible cool-climate Tassie vino. We enjoyed guided tours of Pooley Wines in the Coal River Valley, Moorilla at MONA (Tasmania's second oldest vineyard), Bream Creek and Stefano Lubiana.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection