Last weekend I took a trip down to Hobart, Tasmania. It was part work, part pleasure - my boyfriend works as a hip hop DJ, and after having a look at his tour schedule, I realized his last show on this run was May 31st in Hobart. Having always wanted to visit Tasmania this was the perfect excuse.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and spent most of the day at the venue, doing sound check and hanging out. Before the show we went for a really nice dinner with the crew at a restaurant called Smolt in the historic Salamanca Square, sampled local oysters, octopus and salmon (eating as much seafood as possible was definitely part of my Hobart to-do list). The show that night was great. I befriended one of the other artists' girlfriends backstage, who told me that she was also planning on staying in Hobart for a couple of extra days, so we made plans to hook up later in the week.
On Sunday morning we went for a stroll to find the farmers market and sample some of the famous Tasmanian produce. We got fresh juices and fruit, local cheese and oysters (of course). The raspberries and apples were just wonderful, and check out the size of those carrots!
On a local tip, we got in the queue for Masaaki's sushi, which is rumoured to be the best sushi in Australia. We waited in line for a good 30 minutes, but the wait was well worth it. We watched as our tuna and salmon maki were constructed right in front of our eyes, with wonderful ingredients like snow peas and little strips of egg, not to mention the beautiful fresh fish!
We spent the rest of the day walking around central Hobart admiring the architecture and scenery. We revisited Salamanca Square, then wandered over to the Elizabeth St. Pier to take pictures and gaze out over the water. We had made plans with our friends to meet up Monday morning and go to MONA on the ferry, so we stopped by the ferry office and grabbed tickets.
That night we opted for a quiet night in with a movie in the hotel, a cheese and fruit platter procured at the market earlier in the day, and definitely the BEST bottle of Pinot noir I've ever tasted, a Tasmanian specialty.
We spent the whole next day at MONA which was absolutely mind blowing. I'm a big fan of art museums; I've been to some old world museums in Paris and Vienna, and MONA was definitely one of the craziest museums I've ever been to. It was pretty gloomy and rainy so I didn't bring my camera with me, plus I didn't know what the museum's policy on photography was.
We were set to fly home Tuesday night so Tuesday morning we rented a car and drove down the Tasman Peninsula. First we went to Port Arthur to see the prison ruins, but realized a little too late that it was more of an all-day thing so we checked out the lookout point instead of paying admission into the ruins. We then headed further down the Peninsula to see Maingon Bay, Remarkable Cave, Devil's Kitchen and the Tasman Arch. It was stunningly beautiful down there despite the rain and the fog - in fact the rain and fog enhanced the experience for me. It was all so magical.
It's really hard to appreciate the scale of some of these features. The last image is of the Tasman Arch, taken about 20 stories up from the waves crashing into the coastline.
Overall the trip was awesome, and (of course) not long enough. I'm looking forward to heading back to Tasmania to see more of the picturesque island state, eat more of the amazing produce and seafood, and drink many more bottles of wine.