Things to do in Hobart, Tasmania: One day three ways


See Hobart without blowing the budget by getting around on a velocipede from Artbikes (free if returned same day, $22 overnight, On Saturdays, Salamanca Place, on Hobart's waterfront, is transformed into one of Australia's most popular street markets, with over 300 stalls touting everything from chilli beer to vintage toys (  Have a breakfast salmon sausage focaccia here, from the Silver Hill Fisch caravan ($7), and coffee at Salamanca institution the Retro Cafe ($5). Next, climb Kelly's steps to wander around Battery Point's early 19th century cottages, Georgian homes and boutiques.  Return to the harbour for lunch from floating punt Fishy Business ($11.50). Then, spend the afternoon in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (Tues-Sun, 10-4, free,, learning about the striped, wolf-like thylacine, (possibly) the last of which died at Hobart zoo in 1936, and the island's once flourishing Aboriginal population. In the evening, sample a dram of whisky on a Lark Distillery tour ($12, before ordering from the bar menu at the Brunswick Hotel (67 Liverpool Street, Tempura Huon Valley Mushrooms $13, Finally, catch a band at The New Sydney Hotel  (87 Bathurst Street). Staying upstairs at the Alabama Hotel (Queen rooms $80, is one budget option but the homey, spacious Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse, in Battery Point, offers exceptional value ($35 in shared room, Total $120.50, including $15 for artisan Tassie cider.

Easy does it 

Breakfast at the lovely Pigeon Hole Cafe, a stroll from the CBD in West Hobart, where the eggs en cocotte with summer onions and jamon begin the day beautifully ($18 including coffee, But leave room for tastings on chef Mary McNeill's Gourmania city tour ($120, 9.30-1.30pm,, a progressive feast through Hobart's food culture, taking in 10 outlets, including Cool Wine, where a variety of Tassie drops are sampled. End with a small plate of Spring Bay mussels in white wine and garlic ($23.90) at Smolt (2 Salamanca Square, In the afternoon, visit the atmospheric Mawson's Antarctic hut replica, constructed from Baltic pine from the same Scandinavian timber mill that supplied his 1911-14 expedition (open 9-6pm, October-May, 10-5pm other months, $12). Then join a thrilling descent of Mount Wellington, Hobart's 1270-metre elephant in the backroom, sweeping down winding roads and dirt tracks on mountain bikes (, 4pm departure in summer, $75 adults).  Warm up again at new, Latin American-themed Frank Restaurant, on the harbour front, where the grilled octopus, with causa and pebre ($20) and half baby chicken with red onion, fried yucca and purple sweet potato ($24.90) are delectable (1 Franklin Wharf, Stay at Hotel Grand Chancellor Hotel (harbour view rooms from $210, Total $503.80


On Sundays, Hobart's farm gate market introduces an irresistible assortment of regional produce from "Lady Hester" sourdough donuts to the most artful-looking oyster mushrooms from nearby Huon Valley. Expect to spend a minimum $100 (Bathurst Street, Next, take a 15-minute seaplane flight over Hobart before splashing down at MONA ($250 pp including Mona entry, You'll need a day to absorb this underground treasure chest, conceived by multimillionaire professional gambler and Tassie philanthropist David Walsh ( Catch the impenetrable but compelling Matthew Barney River of Fundament exhibition until April and don't miss Sydney Nolan's panoramic 44-metre long Snake and Wim Delvoye's horribly fascinating "poo machine".  If that doesn't put you off, break for Bruny island oysters (6 for $18) and Smoked Ocean Trout plate ($26) at the beneath-ground wine bar.  End the MONA visit with a splendid nine-course degustation ($175) with accompanying wines ($100) at The Source restaurant on-site before returning to Hobart by taxi (about $20).  For style-meisters, the Avalon city retreat (From $900 a night, deposited by crane atop a nine-storey office tower, is the Hobart address to bed down at. Total: $1489

The writer was a guest of Tourism Tasmania and Avalon city retreat.