Follow the Friday night crowd heading towards Constitution Dock for a fish and chip fix. There are several outdoor stands selling super, freshly caught and cooked fish including local Trevalla, Flake, Salmon, Flathead and Scallops. Did you know there are no prawns in Tasmania? So if you do sneak in a crispy prawn cutlet or two you know it won’t be local! You can sit on some steps along the dock for a harbourside picnic and watch the boats coming and going. You may even see some cray fishermen with a haul!
Now, if your prefer your fish and chips at the table with a glass of Tasmania’s crispest sparkling or a yeasty brew then I recommend Fish Frenzy, an indoor / outdoor fish and chippery just a few steps away in an old renovated warehouse on Elizabeth Pier. Don’t be put off by the crowds. Diners are served swiftly and the table turnover is steady. You won’t have to wait long. You can choose to have your fish battered, fried or grilled and there are healthy side salad options too. There is also a seafood platter for two or, if the wind is howling, try a heart warming bowl of seafood chowder. I can recommend the sweet and not too greasy battered flathead delivered to your table in a cute paper cone in only a few minutes. Washed down with some Tassie sparkling to counter the deep fry – it’s a match made in heaven.
On the way back to your accommodation, take a short detour to the nearby Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar at 14 Davey Street, Hobart for a ‘wee dram’ or nightcap. Open until late on Fridays, the bar has more than 150 premium malt whiskies to try as well as a strong selection of Tasmanian wine by the glass, beer and cider which you can enjoy with a local cheese platter.
For central accommodation in a waterfront apartment I can recommend Somerset on the Pier located right above Elizabeth Pier. There are 56 self-contained, serviced apartments. The apartments facing Constitution Dock have balconies but they are not very private. Our apartment was on the side facing Salamanca Place with a huge window revealing Sullivan’s Cove and the MONA Ferry on its daily schedule. The loft-style apartment was quiet and cosy with a large bathroom, laundry, well-equipped kitchen and large living area downstairs and a full sized bedroom upstairs with a wardrobe and second television. The apartments are a fantastic central location within walking distance to the Hobart CBD.
You might prefer taking your car for this one but the early 1.7km walk to Pigeon Hole Café at 93 Goulburn Street, West Hobart will help you earn your breakfast. The fare is farm fresh, with organic produce provided by Weston Farm with a blackboard menu that changes according to the season and what’s available. We had homemade baked beans and baked eggs with sourdough toast and a couple of rounds of moreish coffee. It’s a small space with a big reputation. Pigeon Hole Café is open Monday – Saturday from 8.00am – 4.30pm.
After breakfast walk or drive back towards the CBD and the crowds at Salamanca Place for the Salamanca Markets – a Hobart institution since 1972 – where more than 300 stallholders sell fresh and gourmet produce, arts, crafts and handiwork from all over Tasmania, interstate and overseas every Saturday from 8.00am – 3.00pm. There is also some great shopping around Salamanca Place too; including The Maker for Tasmanian designed clothing, jewellery, accessories and home wares and the Bruny Island Cheese Co. shop where you can have a tasting or buy some cheese to take back to your apartment. Nant Whisky also has a tasting room here if you wish to imbibe.
Another Hobart tip – Sunday mornings can be a bit quiet on the streets of Hobart town – particularly if you’re used to other busy capital cities. A great idea is to grab some supplies for Sunday Breakfast from the Market otherwise head into Salamanca Fresh for some breakfast goodies and take home Tassie treats like the delectable Leatherwood Honey.
After you have dropped your market goodies back to the apartment jump in the car and head out of town for an afternoon drive via Mt Wellington where, weather permitting, you will have some amazing views over Hobart and southern Tasmania. From Hobart it is a 15km drive up a windy and, in some parts, narrow road. It can get pretty cloudy up there pretty quickly so make the most of fine weather. Although the mountain is close to the sea, the summit is 1270m above sea level, so take a jacket!
When you drive down off the mountain turn right at Fern Tree and head south through the Huon Valley for just over 20 km to The Apple Shed Museum and Cider House. Home to the popular Willie Smith’s Organic Cider this is a great place for an afternoon with the family where you can learn about the history of Tasmania’s apple industry, sit by the fire and sample some local regional produce and, of course, some ciders – the tasting paddle is a great way to go but you might need to share one with the driver. Did you know that in 1986 there were 1000 apple growers in Tasmania and today there are only around 30? When you’re ready, it’s a half hour drive back to Hobart
Have dinner at Franklin at 43 Argyle Street. I can’t recommend Franklin enough. Read my previous review here to see what I mean. Reservations are absolutely essential. It’s a five-minute walk from Elizabeth Pier.
Hobart is pretty quiet on a Sunday morning so sleep in and enjoy your DIY market breakfast.
Take the MR-1 Fast Ferry from the Brook Street terminal next door to the Somerset apartments to MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art. The return ticket is $20 but if you’re feeling flush, upgrade to the Posh Pit ticket for $50 where passengers pay for a private lounge bar and deck and area with table service canapés and sparkling from MONA’s own Moorilla Winery and Moo Brew Beer during the journey. N.B. The drinks do flow. Check the MONA website for the ferry schedule as it changes from Summer to Winter and weekdays to weekends. Book tickets online for the ferry and for the museum admission to make it easier.
Tasmanian David Walsh has funded the infrastructure and ongoing running costs for MONA which houses his private collection or art and artefacts. Tasmanians can visit MONA for free while the entry for Adults from outside Tasmania is $25. The Museum has caused much conversation for its unconventional sense of taste since it opened in 2011. Even the layout is upside down with visitors having to work their way up from the basement to the ground floor. By the way ladies, make sure you go to the basement toilet! There are no detailed wall labels describing the collection– visitors carry a portable device called an‘O’ which acts as a guide. After a few hours in the Museum your head will be spinning so take some time to enjoy something to eat at one of several restaurants and cafés or you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawned areas too. Before the day draws to a close, I can recommended adding in the Moorilla Winery Tour and Tasting held from Wednesday to Monday at 3.30pm before taking the last return ferry journey for the day at 5.00pm in Winter and 6.00pm in Summer.
What a weekend!