Hobart

Hobart

After a day of travel, we made it to Hobart – our gateway to Tasmania.  Although it was dark, cold, and rainy when we arrived, our first full day was lovely. We booked accommodations via AirBnB and are really happy with them. Our host is incredibly friendly and has supplied us with a bunch of tasty baked goods.

Salamanca

We started off our morning with a trip to the Salamanca Markets. The market is in an open stretch near the water and has over 300 stalls. The market has a lot of variety, and we enjoyed browsing the wares. The food all looked and smelled delicious, but we limited ourselves to some tasty breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and fruit. Tasmania grows a lot of the apples we eat here in Australia.  What’s awesome is that they grow lots of what would be called “heirloom” apples stateside and sell them at the markets and grocers.  We picked up several varieties and will be trying them over the course of the trip. For dinner we sliced a Geeveston Fanny and had it with some cheese and olives. The apple was decidedly meaty but very neutral in flavor – it wasn’t tart or sweet. It’s a nice apple, but after eating a steady diet of Sundowners and Galas in Alice, the neutral taste was striking.

Bagpipers

The buskers were all pretty good, especially the bagpipers, which were a nice surprise. The market definitely had more variety than Alice, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone coming to Tassie.

Enjoying the whiskey

From there, we hit two cellar doors for whisky (the Aussie spelling) makers here in Tassie. The Lark, which we hit second, was ok. The whisky liqueur was pretty good but nothing else really grabbed us. However, the first place we visited blew us away. The Nant flight of 3 whiskies was worth every penny.  We finished it off with a taste of of their single malt that’s been aged in bourbon barrels.  Supposedly, it’s one of the best in the world and it lives up to its reputation. It’s expensive, but we’re contemplating buying a bottle when we visit the distillery later in the trip. Even Ashley, who prefers gin, really enjoyed it.
From the markets and distilleries, we headed out of the city proper and had lunch at the Cascade  Brewery. The food was good, but unfortunately the tours were all booked. To overcome our disappointment, we tasted a flight of beers and indulged in some stout ice cream. Yum! To work off lunch, we took a nice walk through the gardens outside the facility.  It was wonderful to see green trees in both deciduous and evergreen varieties.
We finished the day by driving up to the top of Mt. Wellington, which rises almost 1,300m over the city.  It was cold up at the top and actually brighter than it looks in the picture, with the sun peeking through the clouds at times. The panoramic views of Hobart are wonderful.  Unfortunately we won’t have time to go hiking up the forest covered slopes on this trip. Ashley can attest to how beautiful he drive was, but Drew had to keep his eyes on the winding road.
Additional pictures are here, and there will be more coming – this is day one of a three week vacation. Tomorrow we’re off to explore one of the national parks west of Hobart!
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