10 years this year since we said “I do” and to celebrate we left the kids in the care of their Grandparents/Aunties and headed to Tasmania a few weeks early (anniversary – 21 April).
It was a very early start of 3.15am, departing home at 3.57am and heading to the airport for our 6am flight. Great drive at that time of day along the M5 and with the return train fare being $73.28 by train, we opted for the convenience of driving in and leaving our car at the Blue Emy carpark for $77.85. Tip: Google Blue Emu discount code for a discount. Thanks AC for the tip!
We collected our Toyota Corolla from Europcar, stopped for breakie at a bakery in Sorell and headed straight for Port Arthur.
What a beautiful place, despite its convict past/Martin Bryant past. Entry was $74 for the two us and included a 40 minute guided walking tour and 20 minute harbour cruise.
We commenced walking around the site taking in the beauty of the dilapidated flour mill come penitentiary and harbour. We then made our way to the harbour cruise and took in the penitentiary, Point Puer Buy’s Prison, Isle of the Dead and heard about how the civilians shared Port Arthur with convicts.
After our boat cruise we took in the Port Arthur Massacre Memorial. A very peaceful and beautiful place. After visiting this remote location of Port Arthur you can understand why so many people died and were injured. It just took too long for local police and other support services to arrive to stop it.
We then took in lunch at the Cafe and then commenced our walking tour. It was lovely walking the grounds and it is so quiet there. I can’t imagine being a civilian of that time listening to a convict receive his punishment of 100 thrashings from the cat of nine tails. I also can’t believe that after over 200 years of trialling all sorts of punishments/treatments/rehabilitating activities that we still do not know how to rehabilitate our criminals to responsible members of society.
Upon entry to Port Arthur, you are given a card each which represents which convict you are on the day. I was 8 of spades and hubby was 10 of diamonds.
After the official walk was over we explored the solitary confinement cells, the asylum, the Visiting Magistrates House and the Surgeons Home. Port Arthur hadn’t originally been in our plans, but after speaking with friends, we knew we had to make the trip and are very glad that we did.
Time to head to our accommodation but not before stopping very briefly at Tasman Arch. Stunning what nature can do.
We stayed at Hotel Grand Chancellor for two nights. Absolutely lovely hotel with this view…
And champagne on arrival to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
On Friday night we headed to Street Eats at Frankie. The wait for our food was ridiculous. Hell, this post up till this point was written whilst I waited in line. The food however was enjoyable and we listened to live music whilst we ate.
Saturday started with a 7am alarm and a snooze until 7.45. The bed was sooo comfy. Our plan is a new mattress this year. I will also add all new bedding to this purchase. We headed to Salamanca Markets where I embraced my Dutch heritage and enjoyed Ollie Bollen for breakfast. Think doughnut ball with sultanas and apple, deep fried and coated in icing sugar. Not healthy. Dutch tradition is to make them for New Years but my Dad failed to do so this year so I made up for it. They weren’t as nice as his though 🤤
Whilst at the markets we bought a few items, but easily could have bought so much more if I’d thought to pay for more luggage with our airfares and if money was no object.
When we honeymooned in Europe 10 years ago we caught the Hop On Hop Off Buses everywhere we went. London, Edinburgh, Ireland, Paris, Florence and Rome. We’ve played tourist in our home town of Sydney and caught one there too. It’s a good way to get your bearings on the city you’re in. Hobart was to be no different. We took in Battery Point, Sandy Bay, the Cascade Brewery and the Botanic Gardens. Although a little windy, it was great and saved the legs – I didn’t expect Hobart to be so hilly.
This is when my head cold started to worsen. I decided to take a rest in our hotel room so that I could enjoy our plans for the evening. Whilst I rested, my husband headed to Mt Wellington. He is now going to share a little bit about it with you:
Hi hubby here, during our time in Hobart I made the foolish and amazing decision to drive to the top of Mt Wellington. Although I was not able to take my mountain bike and enjoy any of the trails back down, or one of the walking trails to the summit, the road up gives some brilliant views over Hobart and the Derwent River.
Only half an hour from the city centre, but 13 degrees cooler at the top of the mountain and then a wind chill of at least 10 degrees, made it the coldest I have ever been. Even though it was sunny and quite warm in Hobart, take a warm jacket, scarf and gloves!
The summit provided 360 degree views but the wind meant taking shelter in the viewing platform or hiding behind the pink granite boulders.
Cold and very windy! But the views were amazing and well worth the trip.
Once my husband returned from his very cold trip, we dressed for drinks and dinner.
I put a callout in a private Facebook group I am in for tips on where we should eat/drink whilst in Tasmania. Sam from The Annoyed Thyroid shared a post with me that she had written about the very same thing. After reading it, we decided to head to Preachers for a pre-dinner drink, enjoy dinner at Ristorante Di Angelo and have a night cap at The Glasshouse. Boy, were we happy with our choices.
At Preachers we enjoyed a glass of Tassie Reisling and Tassie Apple Cider. It was an awesome little pub/bar that has a side yard used as a a beer garden with a retired school bus as extra seating. We felt very trendy!
We then moved on to dinner at Ristorante Di Angelo. This place was very busy and I love my Italian food – I had hoped this was a good sign and it was. From the Bruschetta Pizza Bread as our entree, to the Luciano’s Special – prawns, garlic, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled in olive oil and Chicken Calzone – chicken, capsicum, olives, mushrooms & sun-dried tomatoes – as our mains, it was all delicious! It was amazing! It was also so very filling so we skipped dessert.
Ristorante De Angelo
Next stop, Glasshouse. This is one of a few fine-dining options in Hobart but it is not only about the food there. It is also about the cocktails. I chose a Lavender and Rosemary Bellini and my husband chose a Leatherwood Rob Roy. We sat at the bar and enjoyed watching the Bartenders prepare all manner of cocktails, flipping bottles and shakers this way and that before pouring and decorating their creations into cocktail glasses. I complimented our Bartender that this looked like an art form. She seemed most flattered and seemed most grateful someone had noticed.
Three venues in one night is a lot for us parents with young children who rarely go out anymore, and also rarely drink anymore so we headed back to the hotel before too much more damage was done to the credit card!
After a lovely nights sleep where daylight savings ended and we had not children waking us up early (this was not planned but a VERY happy convenience for us!) we needed to hunt for breakfast. Again, I referred to another post Sam from the The Annoyed Thyroid about the best places to find breakfast and coffee in Hobart. We headed to The Flipped Egg at the Farmgate Markets. If only I lived in Hobart or perhaps attended Farmers Markets here… the cost, variety and freshness of the produce, the flowers and baked goods was astounding. I certainly looked longingly at the flowers!
Breakfast at the Flipped Egg did not disappoint. We both enjoyed the Bacon and Egg Roll with Tasmanian free-range bacon and egg, aioli, tomato relish and summer greens and some Hash Browns. The addition of the tomato relish and aioli is probably what took the old bacon and egg roll to the next level.
From breakfast we left Hobart and made our way to Freycinet/Bicheno/Ross/Cradle Mountain. Check in on 17 April for details on these beautiful places.
Have you been to Tasmania? Any places you consider a must-see for other readers?