Dec
03
2013

Tasmania's lush natural landscape lends itself to all sorts of magnificent plant life, including many rare and native species.

Before you venture to this island, familiarise yourself with the kinds of plants you're going to come across, so you don't unknowingly walk past something extremely fascinating and miss taking a closer look!

Here are a few tips on what to look out for when you're in Tasmania.

Huon Pine

Huon pine trees are native to Tasmania and are quite impressive. They are one of the slowest-growing and longest-living plants in the world and can even live for over 3,000 years.

Huon pine was used for the construction of ships from around 1820. Pines were felled on the Franklin and Gordon rivers and floated downstream, but this eventually came to an end when the trees were deemed protected.

However, pine that has fallen is still allowed to be used and so it still finds its way into Tasmanian woodwork.

Look out for this tree if you're travelling in Western Tasmania, near Strahan. Head to the Huon Valley for a pine walk at Tahune, or venture to the Teepookana Forest Reserve, Heritage Landing on the Gordon River or Newall Creek to see these giants in the flesh.

Extra fun fact: Huon pine dates back to the former Gondwanaland super-continent, which was made up of Antarctica, South America, India, Australia and New Zealand before it broke apart. That means this tree existed up to multiple tens of thousands of years ago!

King's Lomatia

This is another relic from the Gondwanaland period and as all of the king's lomatia plants today are genetically identical, it's thought to be the oldest 'plant clone' known on earth, with a 43,000 year old history!

Currently, the plant is extremely endangered, with around 500 plants only found in two areas of the island's south-west.

According to the government's Department of the Environment, the plant is tall and distinctive. While usually it is 2 to 4 metres in height, it can be as tall as 8 metres. Thin, spindly and with crimson flowers, it's a plant to treasure.

As this unique plant's existence is extremely fragile, its location is protected.

Myrtle

Once again, the Gondwanaland continent has provided Tasmania with another great tree. These can live to over 500 years old and grow to great heights of 50 metres.

You'll see myrtle trees all through the Tasmanian rainforest, but most often in western Tasmania because they thrive in rainy and humid conditions.

For one of the best looks at the distinctive myrtle tree, head on the Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain, or give the Russell Falls in Mount Field National Park a visit.

You'll know it when you see them with solid chocolate brown hues and often a vibrant green, mossy coating.

Pandani

This is another plant native to Tasmania. Its green, spiky leaves are certainly distinctive and you can be sure to run into some in the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. They thrive in sub-alpine conditions, with leaves providing the trunks plenty of insulation from the conditions.

Now all that's left for you to do is head off to Tasmania and see these plant species – and more! – for yourself.

Head to some of Tasmania's National Parks and other wildlife hot-spots and see how many unique species of plant life you can find. This will help to liven up your hikes and if you're walking with companions, can even turn into a bit of a healthy plant spotting competition. Enjoy!

Huon Pine walk at Tahune AirWalk, Tasmania, Australia.

pine-valley-tasmania-myrtle-pandani-forest - image credit: Luke O'Brien

Distinctive grain and colour of Huon Pine -  image credit: buytasmaniantimbersonline-dot-com-au

Enchanted Forest Walk Cradle Mountain - image credit: Eriksfjord blog

Posted in Discoveries, Holiday suggestions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
Dec
02
2013

Our beautiful islands of Tasmania are more than just a great holiday destination – they also grow a lot of Australia's best produce.

Make the most of what this state has to offer while you revel in its towering cliffs, spectacular beaches and vast array of wildlife – pick up some locally grown fruit to enjoy alongside the view.

Huon Valley

Located just 40 minutes south of Hobart,  the Huon Valley is home to a rich rural heritage with plenty of orchards to choose from.

Get amongst the friendly locals and enjoy some of the food and wine the region is known for – there are plenty of riverside settlements here, too. Try some of the region's famous seafood, as it's known for its salmon and shellfish.

Wash that down with a bottle of regional wine and finish up your meal with a few pieces of fresh fruit from a roadside stall.

The Huon Valley region produces world class berries. Blackberries and raspberries are grown from January through to April and blueberries from December to April.

Cherries are another fruit produced by the region from December until February; luscious traditional ones almost the size of small plums and exotic new varieties.

The Channel region

Starting at the southern suburbs of Hobart and stretching down to the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, this region includes the picturesque Derwent River starting at Tinderbox and Howden.

Whilst touring, sample the delicious cheeses and meats produced in this region at some of the state's most iconic restaurants.

Bruny Island is a wildlife sanctuary hub with plenty of national areas to check out, as well as history dating back to 1642. Why not pack a picnic lunch and head out for a day trip?

Make sure you pack some apples. This delicious fruit is grown from March until November, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from – after all this is the Apple Isle.

Otherwise pack some delicious berries or cherries – the perfect treat to snack on as you walk.

South East region

This section of mainland Tasmania has great wine trails. There are plenty of beaches to visit or if dipping is not your thing, you could be content to journey along the rugged coastline, taking in the spectacular views from the many vantage points.

Make sure you leave plenty of room in your bag, however, as you are going to want to stock up on the region's beautiful eats.

If you are lucky enough to be in this area in the months of January and February, make the most of the juicy apricots.

The region also produces a vast array of apples, pears, cherries and berries, so you will be really spoilt for choice.

Derwent Valley

This stunning valley has everything you could possibly imagine – hops, farmland, forests, gardens and orchards.

A historic centre for sheep grazing, you will easily spot sheep or, for a more metropolitan activity, have a look at some of the antique shops in New Norfolk.

No matter what activity you choose, make sure you taste some of the fresh and seasonal cherries and berries in the valley. The left bank of the Derwent at the aptly named Plenty offers visitors an experience to remember at historic Redlands Estate adjacent to the Salmon Ponds. Australia’s awarded Best Farmer of the Year 2013 and his property Reid Farms is right across the road.
One of Australia’s largest berry farms is at Westerway, a hop, skip and gear change from a scenic favourite – Russell Falls.

North West

This beautiful area is picture perfect with lush pastures, a wild coastline, flowing fields of tulips and spectacular natural landmarks.

The area is known for its exports, so enjoy delicious carrots, peas, potatoes, onions, garlic and wasabi from the source. Cook up a delicious meal, and make sure you include some local cheese for afters!

Follow it up with some of nature's sweet treats – apples and berries are a feature of this region too. Combine it with some award-winning ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.

Tamar region

With its base in Launceston, this is an ideal place to set yourself up to explore the area. There are many cool climate vineyards producing some spectacular wines as well as an abundance of stone fruit and berries to sink your teeth into.

Salmon Smokehouse in the Huon and Apples - Roger Scales from Woodbridge Smokehouse. Image Credit: The Australian

Farm stays - Derwent Valley: Curringa Farm

The Reid Fruit Group at a recent trade fare

Josef Chromy Vineyard near Launceston

Posted in Holiday suggestions, Journeys | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
Dec
01
2013

Tasmania is full of great places to spend a weekend, but few are as easy to explore and buzzing with excitement as Launceston.

As the second-largest city in Tasmania, Launceston has everything you would expect – great restaurants, plenty of shopping opportunities and historical sites to discover.

However, unlike most cities, Launceston is easy to navigate and relatively compact, which is why it lends itself so well to a weekend getaway.

So what can you expect to see and do on a short break in Launceston? We've put together some ideas to get you started.

Visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Culture buffs will not be disappointed on their trip to Launceston, not least because the city plays host to the largest regional museum in the whole of Australia.

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery outlines all you need to know about the history of the local area, as well as some other fascinating insights into Launceston and beyond.

The museum is spread over two sites – the first is the 1870s railway workshop at Inveresk, while the other is found at the Royal Park Art Gallery building on Wellington Street.

Whether you decide to explore one or both of these locations, you are sure to find your thirst for knowledge is well and truly quenched!

Get in touch with your wild side at Tasmania Zoo

Another must see on any trip to Launceston is Tasmania Zoo, which is open all-year round.

Regardless of whether you have kids with you on your trip or not, this is a great place to learn more about Australia's wildlife and animals from much further afield.

One of the most popular exhibits is understandably the Tasmanian devil – you can learn more about this famous creature and its habitat, as well as why it is often so misunderstood.

Other highlights of Tasmania Zoo include penguins, reptiles and koalas, all of which can be found at this 900-acre site that lays claims to being the biggest wildlife park in Tasmania.

Follow the Tamar Valley wine route

One of the main attractions on any break in Launceston is the Tamar Valley wine route, which takes you to some of the finest wineries in the country.

Following the Tamar River from Launceston to Bass Strait, this is a must see for anyone who loves wine, or simply wants to learn more about the processes that go into making it.

To enjoy the route in its entirety, it is a good idea to plan several overnight stops along the way – there is no shortage of places to stay and you can make the most of the wineries at a more leisurely pace.

You can either attempt the route independently or as part of an organised tour – the choice is yours!

Explore national parks

Launceston also has its fair share of national parks, so if you want to seek some outdoor adventure on your weekend getaway, you won't be disappointed.

One of the best is Narawntapu National Park, which is a haven for wildlife and also has striking scenery you are unlikely to see anywhere else in Australia.

Whether you feel like bird spotting or keeping an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies, Narawntapu National Park is sure to fit the bill. Just remember to pack your binoculars!

You might also want to think about taking a stroll in the park – there are various routes to suit all abilities, so plan ahead and you can make the most of this area of natural beauty.

Tasmania Zoo

Tamar Valley Wine Route

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Posted in Holiday suggestions, Journeys | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
Nov
26
2013

Fancy pitching a tent in the great outdoors? Tasmania is the perfect place to get back to nature.

There are plenty of options to choose from as over 40 per cent of the Island is made up of National Parks.

Here are a few top spots where you can enjoy the stunning scenery Tasmania has to offer, from a more rugged vantage.

Freycinet National Park

This spot is so popular that there is a ballot system to decide who gets to camp here each year. If you want to put yourself in the draw you can apply by email, fax or letter. Applications for the next year's popular summer season close on July 31.

There are a few camping spots available, each with different levels of facilities. For example, in Richardsons Beach, only fuel stoves are available while Honeymoon Bay and Ranger Creek offer electric barbecues, picnic tables and non treated water as well as toilet facilities.

This beautiful park might be so highly sought after as a camping spot because of its scenic coastal area, with stunning granite peaks, gorgeous white sandy beaches and its mild, maritime climate.

It is also a haven for bird watchers, who can spot a wide range of creatures out in their natural habitat, from the white-bellied sea-eagle to the Australian gannet. If you decide to pitch your tent in the bush or forest you may be able to catch a glimpse of the eastern spinebill and the yellow-throated crescent of New Holland honeyeaters.

Maria Island National Park

Whether you want to see some spectacular historic ruins, feast your eyes on some of the beautiful scenery or catch a glimpse of some unusual wildlife, this island is just the spot for you.

Easily accessible by ferry, it boasts both rugged mountains and long stretches of beautiful coastland.

There are no motor vehicles or shops on the island whatsoever, making it the perfect spot to visit if you want to go off the grid for a weekend and connect with nature.

Pitch a tent or stay in the Penitentiary units, which have bunk beds, comfortable mattresses, wood heaters and picnic-style tables and chairs.

If you decide to stay here, you will need to bring your own bedding, food, lighting and cooking equipment such as pots, pans, crockery and cutlery.

South Bruny National Park

If you want to pitch a tent and camp out in an area with beautiful coastal scenery, then South Bruny National Park may be just the ticket.

The park stretches along the coastline of Bruny Island and includes some of the Hinterland between the southern part of Great Taylors Bay and the Hinterland of Fluted Cape.

The park has features such as magnificent towering cliffs, muttonbird rookeries and long sandy beaches, making it a beautiful area to set up camp.

If you head further inland you may also be able to enjoy the views of lush rainforest and can catch a glimpse of some plants native to Tasmania.

The popular park boasts many great activities, with numerous walking trails, and safe swimming beaches available. Wander down to the remains of the historic whaling station at Grass point, or the more difficult Labillardiere peninsula circuit.

Beaches such as Adventure Bay and Jetty Beach are safe, sheltered spots for driving, while Cloudy Bay is popular for more experienced surfers.

Cloudy Bay also features two beautiful campgrounds – the Pines and the Cloudy Bay Corner Beach campground.

The Pines is a small site with uneven ground and a pit toilet only, which is perfect if you want to get close to nature, but not ideal if you are into 'glamping,' or camping with modern luxuries such as plumbing and hot showers.

Cloudy Bay Corner Beach campground needs to be accessed by the beach, so you may need to hire a 4WD if you are keen on this area. Again, it features only a pit toilet and you will need to bring your own water and wood if you are planning on having a fire.

Another option is the Jetty Beach on Cape Bruny. This site has two pit toilets as well as non-treated tank water. Other facilities include picnic tables and safe swimming areas for the kids. There is access for caravans in this area.

Strezelecki National Park

This beautiful park covers 4,216 hectares of the south-western corner of Flinders Island, which is the main island of the Bass Strait and is made up of 54 islands. The park features a wide range of coastal and granite mountains with many endemic species – animals native to Tasmania – as well as rare flora and fauna.

There are a few commercial facilities on Flinders Island such as hotels, shops, petrol stations and a post office in Whitemark and Lady Barron.

The designated campsite is located at Trousers Point and includes a composting toilet, rainwater tank, fireplaces, picnic tables and rubbish bins.

So, pack up your tent and head to beautiful Tasmania to experience the best the islands have to offer.

Image Credit – Grant Dixon – Lonely Planet

Posted in Journeys | Tagged , | Leave a comment
Nov
21
2013

If you're a history buff, chances are you'll find Tasmania full of interest, because of the number of preserved historical sites in the area.

In case you are not aware of the region's rich background, here is a brief overview.

History

Originally home to the Tasmanian Aboriginals, the area was named Van Diemen's land by Abel Tasman when he discovered the land in 1642.

However, the first Europeans were not settled in the area until 1803, when Risdon Cove became the second British colony in Australia.

Hobart was established a year later, when Sullivans Cove was settled. While labour was completed by convicts to start with, it wasn't until 1822 that penal colonies were established.

Between 1829 and 1834, an effort was made to resettle and Christianise the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, but this was not successful as many died under colonial influence from disease, respiratory failure and poor food.

By the 1850s, every second resident was a convict and their settlements were hotbeds of disease and unlawfulness. Following this, the island was renamed Tasmania in 1856 in an attempt to remove the stigma of being a horrific destination for criminals.

Gold was discovered in the 1870s and many prospectors travelled over to see what they could dig up.

There are a few well-preserved sites in and around Tasmania where you can see relics of the island's interesting past. Keep an eye out for the colonial style buildings, which can be spotted throughout Hobart's streets, and consider a driving tour so you don't miss out on any of the historical highlights.

Port Arthur

Situated on the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is home to the most intact penal colony in Australia.

With more than 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes, this 40 hectare site is rich with historical gems, so you will want to allow plenty of time to experience all it has to offer.

The date of the buildings correlates to the existence of the prison from 1830 to 1877, and you can only imagine the lives of the 12,500 convicts serving life sentences in the area.

Nowadays, the land is landscaped and you can take part in an interactive display at the visitor centre, including the 'Lottery of life' attraction.

If you've packed your hiking boots, you may also want to head down one of the walking trails the area has to offer. Take a stroll down the convict water supply trail, or visit the Dockyard and the Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River.

Clarendon

Visit one of Australia's greatest colonial houses, which features the main house as well as farm outbuildings, convict quarters and what is now the Australian Fly Fishing museum.

Located around 19 kms from Evandale, the heritage site is open to the public and you can also enjoy an introductory tour so you better understanding what you're looking at. These tours take place multiple times throughout the day.

Keep in mind If you are taking a group, it might be best to book in advance.

Entally Estate

Located in the north at Hadspen, this house was named after a suburb in Calcutta. The estate was built for Thomas Reibey in 1819 and includes beautiful gardens, a greenhouse, chapel, coach house and stables as well as the main house.

Thomas Reibey reportedly had the most extensive library in the whole colony. Other features of the house include its array of Regency furniture and fine silver.

While you're in the area, you should also make sure you take a jaunt down to the historic towns of Longford and Westbury, and the city of Launceston.

Image Credit – Hobart Daily

Posted in Journeys | Tagged | Leave a comment
Nov
20
2013

Port Arthur is no doubt one of Tasmania's most exciting and intriguing attractions, with many visitors flocking to visit it every day.

Even if you've visited before, there's always something new to discover, or a new way of exploring the vast site.

The prison was established in 1830 and closed in 1877, and during that time around 12,500 convicts lived in these quarters serving their sentences.

The complex, as it stands today, has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes that can be explored over 40 hectares.

Here are some of the unique ways you can explore Port Arthur and discover new and mysterious facts and stories.

A guided ghost tour

With its gory history, it's not hard to imagine angry ghosts or lost spirits wandering the remnants of the prison.

Take a guided ghost tour and learn about some of the area's spooky stories and sights. Your guide will walk you around the complex, lighting the way with a lantern. You'll hear about rumoured ghost sightings as you stroll through dark ruins and some of the bizarre occurrences that have happened within the walls of heritage buildings will be revealed.

You'll also get the chance to hear some haunting first-hand accounts of prisoners and soldiers who documented their stories, sightings and unexplained events.

This experience is exciting but also incredibly spooky and spine-tingling, so don't be surprised if you have a sleepless night or two pondering your discoveries afterwards!

Cemetery Tour

To learn more about the people who lived and died in Port Arthur, you can join a Isle of the Dead guided tour.

What is known as 'The Isle of the Dead' is located in the harbour off the Port Arthur site and is home to the graves of many who lived at the convict settlement between 1833 and 1877. In fact, approximately 1,000 burials took place at the Isle.

Now, there is a new jetty on the island so you can take a harbour cruise and embark on a guided walking tour of this small, but eerie island. It will give you a further insight into the fascinating history of the island and the legacy it has left.

Point Puer Boys' Prison Tour

Adults weren't the only residents of Port Arthur. Across the harbour from the main Port Arthur site is Point Puer, where juvenile male convicts were sent for harsh punishments and discipline.

Three thousand boys, some only nine years old, were sentenced and took residence here between 1834 and 1849.

The walking tour is about an hour, but with the return ferry trip you'll need to allow about two hours.

It also takes place outside, exploring the ruins and remnants of this facility, so you'll need sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen and wet weather gear to get maximum enjoyment from the experience.

A paranormal investigation

Going a step further than a ghost tour, these Port Arthur paranormal investigations allow supernatural aficionados the chance to embark on a real ghost hunt.

This tour is for adults only, and teaches participants how to conduct a paranormal investigation with the latest scientific techniques and equipment. Then there's the chance to test for evidence in some of the most haunted spots of Port Arthur. Participants will be able to take readings and measurements and judge for themselves whether they've been at the site of a haunting, while also contributing to the site's database of paranormal activity.

Sites include the Commandants Cottage, Separate Prison, Visiting Magistrates House, Parsonage and the Church. Not only are these supposedly spooky sites, a few are known as some of the most haunted buildings in Australia!

Do you dare to see Port Arthur in one of these unique ways?


Image Credit Wikipedia

Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment
Nov
15
2013

If you are planning a trip to Tasmania soon, you should consider heading along to the Good Life Summer Market in Huonville.

Jam packed full of delicious goodies to try, the seasonal market showcases the best the region has to offer in arts, crafts and fine food.

The Huonville area is known for its 'make it, bake it, grow it' philosophy that can be seen at the market where local artists and producers show off their wares to the public – both tourists and locals alike.

Handmade, local goods are a special focus, so you might come home with a beautiful souvenir of your trip to Tassie.

The market is held every third Sunday of between October and March from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., so you can make a day of it, or pick up the ingredients for a picnic and explore the spectacular scenery the region has to offer.

There are plenty of spots by the Huon river where you can sit in tranquility to enjoy the fruit of the locals' labour.

And speaking of fruit, since the Huon area is known for its apples, make sure you include a deliciously tart braeburn, a juicy golden delicious or a sweet Jonagold in your picnic basket.

Depending on the time of year, you might also be able to tempt your tastebuds with some stone fruit. The Huon Valley produces beautiful apricots, cherries and plums.

Wine is another item to pop in your picnic basket, with Australia's southernmost wineries produced in this very region.

Cool climate wines are a staple product of the area, so pack some wine glasses and a pinot noir, aromatic riesling or crisp chardonnay from one of five local vineyards.


Image Credit – Plan Book Travel

Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment
Nov
14
2013

Whether you want to snap a photo of a wild wombat or two, or want a permanent reminder of your romantic horseback ride, there are plenty of picture perfect locations at Narawntapu National Park.

Here are the top places to take out your camera when you visit 'Tasmania's Serengeti'.

The Springlawn

The centre of the National Park is a hub for wildlife, so you will easily be able to take a few good snaps of Tasmania's beautiful critters.

Beautiful birds such as robins, wrens and fantails can often be spotted around the Springlawn and since camping is permitted in this area, why not stay a night and enjoy the morning chorus?

Similarly, many of the native marsupials also frequent the Springlawn. See if you can spot a Forester kangaroo, Bennetts wallaby, pademelon or wombat.

These wild animals are used to humans so you should be able to line up a good shot – as long as you are quiet.

These creatures are best seen at dusk, so make sure your camera is on the right setting. The sight of these marsupials coming out for feeding time in the Springlawn is worth staying for.

Another thing to remember if you plan on doing some wildlife photography is that these animals can get sick from eating processed food, so ignore the urge to feed them.

Bakers Beach

Composed of beach and active dune sand, this space also has areas of vegetation on the beach sand ridges.

Bakers Beach is popular for swimming and line fishing, which makes it a great place to take some action shots.

There are picnic tables available, which could be a great place to take a photo of your significant other enjoying a delicious meal, or perhaps a picture of your partner on a horse is more your idea of a great holiday snap?

The National Park permits horse riding, so saddle up! Don't forget to book early with one of the area's commercial horse riding operators as spots can fill up quickly.

If you are planning on bringing a horse into the park you will need to give the park ranger 48 hours notice.

Discover historical evidence of human life all over the park.  Artefacts at Narawntapu have been traced back 30,000 years so if you can spot anything be sure to take a quick snap – your friends back home are sure to be impressed.

The Lagoon

This is a popular spot for birdwatchers and for good reason. There are seven differnet species of ducks to be found in this area alone.

So get a prime position at the Melaleuca Bird Hide and snap away. A bird hide is the name for the camouflaged shelter used to observe wildlife at close range.

Herons, cormorants, coots, swans, bitterns and grebes are some of the many water-birds that can be spotted in the area.

You may want to ensure that your camera has a zoom feature as these birds can often be spotted at a distance.

If you don't get your ornithological fix at the lagoon, you could head down to the beach and see if you can spot any oystercatchers, gulls, terns, hooded plovers or the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.

Before you head off to explore the beautiful scenery this national park has to offer, make sure that you have your Park Pass organised.

Just pop down to the visitors centre at the Bakers Beach road entrance and pick one up.

Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment
Nov
13
2013

Do you love the feeling of getting off the beaten track, exploring something new and unique?

With the thrill that comes with exploring, it's no wonder so many of us love to head out to an intrepid location and immerse ourselves in adventure.

Tasmania, a land of varied scenery and plenty of natural beauty, is the perfect location for a spot of all-terrain driving.

If you're a confident driver and have a licence, then why not give this exciting experience a go?

You can find places to all-terrain drive yourself, but always make sure it's a designated area and that you have permission to be where you're going!

But if you want the security of experts in the area, then you might want to embark upon a group tour in conjunction with a commercial operator.

In Tasmania, the options are endless. There are deserted beaches, undulating sand dunes and forest tracks providing huge variety to your experience. Try your hand at areas near Strahan on the west coast or near Freycinet National Park.

If you want to get even more adventurous, you can consider a quad bike tour. Not only are these a great way to explore as they allow you to get up close and personal with nature, they add even more to the thrill of the experience with their rumbling engines and exposed driver's seat.

Why not get further off the beaten track and explore somewhere like Flinders Island via quad bike?

You will be the envy of all your adventurous friends. Just remember, always be safe and sensible. The combination of nature and these vehicles can be extremely powerful, so don't push the limits too much!


Image Credit – Flinders Island Quad Bike Tours

Posted in Journeys | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
Nov
12
2013

Salamanca Place is undoubtedly one of the liveliest parts of Hobart, bustling with activity thanks to the many cafes and restaurants, galleries and of course, the famous Salamanca Markets.

The Salamanca precinct is lined by dusty yellow sandstone warehouses, inspired by Georgian architectural style and built in the 1830s.

Now these buildings are home to many different kinds of shops and eateries, while they were once home to items like grain, whale oil, wool and apples – items the old Tasmania thrived upon.

The Salamanca Market

The Salamanca Market is a particularly popular place on Saturdays for both tourists and locals, operating between the hours of 8:30am to 3:00pm.

Here, there are endless goods and crafts to buy – you never know what treasures you'll find at the next stall.

You can walk to Salamanca Place from most locations in the city, as it's on the fringe of the central business district. If you ever find yourself lost on the way, just ask a friendly local to point you in the right direction – everyone knows where it is! It's also close to Hobart's waterfront area, so in the unlikely scenario you run out of things to do, you can always take a picturesque walk by the sea.

Speaking of which, there are over 300 stallholders at the markets each weekend. These include organic vegetables, fresh fruit, hot potatoes, and coffee and baking, and that's just the food!

You'll also find arts and crafts like hand-worked glass, paintings, Tasmanian timber, ceramics, fashion, handmade toys and more. In the background of all this, you'll hear buskers hard at work entertaining the crowd, perhaps playing a harp, strumming their guitar or crooning an old jazz song.

Nearby is a fine place for a picnic, with plenty of green lawn space and sheltered by swaying palm trees. It's a true delight, especially on a summer's day. 

Or, sit by Salamanca Square's cool fountain, where buskers will still be out in force entertaining visitors.

While Salamanca Place and its markets are spectacular to visit at any time of year, Christmas is a particularly special time to take a peek at its offerings. That's because everyone really goes all out when it comes to Yuletide spirit, with decorations, blinking lights and all things red and green.

At the markets in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you might find some unique decorations to dangle off your Christmas tree, or you may simply enjoy wandering the lanes of stalls listening to the Christmas carols on the air.

The best of the rest

Salamanca Place isn't just lively in the daytime, either. At night the area is popular for its laid-back street-back restaurants and cafes, most of which are heated by braziers and can be covered over in the rain. That means you can enjoy the street even in the cooler months.

Bars and pubs are never far away, with plenty of choice for the young, or young-at-heart, eager to dance the night away.

Music is always a central focus even once the sun goes down, with all sorts of intimate jazzy gigs at bars to attend as well as the ever-creative buskers and street performers to watch outdoors.

Throughout the year special events sometimes spill into Salamanca, such as the annual Taste of Tasmania, which takes place over the New Year period, with some of the festivities taking place on the Salamanca lawns. Always keep an eye out for these kinds of festivities on Hobart's events calendar to make sure you don't miss out.

With endless activities year-round, why wouldn't you pay a visit to Salamanca Place?

Image Credit – Dale Baldwin

Posted in Discoveries | Leave a comment
-->
Page 5 of 87« First...34567...102030...Last »