A Year Ago on Just a Little Further - Oct. 14th-20th

Each Wednesday we feature interesting and favorite posts from a year ago this week.  Click the link to view the whole post.


making beer on the boat

Brew-meister at Work

"He gathered together all the ingredients. It’s pretty much a kit, but this still took over an hour since things got “put away” six months ago when we left for the States and now finding them again is challenging… some things may never be found."


hydraulic hose

Patience and the Un-virtuous Woman

"I can wait for a weather window and not complain much. I can wait in a doctor’s office and read the year-old magazines without too much grimacing. Waiting in a check-out line at the supermarket starts my stomach churning. This nasty trait is most evident, however, when we’re hunting for boat parts."


tasmanian devil

A Devil of a Day

"But what about potoroos, pandemelons, bandicoots and quolls? I’ve never even heard of these critters. Have you? My spell checker certainly hasn’t. And of course, we’d yet to encounter the famed, but elusive icon of Tasmania, a Tasmanian Devil (and I don’t mean Looney Tunes’ Taz)."

Top Things to See and Do in Hobart, Tasmania

Tasmania is a treasure trove of sights and experiences and Hobart is a good place to base yourself for a few days while you suss out the opportunities. In October 2012, a writer for the Lonely Planet travel guide series ranked Hobart as number seven of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2013. That's pretty impressive, don't you think? We've visited six of the ten listed cities and we think Hobart should have claimed an even better spot. An historic waterfront town, Hobart, capital city of Tasmania, is small, compact and charming. We rarely have access to a car, so we walk or take public transit most everywhere we want to go. In Hobart, that's easy. Pretty much everything in the greater Hobart area is close or there's a bus, ferry or tour to get you there.

Here's our recommendation of things to see and do in Hobart:


MONA (Museum of New and Old Art), is a world-class, kick-ass, can't miss museum. You can take a bus or catch the ferry to get there. The ferry is more fun and definitely more impressive as you head up the Derwent River under the Tasman Bridge and catch views of the museum ensconced in the hillside.

salamanca market

Salamanca Market and Salamanca Place – a market every Saturday morning, rain or shine, that takes over the entire street. The rest of the week enjoy pubs, restaurants and boutiques in a trendy historical area.


The Waterfront and Constitution Dock (ConDock) – a lovely area to visit. Fishing boats and sailboats tie up here in historic Sullivan Cove. Convict-built sandstone warehouses line the wharves. Catch lunch at one of the floating fish and chip joints along the dock where you have to kneel down at low tide to place and collect your order.

botanic garden carousel

Royal Botanical Gardens – even if you're not the horticultural type, there's lots to see at the Gardens including an awesome, historic carousel and a SubAntarctic species exhibit, the only one in the world. You can walk through the Queens Domain to get there with lots to see along the way.

bonorong spotted quolls

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary – just north of Hobart, this is a sanctuary, not a zoo, so the residents change from time to time. Touch a wombat, pat a fluffy koala and see lots of Tasmanian devils, not to mention blue-tongued lizards, poteroos and quolls.

bruny wallaby boys

Bruny Island – As unique as Tasmania itself, you can take a tour from Hobart or rent a car and take the ferry from Kettering across the beautiful D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Just over 100km long, the island is enchanting, offering views of the Tasman Sea, a visit to the Cape Bruny Light, the Bligh Museum and more. Don't miss a chance to view rare white wallabies near Adventure Bay.

battery historic walk

Historic Walk & Battery Point – An easy self-guided walk through the oldest areas of Hobart. Admire the buildings and 19th century architecture, then stop at the Shipwright Arms (Shippies) for a genuine pub lunch and a pint.

wellington hobart view

Mount Wellington or as the locals call it, “the mountain”, lords over the city. From its summit of 1271m (4,170'), there are superb views of the Derwent River, Hobart and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. It's about 20km to the top from Hobart along a narrow, unmarked, two-lane road. You can rent a car, take a tour, ride a bike or walk (long walk, but many good paths).

Walk, walk, walk ... Hobart offers so many little nooks and crannies which allow you to peek into its historic past. Visit St. David's Park, walk along the wharves or up Kelly's Steps, wander along the foreshore up to Cornelian Bay under the Tasman Bridge to see the colorful boatsheds.

wild oats

Festivals – If you can plan your visit during the summer months (Dec-February), there are several festivals to enjoy along the historic waterfront including the Sydney-Hobart Race, Tasmania Taste Fest, the bi-annual Wooden Boat Festival and more. Check the Hobart festival and events schedule before making your plans.

Tantalize your taste buds:

  • Try Valhalla ice cream – pepperberry flavor – this is something very unique to Tasmania.
  • Tassie seafood...smoked salmon, oysters, mussels, crayfish(lobster), scallop pie
  • Tasmanian cool climate wines
  • Bruny Island cherries...huge and luscious (Dec/Jan) and all other native fruit as it comes into season...apples, pears and apricots were our special favorites.



Souvenirs – if you want something “very” Tasmanian, buy something wooden crafted of Huon pine, blackheart sassafras or one of the many native woods available in Tasmania. The Salamanca Market offers lots of choices although our personal favorite was Kevin “the Bowlmaker” Rayner, Stall #42 (kgrayner@bigpond.com). This man knows his wood and his craft, and his work is absolutely beautiful.


  • Hobart Information Center provides lots of good information about tours, sightseeing, accommodation plus a good, free city map.
  • We don't usually stay in hotels since we live on the boat, but there are lots of hotel choices from hostels to high class in Hobart and nearby. We've stayed at the Hobart Towers Motel twice on our way to and from the airport and found it basic, but clean, friendly and one of the least expensive hotels in the Hobart area ($70/night) other than staying at a backpackers' lodge.
  • We've only recommended those activities we've actually done ourselves. We have not taken the Bruny Island Cruise, but it seems to be very popular. We have also not yet visited Port Arthur because it's accessible by boat, so we plan to sail there and report back later. Port Arthur is highly recommended...by everyone...and tours are available from Hobart.
  • Day Rover passes on the Metro bus system ($4.80/adult) allow you to ride all day on the buses. You can buy your ticket from the driver when you enter the bus.


Days and Ways to Celebrate

A fun list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.


A Christian religious holiday commemorating the baptism of Christ and the visit of the Magi among other things. Also known as Twelfth Day.

Twelfth Night

This is the 12th night after Christmas and commemorates the official end of the Christmas season. Remember the “Twelve Days of Christmas”...this is the 12th day/night...the drummers should be drumming.

Sherlock's Birthday

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes crime mysteries were written at the turn of the 20th century and still hold their appeal today. Sherlock and Watson first appeared in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1886. You can download one of his 56 stories or four novels for free.


Down under, Down under

The Tasmanians don't necessarily think of themselves as Australians. We didn't realize this until recently. They think of themselves as...Tasmanians...a world apart from “Australia”, which they seem to consider a separate country. It's not so different from the way Alaska and Hawaii view the contiguous 48 states. Tasmanians say that they're down under, down under and in fact, we are pretty far south of “down under”, truth be told. We've actually found this same feeling evident in many isolated islands that we've visited. The islanders feel the central government and happenings “on the mainland” have little to do with their lives here. Being an island, Tasmania has its own unique flora and fauna. The Tasmanian devil is found nowhere else in the world, but we'd certainly heard of them before. We'd never heard of the extinct Tasmanian tiger though. Other animals such as the spotted quoll, pademelon and bettong are less well-known. Tasmania has many species which have become, or are on the verge of extinction on mainland Australia which means that this island is a last chance for many species.

There are lots of jokes about Tasmania and its inhabitants, mostly made by Australians who haven't visited and consider the island twenty years behind the times. The main joke stems from the fact that the people from this isolated island are inbred and a true Tasmanian has two heads. "Watch out for people with a scar on the shoulder"! (The scar is left after the second head was removed). The MONA website states that Tasmanian residents may enter for free with proof of residence (ID card and/or proof of two heads). Six fingers are sometimes mentioned as well.

Tasmania holds its own when it comes to specialty foods. The longer we live here, the more discoveries we make. I talked about “pink eyes” before, the potato that all the veggie stands were advertising. Come to find out, it's the traditional potato grown here in Tassie and lots of folks we've met from Australia didn't know about them either. Another Tassie specialty comes from King Island in the middle of the Bass Strait which is known for its dairy products, especially wonderful cheeses. We can vouch for the richness and quality of the their double brie variety. We're hooked on it.

And then there's Valhalla ice cream. Oh, my, this is a “died and gone to heaven” experience for ice cream lovers. Fifty flavors of heaven, in fact, made right here in Tasmania. One interesting flavor is pepperberry, made with native Tasmanian bush pepper. It's spicy, a little hot and combined with the cold, creamy sweetness of the ice cream, it's pretty good.

There are all those fine Tasmanian cool climate wines and there's smoked salmon from the local salmon farms and oysters and don't forget the apples. Since Captain Bligh planted the first Granny Smith apple tree on Bruny Island, Tasmania has been the Apple Isle.

What's particularly interesting is that Tasmania is considered the mainland to several other unique islands like Bruny, Maria, Flinders, and King Islands and the natives there probably feel the same way about Tassie as the Taswegians feel about Australia. Hobart is a small city by metro standards, but compared to Alonnah on Bruny Island, it's a metropolis.

All things are relative, I guess. Being resident in the Roaring 40's for these last few months, we can definitely attest to feeling down under, down under...and loving it.