Category Archives: Hobart

— Hobart —

Farm Gate Market – the Hobart locals’ go-to favourite

WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 24, 2016

  • On Sunday locals flock to a market that’s off the map for most tourists. Megan Blandford plays Tassie native for a day.

    Apparently there’s some big market in Hobart on Saturdays (the famous Salamanca market), but the locals leave the visitors to it and save their shopping lists for Sunday; it’s as though they know something we don’t.

    They are, indeed, holding a special secret. When Sunday rolls around, the Farm Gate Market closes off a block to create an inner-city food haven. It’s Hobart’s other great market, a low-key affair that’s gathered a loyal following of locals and visitors in its six years of life. But this isn’t just any farmers’ market: this is one with a Tasmanian twist.

    Octopus tentacles sizzle on the barbecue, laksas are made to order, while wood-fired garlic pizzas and wallaby burritos all compete for your nose’s attention. People wander with baskets brimming with fruit, veggies and flowers, sipping their choice of coffee or bone broth past a farmer shucking oysters at his small stall.

    “The oysters are harvested on the Friday or Saturday,” says Mark Burnell from Hobart Oyster House. “I pop down to Bruny Island, get the oysters, bring them to the shop and then load up the trailer to bring them to the market on Sunday morning.”

    Further along there’s a queue of a couple of dozen people, moving slowly, at an unassuming-looking van.

    They could join a faster-moving line at another stall, but no one is jumping ship; they’re dedicated to the wait, led perhaps by the subtle, inviting aroma of freshly grated Tasmanian wasabi. At this small stall, Japanese sushi master Masaaki is obviously in no rush.

    “At my first market, I just took pre-made sushi rolls from my shop in Geeveston (in the Huon Valley),” he says. “It went very well and I sold everything, but I wasn’t quite happy because I know how fresh sushi tastes.”

    He chats to customers, making their sushi like a carefully constructed piece of art, knowing that those waiting understand that the pre-made stuff they’re used to is a very different taste to his offerings using local seafood and vegetables from his garden.

    Eating in the city streets, the crisp breeze flying in from the harbour, tapping your feet to the busker of the day: Sunday mornings don’t get much better than this (except when you finish off with a sourdough doughnut).

    Hobart locals are smart: they want a weekly food experience to remember. And it seems the Farm Gate Market is where tastebud memories are made.

    Details:

    When and where? The Farm Gate Market is on Bathurst Street, between Murray and Elizabeth streets, every Sunday 8:30am – 1pm.

    Our top picks

    • A Bruny Island oyster (or six) from Hobart Oyster House
    • Hobart’s best coffee at Bury Me Standing
    • Masaaki’s famous sushi – it’s worth the wait
    • Wallaby breakfast burrito from Pacha Mama Mexican
    • Lady Hester’s sourdough doughnut with dark chocolate and sticky rhubarb

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    — Hobart —

    While you’re at MONA… 5 Hobart local secrets

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MARCH 18, 2016

    MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), of course, is a must-do when you’re in Hobart, but what else do locals do when they’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Janelle Noble, MONA Pavilions manager, shares her top 5 must see and do’s.

    1. Mount Field NP

    This national park is only one hour’s drive from Mona. It has amazing scenery, a wide range of native wildlife and picturesque alpine vegetation. Russell Falls is a must-see!

    2. Shene Estate

    Be captivated by the beauty and atmosphere of this true historic gem. As well as being a remarkable heritage property, Shene it is also one of Tasmania’s newest distilleries.

    3. Pigeon Hole Cafe

    A boutique cafe serving delicious local and seasonal produce sourced as much as possible from Weston Farm, which conforms to organic and sustainable farming practices. Pigeon Hole has great coffee, too!

    4. The Nook

    Browse through unique home décor, giftware, fashion and jewellery at The Nook, almost all supplied by talented local designers and artisans.

    5. Hops, Hooch & Heritage tour

    Exclusive to in-house guests, this tour includes behind-the-scenes experiences at historic properties. Hear about beer and whisky production, visit Moo Brew, feed trout and salmon where they were introduced to Australia, and roam centuries-old gardens. See Bespoke Tasmania

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    — Hobart —

    Restaurant Review: Franklin, Hobart – Tasting Tasmania

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • FEBRUARY 1, 2016

    Edwina Dick visits Hobart’s acclaimed new(ish) restaurant where Tasmania tastes as good as it looks.

    Patting a native fur, my dining companion Alice asks: “Oh, can I sit on a possum please, I’m a bit chilly?”

    “Of course… actually, it’s a hybrid of possum and wallaby,” answers a waiter with a wink as we take our seats. I don’t hide my grimace well. Alice was raised on a farm though; she’s not irked in the slightest.

    Wallaby pelts (resplendent with full tails) won’t appeal to everyone. There’s no doubt, though, set against the swanky simplicity of polished concrete and simple ’50s-style furniture, the feel is unapologetically Tasmanian. Such is the glorious enigma of Hobart dining sensation, Franklin.

    Local, distinctly Tasmanian produce

    Here, head chef David Moyle, (previously of Byron’s The Pacific Dining Room and Franklin’s predecessor, The Stackings) is revered for his bold edit of exquisite local produce, prepared with reverence.

    Seasoned with flavours of the wild, think toasted saltbush, dried oyster and wakame butter, these elements come together for sublime eating at Franklin.

    “There’s no Tassie sparkling!” laments Alice, scrutinising the French-heavy wine list.

    Franklin only stocks natural wines and just two Tasmanian numbers make the cut. We settle on a glass of Gringet (a ginger-based dry sparkling wine) and start selecting our feast.

    “This is really special,” says Alice, pointing to the listing of whole wood-roasted abalone.

    “Some people might balk at $72, but you never, ever see abalone on a Tasmanian restaurant menu… it’s normally exported to Asia immediately.”

    We won’t order it today, but we spy our neighbours’ delight with theirs.

    Seriously special seafood

    Ten out of the 14 Franklin dishes star seafood, but we’re not talking your regular ‘name an Aussie fish dish’ picks. The selection and preparation is far more rarefied: steamed periwinkles; grains cooked with braised nettles and southern calamari; raw sea urchin in nasturtium leaves.

    The flawless brine of the Southern Ocean renders the delicate urchins remarkable. Wrapped in the leaf of my Nanna’s favourite flower, today they come topped with an ounce of softly cooked onion. I’m incredulous that a serve of two is just $8.

    We go on. A plate of raw kingfish with salted daikon and fresh horseradish is Van Diemen’s Land sashimi. Japanese in inspiration, Tasmanian to the core.

    Then we share a soup so extraordinary I’ll bore others about it for years: dried scallop broth with raw scallops, creamed celeriac and anise. Dressed with a scattering of garlic flower buds, it’s celestial to the eye, and umami gold to the mouth.

    From the pasture too…

    We move on to coastal pastures with Angus beef tartare, permeated by blackened eggplant and dried olive. Earthy and sweet, our 2012 Fanny Sabre Cotes de Beaune Rouge Burgundy makes the ideal coupling. Still there are three more dishes to come; and each one we fawn over.

    The new Hobart, post-Mona, is dashing, yet unpretentious. Refined but still raw. It is, after all, just two steps from wilderness, and Australia’s last stop before Antarctica.

    Here in the elegant pared back space of Franklin, you can literally taste the place. “So, when are you coming to Hobart again?” asks Alice.

    “Soon,” I answer. “Very soon”.

    The Details: Franklin

    Where: 30 Argyle St, Hobart, 02 6234 3375, Franklinhobart.com.au

    Verdict: Farm (and ocean)-to-table fans seeking a menu with edge, are set to be thrilled at Franklin. The price tag is determined by how exotic you decide to go.

    Score: 5/5

    We rated: The audacious, umami-weighted menu, combined with knowledgeable, easy service. The kitchen being ‘centre stage’ is a winner, too.

    We’d change: It’d be great to have a wider range of ‘affordable’ wines to choose from. The cheapest bottle is $50, with most ranging between $60 to $80.

    Notes: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am, the daytime menu is cafe in style. Visit in the evening for the full culinary experience.

    All AT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.

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    — Hobart —

    The artful Salamanca Place shopping guide

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 23, 2015

    Nestled in the foothills of Battery Point between Hobart city and Sullivan’s Cove lies a strip of nearly 200-year-old sandstone warehousing with a chequered past. Constructed by convicts during the whaling boom of the early nineteenth-century for local merchants, these warehouses stored whale oil, grain, wood, apples and, later, the odd brothel and several inns attracting wild characters and salty sailors.

    These days, while the famous Salamanca Market attracts thousands of tourists each Saturday, every other day offers a more relaxed pace, allowing visitors to peruse every corner of the historic arts and crafts precinct. And, as Kristie Hayden discovers, it’s a thoroughly modern shopping experience contrasting beautifully with the preserved Georgian façade of Salamanca Place and the dark cloisters of renowned Salamanca Arts Centre.

    Here are the 10 places you simply have to browse (in no particular order and take your sweet time).

    1. The Maker

    While Tasmanian designer Leonie Struthers makes magic upstairs in her studio, her ground-floor retail space in Salamanca Arts Centre is where she’s willing to share it. Clothing labels LJ Struthers and LJ Junior showcase natural Japanese fabrics, such as linen, cotton and silk, in structured yet flowing designs, all sewn by local artisans. The Maker brand home-wares plus local jewellery designers’ pieces are also featured. But the real treat here is the eclectic mix of Japanese treasures that Struthers collects, her eye for quirky and delightful impeccable. Balsa wood animals (possibly the happiest wooden animals in the world), vintage Japanese books and wall maps are all take-home treasures.

    2. Gallery 77

    Scents of fresh myrtle, blackwood, sassafras and huon pine knock you for six the moment you set foot in Gallery 77. An elegant collection of fine Tasmanian timber, crafted into bowls, toys, plates and boxes, make great keepsakes you cannot find anywhere else. Each piece is original so don’t expect a set of matching bowls, or even two remotely similar – although you’ll want them. Shop assistant Val knows her wood. She’ll educate you on every piece. From salvaged native pepperberry wood bowls to large slabs of uncarved huon, this is both gift shop and a woodworker’s nirvana. Phone (03) 6224 2095

    3. Aspect Design

    Since 1978, Aspect Design has supported Tasmanian artists, using local materials; one of the state’s original local-made galleries. From porcelain to fine glasswork, the collection exudes the quality and proficiency you would expect from 90 handpicked Tasmanian artists. Hot glass artist Peter Rix creates the most divine little glass animals and objects from penguin families, tiny fish, apples and mushrooms. From the plethora of other makers, there are handcrafted wooden chopping boards, coasters, ceramics, and beautiful wooden chests. Even whole dining suites.

    4. Masons Studio Jeweller

    Blink and you’ll miss it, this tiny red-ceilinged artisan studio jeweller is a real gem (pardon the pun). Using traditional goldsmith methods coupled with genius Phil Mason’s creative twist, each piece is utterly unique in its marriage of contemporary appeal to vintage style. Phil works intuitively by hand and eye, forming and soldering each piece with master precision. You could spend hundreds or thousands on anything from Flinders Island topaz to Mason’s signature solitaire diamond depending on your taste and depth of pocket. Son, Tyrus, also lends his motifs and skill to the collection, largely influenced by his love of skateboarding which he has translated into avant-garde contemporary rings.

    5. The Faerie (Fairy) Shop

    Go on, admit it. Your school days were fraught with frustration – despite your best efforts during drama, you never transformed into the fairy you always knew you could be. Frown no longer – Faerie (and Pixie) school is here! Children are transported into the realm of magic where, by a sprinkling of dust, wishes can come true. Prince and princess crowns are made during art lessons and dream-catchers probed in science class. Assistant fairies host birthday parties, tea parties and help keep the shop filled to the brim with a colourful array of fairy paraphernalia.

    6. The Hobart Bookshop

    Located in vibrant Salamanca Square (behind Salamanca Place), this independent bookshop is overflowing with quality reads and is a dynamic part of the local literary community. You could spend hours perusing the titles at The Hobart Bookshop. For visitors looking for quintessentially Tasmanian keepsakes, there’s a fabulous selection of convict reads and interesting Van Diemen’s Land histories. Contemporary novels, cookbooks and biographies are well represented but it’s the second hand section, stocking a goldmine of rare and old Tasmanian books, which gives this place its unique appeal.

    7. Spacebar Gallery

    Through the creaky wooden door off Woobys Lane in a space flanked by Georgian sandstone is a delightfully eclectic gallery embodying the design and craftsmanship of the local art community. Owner and designer of Spacebar Gallery Lisa (Pixe) Link has created a collection of fashion, visual art, jewellery, home-wares and accessories that reflect her love of the innovative and fun. She has developed many in-house brands: Pixe Link, The Velvet Affair (soft bamboo fabrics), Banished (stunning carved bamboo home-wares) and Enjoy The Seconds (contemporary artwork, books and jewellery). www.spacebargallery.com.au

    8. Hammer & Hand

    “By Hammer and hand all arts do stand,” reads the 16th century Blacksmith’s guild motto in the window, declaring the pride harboured by these resident artists. In the rear walkway of Salamanca Arts Centre, eight tenants in this jewellery and metal collective unite to offer an unusual and eclectic assortment of Tasmanian memento, plus workshops for emerging artists. You’d be hard-pressed to find a shop anywhere like this (except for Byron Bay, site of its other co-op). Shop here for unique gifts from forged iron tulip posies to hand-made local stone rings, to Celtic metal-craft to a vibrant jewellery collection made from recycled and discarded materials. See Hammer and Hand

    9. Gallery Salamanca

    Just entering this Australian contemporary art and design gallery is a colourful feast for the eyes. An exceptional display of Tasmania’s talented emerging artists sits among a well-established Australian contingent. From ceramics and jewellery to textiles and fine art, Gallery Salamanca provides a wonderful platform for local artists to communicate their varying passions. Artist Paul Cruttenden’s limited-edition framed surfboards are carved from exquisite, rare timbers exactly to scale. Grouped, mounted and framed, each artwork is its own history of surfing; precise, insightful and utterly beautiful viewing.

    10. Toys To Enjoy

    Forget the plastic-fantastic, forget impossible instructions with questionable translations, and forget losing screws too small for human fingers. Help is nigh! Toys To Enjoy (by name and nature) provides the same delightful things you cherished as a child, toys you know how to build and use. With a background in fine arts and pottery, owner Loretta Olsen has an eye for artisan style and a taste for enduring quality. The compact shop is jam-packed with all manner of tin, wood and canvas. There are kaleidoscopes, metal wind-up clockwork toys, wooden sailboats, doll houses (a suburb’s worth), push-me-pull-me toys and hanging aeroplanes with spinning propellers. Free your inner child!

    — Hobart —

    Salamanca’s historically hip small bar scene

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 4, 2015

    Take a historic strip of Georgian sandstone warehouses on Hobart’s city fringe and flank with Plane trees and sparkling harbour. Add a vivacious arts community, a sprinkle of local corporate souls and a couple of old salts, all thirsty. The result? Hip bars. Grungy haunts. Live music. Kristie Hayden discovers a handful of watering holes along Hobart’s Salamanca Place.

    Cargo bar

    If there is a dictionary definition of ‘arvo session’, Cargo Bar Pizza Lounge is it. In cold weather, snuggle in to leather lounges out back and sip on a Tassie red. Sunny days demand a table outside where southern sunshine warms backs while southern hospitality feeds the pumping crowd. A choice of 20 modishly-named cocktails (like the Raspberry Tart) keeps the whistle wet while waiting for the real treat; Pizzas as crispy as crostini. Toppings as fresh as the wind off the Derwent.

    The vibe: Elegant yet casual; an old bond and storage house with Georgian stone walls, heavy woods and dark floors lend an old world European feel.

    Grape

    Revellers, pull up a retro bar stool indoors around the caged cork bar at Grape or settle under one of the heated canopies outside. The Sunday session is in order. Move to groovy jazz tunes from local musos under exposed-beamed ceilings fit for the set of Game Of Thrones. An impressive selection of Tasmanian, Australian and international wines nestle in racks against the sandstone walls creating a cellar-come-cave like atmosphere tempting the palate.

    Hungry: From the ever-evolving menu, slurp on Tasmanian oysters, munch on pork belly or fried chicken sliders or brave the crowd favourite, jalapeno and smoked cheddar croquettes.

    Jack Greene

    They say crowds flock for the craft beers and gourmet burgers at Jack Greene (and they’re good), but really this place is all about atmosphere. A sea of pendant lights hang from the ceiling like caged fireflies and hundreds of beer coasters and books pose as art-work on rafters and walls.
    Ascend from the dimly lit European-inspired tavern up the stairs to another room where a quieter atmosphere inspires conversation from big leather and velvet armchairs next to an open fire-place amid antique furniture with views of Salamanca.

    On a good night: Patrons cram around the marble bar placing orders while a bloke, neatly positioned under the stairs, plays guitar and expertly croons James Blunt and INXS to the growing crowd.

    Knopwoods Retreat

    Retaining its old-English-style pub feel from the good old days when sailors, whalers and ‘fine’ women frequented, ‘Knoppies’ has a truly historic atmosphere and was actually the first watering hole in Salamanca. The sweeping curved nautical-inspired bar punctuated with vibrant leadlight windows holds up an old faithful contingent plus a steady flow of tourists.

    The new and the old: The first hotel to offer Guinness on tap (the toucan trophy on the wall proves it) and serving locally produced Gillespie’s alcoholic ginger beer plus 14 tap draught beers and a bloody mary menu, there are so many choices you’d be “bloody fussy” to not find something to your liking, well, that’s what the staff say anyway.

    Quarry Salamanca

    Fancy a little taste of Japan in Hobart? You’ll be happy to stumble upon this treasure, if only for a unique range of Japanese craft beer on tap. Move from beer to wine and lounge amid sandstone walls and arches, absorbing two-hundred years of architecture and a glass of Bruny Island unwooded chardonnay. An award winning restaurant dishing up modern local cuisine and some of the best cocktail shakers in town render Quarry Salamanca the full package.

    Sweet potato beer? Manager Isabell says; “We want to push people out of their comfort zone with beer choices.” Such as Coedo Benaika Imperial Sweet Potato Amber which delivers on both name-length and punchy malty caramel-y taste.

    — Hobart —

    Review: Montacute Boutique Bunk House, Hobart – chic on a budget?

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

    Is there ever, ever any instance where shared bathrooms can be chic, asks Winsor Dobbin? A night in Tasmania’s new Montacute Boutique Bunk House should answer that… 

    Rose Flynn and Antony Langdon, the livewire young owners of Hobart’s chic new accommodation offering, reckon they opened Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse because they “know that
    a trip to Tasmania can add up”.

    Is it a hotel? Not really. Is it a guesthouse? Not exactly. Is it a hostel? Well… not like any hostel you’ve stayed at before. It has been described as perfect for those with champagne tastes on a cider budget, and with the word ‘bunkhouse’ in its name, perhaps that’s as close as we’ll get… for now.

    Set in a beautifully restored 1895 mansion in the Hobart suburb of Battery Point (though in the interests of factual integrity, allow us to point out that an extension was added in 1910), Montacute is, well, cute. From the outside it looks like the gracious old mansion it is, with delightful gardens and a walking-distance location of Salamanca Place.

    Inside, renovations and tasteful decorating have resulted in what looks like a chic, boutique hotel with lovely lounges, verandahs and plenty of cosy nooks and crannies. Bedrooms are simply furnished but comfortable, featuring crisp cotton linen (tick), fluffy pillows (tick), reading lamps (tick…) and… powerpoints. Tick?

    OK, so the rooms are basic. But they’re still so very cute – which doesn’t quite explain how they could be priced from just $50 per person, per night, In fact, we’re left standing in our cosy little corner, scratching our heads, until it hits us: there’s no bathroom. Right.

    So Montacute is luxurious and welcoming – and brilliantly situated, don’t forget – but only if you’re willing to compromise on having your own facilities. (And we do mean all facilities – the kitchen is also shared. And although I’m happy to report that, unlike the very few hostels I’ve had the joy of experiencing, it’s blessedly clean and new, there’s plenty of fridge and freezer space in this one, and there’s even a few nice, grown-up appliances, like a sandwich maker.)

    But back to the (lack of) bathrooms. The idea of brushing my teeth next to a stranger brings back vague memories of rainy school camps, which I’m not particularly interested in revisiting, but here we are, just us and the shared bathrooms, and after several hours’ travel, there’s no way I’m not having the required long, hot shower.

    And it’s… fine. Better than fine, even. The bathrooms are bright, modern and – honest – impeccably clean. So much so that, by the end of my stay, I’ve almost come around to this sharing business. I’m happy enough to share the warmth of the open fire in the cosy sitting room. I’m fine to share the balcony with other couples, taking advantage of the intimate tables for two. I’m even fine to share the lovely lawn, which has outdoor tables with umbrellas, and picnic rugs for those who want to laze about in the sun. The only thing I’m not sharing is my glass of Tasmanian red, and no one seems to mind about that too much.

    The website explains that they don’t want to diminish your Tassie experience ‘by staying anywhere less than luxurious’, which is just about bang on – for this price, it is luxurious. Which is a Very Good Thing, because we spend far too much on the many fantastic restaurants nearby, and though I still wouldn’t call myself a shared bathroom kind of guy, in this instance I’m quite happy to make an exception… for a night or two, anyway.

    The details: Montacute Boutique Bunk House

    The verdict: Lovely rooms and setting and a money-saver for those happy to share bathrooms and kitchen facilities.
    The score: 15.5/20; great
    We rated: Free wi-fi throughout the property is a lead many chain hotels could follow.
    We hated: The fact there was no mirror in our room.
    Where: In a chic, heritage suburb just a five-minute walk from Hobart’s bustling Salamanca waterfront precinct.1 Stowell Avenue, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania
    Notes: Shared rooms with four bunks from $40 per person, per night. Private double rooms $100 a night.
    Contact: 03 6212 0474; montacute.com.au

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    — Hobart —

    10 reasons why you must go to MONA

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • JUNE 26, 2014

    There’s an uncountable number of reasons to scribble Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) on your bucket list, says Carla Grossetti. Here are her top 10…

    1. For a kick up the arts

    A tumble down the theatrically-lit, underground inverted pyramid that is MONA is almost a hallucinatory trip. This avantgarde museum, founded by gambling magnate David Walsh, contains exhibits that are both delightful and deeply disturbing. As with Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter, who runs his life based on his mind, the museum seems to hold a looking glass up to the inner workings of Walsh’s algorithmic elements. The 51-year-old, who helped develop complex computer programs that benefit from gambling, spent some $80 million building the museum, which has attracted more than 950,000 visitors since it opened in 2011, making it one of the most major philanthropic contributions to Australia in decades.

    2. To dance with your demons

    In a room with all the coolness of a morgue is an euthanasia machine beside an armchair and lamp. My Beautiful Chair describes what would be happening to your body when a lethal dose of drugs is injected into the system. Senior curator Nicole Durling says she has seen many faces “crumple in tears” when confronted with their own mortality. Equally intense is Austrian-born Kurt Hentschlager’s Zee, a fog-filled room with flashing LED lights. “About one in 500 people have an epileptic fit,” Durling says.

    3. To view a peep show with a difference

    Take a long, hard look at yourself when you go to the toilet in Locus Focus, by Gelitin. The deepmirrored toilet room comes with binoculars so you can ponder your private bits when you have the urge to purge. While this may sound like an act of grossout lunacy, it’s also an effective way to flush out the retentive in our midst, in a society Durling says is “steeped in denial”. She argues the act of peering at one’s self while expelling waste has a rather grounding effect, leaving us “better placed to confront other ugly internal truths”.

    4. To put sex in the frame

    Art and sex are wicked bedfellows in some of the more irreverent spaces within MONA, which Walsh has billed as a ‘subversive Disney theme park for adults’. The notoriously mediashy maths whiz has said he wants to “present art that demands an emotional response”. He has done that in spades with works devoted to sex that veer from confronting to comedic to thought-provoking. Peer at bearded transsexuals, murals of naked couples copulating, a sculptural wall of women’s vulvas, giant, um, doodles, and voyeuristic peepholes filled with objects designed to challenge rather than titillate.

    5. To tear apart your expectations

    As well as featuring works from artists as diverse as Brett Whiteley, Sidney Nolan, Pablo Picasso and Damien Hirst, Durling says the aim is to challenge visitors to think about what’s behind that creative drive to make art. One artwork that is a must-see, according to Durling, is The Life of Christian Boltanski – a French artist, whose every move in his Paris studio will be streamed live at MONA until he dies. The longer he lives, the more his artwork will cost and Walsh hopes to win his devilish gamble, betting that the artist will die within eight years.

    6. To party in the Posh Pit

    MONA has sprouted a few mad permanent popups. Nab a spot in the Posh Pit aboard the MONA ROMA 1 fast ferry ($50 return from Hobart’s docks) in order to make an entrance at events that range from music festivals to Cinemona, to seasonal celebrations such as Dark Mofo, celebrating winter through large-scale public art, food, music, light and noise. Also worth circling on your calendar is Mona Foma (15–19 January 2014) – which has attracted artists such as PJ Harvey and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – as well as the regular MoFolk on Saturdays and JAM, gigs curated by Violent Femmes’ bassist Brian Ritchie, on Sundays.

    7. To see a crap exhibit

    …literally. Fittingly, it feels like you are in the bowels of the earth when you enter the cavernous space that houses Cloaca Professional (‘the poo machine’) by Wim Delvoye. Attend a feeding of the giant digestive machine at 11am or 4pm or watch the strangely compelling 2pm bowel movement, when Cloaca delivers a Mr Whippy-like mound of faecal matter preceded by a resounding ‘plop’. The excrement is then dutifully presented to the ‘arty-farty’ crowd, who dry-retch on cue. According to Durling, the installation is the most “loathed but most visited piece of art in the museum”. BYO vomit bag.

    8. To avoid ‘Art Wank’

    Let your mood decide where to wander around the windowless bunker or use the in-house iPod, which features Art Wank (a straight-shooting blurb about the work); Ideas (objectives behind the work); Gonzo (a personal response to the work, often delivered by Walsh); or Audio. Durling says if too many people press ‘like’ while pondering a piece Walsh will insist it is removed at once. “As well as wanting to democratise art [Tasmanian locals gain free entry] we want the works to pack a wallop,” says Durling.

    9. To tie the knot

    Belgian artist Wim Delvoye (the Cloaca creator) has built a chapel nearby to MONA, which, naturally, has a few twists. Given Walsh describes MONA as a “temple to atheism”, don’t expect the chapel to contain narratives around saints or passages from the Bible. Instead, the stained glass windows feature sexualised images of “mice copulating and other everyday things”.

    10. To wine, dine, stay & play

    When you emerge from the brooding confines of the museum, check-in at one of eight luxe pavilions, all named after an artist or architect who has impacted MONA. Enjoy a glass of wine at Walsh’s award-wining Moorilla Estate, sample his signature Moo Brew beer and explore the warped artworks on the headland overlooking the River Derwent. After some posh nosh at The Source, return to the guts of the museum for a shot of absinthe at the Void and prepare for your palms to start sweating again.

    The details: MONA

    Admission is $20 per adult.
    MONA Fast Ferry is $20 per adult (return general ticket); $50 per adult (return Posh Pit)
    Accommodation is from $600 per night (depending on pavilion)

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    — Hobart —

    100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #28 take a Hobart weekend

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • APRIL 1, 2014

    Score: 8.44

    We’re not surprised that a weekend holiday in Hobart has earned such a high score; the city has been sculpting a smorgasbord of artistic endeavours ripe for the exploring (and eating) for years now. We reckon the frankly remarkable experience of MONA is chief on the to-do list, alongside the three-hatted sensory delight of Garagistes, but even the mountainous skyline is a pretty work of art.

    A day in Hobart – according to Max Anderson: “Gorge yourself in any of the establishments in wonderful Salamanca Place, drinking in the maritime history as well as the champion pinots. You’re moments from the shuttle ferry that will take you to Australia’s greatest triumph since the Opera House, the mind-altering experience that is MONA. After going underground, treat yourself to sky-gazing on the lawns outside the Moo Brew Brewery or do the sensational The Source Restaurant.”

    And now, your excuse to book flights… The schedule and dates of MONA’s annual winter festival, Dark Mofo, have just been announced – and it sounds brilliant. Themed around darkness and timed to coincide with winter solstice, expect large-scale public art, food, music, light and a nude solstice swim, of course. From 12–22 June; More info: MONA

    Plan your Great Australian Holiday with our sponsors Discovery Holiday Parks
    Discovery Holiday Parks

     

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    Holidays
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    — Hobart —

    Review: MONA’s The Source – artfully executed?

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

    The Museum of Old and New Art has shocked and delighted visitors worldwide but, asks Angeline Nicholas, can its cuisine do the same?

    A vessel emerges menacingly on the horizon at Hobart’s waterfront. Decked out in Navy camouflage, it quietly skims over the jet-black water. My ride to lunch has arrived. To be fair I was expecting a commuter catamaran with a friendly bearded captain, not a military invasion.

    The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is the crown jewel in millionaire David Walsh’s self-built estate. Infamous for its controversial exhibits on sex, death, bodily functions and nudity; be warned, this place is no Disneyland.

    I’m offloaded and follow the signs to The Source restaurant, passing odd sculptures and two car spots, one marked ‘Reserved for God’ and the other ‘Reserved for God’s Mistress’. They are, in case you’re wondering, both empty.

    The Source is a beautiful aquarium of a room with sweeping views of the harbour and mountains. I’m shown my seat by the maître d’ who explains I can have three, five, seven or nine courses. I start with five, having been warned that seven and above are for the truly hungry.

    The first course arrives. Tasmanian green beans and late season figs, dotted with flaked almonds and frothy mounds of almond milk foam. It’s beautifully presented, a lovely combination of vibrant greens and soft purples, but nutty almond milk aside, the flavours are nothing terribly out of the ordinary.

    Then my heart quickens. A smooth black disc is deposited in front of me. “Spanner crab,” the maître d’ announces. Delicate white crab meat has been lightly cooked with crunchy pink shallots and piled into a perfect white mound. A smoked Bruny Island oyster lies languidly on one side, while a sliver of Pedro Ximénez gelée slides down on the other – a soft, tart ribbon of sweetness. Dollops of oyster emulsion and playful triangles of foie gras complete the scene. The foie gras is subtle but its creamy richness provides a lovely smooth contrast to the textured seafood.

    The next course appears to be three gargantuan scallops. “Are they scallops on steroids?” I cheekily enquire. No, the creamy coloured mounds are gnocchi, flavoured with scallop finished with ponzu foam. I bite into one and am rewarded with a silky, custard-like texture, the salty ponzu contrasting beautifully with a bittersweet yuxu paste below.

    Head chef Philippe Leban is French born and Australian bred, but his cooking displays a strong Japanese influence – like the slow-cooked, honey-glazed duck with apple miso sauce followed by the green tea-inspired dessert.

    Cross-cultural food is a beautiful thing, I muse, breaking through a perfect cylinder of green tea crystalline to find a soft, velvety lime mousse beneath. It brings together different walks of life to create something new and unexpected. Not too dissimilar to MONA’s approach to art, really.

     

    The details 

    The verdict
    Well-executed food and flawless service. Just don’t assume the restaurant will shock and awe like the MONA exhibits.

    The score
    16; great

    We rated
    The creativity of the kitchen and their willingness to please.

    We hated
    Larger servings of the pastes and sauces would have been a bonus.

    Where
    Museum of Old and New Art, 655 Main Road Berriedale, Hobart, Tasmania

    Notes
    The degustation menu for three, five, seven or nine courses will set you back $75, $115, $145 and $175 respectively. Matching wines are also an option.

    The fast ferry leaves from Hobart’s Brooke St Wharf and costs $20 return. $50 will buy you tickets to the ‘posh pit’ where complimentary drinks and canapés are served. Other transport options include seaplane, helicopter, bike hire or chauffeured Audi.

    Contact
    03 6277 9904; mona.net.au/mona/restaurant

     

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    — Hobart —

    Hobart world’s second friendliest city

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • AUGUST 8, 2013

    There is only one city in the world friendlier than our own Hobart, according to a new survey.

    The Tasmanian city was only outfriendly-ed by Florianopolis, Brazil, in a reader survey which appeared in the UK- and US-based travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.

    The magazine’s readers painted a fine picture of laid-back Hobart, heaping praise on it such as “a truly unique part of the world,” and “they know how to treat visitors”.

    Margaret River managed sixth on the list and New Zealand’s Queenstown smiled its way to fourth.

    The annual ‘Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities In The World’ was voted on by the magazine’s 46,000 readers. It also covers categories including islands, airlines and cruises.

    And the ‘World’s Unfriendliest City’, according to the survey?

    Newark, New Jersey, scores first place with comments such as “I ran into a lot of rude people there”, followed by Islamabad, Pakistan.

    While US cities are well represented in this part of the survey, no Australian cities made the top 20 Unfriendliest list.

    — Hobart —

    Up high in the new heart of Hobart

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • JUNE 13, 2013

    Perched atop a nine-storey office tower overlooking Hobart’s Salamanca Wharf is this: the newly-opened Avalon City Retreat.

    But it’s more than just your standard penthouse – please, this is a fully self-contained omnipod; a modular design that can be lifted and relocated to, well, anywhere.

    Not that there’s anything portable-looking about the interior. Two king-sized bedrooms with custom-made beds, ensuite bathrooms and a fully-stocked kitchen (we mean fully – with everything from wines and whiskies to seriously gourmet pre-made dinners if you don’t feel like venturing out).

    And while the art collection has been thoughtfully curated, and the complimentary champagne isn’t bad either, the real highlight is on the private deck. Despite a 10-seater dining table for gatherings, we think you’ll rather enjoy it on your own, taking in the city skyline from your moonlounge – that’s a sunbed that can be illuminated like a lamp.

    And once you tire of this, there’s an outdoor artisan Huon Pine bath to soak in, where you can star-gaze, sip your sparkling and, well, just bliss out…

    avalonretreats.com.au

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    — Hobart —

    A culinary cheat-sheet for Hobart’s Salamanca Place

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 16, 2013

    Owners of Castray Esplanade Food + Wine, Michael Roberts and his wife Karen, are both well-known Tassie foodies with over 30 years’ experience in the business. Michael shares his dining tips  for dining experiences under $50 around Salamanca.

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    — Hobart —

    Review: Salamanca Wharf Hotel, Hobart’s new base camp

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • MAY 13, 2013

    The design of Hobart’s newest hotel draws inspiration from the icy region of Antarctica, but does Stephanie Williams encounter a warm reception?

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    — Hobart —

    100 Incredible Travel Secrets #30 Villa Howden, Tas

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • APRIL 3, 2013

    Hotel hideaway for the landed gentry

    Villa Howden, Hobart, Tas

    With bubbles on arrival, antique furnishings, self-playing pianos and manicured gardens with croquet sets, Villa Howden is no ordinary boutique stay.

    “I wanted to buy everything in my room. Loved it!” says Rowntree, scoring it 10.

     Prev<<<< Milk Beach, Sydney, NSW  Next >>>> Bouddi National Park, NSW

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     Villa Howden

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    — Hobart —

    10 Tasmanian markets worth visiting

    WRITTEN BY EDITOR • FEBRUARY 27, 2013

    Tasmania is a hotbed of unique pieces and incredible finds – and nowhere more so than its thriving market scene. Here, some of the best spots to go treasure hunting. Words by Elspeth Callender.

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    — Hobart —

    The Mill on Morrison

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

    Elspeth Callender gets a taste of some of Hobart’s bright local talent. Continue reading

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    — Hobart —

    100 Best Views In Australia #17 Cape Hauy, TAS

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it? Tasman Peninsula, 95km south-east of Hobart

    How to see it for yourself?

    This view is at the end of the cape, which has a detached sea stack known as the Candlestick. These dolerite seacliffs are among the tallest and oldest in Australia. Kayaking is available with operators such as Roaring 40s Ocean Kayaking. To see it from the land, the Cape Hauy Track is a five-hour return trek that begins in Fortescue Bay, taking in heath and woodland before the views of the cliffs.

    Why I love it

    “This breathtaking view gives me a genuine feel for untouched wilderness. Even better is the experience of walking along the track through a variety of health and woodland that reaches the magnificent views of steep cliffs and rock formations. The spectacular columns and cliffs surrounded by pristine waters are incredible.” – Diane Byrne, Tourism Tasmania

    Image by Toby Story

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    — Hobart —

    100 Best Views In Australia #50 Russell Falls, TAS

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it?

    In Mount Field National Park, 85km north-west of Hobart

    How to see it for yourself?
    Just a 10-minute stroll from the Mt Field National Park Visitors Centre, Russell Falls can be accessed via a sealed path suitable for wheelchairs. The walk will also take you past some of the tallest hardwood trees in the world. Return by the same track or cross a bridge below the falls and follow the creek back.

    Why I love it

    “This unusual, angled view of the dramatic, twotiered Russell Falls has become quite famous, appearing in National Geographic and several other international magazines. I had to balance out on a tree limb to capture the cascade you see here. This shot was taken soon after rainfall, giving the majestic old tree ferns their lush green colouring.” – Ken Duncan

    Image by Ken Duncan 

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    — Hobart —

    100 Best Views In Australia #56 Hobart from Tranmere, TAS

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it?

    13km southeast of Hobart

    How to see it for yourself?
    This shot was taken from the banks of Tranmere Point in Camelot Park, looking towards the tip of the peninsula, directly across the river from Taroona. Follow the Tasman Highway from Hobart, turning off at Bellerive, and following Tranmere Road. There are paths leading down to the water’s edge.

    Why I love it

    “The best way to view Hobart and Mt Wellington is from the eastern side of the Derwent River. Just after sunset, the gentle city lights are majestic.” – Michael Walters

    Image by Michael Walters

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    — Hobart —

    100 Best Views In Australia #67 Mount Wellington, TAS

    WRITTEN BY ADMIN • APRIL 1, 2012

    Where is it?

    About 20km west of Hobart, Pinnacle Road, Wellington Park

    How to see it for yourself?

    Drive to the summit following Pinnacle Road. In winter, the road can close due to snow or ice cover so check beforehand. The lookout is a two-minute walk from the car park. Various tracks allow you to bushwalk, cycle or horse-ride.

    Why I love it

    “The view facing west is like a trip back to the time of dinosaurs. There is something eerie yet beautifully breathtaking. When the sun is setting on you and the wind is still you couldn’t feel more at peace.” – Michael Walters

    Image by Michael Walters
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