Winter weekend in Hobart
Admittedly a winter weekend in Tasmania could possibly be a sign of madness but with cheap flights on offer it was a risk I’m so glad I took. We were blessed with cool weather but no rain & I thank Mother Nature for her kindness. We based ourselves in Hobart, staying at the MACq01 overlooking Constitution Dock. This historic dock is adjacent to Salamanca Place with both areas offering plenty of dining options. Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city & is known for its well-preserved historic architecture, much of it dating back to the Georgian and Victorian eras, giving the city a distinctly "Old World" feel. There are plenty of memorials & public art celebrating its past & the working-class life of its founding people.
Amongst all this history I must say my favourite discovery was in St David’s Park. A major feature of the park is the memorial wall which is made up of many of the original headstones from the park’s previous life as the Hobart colony’s first cemetery. It contains the names and details of many who arrived with the “First Fleet” as well as the early settlers of Hobart Town.
A thoughtful stroll around the park's wall of headstones gives a poignant picture of life and death in the colony's early days as there are many headstones for children from those days when children’s life expectancy was not very high. There are also memorials to those settlers who came from Norfolk Island to become part of the new settlement in 1807. A register compiled at the time shows that at least 900 people were once buried under the lush green turf of St David's Park. Some were reburied at Cornelian Bay, most were allowed to sleep on under the now carefully-tended gardens and lawns.
George Kearly, who was the first white male child born in Tasmania, is the first stone on the wall as you enter from Salamanca Place.
Although hilly Hobart itself is a very walk-able city. There are plenty of dining options to suit all tastes & budgets along with breweries & also Lark Distillery, founded in 1992 & is Tasmania’s first legal distillery since 1839, you will not struggle for a place to be if the chilly winter weather closes in.
Further afield if you have rented a car check out Mt Wellington which stands in sentinel above the town itself.
Richmond village & its convict history that includes the construction of what is now Australia’s oldest usable stone bridge.
A 90-minute drive through the stunning Tasman peninsula will take you to the all-day experience of Port Arthur, a place of immense hardship, brutal punishment & breathtaking beauty.
Hobart in winter may seem like madness but to me it was a perfect weekend getaway.