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A long weekend in Tasmania’s capital city – Hobart

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Several years ago my friend and her partner invited me to a long weekend in Hobart which is the capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania and about a three hour flight from Canberra where I live.  We stayed at a friend’s apartment overlooking the water which sounded great to me.  The views we had from the apartment were over the Derwent River where the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race finishes.  This race is a huge event that starts in Sydney on Boxing Day where boats sail for over 1,170 kms to finish in Castray Esplanade on the Derwent River.

The apartment was huge and the views spectacular overlooking not only the water but also lovely little tug boats, incredibly expensive cruise and speed boats and docked cruise ships.

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We did a bit of sight seeing around Hobart which included the famous Salamanca outdoor markets which are open every Saturday morning next to the waterfront where we were staying.  It’s a great place to visit with over 300 stallholders selling delicious home-made food, artisan jewellery, Tasmanian handcrafted timbers, handmade clothing, as well as vintage collectables, pottery, plants and flowers – everything really!!

We also took a small boat tour around the harbour which was lovely and we were fortunate to have great weather as Hobart has similar weather to England (pretty cold) but the air is so fresh and the sun hitting the water, made it just a lovely time of the year.

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Copy of Picture 020And we also drove up to the next largest city in Hobart; Launceston.  There are great views along the way but I much prefer Hobart as it’s such a cultural city – actually not a great fan of Launceston I must say.  We just stopped for some lunch and then returned to Hobart.Copy of Picture 003

Every morning we would start off with a long walk around Hobart streets and around the waterfront.  We saw lots of interesting sculptures along the way – penguins with jumpers on was one of them.

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One morning on our regular walk, we saw the MV Sea Shepherd coming to dock.  This is an Australian ship with an Aussie crew and they had just come back from defending the killing of whales by the Japanese and others in the Great Southern Ocean.  Because of my passion for animal welfare, we stopped and waited for the ship to dock and saw the incredibly tired crew and my friend and I were interviewed by the local media on why we were there.  You can see in the next photograph where the ship was rammed by Japanese Whaling ships.

Picture 081The crew was collecting donations for their cause so my friend Sandy and I donated some money and then she took a photograph of me with Captain Paul Watson – a hero in my eyes!!Picture 076In 2007 the MV Sea Shepherd was officially re-named the Steve Irwin in honor of the late Australian conservationist. The name change was announced at a press conference by Irwin’s widow Terri Irwin and Captain Paul Watson just prior to the ship’s departure to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.  Terri said that Steve would have been extremely honored to be acknowledged in this way as he shared Sea Shepherd’s passion for saving whales.

Picture 077 One other day we drove out to the Huon Pine Forest.  Huon pines are very slow growing and can live to be over 2000 years old. They grow in the temperate rainforests of the south-west of the state  and are only found in Tasmania.

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This is where there is a swinging bridge that extends 100 metres over the river – much too high for me to walk across so I walked the twenty minute looped pathway whilst my friends walked across the bridge.

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The route I took was so less scary; excellent pathways and boardwalks!!Copy of Picture 026Picture 051Tasmania has such beautiful forests and rain forests and this forest was no exception with beautiful views over the river and mountains.Picture 042Picture 117

Picture 116And finally we visited the Hastings Caves which also has hot springs. We took a lovely walk through the caves which were discovered in 1917 by some timber workers cutting trees near the entrance.  Picture 040

I loved this time in Hobart and spending time with my friend Sandy in such a beautiful and huge apartment…wonderful!!