A capital city nestled below an alpine mountain – it’s a rare beauty. Wilderness on a city doorstep. A pinnacle with beach views. A 20 minute car ride that can deliver serious wilds. Our mountain Godfather is an ever-present being, keeping watch. But who knew of Wellington’s richer secrets - a 1930s skate rink, toasty hot chocolate at The Springs and hidden huts with bath tubs.
A one hour wander becomes hours of intrepid exploring. But not like 1938 when the Hobart Walking Club set about constructing Luckman’s Hut – rumour has it that women were chief rock carriers back then. Today, we choose a more relaxed option and are handed a hot latte by a pair of Bentwood smiles. Meg and Chris have perched their vintage caravan on the mountain-side and in sunshine or snow deliver warm coffees to the hands of mountain wanderers. It is here that Pepper the pup whispers secrets of where hidden huts might be. We are unsure of where the network of trails might lead, or whether Pepper truly knows being just 12 weeks old.
We head in the direction of big bends, and with only a few wrong turns arrive at the Scout Hut. Little did we know this luxury two-storey dwelling would come with pseudo hammocks, outdoor tub, toasty fire and a precariously positioned chair for absorbing the valley views.
It’s rather spectacular and has all the trimmings of a mountain mansion. Questionable visitor entries suggest of chilly nights, white-outs, limited food supplies and thoughts of tucking into fellow walkers. No doubt, the hut holds many tales of survival.
Hut number two is tricky to find, like all good treasures. Armed with marshmallows and matches though, there is added incentive to find this log-fire dwelling. We head along Panorama Track, before venturing up what is best described as a wombat trail. Following a series of signature square droppings, like a good Hansel and Gretel tale, we arrive at Luckman’s Hut. And to double our luck there is a bottle of unopened beer at the front door. What more could a bushwalker want?
Not all things come easily to explorers though. Leaving the fire warmth, we encounter drifts of snow and chilly toes in search of a 1930s built ice-skating rink. Even a wallaby tries to point us in the right direction.
We ask fellow walkers, who smile and direct us to the Glenorchy skate rink, others shake their head in fascination and doubt of its existence. But if my research is correct, an ice-skating rink was built near the pinnacle, around the time that world war two was breaking out on the other side of the world. For some reason, it becomes an intriguing mission to see it. To think that a dedicated crew prepared a slab with lip design to hold in water that would turn to ice for pirouetting enjoyment.
As luck would have it, we do find the rink. Although it’s not Torvill and Dean standard (neither could swing the other without hitting a nearby shrub) it’s a glimpse into a fun-loving Hobart past. Of course, there are more huts to find and more secrets to reveal but the mountain stories will unravel over time.
As light drops and a shroud of mist blankets the pinnacle, we arrive just in time for a Bentwood muffin and serve it with bottled water direct from the waterfall further up. You may not find a Coopers Ale when visiting Luckman’s Hut but we assure you the ice-cool mountain spring water is always on tap.
Words and images: Alice Hansen (unless otherwise captioned)
P.S. We are dedicated to keeping some local secrets up the mountain but if you’d like to know more about locations of the above just get in touch through Tailored Tasmania and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Come to Hobart and visit MONA. Its top of the list for most visitors, having positioned Tasmania as an art destination among the world’s best. So what could be more fitting than staying in an Arthouse?
Arthouse Salamanca isn’t your typical stay. On the terrace, run your hands across Australia’s oldest sea wall, hand carved by convicts. Rest your head in what feels like a private gallery for four – the walls decorated with a notable Australian art collection and 1890s walls that whisper maritime stories of these former Quarters for Boats Crew.
Light and airy, living spaces flow effortlessly between art-filled sleeping quarters through to the terrace where Sydney to Hobart yachts sail just 500 metres from view. The kitchen with well-stocked Tasmanian pantry begs for nights in and rich conversation over the hand crafted Blackwood table between new and old friends. Arthouse Salamanca is a seamless blend between past and present.
With historic Salamanca Place on the doorstep, Australia’s largest outdoor market is a few steps away each Saturday morning and the bustling restaurants, artist studios and bars of the waterfront are equally close. No need for a car, the MONA ferry is a short stroll from your private multi-level home.
Owned and run by a family of Tasmanian artists, their love of art, design and architecture is a constant - from the bathrooms to the underground den. What’s more it is constantly changing. The walls and space is a moving feast of art and bespoke furnishings for those who return more than once. Every corner, every room has been afforded careful thought and styling by owner Genevieve de Couvreur.
Eclectic books, films and music are on hand including those of Aria-winning Bertie Blackman – who also happens to be Genevieve’s daughter. The heritage listed property holds many surprises for those who stay. Another welcome surprise? Arthouse Salamanca has a sister property at the Bay of Fires on Tasmania’s east coast.
Lonely Planet rated Bay of Fires hottest destination on the planet and just this year named Tasmania fourth best region in the world, so if you’re thinking of heading this way, pick an Arthouse (or two) as your inspiring base. Because they’re more than just a place to sleep, but living galleries.
Sleeps: up to 4 guests (perfect for 2 couples at $350 each per night)
Rates: $700 per night – 2 night minimum stay/$3,800 weekly
Configuration: 2 queen-sized rooms & 2 bathrooms
Location: Salamanca Place
Arthouse Salamanca: www.arthousehobart.com.au
For bookings phone 0457 750 035 or BOOK ONLINE
Arthouse Bay of Fires: www.arthousebayoffires.com.au
ARTHOUSE SALAMANCA GALLERY
ARTHOUSE BAY OF FIRES
A quiet revolution has been taking place in Hobart....and it has a lot to do with a little place named MONA putting us on the international map. Hobart is now an art and cultural destination alongside the world's finest. So now that the Spring birds are chirping, hop on a MONA bicycle (or your own for that matter) and head for MONA. Along the way, you'll come across GASP! (Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park) - a linear 9 hectare public space with three public pavilions and outdoor art.
You'll need a bike - not this one. But keep in mind that back in town there are plenty of independent artists and makers in Salamanca Arts Centre and throughout the city. Oh, and if you must, pop some chocolate down the hatch from Augustus on Collins Street - another brand new offering in Hobart that we missed off our big list of nearly 30 newbies yesterday. All long bike rides require chocolate energy.
Follow the colourful walkways as GASP! stretches 3 kilometres from Montrose Bay to Wilkinson's Point. You'll pass by the Derwent Entertainment Centre and for those looking for an event to attend this weekend don't look past Lord of the Dance - Dangerous Games. Expect feet moving faster than humanly possible, dramatic toe tapping, and well, unicorns. We attended the first show and it was quite the dose of Irish culture.
Keep pedalling until you hit almighty MONA. This is the part where you park your bikes and head underground for your subversive art experience courtesy of David Walsh. And be sure to pull up a pink beanbag on the lawns with some Tasmanian bubbles after you've come up for air.
Heard of Prince of Wales Bay Marina? Why not take a little detour and stop in for coffee down by the yachts on your pedal back. Right beside Incat, this industrial neighbourhood has some ripper views of the mountain and River Derwent, plus a cafe by the water's edge.
Back in the big smoke of Hobart take your pick from a range of events hosted by the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival this weekend. With whisky and page turning encouraged tomorrow night (courtesy of Tasmanian Whisky Tours) and poetry merged with hip hop, there's some serious literary fun to be had.
Words and Images: Alice Hansen
Some are brand spanking, some are ‘newish’ and some doors haven’t even swung open. What’s more, this is just Hobart. We have so much more to bring you….there's whispers of Mexico in North Hobart, some good coffee on its way on the corner of Murray and Brisbane, also newbies headed for Kingston Beach. But for now, let's take a peek at what's popped up in town.
SOCIETY - SALAMANCA
If you’re keen to become part of ‘Hobart Society’ step right this way. Society, in Montpelier Street, is all about the Tassie focus and we love that. Whiskies, gins, cool-climate wines, ciders – you name it and they have a Tasmanian variety. Oh and the charcuterie, oysters or pizza go nicely with a shared bottle of Tasmanian sparkling.
Find out more: SOCIETY
SOUTH SEAS COCKTAIL LOUNGE
If you’re in the know, you will have popped into the tropical tiny-ness that is the South Seas Cocktail Lounge. Barely large enough to turn your ship in, this inviting lounge offers authentic classic cocktails. If you like rum, head this way Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm. If the door says full, that just means others have beaten you there.
SOUTH SEAS COCKTAIL LOUNGE
LILY AND DOT (opening in October)
Lily and Dot is the creation of Katinka Challen. Nothing is sweeter than a store named after two grandmothers. As it turns out, Lily taught Katinka how to sew and Dot taught her how to crochet. It’s likely Lily and Dot would be smiling over their tea cups at her store, where you’ll find gifts for baby and home, handmade Tasmanian wares and whimsical vintage pieces for little ones and grown-ups. And be prepared, there will be some serious social stitching and crafternoons happening too.
Find out more: LILY AND DOT
ATELIER PHILIP SMITH
Walk up the lane way toward Kelly's Steps and don't be surprised if you hear the gentle tones of a cello. Philip Smith is a Luthier - one that makes or repairs stringed instruments such as violins and across his 20 year career has been mentored by world renowned Samuel Kolstien and Sons in New York. Now you'll find this humble maker up a lane way in Hobart. Follow the sounds....
ATELIER PHILIP SMITH
Okay, so it's not exactly in Hobart but located 25 minutes north at Pontville. This heritage listed Uniting Church has been gorgeously redeveloped to house Twelve Stones and now serves up the likes of smoked wallaby fillets and grilled halloumi and vegetable stacks. Drop in for a cellar door wine tasting or settle in for dinner in the 1874-built church.
Find out more: TWELVE STONES
LITTLE SHOES ESPRESSO
Every day after 3pm….milkshakes are $2. Have you ever heard such a thing? Or stop in for a toastie and a milkshake or T2 cuppa for $5. It’s the kind of offering that may encourage interstate visitors to move to Hobart. Travel back in time at Little Shoes Espresso where quality seasonal food and coffee is worth handing over a $10 tip for.
Find out more: LITTLE SHOES
RED VELVET LOUNGE - RE-OPENED
Australia’s former Country Chef of the Year, Steve Cumper, has re-opened his doors in Cygnet much to the delight of all who missed RVL following a devastating fire. You’ll find everything there ever was to love, delivered in his stylish new lounge. All is well in this foodie hamlet once more.
Find out more: RED VELVET LOUNGE
THE GLASS HOUSE
Suspended on Hobart’s floating pier like a ship in the night, The Glass House is a destination. Here, you can choose your own cocktail glass – take a peek at the Murano glassware handpicked by the owners and pieces collected at auction from grand Tasmanian estates. Put a bottle of Tasmanian single malt in The Glass House locker for next time you visit. After all, you'll want to return.
Find out more: THE GLASS HOUSE
FUEL - SO GOOD
It’s so good. It’s so, so good that when you sip it through your straw you can’t figure out how it could possibly be healthy as well. With a courtyard on the way and more enthusiasm than a blender can keep a lid on, get Fuel to mix you up something deliciously healthy. Oh, then there’s cold drip coffee, some raw treat named a 'dream cake'…we could go on…
Find out more: FUEL - SO GOOD
If you need a handcrafted super hero for a new baby girl, some ‘lovely flowers’ or a splash of colour round your neck courtesy of Rebecca Roth’s flare with resin, head for On Hampden. You can even sign up for a 'Pop-Up Wedding' but more on that later. This clever clan of women have brought colour and creativity to Hampden Road.
Find out more: ON HAMPDEN
WHISK & CO
Whisk & Co are fast making Lenah Valley a must-go-to destination. Perhaps it’s the pastry chef’s lemon curd tarts, the all-day Vietnamese fried omelette or new dinner menu that has the local neighbourhood wrestling for a seat. Let’s just say, they know how to use a whisk.
Find out more: WHISK & CO
JAM AND BREAD
Jam and Bread have a menu with plenty more than jam and bread. Located in Margate this tea room and gift shop do some seriously good food with seriously good Hobart roasted coffee also on the menu. Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf with house-made Labna? Yes please. Jam and Bread might not be so new, but their latest project Ranelagh General Store is hot off the press.
Find out more: JAM AND BREAD or RANELAGH GENERAL STORE
RIVA RESTAURANT, PIZZERIA & ESPRESSO BAR
In the mood for pizza? Want it served up with an espresso bar? Riva is a new addition to the northern suburbs serving delicious pizzas that can also be delivered to your front door. Why were their doors closed on Father’s Day? Because Dad needing spoiling by the kids. That’s what we like to hear.
Find out more: RIVA
Find Contemporary Jewellery Collective (formerly Art of Silver) have a fancy new location in the Salamanca Arts Centre to show off their gorgeous handcrafted wares. Looking for earrings inspired by Canberra's roadmaps - Tanja von Behrens has you covered. After a cuff by Karin Beaumont - you'll find it here. Of course there are plenty of other artists in the collective, so come and take a peek.
FIND CONTEMPORARY JEWELLERY COLLECTIVE
CRABTREE COOKIE COMPANY
This isn’t just the territory of excited primary school kids wanting cookies. These are the type that stop big children in their tracks – the adult kind. And don’t be tricked by the name. This cookie company do delicious layered cakes and other sweet treats as well. Go on, spoil yourself.
CRABTREE COOKIE COMPANY
On Adrift’s outdoor balcony you can practically dip your toes in the River Derwent while eating strawberry cheesecake in a glass. Perched on the far end of Brooke Street Pier, Adrift has front row seats to the water – the ideal place to catch some sunshine with a craft ale or two.
COTERIE & CO.
Tucked down a colourful lane way in central Hobart, Coterie & Co. has quickly become a local favourite. Sourdough toasties that are just the best, and cold pressed juices that are perfect for these sunny Hobart summer days that are SURELY on their way. Park yourself under an umbrella at Coterie & Co.
Find out more: COTERIE & CO.
POST OFFICE 176
If the recent street party is anything to go by, this little area in New Town is about to become quite the hub for creativity. Post Office 176 is described as a ‘café and lifestyle arts centre’ with gift shop, studios for artists, and design gallery. Pop into Art Hole while you’re there!
POST OFFICE 176
TWO FOLK ESPRESSO
If you’re after a friendly smile and a quick Hobart roasted coffee, Two Folk Espresso is the place to pop into. Tucked away in the Bank Arcade it’s convenient for lunch and did we say these two folk are super nice as well?
Find out more: TWO FOLK ESPRESSO
Take a sip of fine Tasmanian artisanal wine at the Brooke Street Pier. Domaine Simha offers wine tastings and also group masterclasses by appointment at the pier. Pair it was an artisan cheese board before taking the ferry to MONA or hop onto their website and order yourself a leather wine holster for your bicycle. Everyone needs one.
Popping into Merchant is like stepping into a world of discovery. First, you'll be met with the scents of Tasmanian handmade soap...then you notice a deer or two keeping an eye on proceedings. Expect to find handmade Tasmanian treasures and gifts that you won't find on other Hobart shelves.
Find out more: MERCHANT
RED PARKA DESIGNS
You may recognise Jennifer Skelly's work from Salamanca Market or round the corner in Harrington Street where Red Parka has moved from. Her ever growing suite of books, buttons, prints and more is expanding, always with a hint of clever humour. Grab a tote proclaiming 'I wish I was your plover' or pick up a book of collective nouns so that only you know how to refer to a group of passing jellyfish....'that would be a smack of jellyfish' of course.
Find out more: RED PARKA DESIGNS
CAMO TUESDAYS + CAMPBELL SHIP
The Jet Servo on Sandy Bay Road was once a destination only for those who needed fuel. Now, it's a place where coffee, clothing and motorcycles merge. Just trust us, go and find out about Campbell Ship and know that this espresso garage serves up fantastic Hobart roasted coffee.
CAMO TUESDAYS + CAMPBELL SHIP
At Cafe Lola they believe that healthy food 'doesn't have to be boring.' And they're right. When you're busily choosing the base of your super bowl of health and topping it with paleo-influenced goodness, there's nothing boring about the process. And there's nothing boring about the flavours that arrive under your nose. Fresh wholefoods, great coffee, friendly smiles....that's why we like Lola.
Not brand new, but a must for brand new visitors! Frank - suitably positioned at Franklin Wharf on the waterfront has a South American influence and strong focus on Tasmanian produce. Expect to find Confit Doo-Town venison on the menu, Spring Bay mussels and don't go past the charred sweet potato, goats curd and muddled almonds as a side. All dishes perfect for sharing!
Find out more: FRANK
As with Frank, not brand new, but a must for brand new visitors! This open-feeling restaurant is located in a former Ford showroom (c. 1923) so there's plenty of elbow room between tables. Head Chef David Moyle and his team work from an open kitchen right in the centre of Franklin, complete with ten-tonne Scotch oven where abalone, whiting and whole pigeon is cooked to perfection. Right next door you'll find The Tasmanian Juice Press and Pigeon Whole Bakers too!
WILLING BROS. WINE MERCHANTS
Pull up a seat at Willing Bros. Wine Merchants and watch North Hobart wander by. This neighbourhood wine bar has a little wine from all over - from Tasmania of course, as well as mainland Australia and international labels in the mix. They also serve up delicious charcuterie and cheese, the perfect accompaniment.
WILLING BROS. WINE MERCHANTS
BECAUSE - SANDY BAY
This lovely little haven filled with works of local makers and artists is a must-visit just because. You too may walk out with a newly knitted scarf from a maker in north west Tasmania. Or you may just find your own little island-crafted gem in this space where pieces are constantly changing.
BECAUSE - SANDY BAY
WORDS & IMAGES: Alice Hansen (unless otherwise credited)
If we've missed any of your favourites, let us know!
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