After six full days of travelling and exploring we decided to take it easy on our first day in Hobart. It was also a good chance to catch up on some practical things, like getting some groceries and doing some washing. So we decided to spend most of the morning at our accommodation before heading out for lunch.
Well that was the original plan. As is often the case when we travel I tend to get a little bit too excited about seeing a new area. So I headed out for a short walk while my wife and daughter were getting ready.
My first stop was directly outside our accommodation at St David’s Park. It’s a really beautiful park with a lot of large old trees, a variety of garden beds, old paths and a lush green lawn. I was particularly drawn to the bright orange colours of the last remaining autumn leaves on a number of trees.
As I continued to make my way through the park I noticed a large rotunda towards the bottom of a hill. I didn’t realise this at the time but I later found out that the rotunda was built in honour of the original Colony’s founding Lt Governor, Lt Col David Collins. In fact, the whole park is named after him and originally the area was Hobart’s first cemetery. Many of its prominent citizens were buried here up until 1872. As the population of Hobart increased the cemetery was closed and it was eventually turned into a recreational area.
As I made my way towards the bottom of the park I found myself walking through a wall of headstones. This wall had been constructed from the original headstones that were used when the park was a cemetery in the early 1800’s. They provided an incredible insight into the early days of the Colony that eventually became the city of Hobart.
From St David’s Park I made my way down to the Parliament House gardens and across Salamanca Place to Princess Wharf. The Aurora Australis was docked here, the flagship research vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division. It was an impressively large ship, bright red in colour and apparently it regularly travels through storms with 10 metre high seas and winds of 120–150 km/h. Fortunately we wouldn’t be seeing any of that kind of weather in Tasmania.
I then headed north towards the Franklin Wharf area. The whole harbour area of Hobart is another standout feature of the city. Everywhere you look there are classical old buildings, many dating from the early 1800’s. Some have been built from timber, others from sandstone or brick and mortar, all of them have been maintained wonderfully. The result is an area full of history that feels both old and new at the same time. I was really impressed.
After lingering in the harbour area for quite some time I then made my way back to our accommodation where I joined my wife and daughter. We all then walked together through St David’s Park and along Salamanca Place. If you keep following Salamanca Place towards Battery Point you will eventually come to Princess Park. There is a wonderful little playground here and it was a great spot for my daughter to have a runaround and play. It wasn’t long before we were all hungry so we headed back down Salamanca Place and stopped in at the Retro Cafe for lunch. I can highly recommend their bacon bruschetta, it was delicious!
Lunch was followed by a quick spot of grocery shopping at Salamanca Fresh. The raspberries here looked delicious and as soon as we picked up a punnet we knew we would have to give some to our daughter, she absolutely loves them. They must have been really good raspberries too because our daughter almost ate the entire punnet before we left!
Bellies full and feeling a bit tired, we then headed back for an afternoon nap, everyone except for me of course. I headed up Mt Wellington in hopes of seeing Hobart from above. Unfortuantely it was completely covered in cloud when I arrived and the wind was blowing so incredibly hard. I didn’t stay for long and headed back down to the harbour to enjoy the sunset.
For dinner we decided to go out to an Italian restaurant at Salamanca, Maldini’s. The food was fantastic. I ordered Gnocchi di capra which was a potato gnocchi with a braised goat leg ragu. My wife had Spaghetti alla marinara, spaghetti with local mussels, clams, fish, squid and prawns in a garlic and white wine sauce. We finished the night with a delicious tiramisu, one of my favourite desserts.
Our first day in Hobart was a great introduction to an amazing city.