3 DAY HOBART AND PORT ARTHUR TRiP
Touch down and collect your car at Hobart Airport. Your destination today is Mona, an underground playground of antiquities and modern art. Plan your trip to arrive early Sunday morning and head straight to the Farm Gate Market on Bathurst Street for a tasty, fresh-baked breakfast and roasted coffee. Then zip straight out to Mona by car or opt for a cruisier mode of transport and take the Mona Roma Fast Ferry. Some say a day isn’t enough at Mona. Others think an underground morning, punctuated by lunch at the wine bar – complete with rillettes, pâté and jamon – followed by a couple more hours down below is a good dose. After a day of creative enrichment, venture back to Hobart on a late ferry.
Get a sense of Old Hobart Town from the comfy seat of a horse drawn carriage on a waterfront jaunt at twilight. Heritage Horse Drawn Carriages depart from Salamanca Place, where two majestic horses will lead you around the bustling waterfront past historic buildings and bobbing fishing boats before delivering you for pre-dinner drinks in the former sandstone warehouses of Salamanca Place.
Follow the glow of Brooke Street Pier and head to the lofty heights of the top floor. Here, a floating dining experience awaits at Aloft Restaurant. Go with the degustation menu and ask for a seat at the bar where you can watch the chefs create Asian-inspired dishes and deliver the plates straight to you, all with views of the Derwent Estuary.
Hobart to Port Arthur
Today brings an eco-cruise and maybe even a glimpse of convict ghosts. Be up early to arrive at Port Arthur by 9.15am for your three-hour wilderness cruise. Hop aboard one of the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys signature yellow boats and cruise beneath the Southern Hemisphere’s highest sea cliffs. Drift into deep-sea caves and zip beneath ancient arches. These breathtaking sights are complemented by wildlife antics from dolphins leaping at the bow, fur seals waving hello, and migrating whales in season.
Once back on solid ground, check into your accommodation in Port Arthur. Then hop in your car and explore the Peninsula, such as the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo at Taranna, where you’ll get up close to the devils during a presentation, held around every hour. Be sure to pop over the road for tasty chocolate morsels at Federation Artisan Chocolate. Owners Maurice and Helen Curtis have a passion for chocolate that goes beyond just flavour. It might sound crazy, but Maurice and Helen believe the best chocolate can save the world!
At nightfall, make your way to the Port Arthur Historic Site for an evening ghost tour. Raise your hand to be a lantern-holder if you’re scared of the dark. Set in one of Australia’s most significant heritage sites known for its dark convict history, for the next ninety minutes you’ll have to appear at your bravest as you wander deep into the lives and tales of convicts, early surgeons and residents of Port Arthur.
For dinner, try Fat Quoll Pizza’s delicious wood fired pizza and other yummy choices at Taranna.
Overnight Port Arthur.
Port Arthur to Hobart
Your final Tassie morning allows the luxury of a sleep in, before a late breakfast at Port Arthur Lavender Farm in the lavender-inspired café. For something a little different, try a lavender-infused ice cream, milkshake, hot chocolate or fudge.
Drive through Doo Town near Eaglehawk Neck and take the short walks through the Tasman National Park. Rocky formations like Devils Kitchen and the Tessellated Pavement require time to sink in, as do stories of the notorious Dog Line – a line of ferocious dogs keeping watch along the isthmus between Eaglehawk and Pirates Bays, a part of Tasmania’s brutal convict history. Today’s natural beauty was yesterday’s dead end for convicts looking to escape the peninsula. Feeling peckish? The nearby Doo-lishus Food Van serves fish and chips in cardboard cones or raspberry or blackberry puree on yoghurt.
On your way out of Eaglehawk Neck stop in at the Pirates Bay lookout, where you’ll find Cubed Espresso, a solar powered espresso bar that roasts its own coffee beans in a hidden micro roastery. Here you can grab one of the island’s best coffees, nibble on a delicious sweet treat and take in sweeping views of the water and coastline.
Next drop into Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed which, as the name suggests, sells plumply delicious oysters. They also make their own crisp cider and bubbles. There are few places where you can tip back an oyster so close to the oyster farm – it’s literally out the side window – and the wine in your hand comes from the vines out front. It doesn’t get any more paddock-to-plate than that. What’s more, you’ll be served by the friendliest country folk in the land.
Back in Hobart, if you’re seeking a comfy spot to relax before your flight, pop into Lark Distillery for handcrafted, single malt whisky. It was the first licensed distillery in Tasmania, and to this day it’s dedicated to making small batches out of pure Tasmanian ingredients. Sit beside the copper still Bill Lark had commissioned for his basement back when he first began distilling – since those earlier days he’s been inducted into the Whisky Hall of Fame in London. It’s the perfect way to toast your Tassie trip.
3 Day Hobart and Port Arthur Trip
Availability of experiences in this itinerary may be subject to opening times, seasonal operation or booking requirements, please call ahead to plan each day.
Photo Credit: Julia Smith, Dale Baldwin, Joe Shemesh, Simon Birch, Sean Scott and Osborne Images