Produced in association with our g8 m8s Qantas.
Winter is a tricky season to master at the best of times. And there are precious few places that get it right. At the top of that pile sits the way-closer-than-you-think island paradise of Tasmania (an hour and a half flight from Sydney, 50-odd minutes from Melbourne).
Tassie does winter right. Tassie has that shit locked down. And don’t ever be fooled, just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean things don’t heat up. The Mainland’s little island sibling has long had a real solid handle on winter fun and frivolity that the rest of the country could never even hope to match.
Often maligned by those who know not what they do – like a session producer sitting in on a Soulja Boy track, it cops a bad rap – Hobart is now one of the pre-eminent winter travel destinations on the map. It’s the warm winter blanket you never realised you needed. It’s a hug, and a smile from a long lost friend. Damn it, Hobart is your winter home. Where all the other bigger cities practically shut down and hibernate for the winter, Hobart wakes up, rugs up, and puts everyone else to shame.
Curated by the boundary pushing, globally renowned MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art, the DARK MOFO winter festival has grown into a sprawling, citywide, cultural, musical, and arts extravaganza, putting on performances in little used spaces, showcasing art on an enormous scale, and attracting artists and bands from across the world.
The 2015 Dark Mofo is coming up real soon – it runs from June 12 until the 22 – and includes artists like Marina Abramovic, Antony & the Johnsons, My Disco, The Preatures, Gareth Liddiard, as well as annual festival events like the Winter Feast, or the bone-chilling Nude Solstice Swim.
To help with the getting to Hobart – and really, it’s just a quick hop across the Strait; you’ll be on the ground before you realise you’ve taken off – Qantas are putting extra flights from Sydney during DARK MOFO, along with upgrading planes out of Melbourne to accommodate extra seats. You can get around all the flight details here.
But you shouldn’t simply limit yourself to all things pertaining to DARK MOFO whilst visiting the Apple Isle capital; the city is home to some bloody tops stuff to do and see and smash your face into. Try this list of things on for size, why not!
Salamanca Place, Hobart
A bloody huge Saturday market nestled Federation buildings and a spectacular wharf. The Salamanca Market is one of the biggest public markets in the nation, and the smells that hit you as you stroll into Salamanca Place past Parliament House are absolutely ridonkulous. The market boasts well over 300 stalls and features food, drink, craft, art, fashion, and just about anything else you can think of. And the majority of it is locally sourced.
Honestly, if it’s good enough to have played host to its own MasterChef challenge, then it’s good enough for you.
The Lark Distillery
14 Davey Street, Hobart
Whilst Tassie is well known for its highly regarded wineries, what you might not know is that its got a world beating whisky industry as well. And if you fancy yourself a wee dram, TBH you can’t really do much better than the Lark.
Take the tour, see how the magnificent golden stuff is made using Tassie’s best products, and then pop around the corner to the Lark’s Cellar Door to sample the wares with the picturesque Hobart Waterfront as your backdrop. Warms the body and the soul, that.
Tricycle Café & Bar
77 Salamanca Place, Kelly’s Steps
Unfortunately there isn’t a pipeline long enough to connect your favourite cup o’ joe from that hole-in-the-wall cafe back home on the mainland to wherever you’re staying in Hobart. Fortunately, however, them Tassie legends know how to bang together an absolutely cracking brew regardless. And the Tricycle Cafe is just about your best bet.
If you’re lucky enough to snare a seat in the tiny but beautifully decorated little space, you’d be absolutely bonkers not to give their menu a burl – their baked eggs and homemade beans game is absolutely on point. But if it’s the two legged game you’re playing, grab a latte to go and go walk up Kelly’s Steps – a historical landmark that connects the cliffside suburb of Battery Point to Salamanca via a set of steps carved directly into the rock face that hugs the area.
The Brunswick Hotel
67 Liverpool Street, Hobart
If there’s one thing that Hobart has got absolutely nailed, it’s pub food. The cold winters produce some superbly hearty menus, and the Brunno is your leader of the pack. With a list of Chicken Parma variations *literally* as long as your arm, plus all the other usual fare (and some unique stuff that’ll make the mouth water just reading the menu) it’s as good a sit-down feed as you’re ever likely to see. Plus the building itself is stunning – it’s Australia’s second oldest continually licensed pub.
381 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
If you’re after something a little fancier/dude foodier/treat yo’ self-ish, The Winston at the top of the North Hobart strip (well worth a look in and of itself) has you covered. What once was the city’s live music institution – back then known as Trout – The Winston now sports a menu packed with burgers, wings, TexMex tacos and fajitas, along with a fridge bursting at the seams with globally sourced craft beer. They’re even getting in the Dark Mofo spirit by holding a dark beer tap takeover for the entirety of the festival.
655 Main Road, Berriedale
Inarguably the must-see attraction in Hobart. The massive, sprawling, privately funded museum nestled on the banks of the Derwent River is now know globally for its weird, challenging, mind-bending collection of art. But one does not simply drive or walk to MONA. Do it properly and head down Constitution Dock and take the MONA ferry instead. It’s a winding journey along the water that’ll drop you off right at MONA’s doorstep. And also there’s a bar on board too. You beaut!
375 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
The State Cinema on the North Hobart strip (again, well worth checking out in and of itself) is your consensus pick to go catch a mad flick. Combining the odd blockbuster hit with a choice array of deeper cuts from countries across the world, the cinema’s decor is warm and inviting, the film selection is always first class, and the attached bookstore is hard to beat. Highly recommended.
51 Salamanca Place, Battery Point
What comes before Part B? PART AY!
Cargo in Salamanca Place is as good place as any to get your party night in Hobart started. Seriously, all the right boxes are ticked here. Ample room to dance? Tick. Giant couch booths for you and yo’ squad to kick back in? Check. Delicious pizzas being cooked up until late? CHIZZECK.
But the reality is that you really can’t go wrong with any of the numerous pubs and clubs dotted up and down Salamanca and around the wharf. Do a bit of bar hopping! Find your bliss!
The Brisbane Hotel
3 Brisbane Street, Hobart
But if it’s a shithot gig you’re after, The Brisbane Hotel is your mecca. The cornerstone of Hobart’s original and alternative music scene, the Bris plays host to gigs almost every night of the week across two rooms. It covers just about every genre you can think of – and some even Pitchfork are only just now discovering – and even plays host to some of the state’s biggest comedy nights, should that suit your style better. There’s pinball. There’s a jukebox. There’s a pool table. The Bris is the gloriously dank home-away-from-home that every one needs.
165 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay
Night done? All partied out? Keen to part ways with whatever spare funds are in your wallet? Sandy Bay’s Mykonos is a goddamned institution. Sure, it might look like an ordinary late night kebab and takeaway joint, but ordinary late night kebab and takeaway joints aren’t run by the mysterious Mr. Toast. Drag yourself in, get lost in the glorious glow of the bain marie, and just point at stuff until the bag is full. A roast pork and gravy roll, three garlic kiev balls, and a potato cake? Find a better bookend to your night out – you absolutely cannot do it.
All images supplied.