Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania. There’s a lot to see and do, in the city and nearby. Here’s a short list of things I’d suggest adding to your plans if you’re visiting the area.
It’s been almost two years since my wife and I moved to Hobart, and I think I’m starting to have a better idea of what’s going on down here. Turns out, this city is way more fun, exciting and surprising than what I was imagining. I knew that we would have fantastic outdoor adventures, but I wasn’t expecting much from Hobart as a city to be honest. And I was wrong. So here’s my apology to Hobart, in the form of a few snapshots of the city and nearby attractions.
The city of Hobart
Hobart is pretty, with some old historic houses and areas, a nice waterfront and a cool modern ‘downtown’. It is also an important port — a hub for transporters, huge cruise ships, fishing vessels and icebreakers frequently going to Antarctica. Some of the greatest historic Antarctic explorations left from Hobart, and the city is now the host of an important scientific community dedicated to the white continent.
One of the greatest surprises of Hobart was MONA, a crazy modern museum created by a local guy about whom you’ll hear the most extravagant things. The museum is built mostly underground and looks like a James Bond movie set. It has the craziest, weirdest, smelliest (there’s a machine making real poop), funniest and coolest things I had ever seen in a museum.
Another striking thing is the very changing weather, with sudden rains followed by sunny periods, big puffy clouds and very frequent rainbows. I’ve been told this dynamic weather was due to the vicinity of polar fronts.
The Royal Botanical gardens are fabulous. It’s a great place to have a picnic and walk around. They have a pretty Japanese garden and some very unusual trees, flowers and cacti. They were once host of a great light show and we didn’t miss it.
Bonorong Wildlife Refuge
About half-an-hour from Hobart’s center, you’ll find the Bonorong Wildlife Refuge. This is not a zoo, but more of a convalescence center for wounded animals. If it was in Paris, it would be full of dogs, cats and pigeons, but down here, things are different. Parrots, marsupials and emus are all around you, and you can even feed Kangaroos by hand!
Kangaroos are hilarious, they have a kind of seriousness in their eyes, in complete disagreement with their funny rabbit-looking body. They seem to enjoy a simple and easy life at Bonorong. The center is also protecting some devils, which population is currently threatened by a mysteriously transmittable mouth cancer.
About two hours from the city, including a 15-minute ferry connection, you can step foot on Bruny Island. Long beaches of pure white sand, a dense old and majestic forest,and rugged rocky cliffs are among the attractions. There are some cruise tours onboard huge zodiacs to visit a nearby seal colony, allowing you to experience up-close their unforgettable beauty and smell.
Hobart is a great place to live in, and I hope this modest description has at least teased your curiosity. And again, sorry Hobart for expecting you would be less cool than you actually are.