Oh MONA

When I want to book an excellent weekend getaway, I look for three things - breath-taking views, easy to travel to and great a food/wine scene. So, while most Aussies head to their nearest coastal destination for a weekend sojourn, my visit to Hobart delivered more than I could have hoped.

Hobart and Tasmania is having a huge moment right now. People are arriving in their droves to experience what this former sleepy state has to offer and it's not hard to see why. Tasmanian wine has long been recognised among the best in Australia but now the restaurant scene is getting noticed on the international stage. But it all started with the cultural scene, which is redefining modern art with the excellent MONA (Museum of Old & New Art). Which has resulted in Hobart becoming known for a lot more than it's breath-taking landscape; though this is sill a massive draw card all on it's on.

Let's start with MONA; I'm still moaning about MONA. This museum was like a sanctum to me; a place I disappeared into for the best part of a day and when I finally reappeared into the outside world I felt changed… and hungry. Luckily, MONA also caters to the bon vivant with several enticing dining options within a few easy steps of your exit from the depths of its art.

MONA was created from the private collection of David Walsh, a professional gambler and art lover who's back story is almost as interesting as the art he collects. Look him up and be intrigued, it makes the MONA experience even more interesting

Walking to the MONA Ferry in Hobart Tasmania

When I went, I caught the bus to MONA and ferry back. This turned out to be an excellent decision because I got to experience the bus drivers commentary on the way there and then enjoy the eclectic ferry experience on the way back. The bus driver explained that everyone who visits MONA fits into on of three categories; They LOVE it, they could take it or leave it, or they HATE it. It is such a polarising place I definitely understand how it was such a black or white response.

It’s not just MONA that helped rank Hobart in the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities for 2013. The food, wine and natural beauty of this city means it is a truly unique experience with something for everyone. Some of Australia's hottest restaurants are popping up in Tasmania right now but if you're looking to simply enjoy an excellent Reisling with even better seafood, you'd be hard pressed find anywhere else better in the world to do so.

One of the best markets in Australia, the Salamanca Markets in Hobart, Tasmania

If you're in, and you should be, here are my tips for a Hobart getaway that will have you MONAing with delight too.

Where to stay:
White Cottage Hobart
The Henry Jones
Travelodge

When to go:
Taste of Tasmania: December 28th 2017 to January 3rd 2018
Dark Mofo: June 15th to 24th 2018
If crowds aren’t your thing, Hobart is beautiful anytime of the year, but pack your thermals if visiting during winter.

Where to eat:
Templo
The Agrarian Kitchen
Franklin

What to do: wineries. All of them. Well that’s not humanly possible, but I definitely recommend checking out Wine Tasmania’s “Wine Trails” 2018 guide, Stefano Lubiano is a big name you can’t miss, Pooley Wines in the delightful Richmond is delightful and finally my wanderlust winery, Stargazer Wine. This place was my hands down favourite at Pinot Palooza last year. “Pinot Wah” you say? Pinot Palooza, get it in your diary now and send me a thank you card later.

Richmond Bridge, one of the winery tour highlights from Hobart, Tasmania

More information:
Traveller has some great advice on Hobart as well.


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