First of all, I would like to ask you never to go to Tasmania for a short period and without a car. If you have the chance, devote at least a week, better two weeks to this wonderfully green island.
We made this mistake: we went to Tasmania for 4 nights, without a car in winter time. The result is following: we could only visit one region (Hobart and surroundings), we had no flexibility to take short trips to the famous national parks, we caught a cold. But away with the negativity! Hobart is a super cute little town (at least compared to the other Australian cities we’ve visited, it is small) with glorious nature around and the Museum Mona is the coolest and most interesting museum I have ever seen.
Tasmania has about 500.000 inhabitants and it is much smaller than the other 5 Australian states (about 65 000 km²). Almost half of its surface is covered by national parks and conservation areas,and it is considered to be among the places with the cleanest air in the world. Its ecosystem is so strongly protected that visitors are not allowed to bring any fruits or vegetables into the island. The agriculture is flourishing: more than 100 different types of apple is grown, and you can see loads of cows and sheep on the countryside.
Hobart has about 250 000 inhabitants; even its centre is very calm with little cafes and art shops. Most of the places are within walking distance, you don’t even need to use the public transport. Shops close very early – mostly around 5-5:30 pm; cafés usually even earlier.
One of the highlights of our stay in Hobart was the visit to the Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), which is the most extreme museum I’ve ever visited. It was established by a Tasmanian millionaire called David Walsh. As its name implies, it exhibits old and new pieces of art at the same time – without even separating them. The ancient stone with the Egyptian signs is right next to the black virgin Mary decorated with very explicit pictures of vaginas. Classic art combined with controversial and scandalous pieces. There are no signs next to the artworks; you need to use an iPod which provides more than enough background infos about artist and creation, if you wish.
The overall style of the museum can be described with one word: military. You need to take the camouflage ferry from the port of Hobart which takes you to the 90% underground bunker and everything is assisted by employees dressed in military clothes. Everything is edgy, there is art everywhere. The museum is definitely worth a visit in spite of the relatively high price. ($20+$15 for the ferry) You can read more about the museum and its collection (as the founder himself calls it „a subversive adult Disneyland”) click here.
Our Tasmanian trip could not have been complete without some hiking in the beautiful nature. Instead of travelling 3 hours to see the world-famous Wineglass Bay we decided to take a local bus and climb Mt. Wellington which is situated right next to the town. And we didn’t regret it. Although we didn’t meet the famous Tasmanian devil, which only exists on this small island, but we found gorgeous forests and magnificient landscapes: from the top of the mountain you can see the whole southern Tasmanian archipelago and the inner mountains of the island. We walked around 5 hours – some sections did require some hiking experience – but it was worth every step.
The other Tasmanian city we shortly visited was Launceston, which is really underestimated. The Cataract Gorge – which is truly magical even at night – is supposed to be the only touristic sight, but actually the whole town is surprisingly nice with lovely Victoran style buildings and lots of nature.
The Tasmanian bucket list has not become much shorter but at least we got a little teaser of this heavenly island. See you again very soon Tassie!