We really enjoyed our time in Melbourne but very soon it was time to pull our cases up Melbourne’s steep hills to get the 5.30 am bus to the airport. A short flight took us to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. From this friendly city you can easily travel to the sights of the island.
The Port Arthur penal settlement is now a museum. It was the destination of convicted British criminals and re-offenders who were originally deported to other parts of Australia. Psychological punishment was pioneered here and the grim conditions were used as a model for other prisons.
Bruny Island gave us a completely different day trip. Our yellow boat took us round the island close to cliffs covered in sea birds and seals.
We had a fabulous morning going to mount Wellington, unfortunately in the fog, and then spent the afternoon at MONA, the museum of old and new art. The fun way to arrive at MONA is on the camo catamaran that takes you on a twenty five minute ride from Brooke Street Pier straight to the museum. This place divides opinion , you will either love it or hate it. Either way it gives you plenty to think about and you certainly wont be bored. The art on show was varied, the cafe was great and even the gift shop had what you might call err “unusual” items.
We enjoyed our time there and it was worth the entrance fee as a one off experience but I don’t know how many times I’d want to go back.
Hobart itself is a wonderful place to stay. There are old fashioned tea shops at Battery Point where we had the best and biggest bread pudding ever. Also lots of very English feeling pubs everywhere serving old fashioned meat and two veg at great prices. Salamanca market on a Saturday has a bit of everything, interesting crafts, clothes, food and really good snacks.
All this made Hobart one of our favourite places.