From Brisbane (27°C at 8am) I flew to Hobart, Tasmania (13°C at 12pm). Despite the small size of the airport it was tricky to navigate due to renovations, but luckily my aunt Mary spotted me and called out as I walked past her. This was my first visit to Tasmania, and my first to see my aunt and uncle who I last saw when I was eleven or so. I had been slightly nervous to see them again after so long but I needn’t have worried. I received a warm welcome and, once we had met Sheila, my other aunt who had flown in from Sydney, we headed off to their house where I stayed for the next three nights.
As my stay was so short, and with so much catching up to do, I only saw Hobart. It was enough to encourage me to think seriously about revisiting Tasmania and seeing more of the island. The city is fairly small, less than 250,000 people living in the surrounding area. It has an older feel than many Australian cities, with many of its historic buildings having been preserved. For anyone interested in the history of the penal colonies of Australia this is a perfect place to visit.
The two dominant features of the city are Mount Wellington or Kunanyi (which had experience snow on the day of my arrival – in the height of summer!) and the Derwent River. We did drive up to the summit of Mount Wellington one afternoon where there is an enclosed lookout. The views were spectacular when the mist shifted, though it seemed to have a mind of its own, appearing and dissipating swiftly as we watched.
On my last day I had the chance to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) with my uncle who is an artist himself. The building can be seen from afar and is impressive. We drove there but for tourists without a hire car there is a ferry departing from the city and also a bus service. Entry to the museum is $25 (free for locals) which wasn’t too bad considering it includes the current Gilbert and George retrospective which was certainly worth a look. Outside of that exhibition the museum is dark and eventually becomes a little disorienting but not boring. Any museum featuring Cloaca Professional (aka the poo-machine) could never be.