And today the highlights of our 29 hours in Hobart, Tasmania.
After sleeping like the dead the night we arrived in the city from the Freycinet Peninsula, we got up to the promise of a nice day in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
The most prominent feature around Hobart (besides all the water) is Mt. Wellington and there is a road to the top, so of course, we had to do it! We decided to go first thing in the morning because the summit looked fairly clear and that can change quickly. The road to the top is a 12 km drive on a very narrow road, right on the edge of the mountain. As the driver of the car, this all was a bit intimidating (maybe scary is a better word!). As we neared the top, the trees all became encased with ice and it was a very surreal environment.
Fortunately, there was a pull-out so we could stop to take some photos. By the time we reached the top (1271 meters) we were in a winter wonderland! Everything was covered in a layer of rime ice, in places, an inch thick. And the view back down on Hobart was breathtaking! And the rime ice added interest to the fences on the overlook platforms and the thick chains outlining the parking area.
The place was magical! It was quite windy so we took our photos and did not linger on top. The drive down was equally nerve-wracking as the drive up so I was happy when we got back on the main drag. The rest of the day we watched the top of the mountain go in and out of cloud cover.
Our next destination was MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. After paying our $20.00 entry fees, we were each given an iPod which was our museum tour guide. As we walked through the museum, the iPod picked up signals about the art work we were near and we could read, and in some cases listen to a description or story about the piece. Now this turned out to be not your run-of-the-mill art museum. Who knew art could take such interesting forms?!
The Bit Wall was one of my favorites. Suspended from the ceiling, 30 feet up from the floor, was a pipe carrying water. The horizontal pipe contained lots of computer controlled miniature pumps that released drops of water in such a way that words were formed in the air as the drops fell. Click here for a video of this amazing piece of art in action. This display could be viewed on all three levels of the museum and it was mesmerizing to watch!
As we approached an exhibit in a darkened room, the floor was illuminated in such a way that made me think I was stepping into an abyss! I paused to make sure that there was actually a floor in that area. Indeed there was, so in we went to small, dark walkway with binary code on the walls. As we continued around, looking at the walls, we came to a display case featuring cuneiform, which is one of the earliest known forms of writing. The binary code on all the walls was a transcription of this ancient text (or so they say!). Continuing on the walkway, we entered a small room, with more binary code and as we were looking around, our gaze went up and there was a dark mirror up high reflecting our images back to us. The whole exhibit messed with my mind, but I loved it!
So these were just 2 of many amazing, thought-provoking, and impressive art exhibits. If you ever find yourself in Hobart, put this on the top of your Things to Do list!
While at the Freycinet Lodge I enjoyed a glass of Tasmanian wine with dinner and we discovered that the winery, Frogmore Creek, was near the Hobart Airport so that was our next destination. I sampled some of their other varieties, but ended up buying a bottle of the Riesling that I had at the Lodge. The vineyard was beautiful as all the grape vines had put their fall colors on just for us!
We then spent the next few hours taking a walking tour of Hobart, enjoying the Salamanca Market area, the waterfront/harbor and the Old Hobart neighborhood. We enjoyed the sunset over the marina before heading to a bar to enjoy a local beer and watch a footy game on TV. We enjoyed dinner at a restaurant that got a good review in the Australian Traveller Magazine and then had to head to the airport to catch the last flight back to Melbourne.
We hope to get another trip to Tasmania before we return to the USA, maybe to the west side of the state.
Here are a few more photos from Hobart.
G’Day Mates! Watch for the next entry because it will include a contest!