48 Hours in Hobart
With a rich and interesting history, Hobart has cemented itself as the most intriguing and culture-leading capital in Australia.
Unique gourmet experiences, an award-winning art gallery, landmark cultural festival, and breathtaking rugged landscape and scenery have made the city a must-visit for unmissable experiences.
The new rival to Sydney and Melbourne culturally, Hobart is the go-to destination to experience the best and next in food, art, culture, and…fashion. What better than an insider’s view of what to do, see, where to stay and eat. So, here’s our 48-hour guide by Hobart local and After Eight Founder, Em Petterwood.
WHERE TO STAY
This luxury offering from the Marriott collection is a heritage-come-NYC chic hotel positioned smack bang in the heart of. Merging architecture from three distant eras: Georgian, Art Deco and Contemporary, The Tasman celebrates local makers and produce for an authentic Tasmanian experience.
A stay at Australia’s first storytelling hotel comes with some intriguing insights into Tasmania’s past with themed rooms around quirky Tasmanian characters. Perched on the waterfront via Hunter Street (the old Hunter Island, one of the earliest sites of European settlement in Tasmania) and surrounded by yachts, docks, convict-built sandstone warehouses and a vast expanse of open water. I recommend requesting a water view room (avoid the carpark view if you can!).
There are eight luxurious Pavilions to stay in at Mona. Nestled into the clifftops, each room overlooks the River Derwent with a variety of eating and drinking options on site. They provide five-star luxuries and round out any stay to Mona.
WHERE TO EAT
These two sister restaurants are our top two picks for dinner in Hobart. Fun, vibey and utterly amazing food. They don’t take bookings, so I recommend getting in early for the first sitting to avoid the lines (yes, they’re big) and disappointment. I can promise you an amazing Italian inspired dining experience at both.
Famously known for their Süd Polaire Antarctic Martini, the team at Institut Polaire do more than just a great cocktail. Their menu is made from seasonal, ethically sourced produce from quality local growers, fishers and farmers.
This neo-bistro blurs the lines between fine dining and the traditional European-style bistro. With a central focus on supporting the best of local farmers, growers, fishers and butchers, the chefs at Fico deliver an extravagant menu that makes you want to taste every single dish. Each time I have dined, I have enjoyed the six-course ‘Let us cook for you’ menu option, giving everyone the opportunity to do just that. This is a restaurant you can’t help but love and want to come back to, time and time again.
Nestled amongst The Tasman Peppina serves Italian fare set amongst a backdrop of green leather booths and olive trees. The gnocchi comes highly recommended, paired brilliantly with local reds. My favourite, the Bubb and Pooley Pinot Noir.
Ti Ama is the CBD iteration of long-time Hobart favourite Local Pizza (in the suburb of Berriedale). With more room to move at the city location, the menu has the works, including antipasti (the focaccia is to die for), classic Italian pasta dishes, contorni, dolce and of course the ridiculously good sourdough-base woodfired pizzas that they’re famous for.
Fish as fresh as it comes. If you’re travelling with kids, this is a fantastic fuss-free experience. The food is divine and comes out in minutes. I highly recommend the grilled salmon and Greek salad and my boys love the squid rings and chips.
My favourite burger joint in Hobart. Serving up American-style burgers, fries and shakes. Located in the heart of Hobart’s CBD, The Standard delivers an exceptional burger.
WHERE TO SHOP
For those fashion lovers, a visit to Hobart wouldn’t be complete without a stop at our very own luxury boutique, After Eight. Shop our carefully curated range of top tier brands including Paris Georgia, Friends with Frank, Silk Laundry, Leo Lin (coming soon), Auteur, Esse, L’IDEE, Muma World, Mother Denim and more.
Take a stroll down Criterion Street in the Hobart CBD and you will find Bruce, a hidden gem for the fashion conscious. Bruce is a luxury store that stocks pre-loved designer items, for men and women. They’ve got all the cool brands from Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent, Bottega and more.
Friends of After Eight is the delightful fashion-come-homewares boutique, Homeroom Design. Stocking a gorgeous range of independent homewares, fashion and design from local Australian and global brands. This is my go-to place for all gifting (and fashion outside of After Eight) – the girls stock stunning Aussie labels such as Alemais, SIR, Bassike, Kit X, plus a bunch of the coolest homewares.
LUC offers a curated range of iconic designers from interiors to fashion rarely seen in a single store. International brands including Artek, Tom Dixon, iittala, Stelton, Missoni Home and Menu elegantly sit with Australian brands Dinosaur Designs, Jac and Jack, and Joslin.
OUTSIDE THE CITY:
Wildlife lovers and conservationists alike will love Bonorong, which offers close encounters with native wildlife in an ethical fashion. Bonorong is funded entirely by entry fees, meaning every animal at the enclosure is supported by visitors - and all Bonorong animals are there for a reason – whether it’s recovering from short term injuries or undergoing surgery. Unlike zoos, Bonorong’s number one aim is to see the animals back in the bush, although some permanent residents do reside there - but only those who can no longer survive in the wild.
Even if you are not into art, I still highly recommend a trip to Mona. From the architecture to the food, beer and wine, there is something for everyone.
Designed by Fender Katsalidis, the art museum is like no other in the world. Made up of galleries cut into the sandstone, smaller pavilions, pods, interconnecting tunnels and walkways, the art is to be explored. Walking your way through these spaces, you’ll encounter challenging and subversive works.
Getting there by ferry is an essential part of the complete Mona experience. In fact, the museum was designed to be approached by water. A direct trip takes around twenty-five minutes from the city. There is no better feeling than last catching the last ferry, reserving your position on the top deck (or the Posh Pit), and watching the architecture of Mona fade from view.
Pooley Wines is a small, family-owned wine company producing premium Tasmanian wines from two vineyards in the Coal River Valley, southern Tasmania. The venue itself is quaint and charming, serving some of the best wood fired pizzas in the region along with amazing vinos. A sun-drenched afternoon drinking pinot and eating pizza at Pooley’s is a must add to your to do list.
I am fortunate to call the head winemaker, Anna Pooley a friend. I love listening to Anna talk about winemaking – she is as passionate about it as I am fashion. And, her wines are absolutely delicious. Her spin off label, is Bubb and Pooley, available at Peppina and direct – it’s a local drop I highly recommend.
A LITTLE BIT EXTRA:
Queens – best pastries and delicious coffee.
Where to drink