Arrayed prettily around the base of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, on the shores of the River Derwent, Hobart is a small city with a big personality. You can stroll through the historic city centre and find a vibrant culinary scene making full use of the abundant local produce but within minutes be walking among the vines in a gorgeous wine region or exploring a serene wilderness of fern-filled gullies and rushing waterfalls. See every side of Tasmania’s boutique capital with these local tips.

Daci & Daci Bakers

Start here: Indulge at Daci & Daci Bakers

Housed in a handsome sandstone building just metres from the historic waterfront, Daci & Daci Bakers brings a touch of old-world elegance to downtown Hobart. 

Daci & Daci Bakery

English patissier Cheryl Daci’s European training is reflected in exquisite pastries made from scratch, while the décor takes its cues from a Parisian-style bistro. Everything is made in-house using a combination of local produce and imported delicacies; five types of Belgian chocolate go into the decadent tarts, cakes and pastries that fill the display cabinets in front of freshly baked sourdough loaves.

The kitchen also turns out heartier breakfasts such as baked local free-range eggs with ratatouille and chorizo, as well as a divine croque monsieur with Spanish jamón, Swiss gruyère and Dijon mustard that’s been on the menu since day one. “There are no rules,” laughs Daci. “You can have coffee or a meal and if you want cake for breakfast, that’s fine, too!”

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Daci & Daci Bakers >>> fly to Frogmore Creek winery

Tasmanian Air Tours

When she wants to get out of the city, one of Daci’s favourite spots is the Coal River Valley because “it’s only a few minutes away but it’s so pretty and green, with views of mountains, vineyards and rolling countryside”.

Next, hop aboard a helicopter for a flight back over the city before swooping low over the rumpled patchwork of lush farmland, gentle hills lined with vines and historic towns flanking the Coal River. Managing director and senior pilot Greg Ross has flown over Hobart thousands of times but “every time is still exciting because there’s always something different to spot”.

The valley looks even better from the air on a Tasmanian Air Tours Flight and Feast tour, which starts with a 15-minute drive to the head of the valley, where you can enjoy a glass of bubbles accompanied by half-a-dozen plump oysters plucked from the water that morning. 

Tasmanian Air Tours

Next, hop aboard a helicopter for a flight back over the city before swooping low over the rumpled patchwork of lush farmland, gentle hills lined with vines and historic towns flanking the Coal River. Managing director and senior pilot Greg Ross has flown over Hobart thousands of times but “every time is still exciting because there’s always something different to spot”.

Frogmore Creek Winery

“Plus, it’s spectacular landing right next to Frogmore Creek’s cellar door, where you can taste cool-climate wines like pinot and riesling then enjoy a stylish two-course lunch. The menu is divided into local produce from the land, sea and garden – I love the beef carpaccio with confit garlic and anchovy mayonnaise. It’s very rich, so you don’t need much, but you can really savour the flavours.”

Frogmore Creek Winery

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Frogmore Creek winery >>> walk up Kunanyi/Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington

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Amid the gorgeous sailors’ cottages of historic Battery Point, Lady Hester’s sumptuous sourdough doughnuts with Persian-inspired fillings have achieved legendary status among locals – order a rhubarb and rose jam as you gaze up at your afternoon destination. 

Looming high over the city, the thickly forested slopes of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington lead up to a craggy basalt summit that often sports a cap of winter snow. “One of my favourite things about Hobart is that it’s surrounded by natural beauty and pure, crisp air,” says Ross. “And you don’t need to go far to find a spot that feels really remote.”

Walk on Kunanyi

The sentiment is shared by Walk on Kunanyi founder Andy Crawford, who leads several tours along the web of tracks snaking up the mountain. For generations, Kunanyi – Hobart’s most recognisable landmark – has inspired some of the world’s most fertile minds. “Richard Flanagan describes it as a thumb of the south-west wilderness that reaches out to touch Hobart,” says the avid hiker and former geologist. “You can drive five minutes out of the CBD and you’re in a rainforested waterfall gully with three-metre-tall tree ferns that would have been alive when Charles Darwin visited.”

Walk on Kunanyi

Crawford’s afternoon walk retraces Darwin’s attempts to climb the mountain, mixing observations from historic field notes with his own studies to bring the landscape to life. “The views from the top are incredible but there’s so much more to the mountain,” he says. “I love getting people to slow down and have a really sensory experience; to breathe in the beautiful scent of eucalyptus, native pepperberry and sassafras.”

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Kunanyi/Mount Wellington >>> drinks at Rude Boy, dinner at Frank

Back in the city, Crawford suggests stopping in at Rude Boy, a colourful Caribbean-themed bar with close to 200 rums on offer. “It’s all about the cocktails there. I always trust the barman to make me something delicious.”

A short stroll downhill leads to his dinner pick, Frank. “It’s pretty hard to beat the location right down on the waterfront and the service is amazing,” he says. “I’d highly recommend asking for the feed-me menu.”

Frank Restaurant

Front-of-house supervisor Elesi Vunaki agrees that’s the best way to enjoy the parade of small plates cooked with flare. “It’s quite a dark restaurant so the atmosphere is really moody but we have a beautiful open kitchen where the asado grill is the star.”

Frank Restaurant

Order one of the famous margaritas with a celery salt rim then grab a seat and watch flames licking at thick, juicy steaks, wedges of pumpkin, sweet potato and zucchini and the legendary fire-roasted oysters with chorizo butter and chilli ash salsa.

Turn your head the other way and  you’ll see yachts bobbing in the harbour. “That view changes with the seasons but watching it transform as the sun slowly sets is incredible,” says Vunaki. “And when there’s a full moon it’s simply magical.”

Stay: The Henry Jones Art Hotel

The Henry Jones Art Hotel

Occupying a prime position in one of Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses, the luxurious suites at The Henry Jones Art Hotel combine heritage architecture and modern indulgences with tales from the city’s past. Book one night for two adults from 47,894 Qantas Points at Qantas Hotels³. 

Book an Economy Return Qantas Classic Flight Reward from Brisbane to Hobart for 24,000 Qantas Points, plus $88 in taxes, fees and carrier charges.⁴

Discover the wonders of Hobart with the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card. Enjoy 110,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus $200 back⁵ when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. T&Cs apply

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SEE ALSO: 24 of the Most Beautiful Natural Wonders to See in Tasmania

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