Few galleries in the world have been creating a buzz quite like Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which opened in January 2011. Owner David Walsh reportedly built MONA from his gambling profits and he describes the museum as a “submersive adult Disneyland”. His collection of antiquities and modern and contemporary art comprises the largest privately funded museum in the nation, while on site there’s also a restaurant (the Source), Brewery (Moo Brew), Winery (Moorilla) and two bars. Oh, and don’t miss the Mona Market (MOMA) every Saturday until Mar 30. 655 Main Rd, Berriedale 7011. 03 6277 9900. Wed-Mon 10am-6pm.
Every January, MONA presents MOFO staged across town in theatres, centres and at the Princes Wharf on the water. The last few years have been highlighted by PJ Harvey, Grandmaster Flash, Graveyard Train and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and we can’t wait to see what Walsh has in-store for Hobartians in 2014 (tickets sell fast so make a diary note now). While MOFO might not be back until next January, there’s still plenty coming up with George Clinton playing on Mar 11 at MONA, a night after Cat Power. March also sees the hosting of the biennial Ten Days on the Island, a state-wide festival that features a multi-artform programme – including theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature and film. Mar 15-24.
Farm-to-table is the essence of dining in Hobart and the quality of produce on offer at the city’s leading restaurants is exceptional. Leading the way is Garagistes (103 Murray St, Hobart, 03 6231 0558), where three- and five-course degustations rule the menu and are priced at $55 and $85 respectively. No bookings are allowed; best get there from 5pm on a Friday or Saturday if you want a seat. Down in town, Ethos (100 Elizabeth St, Hobart, 03 6231 1165) offers a progressive shared plate menu customised by the kitchen team. You’ll also find a great list of wines and beers by the glass. At Smolt (2 Salamanca Pl, Battery Point, 03 6224 2554), expect fresh local seafood and succulent meat. Don’t go past the oyster plate, Tassal salmon or the Tassie venison, matched with a local Sullivan’s Cove whiskey.
In the Tamar Valley, just outside Launceston, over 30 cellar doors sell drops from producers in one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions. Here, pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling and chardonnay are the real stars and the biggest challenge is deciding which of the 30 to stop by. Time Out suggests Bay of Fires (40 Baxters Rd, Pipers River, 03 6382 7622), Dalrymple Estate (1337 Pipers Brook Rd, Pipers Brook, 03 6382 7229), Josef Chromy (370 Relbia Rd, Relbia, 03 6335 8700), Goaty Hill (Auburn Rd, Kayena, 1300 819 997) and Tamar Ridge (Auburn Rd, Kayena, 03 6394 1114).
The Freycinet Peninsula is a leading wonder of Tasmania and the best way to experience this breathtaking part of the state is to stay there. Priced at either ends of the spectrum are Freycinet Lodge (Freycinet Dr, Coles Bay, 03 6257 0101), which offers cabins and breakfast from $360 per night, to the luxurious Saffire (2352 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay, 03 6256 7888), which starts at $2,000 a night for an all-inclusive stay that features breakfast, lunch, a degustation dinner in Palate restaurant and premium beverages and wines. Freycinet Lodge also offers premium dining at the Bay restaurant and is known for its regional Tassie wine list.
Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar fly to Hobart and Launceston. Tiger Airways flies to Hobart. For more on Tassie, visit Discover Tasmania.