We have been so busy settling into life on Bruny that it takes a repeat visit from a friend to take us off island and explore some of the many jewels that Tasmania has to offer. During Regina’s recent stay the two of us headed up to Hobart one Saturday to enjoy a couple of the capital’s drawcard attractions.
First stop was the iconic Salamanca Markets which had celebrated their 50th anniversary the previous week. Open every Saturday from 8.30am – 3 pm, the Markets stretch the length of Salamanca Place adjacent to the dock area. With over 230 stallholders and a focus on Tasmanian goods there was plenty to tempt us – and yes we gave in to the need to buy! Can’t say too much about our purchases as some readers will be the recipients of our spending but we were both pretty happy with ourselves!
Our second stop was the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens which sits on the edge of the CBD. Marcus and I had done a tour here during winter and so I was a font of some knowledge which Regina seemed to accept as gospel! Established in 1818 they are the second oldest Botanic Gardens in Australia (Sydney having pipped them by 2 years), and like Sydney they adjoin Government House and have impressive water views. They were a blaze of colour and the community was out in force, lunching on benches and partying under trees. We opted for the Café which, after a couple of visits I can highly recommend.
Of course many of our (Australian) readers will associate the gardens with the ABC’s Gardening Australia as it is the home of the Community Food Garden tended on screen by Tino Carnevale. Previously it was known as Pete’s Patch after the late Peter Cundall beloved of generations of Australian gardeners (including my Dad who could be described as a groupie on those occasions Peter came to Orange!).
To complete the tourist experience I treated our guest to a supermarket visit – always the best way to learn about a community/country I believe.