My working holiday has come to an end and for my last hurrah, I picked Tasmania (thought for a brief moment to go to Auckland, but too expensive and friends are busy).
It was planned super last minute (booked Monday night for an early Wednesday flight), and couldn’t invite anyone else, so it’s a solo trip. It might actually be one of my very few solo trips (moving to new cities and countries aside).
I don’t drive and I have a tight budget of $1000, so despite the short time, I did my research, I read about other people’s travels with the same predicament. I made a checklist of notable places to see and restaurants and cafes to try.
I don’t actually know a lot about Tasmania, aside from the devils, salmon and oysters. My research told me about prisons, distilleries and mountains.
I arrived super early and asked the reception at the hostel where to get breakfast, she handed me a map and suggested going to Salamanca. My list of restaurants and cafes told me about Machine Laundry Cafe, which is attached to a laundry (hence the name) and serves cheap food. I ordered coffee and a porridge, which was available in a smaller serving (which was still a bit big actually).
After that, I just wandered around Salamanca until I saw Kelly’s Steps that lead me up to Battery Point.
There, I came across another cafe on my list- Jackman and McRoss, and I got a muffin takeaway.
I saw a sign about the Battery Point Sculpture Trail and I thought, why not. So I followed numerical sculptures around Battery Point, each telling about the history of the place. I even ended up in Sandy Bay.
After that I went to the Tourist Information Center and booked a shuttle up Mount Wellington. One of the bloggers only rode up and then hiked down, while I am not a hiker (also solo female traveler, so not a good idea), so I booked a return trip.
I was lucky to go in the afternoon and I had a clear view of Hobart and apparently almost one third of Tasmania. It was very cold and windy though, so thank goodness I’m not hiking and there is an indoor observatory.
After getting back to the city, I was hungry for some fish and chips. I went to Lower Muir’s, the cheaper Muir’s.
And pretty much called it a night.
My second day only had one itinerary- MONA.
How to even begin describing MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) 🤔
You enter via ferry (a really cute one where you can ride on sheep), then you walk up 99 steps and then you enter the building and then walk down a spiral staircase all the way to B3 where you start your journey.
There is a warning sign: some artworks can be confronting. Also or some artworks, you are given strict instructions not to touch them (you don’t want to touch recycled oil) and stay on the path (you don’t want to fall into the water and drown).
You see um… mummies next to graphic art works and pictures, artifacts in an aqaurium with fishes swimming about, mechnical skeletons doing it, a wall of vagina sculptures, a white library, furry things, a cloaca (it models digestion and pooping and the smell made me gag), and an actual human back showing off a sick tattoo (the guy literally sits there all day, I think). It’s almost like Tate Modern, but not quite.
The architecture itself is worth the visit. It’s like how I imagine homes of the future would look like. Also great views of the Derwent River.
Afterwards, I also booked a winery tour at Moorilla Estate, which is next to MONA (same billionaire owner who got rich from gambling using an algorithm). It was actually my first time going on a winery tour despite living in wine regions for almost a year.
For dinner back in the city, I saw a train sushi place and of course I go in. Sushi trains give you a good opportunity to try little portions of a wide variety of food. So I tried some local salmon nigiri, uni and scallops. I didn’t try the oysters because I am going to Bruny Island the next day.
The challenges of not having a car can be overcome by going on a tour (which is a cheap cop out, but I had no other choice). I picked Bruny Island as my day out because it promised food, albino wallabies and less walking.
And it was a good choice- $20 for a dozen of freshly shucked oysters from the farm! Oh also got to go up a lighthouse and other stuff in between eating.
After the tour, I went back to the city and to some night markets.
Saturday is the famous Salamanca Market. The market itself is alright, but compared to Queen Victoria Market, it’s kind of small. I did get to try some scallop pie and buy little souvenirs though.
I was kind of tired at this point and just ate more food and chilled at a restaurant with a coffee.
I realized that I don’t have to go to all the tourist places and I don’t need to rush. Visiting a certain place, isn’t checking off all the stops of a hop on hop off bus. Because I’m honestly not interested in prisons and I’m allergic to gardens. I also went to three different restaurants in search of seafood chowder that I’m not allergic to (I did find one at the third place). The only tasmanian devils I saw were dead and stuffed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Overall, I enjoyed my last trip and I didn’t mind going alone either.