The QuickSilver Pro has been drawing the world’s best surfers for years, and my all time fav Kelly Slater carves up the waves only meters in front of you! Definitely worth going down to watch if you are around Late February, early March.
At other times of the year, it is still worth drifting down to the southern end of the Gold Coast to have lunch at the Rainbow Bay Surf Club.
The food at this surf club is OK. It’s a kin to a good counter meal. Most the surf clubs are similar. Rainbow does offer lunch time specials so for a reasonable price you can grab a beer and feed, or wine and feed overlooking one of Australia’s most amazing ocean views from which to eat above.
These are “clubs” but visitors are welcome. You will be asked to sign in on arrival or join, which is a nominal fee of around $5.
I know from growing up in Hobart that the night scene is excellent.
Live bands, old fashioned pubs and clubs are in abundance.
Many pubs while looking a bit “uneventful” on the outside will be pumping on the inside. Let your teenage inquisitive self take control and explore.
These are a couple to try out… no doubt there are more that I haven’t been to in awhile.
Cargo has be the local go to for a beer or boogey for a few years now. I have had many a late night here with great music, vibes and drinks.
Next door to Cargo is Jack Greene an awesome bar done up how I would design my underground, bar at home! We went on Friday night and caught the tail end of a duet playing excellent 80s tracks that had people dancing and swaying.
The bar also offers great Tassie gins! Ask the staff for their recommendation and don’t stop at one… (NB The Usual clause of drink responsibly etc)
Wine and Grape
We headed here on Friday night and it is a younger scene but great fun and excellent for a dance. It goes late… Grape Bar is open until 2am Friday and Saturday nights and a fun place for a dance.
Republic Bar in North Hobart is well known for housing live bands. It has a large out door area with a big smokers area if you need. And inside a large dance space to let your inner teenager express itself on the dance floor.
Heading towards the other side of the wharf are a few quintessential bars and great meets and drinks places.
Built in … and restored a few moons ago, Customs is a wonderful pub where you can sit inside or outside under heat lamps. You can watch life go past with a locally brewed beer or delicious pinot noir. This is the go-to pub when the Sydney to Hobart is on. The food is also excellent. It is situated at the docks and the views of the Derwent River are great.
The Telegraph Hotel
This used to be the place to go to on a Friday night. Telegraph still is worth of including in a pub crawl around the water front.
The Lower House
This hidden bar is a newish addition to the Tassie pub scene being around for maybe 10 years. The Lower House is worth a sneaky peak on a Friday. Also a younger scene. It is the next block up from Custom’s House.
The Henry James in the old Jam Factory offers incredible Tassie wines and a wonderful ambience.
Tavern 42 degrees – great atmosphere and upstairs turns into a night club friday and Saturday.
You will find James and his boutique bar under Salamanca Galleria, in the walk way beside Retro Cafe, Salamanca. A definite must if you like wines. Oh and gins!
All in all, Hobart has some of the best wine bars in Australia, and a healthy, active night scene that has never wavered. The locals are friendly and there are plenty of live bands on around town. Venture out, even if the night is cold, and you will find your mood catered for!
It’s a glorious winter’s day and it’s school holidays on the Gold Coast.
I’m up on Mt Tamborine which is about a 45 minute drive from central Gold Coast. There are a few ways to the summit and the ridge along the top is scattered with vineyards, restaurants, coffee houses, walks, a sky walk and the part where my daughter is going, Thunderbird park.
I drop her off to do the tree top challenge and I head off to a vineyard to do some work.
My friend owns Cedar Creek Wineries and their sparkling white is fantastic. Unfortunately they are booked out for lunch so I head next door to Mason Wineries.
I am pleasantly surprised!
Run by a worldly couple Dylan and Suraya, the vineyard has a happy feel.
The dining area is above the famous swimming pool beneath.. and scopes inspiring views over Bondi. Just enough to draw breathe, feel a part of the scene and receive amazing aerials views of the surfers below.
I am sitting on my own on this day… and the service is wonderful.
I don’t hold back on my selection! Mainly because I have just been interviewed on national TV and feel I deserve a treat. And secondly because I know this restaurant is world famous for it’s hand-selected Australian seafood.
I have the oysters for entree…
Cerviche for second entree….
Market fish is snapper and is delightful!
I can thoroughly recommend the menu, the staff, the views, the food and the restaurant! I will be back.
If you are booking a trip to Hobart, Tasmania, make sure you include a Saturday morning in Hobart and visit Salamanca Markets.
A local iconic experience shared by millions over the years and a mainstay for locals.
I remember growing up here (in Hobart), we used to frequent the markets every Saturday. It was a way of life!
It’s where we buy our produce, catch up with friends for a coffee, or bump into other people in our community. It is exactly that – the village meet up.
Now I am older, and the boutiqueness of Tassie has been developed more, I love going.
Boutique wines, meads, ports, cheeses, fudges, truffles, dips, relishes, jams… are headline acts for the food scene.
The local farmers will offer their great, unadulterated foods, and produce and flowers.
AND the crafts are incredible.
Tasmania, is a listed world heritage site. Some of the oldest forests in the world offering some incredible walks. Which also have some of the oldest trees and delightful pines. Sasafras and Huon pines are two incredible woods that many use to make bowls, domestic items with aswell as larger scale furniture. you can see it all at the markets.
It is camouflaged catamaran so you may not see it when you are down at the docks. Book on line or rock up and try your luck.
The ferry has two options – sheep class or posh pit. I highly recommend the Posh Pit. For a little extra you get delicious canapes and Tasmania wines.
It’s a perfect way to settle your body with your upcoming fears about Mona (you will hear all sorts of stories about Mona – all good – but it does have adult themes)!
Up at Mona – you can be guided around by the free audio system given to you on arrival. It’s called the “ O” . I would recommend using this as you need… some of the pieces are”out there” but they ALL have a story!
Some of my favorite exhibits (and I don’t want to steal the galleries thunder) are:
Simulation of a live gut… it has feeding times throughout the day! Fascinating.
The Fat Car
This is one of my son’s favourite pieces and one of mine too. I’m not sure why but it makes me giggle!
The spraying waterfall when you arrive is amazing! And almost hypnotises me
This is one of my favourite exhibits in the whole world. A big rap I know but it is a serene, ecclectic experience and worth the line-up. It will take approximately 30-60 minutes to experience it but well worth the wait.
The fantastic pieces are one called Cunts (yes… I struggled typing that) but a wondering sculpture displaying 78 different molded ones.. excellent for women. It gives one a sense of liberation. They are ALL different.
The music room is fascinating and fun.
The strobe light, relics from Hiroshima and Egyptian relics are all incredible.
The privately owned gallery has an amazing bar under ground to enhance your experience. OR upstairs their is the choice of 3 eateries.
There is a simple elegant cafe…a great wine bar/cafe and a more up market restaurant.
Today we shared a platter at the …… restaurant with a bottle of pinot noir, then headed for a wine tasting upstairs at …….. DO IT!!!
A jazz band was jamming on the main stage, kids were running around laughing and chooks being well.. chooks.
There is something for everyone here. I love it and will continue to viist and applaud (and thank) David Walsh for his insights and philanthropy. Generous soul!
Not over worked, not hundreds of choices, just something in each area.
I have the Scottsdale Pork Belly, which is slow cooked with a delicious glaze (chocolate maple glaze). It is served with four Tasmanian scallops nestled in pumpkin mash and Artichoke puree. The dish works really well and is a perfect lunch before we head to the cinema just down the road.
Accompanying my yummy meal is a Tassie pinot grigio, Devil’s Corner.
My son has a wood fired cooked pizza we he said was amazing – and judging by the pace that he hoovered it in, I imagine it was amazing.
I knew from the minute I made my booking that my experience with Broome Whale Watching was going to be a professional, relaxed trip.
Cameron, the captain and owner of the tour company, has taking guests in search of whales and sea life for years. He is a local, born and bred (just up the road, which is 300km away)!
With a massive depth of local knowledge and a genuine care for the wild life in this incredible bay, Cameron (and his staff) will take you on an experience that you won’t forget.
My experience went a little like this…
Pick up from my accommodation in a bus- air conditioned, spacious and clean… I decided at that point to leave all the worry, stress and anxieties to the never never and to trust that all would be ok. And it was!
The bus took us to the Jetty where we ventured to a nearby tender and were escorted to the catamaran.
Once on the catamaran we were made to feel like it was a second home. Take your shoes off, put them in the box and feel free to roam around the boat.
There were plenty of places to hang out, and chill.
There were two toilets on board, plenty of under shade areas and if you were melting you could go underneath to the air-con cabin.
The kids were really well catered for which is a bonus if you have to travel with them.
Ok to the BEST bits.
We headed out to the current in Roebuck Bay and followed the channel along the coast line looking for the incredible snub tip dolphin, or “snubbies” to locals.
Only recognised as a new species in 2005 (!) they have drawn attention for naturalists and sea lovers, including David Attenborough who visited only a short time ago.
They are beautiful little creatures and are only found in small numbers around the world, putting them on the endangered list. It is estimated there are 1000-3000 only globally.
With 170 of them playing and being delightful little critters in Roebuck Bay.
I loved the little details Cameron gave about the dolphins – they have a neck that extends so they can itch their tummies. They hang around in pods of 8-10.
He recognises many of the families from scars and markings on the dolphins.
You can see he is passionate about their conservation and wants to share them with the world.
After flirting with the darling dolphins for awhile, we head off in search of turtles and dugongs.
We learn all about the sea bed, the important role it plays with global warming.. how it traps carbon and dredging is leading to a rise in global carbon…
We spot a few turtles who break the water and dive quick as they are hunted by locals… turtles are still a favorite meal of the Australian indigenous population.
Apparently six of hte world’s seven turtles are found in this bay.
The bay also has the second highest tidal flow in the world.
After seeing a few turtles, and spot a dugong munching on the seabed we meander back to town.
Feeling pretty spoilt with teh wild life, and incredible water and sun, we are also treated to food. First up are cakes, then a quiche, then delicious fruit salad.
Finally when I thought the experience couldn’t get better, we are offered a cold face cloth! Superb.
I can highly recommend doing this activity and urge you to go iwth Cameron and his crew.
It is a very interesting day and the best way to learn about conservation and our remarkable planet.