Now, where were we?
After sitting in on Andy’s conference presentation, I set back out to grab lunch and do some more exploring. The center of Hobart is fairly condensed, a lot like Wellington, so you can see a lot in a day. I was super impressed with the range of food around town. All I had to do was some quick Googling, and I found a fabulous Singaporean cafe for lunch. Yum!
After that, I decided to head for the cenotaph that I’d passed on my ride in from the airport. Located in the Queen’s Domain, it’s Tasmania’s main commemorative military monument.
The views were great in all directions.
From there, I followed the river upstream toward the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. I came across a bike path, so I decided to follow that rather than walk alongside the main road.
I could see Hobart Bridge for most of my walk. I’d crossed it on my ride from the airport, and it’s a pretty impressive sight. It actually floats on concrete pontoons, so it isn’t anchored to the riverbed, but rather to the other pontoons and the riverbank.
I had to have at least one picture of myself. Otherwise, how do I prove I was even here?!
I’d made it to my main destination. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens were established in 1818 and cover around 34 acres in the Queen’s Domain.
Since it was a Thursday, there were some families and tourists scattered about, but it was pretty quiet. I appreciated the opportunity to take my time exploring the different paths and themed gardens.
This treehouse was one of my favorite spots. Who doesn’t love a treehouse?
Ok, maybe the fern house was really my favorite. It’s hard to choose.
I felt a little like I stepped back into NZ, the land of ferns.
There were endless ponds and pathways to explore.
And let’s not forget the flowers!
Spring certainly isn’t a bad time to visit Tasmania.
The location of the gardens is wonderful, and I can see why it was chosen back in the early 19th century. Everything slopes down to meet the Derwent, with views stretching across the river to the hills beyond.
The conservatory was maybe actually my favorite, though.
So many orchids in so many colors!
Next, I stopped in to the Subantarctic Plant House. Brrrr that place was wet and freezing, but great for a couple minutes!
I decided to head back towards central Hobart, having seen pretty much all of the gardens. I still had a decent walk ahead of me, too.
The path back to the city through the Queen’s Domain was gorgeous.
This area truly made me feel like I was in another country. A lot of Hobart reminded me of Wellington, but this was quintessential Australia to me – not like the outback scenes that feature in most movies, but definitely what I expected Tasmania to be like. I’d love to come back and see the rest of the state.
I was even lucky enough to spot a colorful Eastern Rosella. They’ve been introduced in New Zealand, but are native to Australia.
What a beautiful bird!
When I made it back to our hotel, I wandered along the waterfront for a bit. I had to pause for a photo of what can only be a Vallhund family. Right?
I have to give credit to Andy for initially pointing this out to me.
Here’s a view of our hotel, the Grand Chancellor.
And let’s not forget the colorful historic port buildings.
By the end of the day, I’d walked 25 km (15 1/2 miles)! I wouldn’t have known it, though, since it was all so interesting.
That night, I was lucky to get to accompany Andy to his conference dinner. We were picked up at the port by a ferry complete with open bar that took us to Peppermint Bay, where we had a fabulous dinner in one of the most gorgeous spots imaginable. Yeah, I could get used to this plus one business.
Bruny Island is next on the agenda. Make sure you don’t come back for that post with an empty stomach, since it features food, food and more food!