A Little Bit of Hobart – Part 2.

Yesterday I wrote about the first half of our Hobart adventures, and today I’m back to tell you about the rest.

MONA.

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We began our day by taking the coach to MONA.  As it’s peak tourist season, all of the morning ferries were already booked out, but we were able to snag three places on the last ferry home of the night.

MONA – or the Museum of Old and New Art – is a very odd place.  Some of the artwork was fascinating, some intriguing, and other pieces were just weird.

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Clockwise from top left: 1. The lift that took us down to the artwork; 2. Water falling in the shape of words – which were obviously taken from some news source, as at one point I saw “Sandy” followed by “Hook” followed by “gunman”; 3. Goldfish in a bowl with a kitchen knife – no, I have no idea what it means; 4. A ship carved out of bones.
MONA is free for Tasmanian residents, but the rest of us have to pay to get in.  For this reason, I’d only recommend going there if you have a real interest in modern art.  While I did enjoy the exhibits, when you consider that you also have to pay for the ferry/coach, the admission prices are a little steep, and not really worth it.  Having your own car [or hiring one] would obviously make a bit of a difference here.

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When we returned a few hours later, this view was rather different: there were bushfires burning just over the other side of that mountain.
The Cadbury Factory.

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Clockwise from top left: 1. Rolls of chocolate wrappers [on display, not for sale]; 2. Me and Caramello with a 10kg block of Dairy Milk [also not for sale, which is probably a good thing – it would have been a pain in the arse trying to get one of those on the plane home]; 3. Glenn and Freddo; 4. Lots and lots of chocolate.
Once upon a time, you were allowed to properly tour the Tasmanian Cadbury Factory, and watch the chocolate being made.  These days, all the entry fee gets you is a video about chocolate production, and access to the gift shop.  Oh, and a goodie bag containing a block of Dairy Milk and several Freddo Frogs.

This may not seem like much, but if you love chocolate, it’s definitely worth it.  The warehouse store had big blocks of Cadbury Energy chocolate for only $1, as well as discounted Christmas stockings, and multipacks of various 55g bars.  Not all of the chocolate is heavily discounted, but the prices are certainly comparable to supermarket specials.  I’d recommend dropping into Coles or Safeway before you go, and taking note of the chocolate prices, that way you’ll have a decent idea of which items are real bargains, and which ones are just a tiny bit below retail prices.

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The gift shop.
It was really bloody hot on the day that we were there, so I couldn’t bear to taste the cafe’s supposedly amazing hot chocolates.  I also had to buy an insulated Freddo Frog lunch box to transport my purchases, as I was quite worried about them melting in the heat.

Cadbury is only a short drive from MONA, so we took taxis between the two.  However, outside of the Hobart CBD, sometimes taxis take a very long time to turn up.  We learnt the hard way that it’s best to ask places like Cadbury to call a cab for you, rather than ringing the company yourself [and I’d just like to thank the friendly and helpful Cadbury staff for their assistance after we’d waited over an hour for a seemingly non-existent taxi].

Moo Brew.

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The Moo Brew tasting experience. L-R: Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Belgo, Pale Ale, Dark Ale, and Barrel Aged Vintage Stout.
Back at MONA, we still had a couple of hours to kill before our ferry back to town, so Glenn and I decided to taste some Moo Brew.  For $10, you get five glasses of different beers to taste at your leisure.  I wasn’t too keen on the Stout, but the Belgo and Pilsner in particular were really nice.  I’d actually tried the Hefeweizen at Falls, and didn’t particularly like it, but it was much nicer coming from a chilled glass rather than a plastic cup.

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Beer in a wine glass.  How very fancy.
While we were drinking beer, the sky behind us turned a dark pink and orange.  I’ve never been so close to a bushfire before, and while it made the sky look really pretty, it was horrible to think that we were sitting around drinking while people’s houses were being destroyed.  That being said, there was nothing that we could really do about it other hope that people were okay.

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The burning sky.
The ferry came to take us back to Hobart at 7pm. To one side, we had a bright orange sunset, and to the other, the sky was still a beautiful clear and bright blue.  It was amazing to see, and I wish that I knew how to use my camera better so that I could properly capture everything.

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Clockwise from top left: 1. The MONA ferry, with a reflection of the burning sun; 2. The view to my right; 3. The colours around the sun were more vibrant than I’d ever seen before; 4. The view to my left – clear blue skies.  These photos were all taken within about ten minutes of each other.
The Salamanca Markets.

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Clockwise from top: 1. Isaac and Glenn at the markets; 2. Lots of people.  Lots and lots of people; 3. Chilli Ginger Beer.  Soooo good.
On the Saturday morning, we ventured down to the Salamanca Markets.  There were all sorts of stalls, from crafts and vintage clothing to fresh produce and gourmet sausages.  The place was incredibly crowded, as it was peak tourist season, so if you’re heading down there at the start of January, make sure you get there early.

As soon as I saw the [non-alcoholic] Ginger Chilli Beer stall, I knew that I had to try it.  As a refreshing drink for a hot day, it was beautiful.  I also had a very decent [and cheap] baked potato.

Budgie Smugglers.

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1. Is that not an awesome logo?  It’s a smuggling budgie!; 2. Myself and Isaac.  I’m probably eating chips.
My Hobart recap would not be complete without mentioning Budgie Smugglers.  Down the street from our hotel, it was the first place we ate at upon arrival, and the last place we visited before we left.  Drawn in by the name and logo, we tried their award-winning burgers, and chips [of course], both of which are made to order.  For a tiny little takeaway place, the quality of food is very good, and you can’t properly say you’ve visited Hobart without eating there.

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