Hobart Tasmania

January 9 - 12 2007

Tuesday 9 January

This is a work trip to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
I had never been to Tasmania before, it is an island off the south east coast of Australia, most of the way to antarctica.
It is famous for the worlds worst ever mass murder by a single gunman (35).
Its other claim to fame is that they used to have their own kind of tiger, but killed it off in the 60's, some say they are still out there.
Finally theres the cute and cuddly tasmanian devil, as seen on tv.

For me to get to Hobart from Adelaide takes a long time, as I have to go through Melbourne. The whole journey seems to take forever.

Hobart has a population of about 280,000 people, which makes it by far the smallest state capital in Australia, the next smallest is Adelaide with 1 million.

Heres a nice plane, Vietnam airlines 777 going to Vietnam

Heres my plane, Virgin Blue 737, going to Hobart, note massive difference in size, which when discussing airliners is directly proportional to excitement level.

Welcome to Tasmania!
Heres a scene from outside their bustling airport.
This is the first airport I have ever been to that has basically no taxiways, the plane rolls to a stop, does a U turn, and cruises back down the runway.

The city of Hobart is surrounded by mountains and hills, they often have snow on them but not at this time of year.
I like mountains a lot, see my visit to the great dividing range for photos of Australias highest mountains, some of them with snow.

For dinner I had to entertain some vegetarians, it was at a vegetarian restaurant called sirens. It was OK, I had some sort of mushroom pie with lentils. The vegetarian guys didnt eat most of theres, they are from India and were unsure about what they were eating so chose not to eat. Should have just gone for steak.

There was still some light left after dinner so I decided to walk around the bustling metropolis of Hobart

This street is right by my hotel and is actually pretty nice, right on the water. It is called Salamanca Street, most of the buildings are restaurants. On Friday and Saturday its closed off to traffic and market stalls set up in the street

Heres a picture of some boats in the harbour, Hobart is the place where Australias biggest yacht race ends

This big open drain runs parallel to the main street in Hobart, I decided to take a walk down there and check it out. 2 hours later I found the other end of the tunnel.

This is the main shopping mall area in Hobart, this photo was taken at 8:30pm, notice that there are no people in this photo, this is a feature of Hobart after about 7pm, theres just nobody there!

This is the parliament I think, with a statue, note the artistic compostion of this photo that features the brick wall in the foreground.

Wednesday 10 January

Today I had to drive around for work to test some stuff.
Luckily I took my camera because pictures taken from moving cars are excellent.

The big hill is Mount Wellington, which is 1300 metres or close to 4000 feet.
As Tasmania is a long way south it gets enough snow on it in winter for ski fields to operate.
Its quite smoky becasuse most of Australia is currently burning, including parts of tasmania.
I stopped at mcdonalds to see if its any different in Tasmania since its almost another country, nope.

Heres some random bay area, I dont even know what its called, from what I have seen so far all of Tasmania looks like this.

This is driving back down off another hill back into Hobart.

Tasmania is famous for its seafood, so for dinner I went to an italian franchised pizza joint. Because I dont really like seafood.
Before eating I wandered around and took some more photos because what else is there to do?

This is a picture of the outside of the hotel I am staying in, called Lenna's (I think)
It looks nice from the outside I guess. It is pretty old, I think the ivy growing over it maybe all thats holding it up

Hobart has lots of nice gardens, the cooler climate means the plants dont die in summer like the rest of Australia.
This is great if you like gardens.

Heres another nice building, Hobart has lots of big old buildings.

This is the derwent river which splits Hobart in two, the bridge across it was run into by a ship about 20 years ago and crashed into the river. For 2 years the only way accross was by ferry.

Thursday 11 January

Today I did a lot of work and had to go out to dinner with people from work.
I did go to a seafood restaurant, it was on the harbour with a good view, I had scallops, they were quite nice.
Afterwards it wasnt even dark yet and people wanted to go to bed, not me though, I went walking...it was only 9pm.

I continue to be amazed that everything in Hobart shuts at about 8pm apart from a couple of restaurants and bars, I walked around for ages before I could find anything neon at all...

Heres something open! It is a greek takeaway place, serving what we call yiros, what USA calles gyros and what the UK and the rest of Australia calls a kebab. From what I understand, what goes in them is the same the world over.
I was informed that this place is open until late into the night and has been there for 40 odd years.

And heres the only other thing I could find open, a woolworths supermarket. I like supermarkets so I went in. It was the same as all others with no Tasmanian specialties which was dissapointing.
I bought a pepsi and continued walking.

I did not find much more but walked up a lot of hills, surprisingly I work up the next morning with sore legs which was very unusual.

Friday 12 January

Last day for this trip, todays work required driving around looking for remote places, people were commenting that I looked very excited, we shall soon see why!
Throughout this page I have been talking crap about mountains, well today I get to go up it, I sat in the car and waited for the other people to get ready, 20 minutes later they realised I was sitting in the car waiting.

Here is a picture from the top of the mountain looking towards the southern ocean. There are quite a few islands in the bay, beyond that...antarctica.

Here I am looking down on Hobart, it was a great view, very windy but well worth it.

This is the actual top of the mountain, the tower thing is a heap of tv antennas and phone cells etc.

I took a picture of the sign so I could talk crap about how high it is and check back here to find out I was wrong.

The pictures above are only a small sample, this was a time when I wish I had my new DSLR camera with me!
I did take a series of shots from three different spots and stitch them together to make panoramas, they came out really well, you can view them if you want, I think the third one came out the best.

I am really happy with how they came out!

Soon after it was time to go to the airport to go home, via Melbourne, which makes 4 plane flights this week (and next since I am going back on Monday)
The Hobart airport as mentioned is tiny.

This is the airport, the entire airport, it has no air bridges, and the planes park back from the terminal so they can turn around without being pushed out.

Heres my plane.

And that was Hobart, I am going back next week so maybe there will be more photos, hopefully some will even be funny!

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