The Perfect Christmas Getaway in Hobart, Tasmania

A good holiday is like a glass of exquisite wine - you want to savor every sip and you want it to last, badly.
Well at least, that's how I see it.

Last weekend was a pre Christmas and birthday celebration in beautiful Hobart, Tasmania. We felt like we needed to switch gears and enjoy something a little more laid back and serene for a change. Don't get me wrong, we love Sydney but it's good to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city once in a while.

And boy, Hobart was excellent. It's exactly how I pictured it to be - a relaxed and tranquil little getaway for the family. We were greeted by the fresh, cool Tasmanian air - a pleasant reprieve from the scorching Sydney heat.

Our trip was a 4 day/3 night stay at the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel. I loved the convenience of the hotel's location - a 5-10 minute walk from most of the tourist attractions - the Salamanca Market, Mures Seafood restaurant and the Hobart central business district (CBD) and shopping centers.

The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel

But what really stole my heart was the view. Clear blue skies and clean pristine waters.
Now that is something you don't see everyday.

The view. Period.

As you step out of the apartment hotel, you can't possibly miss the Hobart Gas Company, with its towering octagonal brick chimney overlooking the city center. I love the fact that the building is so well preserved even after all these years - since 1854, to be exact.

The Hobart Gas Company, with its towering octagonal chimney

And for you nature lovers out there, the Botanical Gardens is a feast to the eyes. Bub was having the time of her life - it's her very own giant Hyde Park as there were not many people around when we visited. I have to admit though; I was expecting to see a whole lot more flowers but it was more green than anything else. Still, the scenery was breathtaking and the cool summer breeze was refreshing. I could really get used to this!

There's my little girl enjoying herself at the Botanical Gardens

Now that is one stupendous looking tree, if you will.

The trip wouldn't be complete without a family fruit picking experience, in my opinion. So we paid a visit to the Sorrell Fruit Farm, which was approximately a 30 minute drive away from the apartment hotel. There is also a cafe cum gift shop there so while you're at it, try their vanilla panna cotta. You can thank me for it later. :)

So while it doesn't snow here in Australia for Christmas, we get the next best thing - an abundance of fruits and berries! Yummo!

Go crazy with your fruit picking!

The "fruits of my labor"... (yes, lame. :p)
We were also in two minds whether or not to visit the zoo. In fact, we were having trouble deciding between Mount Wellington or the Zoodoo zoo. It's not that we don't have zoos back in Sydney, but the husband and I were rather unadventurous people and honestly, we had no idea what we would do atop the mountain. So, the zoo it was!

The journey to Zoodoo itself was a quiet, uneventful one which was more or less expected; we were visiting a zoo after all. With the exception of a few occasional cars whizzing past us, there was really not much to see along the way

The journey to Zoodoo

Just before arriving at Zoodoo though, we drove through a town called Richmond and we were pleasantly surprised. It was as though someone decided to build an entire township smacked right in the center of a vast, open plain. The town reminded me a lot of the Wild Wild West and cowboy movies - don't ask me why. There were many quaint houses and buildings with old fashioned typefaces - many of them well maintained. They even have a "Village Supermarket" circa 1836 (depicted below) - now how cool is that?

The Village Supermarket, circa 1836
Zoodoo itself was a bit of a letdown though. Maybe I was expecting a little too much after reading the rave reviews online. They do have a variety of animals although it was sad to read about Leena, the Bengal tiger that passed away due to old age. There were a few white lions in their enclosure and one happened to be sleeping near the see through window - I think that's the closest I'll ever get to a lion.

R-O-A-R.

The wallabies were extremely tame and gentle though. Bub and I had fun feeding a couple of them - one with a cute little joey peeking out from the mum's pouch. Aww...

Cute, gentle wallabies
How about the food you ask? You may think not to expect much from a quiet city like Hobart, but truth be told, it is quite the complete opposite. Just do a search on places to eat in Hobart and you will be presented with plenty of eateries with impressive 4-5 star ratings. 

We managed to visit a family run Italian restaurant, Da Angelo's and it was an absolute hit! All I can say is that it's yummy in my tummy. I ordered a seafood risotto and the husband got fresh Tassie scallops with pasta (it is making my mouth water just writing about it). They even made bub a special kid's meal - creamy bacon pasta. 

I'll have you know that I don't normally do this (yes, I don't get what the deal is with taking photos of your food unless you're a food blogger) but the food was just too yummy it would be a shame not to capture it for keepsake.

Seafood risotto
I had my reservations at first about visiting Tasmania but I stand corrected. The trip was worthwhile and I enjoyed every moment of it. So if you're considering a little peace and quiet, why not give good old Tassie a go? :)
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