Updated: Jun 5, 2018
Living in Tasmania - Hobart My New Home!
Kate Hutchinson used to work with us at Travel with a Cause for a short period. These posts highlights the wonderful island of Tasmania and the amazing destinations that Kate visited and experienced first-hand.The morning I arrived in Hobart, I was instantly whisked to the Macquarie Street Food Store to refuel with their signature Savoury Breakfast: a Kate-sized corncake slab buried beneath hollandaise scrambled eggs, finished off with sizzling bacon, grilled tomatoes and a hash brown. Sitting outside the quaint shopfront in the crisp sunshine, the summit of Mount Wellington could be seen in perfect clarity, and the feeling of self-satisfaction that I had arrived in Hobart on the hottest day of the year couldn’t be wiped off my face. Soon enough, I was reminded of that exclusively Tasmanian form of friendliness, as a passer-by approached me and my friends to comment on the beauty of the day and to insist that we pet her gorgeous dogs (we didn’t have the heart to explain how each of us were plagued by allergies to fur). The approachability of the people here had struck me on my previous visit, but it was my arrival at my partner’s work at the real ale pub, the Fluke and Bruce that evening, that made me quickly realise that its people are one of Tasmania’s greatest assets.
I had hardly made a dent in my pint of locally brewed Cascade draught, when I was given the opportunity to start work there. I was instantly welcomed into the Fluke clan with a quick briefing on the nine craft beers they have available on tap and with many introductions to the regulars, and I was later rewarded with their daily, delicious $15 rump steak in front of the fire. It was also during my first shift at the Fluke that I met Madison, my now manager at Travel with a Cause. Her inquisitive nature and passion for all things travel led her to instantly quiz me on what a Yorkshire girl was doing in a pub in Tassie, and after spending several excitable minutes discussing her recent European excursions, a date was set where I would meet the rest of the inspirational women who work in the burgeoning Tasmanian tourism industry. Meeting with the founding director of TWAC, Jane, was the cherry on top of a fruitful start to my time here, and I began working as a travel consultant the following week!
My first few days working and living in Tasmania were my opportunity to up-skill as quickly as possible, and information about the many worldwide trips, Tasmanian tours and global volunteering excursions we can offer lay in colourful piles on my desk. However, in true Tasmanian form it was decided by Madison that the best knowledge I could gain would be through experience, and so we set off from the office to Hobart Waterfront for a nosey around. I was introduced to several of the consultants in Brooke Street Pier, who provide expert advice for tourists and Tasmanians alike about their unique, local products (crafts, cuisine and wine included), and I was lucky enough to be taken for a tour of the fascinating Henry Jones Art Hotel nearby. Given that several of the tours that we sell at Travel with a Cause feature a pre-paid stay in one of the individually designed rooms, Madison and I wandered through the huge atrium and listened to tales of the hotel’s ghostly past under the guise of ‘sales research’! We topped off our afternoon of hard work with a box of hot, fresh calamari from Flippers seafood takeaway which floats in Constitution Dock, and had a luxurious scoop of salted caramel ice cream from Mures.
My first week living in Tasmania was both busy and extremely fulfilling, as I spent my days assisting customers wishing to travel on the Spirit of Tasmania, and my evenings serving schooners of real ale to merry patrons. I even helped out at the Taroona Lounge when I was needed; a beautiful, yet unpretentious bistro boasting a wood-fire oven, generous portions of hearty food, incredibly attentive staff and spectacular views of the Tasman Sea. Even the weekend provided no respite as I was invited by Jane to attend a fabulous networking event with at Elwick Racecourse. In between placing fairly timid bets on the Caulfield Cup, I heard Women in Tourism and Hospitality Tasmania ambassador, Sally Deane, tell of the work that is done for this not-for-profit organisation, which exists ‘to give women an organised voice in the industry and stimulate good ideas in learning, teamwork and communications’. As we tucked into our three course meal, Jane quickly became the source of all my envy as she told of the skiing trip she will soon be taking to Canada; a place which I have not yet been able to tick off my bucket list. After living in Fort St John, British Columbia, as part of a rotary exchange in her teenage years, it is her plan to return with her daughter to uphold the legacy she and her friends established thirty years ago. It was a great day, where I was made to feel utterly welcomed and inspired by a group of worldly Tasmanians, made even better by the fact that I didn’t once spill anything down Madison’s dangerously white dress.
Over the last few weeks, I have managed to establish a routine which has of course made me feel totally at home here in Tassie, and becoming a member of Crossfit 42 South has only added to that feeling. While painful, being made to run up to the top of the all-but-vertical Devonport Street by owner, Drummond Williamson, has provided me with one of the best views of the formidable Mt Wellington that North Hobart can offer. Unfortunately for my bank account, working out every morning has only added to my excuse to visit a different coffee shop a day. However I have found myself repeatedly returning to Next Door for their spicy dirty chai lattes, to Criterion Café for their amusingly named pork sword, and Little Bernard for their expertly made flat whites.
If there’s one thing to be said of the people who live here, it’s that they are understandably proud of what Tasmania has to offer, and have no qualms about showing it off when they can. I have been taken to Maldini’s Italian located in Salamanca Place and stuffed myself silly, visited the 100-year old State Cinema to watch The Martian in luxury, and have celebrated Christmas early with work friends by playing barefoot bowls at the Derwent City Club. Yet, I have also done my own fair share of exploring. Simple walks past the charming sandstone buildings of old Battery Point have immersed me in Hobart’s history, and with the local milk bar still selling penny toffees from jars, I could be forgiven for thinking I had gone back in time! My Saturdays have only been considered complete when I have spoiled myself rotten at the Salamanca Markets and I have already whiled away one too many afternoons off work in the beer garden of one the area’s unique bars. With so much more of Tasmania to see, I can now only keep making the most of every minute I have here, starting with this beautiful city of Hobart.