It’s my birthdayyyy! Or at least it was last week. With the shadow of my previous birthday looming over me (read about that disaster here), the build-up was tinged with anxiety and anticipation.
Ryan had planned out our whole weekend and kept it tightly under wraps. The only thing I knew was that we were going to be based in Hobart. Obviously, as we seem to be cursed, we left beautiful weather behind us at Lake Pedder and braced ourselves as we rolled towards drizzly Hobart.
Our first stop was our accommodation, nestled 30 minutes outside Melbourne in the picturesque Huon Valley. It was one of our most unique accommodation finds ever, a treehouse!
Ryan had found the treehouse on Air BnB (a favourite of ours – get $27 off your first booking here) and it was such a great pick. Built in our host’s impressive garden, the treehouse was a cosy retreat to watch the unrelenting rain hammering the forest outside.
As the rain relented, we jumped in the car and whizzed back to Hobart for a pre-birthday dinner and drinks. Despite spending a few weeks in Hobart, we were yet to venture out on a Friday night and were unsure what to expect from chilled out Hobart. Surprisingly, the bars and restaurants in Hobart’s historic Salamanca Place were buzzing with people and there was a great atmosphere about the place. We even stumbled across an al-fresco bar, with drinks fished from ice buckets and a live band entertaining the crowds.
After a few drinks it was time to head to our dinner reservations at local favourite, D’Angelos where we ate some of the best Italian food we’ve had in Australia. We devoured pizzas loaded with toppings, crème brulees large enough to share washed down with sparkling wine and flat whites. Absolutely stuffed we waddled back to the car and headed for a snug night in the treehouse.
The next day was my birthday! As it was a Saturday, we started the day browsing Salamanca Market (a Hobart must-do) before Ryan revealed another birthday surprise – a trip to Hobart’s world-famous Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). We jumped on the special MONA ferry which whisked us down the River Derwent right to MONA’s doorstep.
It’s 99 steps up to the grounds of the Museum and once you ascend to the top you are hit with the feeling of entering another world. The museum is a fantasy land of sorts, built by multi-millionaire art collector David Walsh, who made his fortune from gambling. It’s what you might imagine Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory to feel like. An insane and egotistical personal venture which is confounded by the fact his and his wife’s parking spaces are reserved with the titles; God and God’s Mistress.
The museum itself is fascinating and the curation is brilliant. It’s all built underground with small inclined ramp ways that bring you all the way back to the top without even noticing you have just climbed 3 floors. The collection included works from Damien Hirst, Gilbert and George and other contemporary art figures from around Australia and the world. It sounds cliché but the place is a genuine attack on all the senses. Even your nostrils are left scarred from the Cloaca “Poop Machine” which robotically digests food through the day and deposits artificial faecal matter twice daily. Modern Art eh?
We finished off our visit with wine from MONA’s onsite vineyard before jumping on the blustery ferry back to town.
We finished off the day with a trip to our favourite cinema, the State Cinema in North Hobart. Sitting on squidgy sofas and sipping glasses of prosecco we watched Anomalisa and toasted to a birthday well done!
The next day we reluctantly waved goodbye to our treehouse and headed back towards Lake Pedder. On the way back we stopped in at the Patchwork Cafe in New Norfolk. A completely unexpected detour, as we covered in last week’s Snap of the Week. The carpark, home to scores of abandoned rusting cars was worth the stop alone, with photogenic vehicles lining the parking bays.
We consumed yet more prosecco in the beautiful Patchwork Cafe, housed in a cutesy timber building. Its courtyard was bathed in sunlight and we were lulled into complete relaxation by the live performers who entertained the diners.
With the weekend coming to an end, we headed back to Lake Pedder to settle into another week of work. I had been thoroughly spoilt and felt so lucky to begin my 24th year in such an amazing place. Here’s to the next year!