Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Aussie trip day 1 – 10th May 2014 – Hobart, Tasmania

After taking a long flight from Singapore to Melbourne and a short flight from Melbourne to Hobart, I finally reached the Hobart Airport at 11.05am. When entering the airport building, all passengers were welcomed by the quarantine officer and a Tasmanian sniffer dog by his side. It was such a big size dog. It sniffed every passenger’s hand bag or back pack that they brought in.

Welcome to Hobart :)

If you’d never heard it before, “Tasmania had some of the world's most stringent quarantine regulations. Strict quarantine requirements were in place to protect Tasmania’s plants, crops and animal industries from introduced pests and diseases. The introduction of a pest or disease into a production area could result in expensive controls being implemented and loss of markets, which could cost primary industries and the community millions of dollars.” – Source: Quarantine Tasmania Website

Therefore, you were not allowed to bring things such as: fresh fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, plants, native birds and wildlife, livestock/domestic animals, soil and plant sample, etc. If you did by mistake bring any of these items, you ought to pass them to the quarantine officer at the barrier checkpoint for inspection. If you didn’t, when the sniffer dogs detected these items, you might be fined A$130 on the spot.

After collecting my luggage, I called my friend informing them about my arrival and I took a cab to Zero Davey Boutique Apartment, a 4-star hotel situated right next to the Hobart’s historic port, with modern amenities inside. We rented two-bedroom apartment with a big living and dining room, big-size kitchen and two bathrooms, for five of us. The taxi trip took about 20 minutes to reach but it didn’t come cheap. I had to fork out about 50 bucks for that trip alone.

Finally I met up with my friends who arrived there the night before inside the apartment. They welcomed me with fruit amenities hehe… - cut fruits of pear and figs – that they purchased that morning at Salamanca Market before my arrival, and a cup of hot ginger and lemon tea. Thank you dear friends!

Salamance Market was a weekly outdoor market, held every Saturday, just about 5-minute walk from where we stayed. It signified the Tasmania’s unique culture showing off the original, hand-made Tasmanian local produced items from wood, stone, glass, etc. There were over 300 stalls selling those items plus offering the finest and fresh food products (fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey, jam, etc.), talented artists with his/her creations, local children book-writer, and so on. It opened from 8.30am to 3pm.

Salamanca Market (some photos by Celipu)

Since I reached there on Saturday, I really wanted to visit this market. But I also knew that the rest of my friends had browsed around the area in the morning when I was still on my way there. They had already had another plan to visit another place too, which was Mt. Wellington. Perhaps Buddha knew what was in my mind and they had to cancel the trip to Mt Wellington due to the snowy road and cloudy weather on top and they let me to visit the other part of Salamanca Market that they hadn’t been to earlier. Lucky me! :)

But before heading there, we first had our reunion lunch at the Jackman and McRoss Bakeries at Battery Point. This place was also one of my wish lists to visit (die die must go!!!). I’d read the review before going there and they offered rich selections of mouthwatering pastries and desserts items inside the store. Again, my friends had kindly shared the same agreement to visit this place and to have our lunch there.

Mouthwatering food by Jackman and McRoss

We had to wait for a while before our turn as the place was fully booked. It was almost lunch time by the time we reached. The view outside the place was beautiful too. Oh, forgot to mention! It was autumn season – going to winter down there. Many places were decorated with red, yellow, brownish, and green leaves’ trees. Oh my!!! It was tremendously beautiful!! We were all very lucky to visit this place at the right time. It’s been many years I never experienced real autumn season in my life and I was very grateful for the chance given to all of us. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! :)

Three young kids enjoying their meals outdoor (Photo courtesy by SJ)

We ordered five different types of dishes with cup of hot Chai tea for me. Everyone enjoyed their food, including the three young kids who were sitting right in front of us but outdoor. The ambience was really great. We enjoyed it so much!! Before leaving the place, we purchased two kinds of desserts to be eaten later for dinner :)

Beautiful view at Princes Park (some photos by Celipu)

We continued our journey to Salamanca Market. But on the way there my friend, SJ, took the wrong way and we ended up stopping at the Princes Park. We took photos of the beautiful and colorful autumn leaves and had some dramatic photo directed by our photographer SJ. Hehe…

More photos from Salamanca Market ;)

Dada da da…. We’re finally in Salamanca Market! It was about 1.30 pm when we reached. We walked around until 2.45pm where the stalls were almost closed. I bought the Tasmanian wooden cheese knife (hohoho…. ^^), a beautiful Tiger’s eye stone’s bracelet (which I loved it so much!), and few post cards.

Next, we visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). It was an art museum opened officially on 21 January 2011, located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula. It was the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The building appeared to be single-story appeared from the street level. But, its interior possessed a spiral staircase that led down to three larger levels of labyrinthine display spaces built into the side of the cliffs around the peninsula (source: Wikipedia.org).

Water Words - One of the arts - Check out the walls!

Admission ticket was A$20 per person. The museum housed over 400 artistic works from David Walsh’s private collection consisting of antiquities, modern and contemporary art. And before starting, we collected the iPhone-like device called the O, where we could read the information regarding the art on display (the device could automatically detect the nearby art for us to choose) and listen the interview with the artists. It was a highly usable interface device, the first system in the world designed to replace the traditional artwork wall labels (source: Mona.net.au).

Museum of Old and New Art - Hobart, Tasmania (Buddha's photo courtesy of SJ)

Let me tell you! Most of the art exhibitions displayed there were marvelous!!! We were all stunned by its existence. Sometimes we couldn’t imagine how people would be as creative, as meticulous, as talented, as intelligent, as innovative as them, creating such an exquisite creation, weird, funny, and so on. There were explanations behind every art they created. The above were few of my favorite arts displayed :)

Outer part of the museum

We left the museum with heart almost content (too bad we couldn’t enter the Mummy area as it was going to close soon). The view outside the MONA was simply delicate and wonderful too!!! Given a chance to go back to Hobart again next time, I would register myself to this place again, no doubt! Thumbs up everyone!!!

One of the arts displayed outdoor in MONA (Photo credit: SJ)

Btw, the above photo was one of the arts displayed outdoor. Acted by Mr and Mrs Tsang, directed by SJ :)

We browsed until about 5pm and went to Coles (supermarket) buying some food and liquor store buying a pair of Australian wines :) Once headed back to apartment, we started preparing our dinner led by our Chef cum driver cum tour leader cum planner cum many many posts more, Ms. SJ! Hahaha…

Our kitchen crews (Photo credit: SJ)

We cooked using the fresh vegetables and meat purchased in the Salamanca Market earlier this morning and voila!!! Here was our dinner: Sautee Spinach w/ Garlic, Rice Noodle w/ Sesame Oil and Soya Sauce, Fish Cake and Lobster Ball Soup, Stir Fried Beef w/ Vegetables (Broccoli, Trio Color Carrots, Jalapeno Chili, Shitake Mushroom, and Chili Padi) in Black Bean Sauce.

Home cooked meal using the freshest local ingredients :)

Uuuhh……. That was one of the great meals I’d ever had – as it derived from the very fresh local ingredients and cooked in a perfect taste! We ate until very full! Each of us took part helping in preparing and clearing the dishes.

After dinner, we just stayed put in the dining room and continued with the next session, which was: Cheese & Wine pairing session (plus dessert – Opera Cake – and fruits – grapes and orange – all were bought this afternoon). Today’s cheese: Tasmanian Heritage – Triple Cream Brie with Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (red wine).

While having that, we chit chatting about many things in our lives until quite late. One by one finally took a bath and went to sleep, got ourselves ready for the next day. Thank you everyone for the first day of our trip – especially for accommodating to my need to visit some places. It all went well and the weather was good too: cold, a bit cloudy, and drizzling for just a while.

4 comments:

Mendy said...

��you had a great time there with
friends..must try tasmania heritage triple cream brie��

Mendy said...

What about lauceston?have u visited there?

Rima Reyka said...

Indeed Mendy! It's really wonderful time! :) Yes, you should try their cheese. Many many of it!!!! ^^

Rima Reyka said...

I did. They have a beautiful park in the middle of the city. Look at their beautiful photos here: http://reeverking.blogspot.com/2014/06/autumn-in-launceston-city-park-tasmania.html?m=1
Hope you have chance to visit the same park and enjoy their autumn scenery! ;)

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