Last week I was lucky enough to go to Hobart for a conference. I dragged The Boy along with me so I'd have someone to hang out with in my spare time (plus he needed a holiday).
We arrived in Hobart just on noon on Saturday morning, raced to the hotel along with my work colleague Ms Irish, dumped our bags and raced back to Salamanca Place to ensure we didn't miss out on Hobart's legendary Salamanca Markets that are only on til 3pm each Saturday.
The markets are located on the street in front of historic Salamanca Place (which I believe once served as the hub of Hobart's whaling operations). Traffic is diverted and the street is given over to 100s of fantastic market stalls selling everything from antiques, bric-a-brac, organic fruit and vege, souvenirs, homemade jams and sweets, crafty stuff, socks, clothes, doughnuts...the list goes on and on.
Within five minutes of hitting the markets I blew all my cash at the first stall we saw - an amazing stall selling antiques and bric-a-brac. I bought the cute little birdcage clock (in the picture below) and bargained with them to throw in a small plate for free as I was blowing all my dosh on the clock but REALLY wanted the plate as well. Don't be afraid to bargain at the bric-a-brac stalls.
Given that I had no cash left and about 2 hours of wandering to embark on I joined the lengthy ATM queue to replenish my wallet. TIP: bring lots of cash if you plan on spending (and even if you don't as you're sure to find something that simply must have).
Don't fear food lovers, there are plenty of stalls selling food and snacks to replenish your grumbling tummy. Whilst it was too cold for snow-cones The Boy enjoyed a Bratwurst sambo - a fancy version of the Sausage Sandwich.
I've cut read meat, chicken and pork out of my diet so hunted down a stall selling something Miss Piggy friendly. I ended up with a delicious, but super messy to eat, Eggplant Roll from a Persian food vendor.
And of course lunch isn't complete without something sweet to finish. The Boy seems to have a homing radar for Doughnuts and quickly sniffed out this Doughnut stand. These were hot off the press and perfect for warming us up as the weather was getting cool.
The very last stall we visited in the markets was without a doubt my favourite. A lovely Hobart lass, Holly, has created a series of stuffed toys, t-shirts, brooches, necklaces and pins around a fantasy army called The Hiiragi with which she hopes to take over the world (insert *evil laugh* here). It sounds kooky, but the toys are uber-cute and her enthusiasm for her creations is infectious. I walked away with two brooches and two tie-pins, and somehow convinced The Boy that I must have a stuffed toy for X-mas! Just looking at the pictures below puts a smile on my face - I wish I had an imagination and creative talent half as amazing as Holly's.
The next day, Sunday, we decide to visit the Farmgate Markets, a local farmers market showcasing some amazing Tassie produce. There is everything from fresh fruit and vege, free range pork, goat meat, cheese, bread, jams, nuts and a cafe selling coffee and snacks. If I lived in Hobart this would definitely be a weekly pilgrimage for me.
We didn't walk away with much from these markets - mainly as we were full from our breakfast and also a lot of the food was perishable and we were staying in a hotel without a kitchen.
So there you have it - two amazing Hobart markets that rival anything we have in Sydney.
Salamanca Markets are on each Saturday, 9am - 3pm and can be found at Salamanca Place.
The Farmgate Markets can be found at the Melville Street car park (corner of Elizabeth and Melville Streets) every Sunday 9am – 1pm.