before you go … TASMANIA

The World Rebooted®
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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Some places in the world are off the beaten track but very civilized and charmingly eclectic. Winnipeg, Manitoba, out on the Canadian plains, is that way. Hobart is too. Fact is, everybody has heard of Tasmania, but few people know where it is; some even think this place is fictional. Well, it’s not:

Tasmania is an island off the southeastern tip of Australia and to get there, especially from nearby New Zealand across the Tasman Sea, an ocean ride while rough is worth it. Hobart is also a short hop from Sydney or Melbourne on the Australian mainland.

Hobart is very British, but British with a quirk. In a local coffee shop there is a map of the world with Australia at the top (“The Australian World Map”). Tasmania is at the very top.

Then there’s actress Merle Oberon. Was she conceived illegitimately in Hobart? You can either covertly sneak a private peek through a spyglass at the building, or stare at the whole building where the tryst resulting in Ms. Oberson took place by standing in a coffee shop and gawking. A wall in the coffee shop dishes all the dirt, real and rumored about Ms. Oberon’s parentage.

Overlooking Hobart is Mount Wellington with spectacular views of the entire city, port and the island. Drive up, park, and then hike on to the very top. There’s an observation deck that hangs off the mountain. There’s also that unusual tower on top of Mount Wellington that is a secret American communications tower. If you park near the tower you may have to read the sign that tells you what to do after the tower has fried the electronics in your car.

There are no instructions if the tower fries you.

Unions from mainland Australia like to send organizers over to stir things up. With luck you’ll find women hooting and hollering for higher wages in front of a government building. It’s not a daily occurrence but demonstrations about this thing and that do add spice to Hobart, although Hobart, a feast of easy living and friendly people, needs no additional spicing up.

PHOTOGRAPH
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, from Mount Wellington
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