Queen Elizabeth arrived in the port of Hobart early in the morning, although we have been to Hobart before, our arrival by a cruise ship was a first and a truly memorable one. As the ship approached and maneuvered to its dedicated berth, we could smell and feel the cool air of Hobart, after all it was a chilly day at 14 degrees. Sydney may have been hot and sunny when we left but autumn had arrived in Hobart offering a pleasant change.
After breakfast, we disembarked and made our way through the Cruise Terminal which is located at Macquarie Wharf, as you walk through you will find a number of souvenir shops many showcasing locally and handmade products as well as tour operators and information. Leaving the Terminal opens to an easy walk to the CBD fringe where you will find a number of shops and local sights. Lovers of seafood are well catered for with plenty of seafood restaurants around the Cruise Terminal precinct offering the freshest Tasmanian catch. We had a pre-arranged lunch with friends in Hobart so we did not join any shore excursions, as we had plenty of time, we took the opportunity to have a good walk around.
What to see in Hobart:
Salamanca Place / Battery Point
I screamed coffee, and coffee shops are plentiful around Salamanca Place. Google maps however was pointing us in the direction of Battery Point an old maritime village. We found Jackman and McRoss, a rustic coffee shop that serves up a wide variety of pastries, cakes and hot/cold meals. After our coffee, we wandered off through the lanes and passages, admiring the historical cottages built in the early 1800’s. We descended Kelly’s Steps, a narrow flight of steps named after sea captain James Kelly and made our way back to Salamanca Place for our lunch catch up.
Dating back in the 1830’s Salamanca Place is renown for its classic sandstone colonial architecture. Boasting an eclectic mix of shops, galleries, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, it has something for just about everyone. Every Saturday is Salamanca Market Day with stallholders offering a huge variety of Tasmania’s best, definitely a must visit when in Hobart.
Princess Park is just a few minutes walk from Salamanca Place. It’s overlooking the harbour and here you’ll find the old Hobart Signal Station built in 1818. Its a family friendly park with a playground for the children.
St Davies Park is a perfect place to just sit and soak up the sun or for a picnic. Check out the memorial walls and headstones. Nearby is the Supreme Court of Tasmania and Parliament House.
As you get closer to the CBD, take the time to admire Franklin Square. Here you’ll find a fountain along with the statue of John Franklin. Nearby to this park is the Travel Information Centre, City Hall and Town Hall, Treasury Building and Post Office. If you want to do some serious shopping then hit up the centre of the city along Liverpool, Elizabeth, Macquarie and Argyle Streets for all the popular shops.
Afternoon High Tea:
Back on board and it’s time to indulge with afternoon high tea. This is a vey popular and decadent treat that starts from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Queens Room. Make sure to queue straight away to secure the first sitting otherwise you will have to wait until a table is vacated. As most of the first sitting started together, they tend to finish together so even if there is a queue for sittings to follow, it will progress very quickly once those tables turn over. Aside from tea, a variety of Laurent Perrier Champagne is on offer by the glass or by the bottle (additional charge). The spread was not served on a tiered cake stand instead the wait staff carry trays with the food served on a small plate. An array of traditional afternoon tea items were served such as cucumber sandwiches, cakes and fancies, scones, pastries and biscuits. A very enjoyable afternoon indeed..
Tonight’s dinner was at The Verandah – Steak House on Deck 2 stairway, a pre-booked dinner, US$39 per person. We past this restaurant a number of times and it always looked inviting. It is fine dining with an elegant ambience and second to none service. We started off the evening with Laurent Perrier Champagne whilst we perused the menu. Presentation was impeccable, our server brought the steaks for viewing and explanation of each cut and best cooking suggestion to get the best from them before taking our order.
Dinner started with a serving of maple glazed soft rolls in an iron skillet with smoked butter. Followed by H. Foremen & Son’s London Cure Gin and Tonic Salmon and Caribbean Lobster Cocktail as entree. And for the main event, we ordered the Australian Gras-fed Wagyu and 28 Day Aged Prime USDA Grain Finished Angus with side salad, vegetables and potatoes washed down by a bottle of red, Zinfandel Seghesio, Sonoma Valley California – US$ 65. For dessert we ordered the classic Brooklyn Rum Baba. I know we paid for this dinner but everything was superb and well worth it, definitely one of the highlights of our dining experiences on board.
After dinner we wandered off around Deck 2 to Deck 3 and checked out the shops for bargains then up to Deck 10, gazed out at the dark ocean coupled with cold winds certainly gave us refreshing air . A drink at the Commodore Bar to listen to the pianist before a last call at the Yacht club. On our way back to our room, we could certainly the feel the ship in motion, the sea making itself known as we navigated the corridors. No, we didn’t drink that much, perhaps if we had we would not have noticed! The Tasman Sea can be a touch rough at times and this was a reminder of that.
To be continued: Day 4
E_deliciou_S paid for this cruise.