This is Catriona's hip guide to the ever-happening young Hobart!
Getaway has heard about some changes taking place in Hobart. Young people from all over the state, other parts of Australia and international backpackers are discovering the hip new scene which is a bonus on top of Tasmania's natural beauty.
Things are particularly buzzy around Salamanca Place. The beautiful rows of old sandstone buildings, formerly warehouses for the port of Hobart Town, are now used as cafes and offices. Kelly's Steps, between two of the buildings, leads to the historic suburb of Battery Point.
City workers stroll there for lunchtime relaxation, and on Saturdays surrounding roads are closed to accommodate the Salamanca Market. Local traders sell everything from honey to hats, produce to plants and dolls to dresses. Buskers provide entertainment and there are plenty of places where you can enjoy some food and a drink.
A good, cheap place to stay is Hobart's newest backpackers' hostel, The Pickled Frog. It offers dormitory accommodation (breakfast included), kitchen facilities with pots and pans, bike and camping gear hire and free videos. The Internet access is one of the cheapest around. There is a log fire for cold evenings and a bar selling a selection of 20 beers at cheap prices. There's a happy hour every Friday. They have laundry facilities, but you might want to visit somewhere else for this!
A new trend washing over the world is taking the dreariness out of doing the laundry. At Machine Cafe and Laundry, not only do you get to use state-of-the-art machines, but you can pass the time eating delicious food. They serve breakfast dishes all day and even a dog-a-chino for local canines. Who would have ever imagined a laundromat would become one of the most popular places in the area! There are out-of-the-ordinary magazines and great music, and at this laundry, Tasmania's Trop Fest screenings can be seen.
Tasmania's seafood deservedly has a wonderful reputation, and some say the best to be had in Hobart is at the Elizabeth Street Pier. Fish Frenzy serve only fresh, boneless fish and the house specialty is a huge serving of fish, scallops, calamari and chips, big enough for two to share.
Whether you eat in or take-away, your food is presented in a paper cone. They don't take reservations, and you might need to queue, but the service is fast and while you are waiting, you have pleasant views of the docks and the gracious Lady Nelson which is moored there.
Just a few doors away inside an old pub is somewhere to work off a possible overdose of chips. Inside an old pub at Salamanca you can learn some slinky salsa steps from a genuine South American teacher! Your teacher, Gaia, has been giving lessons there for two years and has 250 students at her Club Salsa.
Knopwoods Retreat is one of Hobart's oldest and most popular pubs. Many years ago, Noppies was a brothel, but now it is a gathering place for a drink with friends, maybe a game of chess, and in winter a warm gluhwein in front of the open fire. There are 10 types of beer on tap and on Friday nights in summer, the crowd spills out to the street and the atmosphere is wonderful.
At the Salamanca Arts Centre, you can enjoy Rektango, a jazz/folk band. The music is free, drinks are cheap and in winter you can enjoy a hot, spicy mulled wine.
The Republic Bar in North Hobart is the holder of Hobart's oldest licence. It also has live music blues, jazz and funk all free, except for international and mainland acts.
They hold quiz nights, poetry readings and have speakers on topical issues. It is a very relaxed place and they stay open late.
Hobart is compact and accessible, so taking a taxi from one place to the next need not break the bank.