Thanks to spending some time learning about Tasmania I was rewarded for my efforts by being one of a few travel agents chosen by the Tassie Tourist Office to be the recipient of a trip to the beautiful island. My thanks go out to them for providing me with a rewarding long weekend.

Having flown from Brisbane to Hobart on Virgin Australia’s direct flight we arrived in on time despite to high winds. Effortlessly we collected our car from Avis at the airport; this literally took about 15 minutes and then drove into Hobart to our hotel The Salamanca Inn. This hotel has had quite a bit of renovation and the rooms are now impressive, excellent for families the 2 bedroom suite can sleep 5 people. The hotel has an excellent restaurant and small swimming pool on the 3rd floor with spa pool.

The hotel is situated right on Salamanca place so on Saturday morning we went to the Salamanca Markets. This market is huge stretching a good 1.5km from the top of Salamanca place up to the end of the harbour area on the left of the market as you look down the road. We spent 3 hours looking round the stalls and the huge amount of merchandise on sale ranging from locally produced food and drinks including Whiskey which you can try (and yes I did) to wood products and clothing and delicious chocolates and fudge.

We met a local gentleman called Dave Glazebrook who operates motorbike tours of Hobart and will take you up Mount Wellington – which we did not do as it happened to be snowing up there on the Saturday morning. Excellent way to see some of Hobart and he is very interesting with his jokes and commentary.

On Sunday we left to drive to Port Arthur, this historical site is magnificent so well preserved and well worth the visit, we spent 4 hours at the site looking round the historical buildings and learning what a dreadful life the convicts had. The Stewarts Bay Lodge who hosted us for our accommodation on the Sunday nights is a great hotel with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom cabins most overlooking the bay, the beach and the pristine wilderness.

Finally spare a thought for the Tassie Devil which is fighting for its very existence so if you get a chance visit the wildlife centre near Port Arthur which has a breeding program doing their best to protect these rare animals. It costs a fair bit to go in but all monies go to the conservation program for these endangered animals.