From Tasmania’s earliest days, Salamanca has been a place for food.
Originally the rows of Georgian sandstone buildings which line Salamanca Place were warehouses. Now these buildings and the square itself are home to some of Tasmania’s best restaurants, cafes and the state’s best-known market.
Dating from the 1840s, the warehouses stored anything from grain, apples, wool and even whale oil for the early merchants in the port of Hobart Town. Converted into restaurants, galleries, craft shops and offices, it is a food mecca during the week. On Saturday the square comes to life with the famed Salamanca Markets.
Against the backdrop of Sullivans Cove’s yachts and fishing boats, the market contains around 300 stallholders sell locally made wares. The craft stalls show a strong Tasmanian presence with plenty of take home souvenirs that are hard to resist. I came away with a bottle of local Hellfire Gin. I also saw a whole section devoted to fresh produce with plenty of signs declaring it was locally grown.
If you haven’t anticipated the depth of Tasmania’s cold, this is a great place to pick up a scarf, beanie or gloves. Thank goodness, I only had a small suitcase because there was also a good range of tempting clothing.
Walk to Salamanca Market
Make your market experience too easy and stay within walking distance at Salamanca Wharf Hotel. Built between two original John Lee Archer 1840 sandstone warehouses, the hotel’s interiors are inspired by the crisp and vibrant Antarctic colour shades of blue, aqua, golden orange and russet. These are echoed throughout the hotel rooms by the photography of Antarctic adventurer Laurent Dick. Furniture crafted from local Tasmanian timber adds to the clean lines of the rooms.
I stayed in one of the loft penthouses which had floor to ceiling window doors opening onto a balcony overlooking Sullivans Cove. The fully-equipped kitchen would make it easy to self-cater and came stocked mini-bar style with some great Tasmanian wine, beers, cheese, chocolate and condiments.
If you want to keep it super easy, just head downstairs to the Salamanca Wharf Café on the ground floor. It serves up tasty Tasmanian produce and is open for breakfast and lunch.
Tucked into the loft space, the slopping ceiling was an unusual feature and fine for a shorty like me. While there’s plenty of height, getting into the low ceiling side of the bed might prove challenging to those blessed with lots of height. However, my only disappointment with this room is that I didn’t get a chance to try out the very impressive looking spa bath.
You can walk to many of Hobart’s main attractions, including Salamanca Market, the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, the wharf and the Mona ferry terminal, from the hotel.
Parking is at a premium in this part of the city which is why the hotel has a car stacker parking system at the rear. It looks a little daunting at first but proved easy to operate.
Where is it?
Salamanca Market is open every Saturday, from 8.30 am to 3 pm. Find Salamanca Place at Sullivans Cove on Hobart’s waterfront, just an easy five-minute walk from the city centre. www.salamancawharfhotel.com
Salamanca Wharf Hotel is located at 17A Castray Esplanade in Salamanca Place. The boutique hotel has 22 apartments including four loft penthouses.
Don’t miss the beautiful Princess Park behind the hotel. The semaphore station and signal mast still standing on the edge of Princes Park once signalled ships as they entered the harbour, and relayed messages via a chain of stations to Port Arthur.
Expect to pay around $230 a night for a room at Salamanca Wharf Hotel.
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Disclaimer: Ed+ bK was a guest of the hotel.