Brewery Walk and Mt. Wellington

2013!  I welcomed the new year in a little hut near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania but my blog is lagging behind once again.  So I will be playing catch up for the next week or two, starting with this post from December 27, 2012.

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My first Australian apple: sundowner

J and I went out to get some provisions for breakfast and ended up at a great local grocery store called Hill Street this morning.  It felt like the tiny Amish market I used to go to in Manhattan; this one was a mini-Wholefoods that sat on a small corner in a sleepy residential neighborhood.  I was more than a little bit surprised by the selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beautiful baked goods and prepared foods.  It wasn’t cheap (I bought a dozen eggs, a tub of local yogurt, some bananas, apples, nectarines, a loaf of rye bread, and oats for $35) but everything looked great.  The bread from Pigeon Hole (a local bakery/cafe) was amazing, the egg yokes were the color of the deepest orange sunset, and the artisanal yogurt tasted luxurious.  To go from eating Indian Ayurvedic meals to this felt a bit disorienting but in a good way.

P1110990After a filling breakfast, we put on our hiking boots for a long walk over to the oldest brewery in Australia, Cascade Brewery.  The entire group walked down towards downtown Hobart then over to South Hobart following the Rivulet.  Along the way I learned that Hobart was settled right after Sydney and the original city was moved to the current location because of the Rivulet, a fresh water source.  It was a nice walk, taking us up and down a few hills, traversing through city streets and then to small parks along the stream.  We passed a place called the Cascades Female Factory, an old women’s prison which served as a reminder for me that Hobart was once a penal colony.

The long walk felt even longer since I hadn’t worn my hiking boots in almost a year.  It was good to take them off and rest my feet on the soft grass on the brewery grounds.  The Irish decided to join the brewery tour but the rest of us sat outside and enjoyed several pitchers of cold beer.

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That’s a Tasmanian tiger you see back there

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Because of the poor weather we couldn’t visit Mt. Wellington the day before.  Seeing that we were enjoying a gorgeous sunny afternoon, A’s brother J kindly offered to drive us up to the summit of Mt. Wellington.  We were already about half way up towards the mountain at the Cascade Brewery, cutting down the driving distance to only about 12km.  We were lucky enough to see the blue waters below and the city of Hobart from the top of the mountain (1,270m).  It was cold and windy, but we ran around taking photos and admiring the view.

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We returned to the brewery for the other half of the group to visit Mt. Wellington, and walked back down to Hobart for an early dinner at the New Sydney Hotel.  I was absolutely shocked and amazed at the quality of food at this pub.  Everything from the tempura mushrooms to octopus salad to beetroot gnocchi to lamb to black pudding was top notch.  I was really impressed.  I was told that Tasmania had great food but I didn’t think it would be this good.

Great food and beautiful mountains…  I’m already thinking that it’s going to be hard to leave Tasmania.

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Cascade Brewery: 131 Cascade Road, South Hobart, TAS

Cascades Female Factory: 16 Degraves Street, South Hobart, TAS

New Sydney Hotel: 87 Bathurst Street, Hobart, TAS

Pigeon Hole Cafe: 93 Goulburn Street, West Hobart, TAS

Hill Street Grocer: www.hillstreetgrocer.com

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