Yearning for a weekend of culture, hikes and sizzling nightlife? Marta Dusseldorp knows just the place.
Award-winning actor Marta Dusseldorp knows a thing or two about Tasmania’s river-fringed capital city. The Sydneysider-turned-Hobartian first fell in love with the place and its people through the medium of live theatre.
“I saw this appetite and this drive to turn up and engage in cultural conversations,” Dusseldorp says, “so we just stayed and played, and built, and created a community of collaborators."
“Once you’ve tasted what it’s like to live here…it’s very hard to walk away.”
If moving permanently to Hobart isn’t on your radar, you can still take a leaf out of Dusseldorp’s book. The actor, producer and creator insists one weekend in Hobart is never enough.
"Our boutique, slow-cook vibe is about staying and really absorbing this space and letting it change you from the inside," she says.
Whether it's a weekend, a week, or a period undefined - Dusseldorp has a wealth of recommendations for your next Hobart getaway.
It starts with the arts
Dusseldorp can’t pass up a culture fix: whether it’s catching the stirring Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in concert; roaming the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; checking out installations at local festivals; or absorbing the latest exhibition by palawa artist Julie Gough.
Most often, the actor finds herself at Hobart’s Theatre Royal, dually as a performer and observer. This grand old theatre melds strikingly with the adjoining Hedberg performing arts precinct, a contemporary facility where audiences and performers connect.
“It’s really important to have breakout bars [where] you can catch up and feel like the conversation can begin and end with contact with your community,” Dusseldorp says.
Hobart is an unordinary city enveloped in wilderness.
Dusseldorp’s go-to outdoor fix is a short, steep hike up Truganini Track to Truganini Reserve with her family. Named after a famous Tasmanian Aboriginal woman who survived atrocities against the palawa in the 1800s, the Truganini Track begins in bushy Taroona just a 10min drive from the city. The reward for making it to the top? A coffee at Mount Nelson Signal Station, with sublime views of the River Derwent.
Hungry for more
All this exercise works up an appetite. Luckily, it's a short drive to Dusseldorp's favourite eateries.
"There are many, I have to say, so it's very hard to sort of whittle it down," she says. But her ultimate pick is Kalbi, a "fresh and delicious" Korean joint on North Hobart's vibrant restaurant strip. It's where she and her family celebrated her 50th birthday.
"It's totally reliable, the people who work there are fabulous, so – for me – it has to be Kalbi."
For indulgent nights out, Dusseldorp has a handful of favourite nocturnal haunts. Live music soundtracks an evening of tasty food and tipples In The Hanging Garden – a large, leafy open-air beer garden run by the team at Mona.
Or there’s "gorgeous" Sonny, a tiny wine bar spinning vinyl and serving seasonal bites.
"I also really love the Lark Whisky Bar," Dusseldorp says, "you can get a very mean martini quite late at night."
"Between all of those spaces, I think we're well taken care of."
In the market
Whether you’re up bright and early, or needing some nourishment after a heady night out, Dusseldorp recommends a Sunday stroll through Farm Gate Market. Roam this cordoned-off city block to meet makers and producers serving fresh fruit and veg, fiery street eats, and artisanal food and drink.
"With everybody you meet there, you’ll get the origin story if you have enough time," Dusseldorp says, "or they’ll just sell you the deliciousness in an instant."
The final act
Now all that’s left is to stop and reflect. Take Dusseldorp’s advice and head to the water’s edge.
“I spend a lot of time meditating on our sunrises and our sunsets because they teach you how to slow down,” she says.
“There’s a certain colour that hits here which I’ve never experienced anywhere else. It’s this pale pink, and it allows you time to settle before sleep.”
Let Hobart’s cloud-smudged skies soften your senses – ready for rest.