When you are heading down Hobart way, there are at least two must-see places:
- Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and
- Salamanca Market.
Salamanca is an area set slightly back from Hobart’s waterfront and wharf area. Its backdrop is a row of stunning old sandstone warehouses and on Saturday mornings, the foreground is chockful of market stalls.
Feel like a piece of chewy biltong? Want to buy some new socks?
Or how about a taste of the freshest and sweetest natural honey?
Then get yourself to the Salamanca Market…
The Salamanca Market is the place to source the widest range of interesting craft and food items lovingly made by every talented artisan in Tasmania. Across the market the quality of work and produce was consistently high and I spotted only one or two kitschy, nic-nac stalls.
There was a happy buzz in the crowd and a cacophony of international languages as visitors jostled to grab their own unique piece of Tasmania. There was so much temptation it was hard to know where to look or start, including:
- Fresh flowers
- Organic fruit and vegetables
- Merino socks
- Beeswax and lavender lotions and soaps
- Gin and cider
- Merino gloves and socks
- Jams and relishes
- Wooden products
- Merino scarves and socks
- Prints and paintings
- Merino hats and socks
- Honey, and
- Did I mention the merino socks?
All this shopping was accompanied by the soundtrack of talented buskers, guitarists, and jugglers, and the tantalising scent of delicious food.
Tip No. 1: Don’t eat before you arrive at the Market.
- Indian curries
- Sourdough breads
- Fruit leather
- Flaky pastries
- the freshest crunchy apples, and
- Ice cream.
Optimistic seagulls hovered and bobbed hoping to snatch a tasty morsel, but the humans weren’t parting with a skerrick.
Tip No.2: Get there early.
Even though the market is advertised to start at 830am, the place was already humming an hour earlier. Not every stall was set up at that time, but at least you could wander the rows of stalls unhindered. By the official start time the place was heaving with happy shoppers and by 930am it was almost unbearable. Fun, but very squashy.
If you are not in Hobart on a Saturday for the weekly market, don’t despair. The gorgeous sandstone warehouses, and Salamanca Square behind the warehouses, are full to the brim with quirky shops and cafes. These outlets are open seven days per week and are well-worth a visit in their own right, perhaps on a quieter day than a Saturday. There are book stores, jewellery stores, clothing outlets, gift shops and a wide range of bakeries, cafes, and even a dessert-only restaurant. There is also a nice grassed area for the kids to run, jump and blow off a bit of steam while you enjoy a coffee and a cake.
Tip No.3: Have a meal at Machine Café and Laundry and do your washing at the same time!
We inhaled a delicious breakfast of the yellowest poached eggs I have eaten in a long time and a small mountain of pancakes almost stopped the Husband.
Suitably fortified and caffeinated we were ready to mix it with the Salamanca crowds.
Tip No.4: Leave your husband!
Not permanently of course, but it is hard to browse as a couple due to the sheer number of people and our different areas of interest. Agree on a time and place to rendezvous and then run wild. I nearly bought a quirky etching of an octopus holding a knife and fork, but talked myself out of it. Regrets, regrets.
If you don’t mind crowds, the Salamanca Market is the place to be on a sunny Hobart morning. You don’t even have to buy anything – the music, window shopping and people watching are all of the highest quality and the cheapest price. It’s free!
Where is your must-see market?
What: Salamanca Market is a showcase of Tasmanian art, craft and the tastiest food. Good clean fun and it’s free!
Where: Salamanca Place. Just get yourself to the waterfront and work your way around the piers until you see huge crowds and market stalls.
When: We visited in late February 2020. The market are on 830am–3pm every Saturday. Salamanca Square and other shops are open seven days.
Why: To purchase the freshest of produce and quality mementos.
How: I recommend walking to the markets. You could drive, but parking would be a nightmare. Grab a taxi instead.
Who: Aussies, Indians, Chinese, Americans, Japanese, Pommies, Germans, Dutch, Swiss and the rest of the United Nations.
Related Posts: The Salamanca area is brimming with history. Have a look at my post about a walking tour along the cobbled alleys of old Hobart town.
Related Blogs: Don’t believe me when I tell you how good the Salamanca Market is? Then see what Culture Shoque has to say about it.
Read About It: If you like to curl up with a book, then get yourself to the Salamanca Market. A number of authors have stalls there including James Boyce who specialises in bringing history to life, especially that of his home state Tasmania. If you don’t buy a book on the day, his titles are available from Book Depository.
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