Hobart is a wonderful tourist destination—and not just for the famed Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), although that museum deserves all the accolades that have been heaped on it.
The true attraction of Hobart is its Georgian and early-Victorian core that’s better preserved than in other Australian capitals, and its magical setting with the expanse of the Derwent River on one side and Mt Wellington’s glowering presence on the other. As well, Port Arthur, various national parks, and the fringes of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness are within easy reach for day trips.
Many accommodation options, restaurants and cafes are clustered around Hobart’s spectacular waterfront which includes Salamanca Place. The good news is that our synagogue, located in the heart of the city at 59 Argyle St, is also close by.
It’s perfectly feasible to stay at a range of hotels, hostels and self-catering establishments that will place you within walking distance of the waterfront, many other tourist attractions, various eateries, and the shul. Just consult any mapping program to view the options.
Unfortunately, if you’re concerned to keep kosher, there aren’t any hotels that offer kosher food, nor are there kosher restaurants or food outlets. The only kosher goods for sale are standard supermarket lines that happen to be kosher.
It’s possible of course to bring food with you, but you should be aware that Tasmania has its own quarantine rules that are stricter than those applying elsewhere and are designed to protect our agriculture from pests and diseases. You can check the biosecurity regulations here.
The most important Jewish site in Hobart is naturally the synagogue. Take the time to join us for prayer, and you’ll see the interior features of our heritage-listed building, including benches that Jewish convicts were required to sit on. Or, read about how you can take part in an organised tour here.
You may also want to visit the Jewish section of the Cornelian Bay cemetery, located on a hillside overlooking the river a few kilometres north of the centre. Here you’ll find graves and remains dating back to the 19th century, among them some that were re-interred from Tasmania’s original Jewish graveyard in Harrington St after its redevelopment as an apartment block.
The Cornelian Bay cemetery is a pretty, peaceful spot, but it can be a little tricky to find—ask at the shul if you need help.