The island of Tasmania, 240 kilometres south of the Australian continent, was once seen as an slightly old-fashioned, if beautiful, backwater best known for being home to more than half of Australia's World Heritage Listed Convict Sites and some great wildlife.
But not anymore, today's 'Tassie', as the state is affectionately known, has become an increasing desirable place to work abroad and visit – and nowhere more so than its capital, Hobart.
With the breathtaking Mount Wellington rising high the city, and a beautiful waterfront hugging its shore, Hobart is buzzing with a new found sophistication and self-confidence. Visitors have always loved the city's colonial architecture and leafy suburbs but the opening of the world class MONA art museum in 2010 seems to have injected Hobart with a younger, cooler vibe.
Whether you enjoy mountain biking and hiking in stunning scenery or sampling great local produce in harbourside restaurants and bars, Hobart ticks all the boxes.
What is the Cost of One Month of Housing in Hobart?
Between AUS$713 a month for a shared dorm in a hostel to AUS$1,400-2,000 for a self-contained apartment.
AirBnB has private rooms in shared accommodation from AUS$30 per night or self-contained apartments from AUS$115 a night. The Locanto website has a one bed apartments available from AUS$350 a week.
Expect to pay around AUS$120 per night for a double room at a central hotel like the Travelodge, 167 Macquarie Street, or AUS$116 per night for somewhere with catering facilities including St Ives Apartments, 67 St Georges Terrace, Battery Point.
Hobart Hostel, 41 Barrack Street, has beds in shared dorms from AUS$23 a night, making it a great choice for groups travelling to Hobart to volunteer abroad, or single rooms from AUS$31.50.
What is the Cost of Transportation for One Month in Hobart?
About AUS$150 if you are just travelling within the city
The 2 primary forms of public transport in Hobart are buses and taxis. The major provider of bus services is Metro. Purchase a 'Greencard' (which you can preload with funds) to get 20% off fares. A short single journey will cost you AUS$2.48 and the Greencard automatically 'caps' the daily maximum at AUS$10 on a weekday, if your first journey is before 9am, or AUS$5 if it's after that 9am. On weekends the 'cap' is AUS$5 whatever time you start your journey.
There is a free HobartHopper Saturday shuttle bus operating every 10 minutes from 9am-2pm between Hobart City Centre and the funky harbourside area of Salamanca.
With such great biking on offer in the surrounding countryside, it may be worth renting a cycle for your visit. Hobart Bike Hire, 35 Hunter Street, Franklin Wharf has a range of bikes including an unusual electric model. Expect to pay around AUS$25 a day. A lock and helmet is included in the price.
What is the Cost of Food for One Month in Hobart?
Budget AUS$500-AUS$700 for meals mostly cooked at home with the odd lunch and drinks out
Shopping for food in supermarkets, expect to pay AUS$1.57 for a litre of milk, AUS$2.70 for a loaf of bread, AUS$3.87 for a kilo of apples and AUS$10 for a bottle of Australian wine. In cafes and bars, a cappuccino will cost about AUS$4 and AUS$7.75 for half a litre of domestic beer.
There are also regular local food markets, which are good places to pick up reasonably priced seasonal produce. The Saturday Salamanca Markets are a Hobart institution, with a huge variety of stalls offering gourmet street food and high quality breads, oils and much more. Between Wednesday and Sunday, there is also a great range of fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and seafood on offer at the Fresh Central Markets (FCM) in Gormanston Road, Moonah. FCM tends to be cheaper than Salamanca.
Given its location, it's no surprise that there are some great fish and seafood restaurants in Hobart. One of the best known is the Drunken Admiral, 17-19 Hunter Street, with 'Fish Market Chowder' at AUS$15.90 and 'Steamed Southern Mussels' for AUS$21.90.
For cheaper options try the Asian inspired Mint Fresh Fast Food, 44 Elizabeth Street, where a bowl of steaming noodle soup will set you back AUS$10 and all drinks are priced under AUS$4. Or take a trip to Hillwood Berry Farm in the beautiful Tamar Valley to 'pick your own' strawberries, raspberries, loganberries and blackberries (depending on what time of year you are visiting) before having a restorative coffee and dessert in their lovely on-site café.This is a great weekend treat if you're in Hobart with friends to intern abroad.
What is the Cost of Entertainment for One Month in Hobart?
With outstanding hiking and cycling – not to mention people watching – opportunities in Hobart, there's no shortage of free activities for those who enjoy outdoor sports.And the city itself has some great natural attractions including the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens covering 13.5 hectares and featuring over 6,500 diverse species of plants and flowers divided into different themed sections. Entrance is free.
If you're interested in culture, one of Hobart's big draws in recent years has been the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), 655 Main Road, Berriedale. One of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world, it is described by its multimillionaire owner David Walsh as a 'subversive adult Disneyland'. MONA is open from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm six days per week, closed Tuesdays. Entrance tickets are AUS$20.
Hobart's Theatre Royal, 29 Campbell Street, is Australia's oldest theater with a great range of productions with tickets from around AUS$35.
Learn more about the original European inhabitants of Hobart by visiting the decayed penal facility at Port Arthur. From 1833 until 1853, it was the destination British convicts who were secondary offenders, having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Its brutal regime – and the stories of some of its colourful former residents – is detailed by tour guides and through a permanent exhibition. Site Entry is AUS$35, this price includes the guided tour and also gives access to some other historic buildings in Hobart.
After dark you might want to check out some of Salamanca's lively nightclubs. Entrance to Isobar, 11 Franklin Wharf, (entrance free on Wednesday or from AUS$5 on other nights) or Syrup, 39 Salamanca Square.
Want to Volunteer Abroad in Hobart?
There are lots of opportunities to do volunteer work in the city, visa permitting. The HelpGoAbroad website is a good place to start looking for positions. You might find work doing bushcare with 'Hobart City Council' or working in a local pet rescue centre.