Veteran Antarctic expolorer at Franklin Wharf Hobart. Done a few miles and a long way from home.The things you find in Hobart… I’m just back from a few days exploring  the city’s links with the icy south in the lead-up to the first Antarctic Festival in mid-September. Great place. 

L’Astrolabe (above) is an Antarctic veteran. Owned by P&O Maritime, and chartered by the French Govt to service its bases, this ship has done countless trips to Antarctica over the years.

Antarctic Festival director Paul Cullen about to lead a tour of the Aurora Australis in HobartMoored just a few metres away along Franklin Wharf is the Aurora Australis, Australia’s Antarctic work horse, photographed here with Antarctic Festival director Paul Cullen. It carries supplies and scientists to our base at Casey while conducting research along the way.

Faces from the AntarcticFaces of the Antarctic. Pic taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, which has a permanent Antarctic exhibition – Islands to Ice – featuring great insights into both Antarctic exploration and wildlife.

David Johns, Antarctic legend. Awarded Polar Medal.Meet “Antarctic legend” David Johns. He first went to Antarctica in 1954 and has been awarded Polar Medal. He was in charge of the cosmic ray telescope, whatever that is.

Supplies fit for an Antarctic explorer, display at Mawson's Huts MusuemA highlight was the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, an exact replica of the two small timber buildings  which housed the 1912 expedition led by Douglas Mawson. Here’s a sample of their provisions. Who knew Uncle Toby’s has been around so long.

David Jensen, Founder of Mawson's Huts Foundation and instigator of the Antarctic FestivalThis is David Jensen, photographed in the Mawson’s Huts replica. David founded the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, which is committed to preserving the actual huts in Antarctica and also maintains the Hobart installation.

A quiet achiever, this ex-AAP journalist is clearly a very persuasive man. He is also the instigator of the Antarctic Festival, the major sponsor of which is Chimu Adventures, a client of Mr & Mrs Kelly, the PR company I run with business partner Angie Kelly.

Snowy Mount Welington looms over Battery Point - cold!Near the Hobart Docks is Battery Point. It’s one of Australia’s most historic suburbs and a great place to wander, even when it’s about 0 degrees, as was the case when this photograph was taken. Note snowy Mount Wellington looming in the background.

Battery Point the day afterThis is the following day when the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Still cold though.

Jackman and McRoss, seriously good bakery in Battery PointJackman & McRoss in Battery Point. Great bakery and cafe, really worth a visit, if only for their vanilla slice.

Hotel Astor Hobart, old school, built 1922I really like the look of this place. It’s a budget hotel built in 1922 but has a certain style, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Hobart PostersPoster wall around the corner from Hotel Astor. This particular ‘Aussie’ iamge is being plastered all around the country.

Glass half full at SmoltGlass half-full at Smolt, one of Hobart’s better restaurants, where we had a really nice lunch.

There’s a pretty good food scene in Hobart, though it is small and rather quiet in winter.

For example, one well publicised restaurant, Aloft, was 3/4 full on Friday night while we could find only one buzzy bar after 10.30 on Thursday.

Hobart streetscapeWinter light and bare trees in Davey St, downtown Hobart. Such beautiful light on this particular morning.

In the Posh Pit on the way to MONA - great way to start the day.Of course no trip to Hobart is complete without a visit to MONA and the best way to get there is by boat and with a glass of champagne. Great way to start the day. Loved MONA btw.

Bob & Tom, Driveway ServiceFinally, the most incredible thing I saw during the trip. A non-chain garage offering driveway service. Yes, either Bob or Tom will fill your car for you. Only in Hobart.

PS: Check out Chimu’s Antarctic Festival packages.

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