Australia’s Private Playground Of The Rich And Famous
What do the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Nigella Lawson have in common? Admittedly, not much on the face of it. But they do all like to holiday in the same place.
Hobart has become the unofficial playground of the rich and famous.
In fact, Australia’s most southern city has become a major drawcard for both international and domestic celebrities looking for some rest and relaxation away from the scrutinising eyes of busier parts of the country.
It’s perhaps not surprising. When deciding where to holiday, celebrities often favour somewhere off-the-beaten track. They also want fabulous restaurants serving up local fare. Great scenery. The best accommodation money can buy. And a great market featuring hand-crafted and unique items, and an incredible art gallery. When you ponder this list, you can see that Hobart ticks all the boxes.
American television personality Martha Stewart flew into Hobart in January to catch the winners crossing the finish line in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, taking in time to capture some pictures of a Tasmanian Devil while she was here.
Pop sensation Taylor Swift was heavily rumoured to have taken some time out in Hobart recently. She even felt safe enough in the island state to post Instagram photos during her stay, knowing that locals would give her the space from the public eye such a high-profile celebrity would no doubt crave.
Katy Perry made a surprise visit to Hobart a few years ago, popping up in a local restaurant with friends on a Monday night and taking in Salamanca Market before flying back to Melbourne to perform. Hobart has a special place in the heart of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal too.
It’s little surprise that the celebrities are favouring Hobart. This city punches well above its weight and is brimming with incredible accommodation and eateries that would rival anything found in Sydney or Melbourne.
For starters, Hobart is also home to the globally recognised Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has its own rock star status since launching here in 2011.
In fact, MONA is responsible for kicking off a tourism revolution with a packed calendar of seasonal arts and music festivals, from Mona Foma and Dark Mofo, which is bringing a new cohort of already well-travelled celebrities who are being swept away with the city’s natural beauty.
Best of all, the air is the purest in the world, there’s no traffic jams, and there’s definitely no sign of the paparazzi here. And aside from the odd fan, the locals are laid-back, friendly and mostly discreet when they spot a star – particularly those in the hospitality industry.
In fact, the managers of the swanky accommodation and eateries wouldn’t divulge guest names, saying their discretion is what keeps their celebrity guests becoming repeat customers.
Some of the places frequented by celebrities include:
A couple of hours from Hobart is possibly the most architecturally-impressive hotel in Australia. Saffire Freycinet takes remote and private eco-luxury to the next level. But not everyone will be able to swallow the $2,100 per night price tag.
Salamanca Market might be one of the state’s most visited tourist attractions, but many celebrities still find it easy to blend into the crowd. Tasmanian-born Princess Mary of Denmark is one of the many celebrities spotted here.
One of the best eateries in town, Franklin serves up a changing menu depending on what’s at its best. Expect to find delicacies like wild rocket flowers or fennel, Bruny Island sea urchin, just-caught flathead or house-cured meats. The restaurant confirmed that Nigella Lawson popped in for a bite when in town late last year.
Set on five acres, Agrarian Kitchen is a restaurant, farm and cooking school that offers the fabulously trendy paddock-to-plate cooking experience in a 19th Century schoolhouse in the Derwent Valley, 45 minutes from Hobart.
Macq101 is a new waterfront luxury accommodation offers superior accommodation with windows overlooking the busy waterfront. It’s also wandering distances to some of the city’s best local restaurants.
So next time you’re thinking of a getaway that has celebrity appeal, put Hobart on your list.
And while you’re here, keep your eyes peeled for your favourite celebrity, who could just be dining at the next table over from yours. Because you’re unlikely to read about it.
(Lead image: Saffire Freycinet takes remote and private eco-luxury to the next level. Image: Saffire Freycinet / Tourism Tasmania)
Published 29 March, 2019