Hobart is one of our most beautiful capitals and if you're looking to celebrate Christmas in gorgeous and relaxed surrounds, this might just be the perfect spot. A city on the waterfront with stunning heritage architecture, fabulous wining and dining, and unique galleries and shopping, Hobart is always full or surprises. And it boasts plenty of festive spirit if you know where to look. In Hobart, Christmas decorations, lights and carols will help get you in the mood in the coming months. Here are a few of our tips on where to head to experience the best of the festive spirit.
On Saturday 18 November, Myer will once again host the fabulous Hobart Christmas pageant. This popular spectacle starts at 10.30am, and features an array of fabulous floats, children's characters and live entertainment from all over the community. It's Tasmania's largest Christmas parade, and is popular both with children and adults. The star of the show is of course Santa Claus, who arrives in his red-suited best with reindeer in tow. And there is plenty of post parade entertainment. The parade draws thousands of spectators each year, and will no doubt prove a hit once more, in 2011.
And while in town, be sure to head to Myer to see their always fantastic window and in-store displays. Each year they build up amazing displays based on a theme, and it's a fantastic place to bring the children, who can also visit Santa in store. In Hobart, Christmas decorations will no doubt be out in force at the Elizabeth Street Mall, Cat and Fiddle Arcade and Eastlands Shopping Centre. These destinations are some of the most popular shopping spots in Hobart, and are perfect if you want to source all of your gifts and party food in one spot.
For unique gifts you also can't go past Salamanca Place and the markets. Salamanca Place is brim full of fantastic gift stores, boutiques, antiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants in a beautiful sandstone heritage building. The markets run every Saturday outside the main building and feature hand crafted works by local artists and craftspeople, gifts, homewares, food and drink. It's one of Australia's largest outdoor markets and is the perfect place to find that unique or quirky gift.
When it comes to Christmas, there's nothing quite like carols by candlelight. Hobart loves them so much that have three separate celebrations. The main carols are held in Sandy Park in Hobart. The Glenorchy Carols by Candlelight is held on the second Saturday of December, at the gorgeous Tolosa Park Soundshell. This natural amphitheatre is in a beautiful bush setting and makes an ideal picnic spot so pack a picnic blanket, and the family. It's organised by the Lions Club of Glenorchy and Glenorchy City Council and entry is by gold coin donation. And then there are the Clarence Carols by Candlelight on the Bellerive Boardwalk. It's another family favourite, especially with the arrival on Santa by water sleigh. Gold coin donations for candles will raise funds for the Christmas Bowl - Act for Peace appeal. This is an excellent charity that provides aid to war torn countries around the world.
And however you decide to spend Christmas day itself, don't tire yourself out too much, because some of Hobart's biggest celebrations happen right after Christmas. The Taste Festival is now in its 23 year, and will take place from 28 December 2011 to 3 January 2012. The Taste Festival is Tasmania's largest event, and each year it transforms the waterfront streets into an enormous showcase of the best Tasmanian gourmet food and wine. And there's no need reminding you that Hobart is the finishing line for the iconic Sydney to Hobart yacht race that begins on Boxing Day in Sydney. Expect plenty of celebrations in Constitution Dock when the boats arrive.
Hobart has plenty to offer both locals and visitors at Christmas time. Start with Hobart Christmas decorations, add a dash of parade and a topping of carols, and you have the makings of a wonderful festive season.