It’s not uncommon for people to catch a flight to Hobart, hop off the plane, and hightail it straight to Salamanca Market. This iconic strip of hundreds of stalls along Hobart’s waterfront – held rain, hail or shine every Saturday – is just that good.
While it’s a tourist mecca to be sure, that doesn’t mean you can’t live it up like a local.
We’ve assembled our top 10 reasons to spend a blissful Saturday morn at Salamanca Market, making the most of its character, quirks and hidden gems. Go forth, fair wanderers! And visit our flagship store while you’re at it.
🐝 300 stall shopping crawl
Where else can you breathe the planet’s freshest air, explore what was once the world’s largest whaling port and meet nearly 300 different local makers, artisans and craftspeople? Positively nowhere! Salamanca Market stretches for hundreds of metres between historic Davey and Runnymede Streets in Hobart, with a charming-as-anything nautical Georgian vibe. What started as 33 stalls in 1972 has grown into a colourful python of kooky, unique and unmistakably Tasmanian wares. Come with cash and time up your sleeve.
🐝 Street food degustation
Do yourself a flavour and arrive hungry. Salamanca Market is about sampling Tassie’s most odd and iconic specialties such as wallaby burritos, black garlic ice cream, truffles, steamed buns, hot donuts, fresh espresso, local seafood, local indigenous dishes and street food of every persuasion – all featuring produce from our fair and fertile island. We recommend bringing your own drink bottle and keepcup to save on single use coffee cups, and – if you’re incredibly organised – a reusable plate and cutlery.
🐝 Gin before noon!
Who cares what time it is? It’s high spirits ‘round the clock at Salamanca, brimming with award winning drinks you’ve just gotta try… even at 10am. All the well known and lesser known distilleries are here with gins of every flavour and colour, single malt whiskies (that capitalise on Tassie’s crystal clear water), hedgerow spirits and even vodka made from sheep’s whey! Beer and cider are equally big down here, what with our valleys full of pears, apples, stone fruit and hops. And don’t worry, if you’re a non-drinker there are plenty of refreshing bevvos for you too, including ginger beer, sparkling juices and honey-based elixirs. Sweet!
🐝 Souvenirs supreme
It’s plain good manners to return home from holidays with gifts for your loved ones. But forget keyrings and fridge magnets; Salamanca Market will supply you with the creme de la creme of checked-baggage burdens. Hand whittled spoons, hand knitted beanies, gorgeous ceramics, stunning Tasmanian-themed jewellery, handmade kids’ clothes, Tassie candles, local skincare, gemstones, one-off leatherwork… holy ship, this is one helluva harbourside shopping mall!
🐝 Deep Bees history
OK, look, this one is less of a traveller’s tip and more of a hat tip to Beauty and the Bees history. Did you know that our founder Jill sold her first creams (that she crafted in her rental kitchen) off the back of a motorcycle, in a big red hat, at Salamanca Market 30 years ago? Talk about origin story. And talk about a badass! The coolest thing is that some of those original customers still shop with us today. Salamanca will always be home for The Bees.
🐝 Flex your island fashion
Know this: Tassie weather can’t be trusted. Even in high summer, sheets of rain and icy wind can appear seemingly out of thin air. But you can make the most of the cold snaps by dressing Southern Chic. That is, lots of woolly layers, casually knotted scarves, little tweed vests, little tweed caps, sturdy boots and your favourite puffer. Of course, you can wear the exact opposite and, if the skies darken, seek refuge (and a dram) in the nearest historic pub. Your choice!
🐝 Meet Tassie’s quirkiest artisans
Tasmanians, on our little island at the bottom of the world, are proudly idiosyncratic – and it shows as you wander the rows of Salamanca. You’ll find makers of gin & tonic jam (Amanda Jammm) and merino ponchos eco-printed with local flora (ArtFelt By Lidiya), miniature pottery cottages (Moonpenny) and heavy silver statues of thylacines (Bronze Australia), meticulously embroidered maps of Tassie (By Juju Embroidery) and Huon Pine bow ties for your next fancy dinner (Edwoods).
🐝 Splash out on specialty items
If you’re in the market for a big ticket item, something special that’ll remind you of Tassie forever, Salamanca can deliver. Perhaps a timeless Hank & Berg satchel will strike your fancy? Or a piece of limited edition Lisa Wise porcelain? Perhaps you’ll fall in lust with a Tasmanian lineprint or landscape photo (Momento Art and Mountain Peak Photography) or a statement ring set with an ancient fossil (Rare & Beautiful). Whatever you choose, these quintessentially Tasmanian objects of beauty have serious family heirloom potential.
🐝 Unforgettable atmosphere
Salamanca is a vibe and a half, as the young people say. There’s something about the Derwent River air, the tall ships and seagulls, the wonky convict cobblestones, the courtyards and alleyways, the patrons of pubs and eateries spilling onto the pathway, the ultra talented local buskers, the slow moving foot traffic, the hands full of hot crepes and coffee, and the rounded shoulders of Mount Wellington, Kunyanyi, presiding over it all. What sights! What smells! What better way to spend a Saturday?
🐝 Market selfie with the mountain or it didn’t happen
There’s a spot at the western end of the market where you can hold up your phone (and traffic) to get a superb selfie with all the stalls spooling out behind you and Kunyanyi, snow capped and majestic, in the background. You won’t regret taking a moment to capture the moment – and if your arm isn’t quite long enough to get it all in the shot, you can always ask a friendly local for assistance. (After all, Salamanca Market is where they hang out too.)