The job title “master storyteller” is among the most coveted in the vast array of available jobs. Justin Johnston holds the title of a master storyteller at MACq01. He is an excellent choice as he colors the local history for guests to this stylish Hobart hotel. He reveals the rich and sometimes controversial stories of this wharf area and its eras. Please take one of his tours to get a feel for the place. See behind the scenes at Hunter Street buildings, the hangouts and haunts of its former residents and uncover some of their traces.


Johnston will inform you that the new structure was built in an area known as Old Wharf. It is clad with timber to fade in the sun and sea of Sullivans Cove, Hobart’s waterfront. You’ll find the CBD right here, as well as the many bars, restaurants, and other attractions on the waterfront.


The Lounge in the hotel’s lobby acknowledges Hobart’s Indigenous past with artifacts and installations such as an extraordinary ceiling that looks like the kelp on the coast. Evolve Spirits Bar is located on one side of the Lounge. It was recently named Australia’s Cocktail Bar of the year and Tasmania’s Cocktail Bar. This bar also hosts the Overeem Experience, a specially curated tasting of single malt whiskies. You can turn from the Lounge’s opposite direction to walk through the Old Wharf Restaurant and the Story Bar. Here you will find everything from smart cocktails, local wines, and Tasmanian Draught Beers, all set against a backdrop of decades-old newspaper front pages.


Each room has its personality, but it also comes with a character. The room is named after Deny King, a pioneer in Tasmania’s southwest. There’s also a display case at the door that tells Deny’s story. This Superior Waterfront room looks out onto the water, with a few tugs below our balcony. As is the room, the windows are large with a great view of Mount Wellington/Kunanyi. The interior is very clean with only one piece of art, a stunning panelled print at the bed head. The bathroom has a mini-bar, coffee maker and large bathroom. There is also a walk-in shower and walk-in robes. You will find a long bench doubling up as a desk, lounge chairs, and a coffee table.


There are many options nearby or just across the street at the Henry Jones Art hotel with its Landscape and Peacock & Jones restaurants. But for fresh, Tasmanian-sourced dishes, there is no need to leave the Old Wharf Restaurant at MACq01. We eat a BBQ Seafood plate (scallops and squid from the local waters), King Island eye fillet, and chips for our main course. You’ll love the beef and chips.


You can take the ferry to Hobart’s most well-known gallery of art, Mona. But if you want to walk towards the city, you can walk a few steps from MACq01. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery are located at Dunn Place Hobart. It is currently hosting an exhibition of Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series of paintings from the National Gallery of Australia. This is an exceptional opportunity to view such iconic paintings in an uncrowded environment. There are also engaging natural history exhibits that tell the story of Tasmania’s unique fauna and flora. Salamanca, with its Saturday markets and daily bars, is also nearby. The sanctuary of Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens can be found in the opposite direction. It is just a 15-minute drive away.


MACq01 was presented with serious competition by The Tasman, Hobart’s Parliamentary Precinct. However, it has plenty to back upon. MACq01 is a deep hotel. It’s a venue that values history but tells it in a lighthearted way. The location, the food, and the bars are all top-notch.


Zimmer starts at $330 per night at 18 Hunter Street, Hobart. Tel (03) 6210 7600


The hotel’s ability to bring together stories from its past is a great way to learn about history.


Although the buffet failed in COVID, the substitute fruit and pastry platter did not match the quality of MACq01’s excellent food.

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