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Tasmania Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Tasmania

For authentic Tasmanian souvenirs, the arts and crafts stalls and antique stores of Salamanca Place, Hobart are a good place to start. The celebrated Salamanca Market, held from 0800-1500 every Saturday, brings together 300 stall holders. On top of bric-a-brac and vintage clothing, they sell everything from seasonal vegetables, organic bread and cider to pottery, jewellery and woollen clothing.

Meanwhile, the venerable Farm Gate Market offers a slice of rural life in the city. Held on the corner of Melville and Elizabeth Streets every Sunday, it features live music and numerous stores which sell everything from local cheese and jam to boutique beer. The market opens at 0900 with the ceremonial ringing of a bell.

Outside of Hobart, The Penguin Market (www.thepenguinmarket.com) is the largest undercover bazaar in Tasmania. Taking place in the town of Penguin, it takes place every Sunday between 0900 and 1500. Also on Sundays is the open-air rural market in the village of Evandale, one of Tasmania's classified historic towns, a 20-minute drive south of Launceston.

In Hobart's central business district (CBD), Murray and Liverpool Streets are hubs for boutique fashion and gift stores. Similar shops can be found on Sandy Bay Road. In the CBD, chain shops and department stores mingle on Collins and Liverpool Streets, in the Centrepoint shopping centre on Murray Street and the Elizabeth Street Mall.

Shopping hours

Most shops in main centres are open Mon-Thurs 0900-1730, with late night shopping on Friday until 2000, Saturdays 0900-1700 and increasingly prevalent Sunday trading from 1000-1600.

Nightlife in Tasmania

Hobart has a spirited marine atmosphere. Perky sandstone pubs, sailors and a Celtic sense of fun were carried to its ports by convicts and immigrants. Today, revellers still gravitate to the waterfront pubs and clubs, particularly the terraced strip of Salamanca Place where crowds spill outside to alfresco seating whenever weather permits.

Many night-time haunts are found in Salamanca's old stone warehouses – from historic watering holes such as Knopwoods Retreat (www.knopwoods.com), named after a tipple-loving colonial clergy, to relative newcomers such as Jack Greene (www.jackgreene.com.au). Most pubs open around 1100 and rock until the small hours of the morning.

Hobart also boasts Australia's oldest opera theatre, the Theatre Royal (www.theatreroyal.com.au), while Federation Concert Hall is home to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (www.tso.com.au), widely acknowledged as one of Australia's finest orchestras.

Though small, the town of Launceston has a lively nightlife with a commendable selection of pubs, clubs and bars to keep the night owls going until the wee hours.