For me, Christmas is a little too hectic to be enjoyable. In the lead up, there’s the presents to make and/or buy, the menu to plan, the food to prepare, the greetings to send… for someone who likes everything to be perfect, it’s stress personified. Normal life (you know: work, school, sport) doesn’t take a holiday just because you’re busy! And the actual big day is a glaring reminder to me that many of my friends and family live interstate, miles away, having fun without me.
But Boxing Day, once Christmas is officially over for another year, is a time I love.
Boxing Day: Breathe A Little Easier
Boxing Day marks the start of a fantastic week in Hobart. Having never been remotely into sailing before moving to Tasmania, I now find myself glued to the TV for the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. It’s weird, really. I have absolutely no idea who any of these sailors are, nor any concept of the actual sport. But I love the excitement the race generates in Hobart, and I now know how huge and impressive the boats are. Even before the fleet arrives, Hobart is abuzz.
Of course, there’s the Boxing Day Test at the MCG to juggle on TV as well. Watching their favourite son Ricky Ponting smash 63 runs at Blundstone Arena for the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday has Tassie cricket fans in a frenzy. With local boy Jackson Bird getting off to a good start in his debut test for Australia, everyone has even more incentive to tune in.
Shoppers in Tasmania are the same as elsewhere in the country… eager to snare a bargain with their Christmas dollars. Elizabeth Street Mall in Hobart was a veritable hive of activity on Boxing Day. Not my scene though.
So what was my scene on Boxing Day? With such magnificent weather to appreciate, we spent the morning on the Hobart waterfront. The Taste Festival starts 28 December, and the leaders of the Sydney to Hobart will be due to arrive about then too. So the town has an air of expectancy without being insanely busy.
Cruising Around Hobart on Boxing Day
Gavin and the kids took a ride with Wild Thing Adventures. When they returned from the adrenalin-fuelled hour, they were overflowing with enthusiasm. Awesome was one word bandied around quite freely! Once I sort the photos and decipher their rabble, I’ll share more about the cruise, another of the many great things to do in Hobart.
Meanwhile, I ordered a hot chocolate at Tavern 42 Degrees and took a seat outside with a view of the docks. There were two youngish girls chatting nearby, enjoying a glass of wine, and smoking. I stayed put, even though I’m not overly keen on second-hand smoke fumes. How many cigarettes could they possibly need in an hour? Quite a lot as it turns out. As one would butt out, the other would light up. Anyway, I figured it was my fault for choosing the smoking section, and I did really want to enjoy the sunshine and the view.
It was very enjoyable watching the boats and the people come and go. There were long queues for the MONA ferry, and others boarding the black and pink MONA ROMA bus. There was even a larger coach waiting to take passengers to the Museum of Old and New Art, so Berriedale was clearly the place to be seen on Boxing Day.
The other ferry operators were busy too. Families were clambering aboard the Emmalisa, one of Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries, for a brief cruise around the Derwent River. Other tourists were taking brochures for the Bruny Island Adventure Cruise and the Peppermint Bay catamaran that heads to Woodbridge each day.
All around me, there were groups in catchup mode from earlier festivities. Some were taking advantage of the free WiFi to make plans (as I was, booking a famil flight for Gavin with Par Avion Wilderness Tours). Others were simply sitting, their eyes shaded by sunglasses, maybe regretting their over-indulgence at the Christmas table. Not a cross word was spoken anywhere, nor did anyone seem to be in a rush. And that to me is the joy of Boxing Day.
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