Many visitors to Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, Australia, never see its amazing animal street art. It is tucked away in North Hobart – but if you walk to the end of the Elizabeth Street Mall and continue walking up Elizabeth Street, you will find it. If children are with you, make it an animal treasure hunt – walk both sides of Elizabeth Street as far as North Hobart Post Office and the State Cinema, then turn around and wander past the local vet.

Hobart's dog paintings.

Hobart’s dog paintings.

At Tony Haigh Walk you can see the first of a series of North Hobart murals  in the Trompe L’oiel style, which means, ‘to fool the eye’. They are the work of Tasmanian Peter Gouldthorpe whose illustrations feature in Paul Jennings’ Grandad’s Gifts, Gary Crew’s First LightHist! by C.J. Dennis and Libby Hathorn’s The Wonder Thing, published in paperback by Puffin.

Peter Gouldthorpe's Hobart cats and dogs.

Peter Gouldthorpe’s Hobart cats and dogs.

Peter has received many awards and commendations for his beautiful work, including the Children’s Book Council Picture Book of the Year Award for First Light in 1994.

Children love these painted Hobart dogs.

Children love these painted Hobart dogs.

According to Peter Gouldthorpe in one ABC interview, “I was told one golden rule was never put animals in and the very first thing I painted in my mural in North Hobart was the dog which remains the favourite thing for everybody in that picture or in that mural.” His street-level murals can also be seen in a nearby veterinary surgery. “I wanted to paint an elephant and a few other animals but the vet said “Well we don’t treat them so we don’t really want to let people think that we do”, so it stayed fairly literal. But no one ever notices the fish tank in the window.” Don’t miss the animal mural walk to North Hobart. Allow about an hour to wander up both sides of Elizabeth Street; there are plenty of excellent cafes and pubs along the way.

In the queue for the Hobart vet.

In the queue for the Hobart vet.

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