A QUICK GUIDE TO TASMANIA’S CAPITAL
Hobart has endeared itself to Australians and tourists alike. With a more layback lifestyle than the bigger cities in the country, cleaner air than most cities in the world, and so many awesome places to visit, it’s a real gem waiting for you to explore. So, here is my quick guide of the best places to see in Hobart which I hope inspires you to visit.
Hobart is Australia’s 2nd oldest city after Sydney. Situated on the Derwent River, it is the capital of the island state of Tasmania and was founded in 1804, as a penal colony.
Just a short 1 hour and 15 minutes flight from Melbourne, I recently spent 3 days in Hobart enjoying the many sites on offer. The city is relatively small and very easy to get around. 2 or 3 days is perfect for a leisurely stay.
Definitely one of the best places to see in Hobart is the picturesque waterfront precinct. It is such a beautiful part of the city, to be enjoyed both during the day and at night. A fabulous place to spend some time strolling around and trying some of the many great food places, and admiring the historic buildings and cultural attractions here.
The area includes Constitution Dock, Victoria Dock, Brooke Street Pier, Elizabeth Street Pier, and Franklin Wharf.
The Port of Hobart is famous for being the ‘finish point’ of The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which is on every Christmas time.
Seafood eateries are aplenty here and serve fabulous fresh food. I recommend Fish Frenzy, for ‘eat-in’ or ‘take-away’.
Adjacent to the waterfront is the trendy Salamanca Place. This is a very popular location with bars, restaurants, shops and art shops. This area is lined with historic sandstone buildings that used to be shipping warehouses in the past.
Saturday is market day at Salamanca place, where hundreds of stalls sell all manner of goods and foods. An iconic Hobart attraction here not to be missed, even if just for the atmosphere.
Battery Point is just up the hill from Salamanca Place and is one of the oldest and most charming parts of Hobart. Originally a maritime village in the 1800’s, it’s now one of the most sought after real estate locations.
Quaint little cottages and historic buildings, plus an array of delightful shops make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. From eateries to antique stores, I enjoyed strolling the main street, Hampden Road, and absorbing this gorgeous colonial neighbourhood.
You must see the circle estate called Arthur Circus with small homes set in a rather tiny circle with a park in the middle. It resembles a cute, toy village.
An absolute must is visiting Mount Wellington, also known as kunanyi by the Indigenous people of the area. This is one of the best attractions in Hobart, which provides a picturesque backdrop to the city.
It is easily accessible by car or bus ride up the mountain from Hobart and takes approximately 30 minutes.
Alternatively, hiking the mountain is also doable and a popular way to fully experience nature’s rich beauty, with a network of paths and tracks to explore.
From the top you will be able to appreciate the spectacular panoramic views. But do try to pick a reasonably sunny day so you will have a clear view of the city of Hobart and beyond.
Entry to the mountain is free and open everyday, except in bad weather. It does get very windy at the summit and snow falls here in Winter, being at a height of over 1200 metres.
There is an enclosed observatory and boardwalks at the top. And if you’re wondering what the tall white pole is, it’s a radio and television transmitter.
Snazzy Tip: Check the website to help plan your excursion.
Every city has a public garden and Hobart has a real treasure, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and it’s free. A historic part of the city with great views of the river and a serene setting for some quiet time. Check out all the details here. Don’t miss it.
When you visit Hobart you have to check out the popular MONA – Museum of Old and New Art. A controversial, quirky, and thought-provoking gallery displaying all manner of art exhibits that you wouldn’t normally expect to see.
I loved it, mainly because you are immersed in the art and the experience is totally different to a typical museum. But not everyone is a fan. You have to see it for yourself to decide.
The modern building and stunning water views are an attraction in themselves.
Read my post here for more details.
MONA has the added attraction in that it can be accessed by water via the MONA Catamarans from the Port of Hobart. A truly magnificent way to arrive in style.
Just a short drive from Hobart city centre is Cascade, the first brewery in Australia, since 1832. I love the gothic style building that sits prominently at the base of Mount Wellington in South Hobart.
You can take a tour of the brewery and even go to beer school. Yep, learn all about the beer making process. The Cascade logo on the beer bottles displays the extinct Tasmanian Tiger. Cider is also produced here at the factory.
There are 3 acres of lovely gardens and picnic grounds to enjoy, a restaurant and shop.
Snazzy Tip: Check the website for tours and the times they are available.
Wrest Point Casino
Located in the prestigious suburb of Sandy Bay, this was Australia’s first casino. I’m not sure why Hobart was the first place in the country to have a casino, but since its opening in 1973, it has been a major tourist attraction and helped put Tasmania on the proverbial map. It boasts a dodecagonal prism hotel tower, which is Hobart’s tallest tower.
The waterfront location is stunning and the casino is perfect if you enjoy a flutter.
Take some time to wander around the city and discover some other Tasmanian attractions. Historic buildings, Parliament House and gardens, lovely churches and more. The Museum of Tasmania (TMAG) is also worth a visit and entry is free. It is Australia’s 2nd oldest museum.
Tours of Hobart and Nearby Destinations
That’s my list of best places to visit in Hobart. I hope you get to see them.
I would love any comments. Have you been to Hobart? Let me know in the space below.