Hobart is a place of light. Sitting neatly between the gleaming, mirror-calm waters of the Derwent River and the towering basalt columns of Mount Wellington, Tasmania’s capital city shimmers like a jewel. Hobart’s harbour is the world’s second deepest, and the fishing fleet based here make the waterfront, with its moorings of gaily-painted boats, a colourful and reflective place to wander. As you would expect, some of Australia’s best seafood comes from the waters surrounding Tasmania. Indeed, Tassie is famous for its food and in the cafés, restaurants and 5-star hotels of Hobart you will be able to experience this at first hand. The fascinating saga of Hobart’s sometimes violent colonial history is woven deeply into the city’s fabric. These days, however, areas such as Salamanca Place and Battery Point, once a part of the penal system but now lovingly restored, are home to some of the city’s best luxury hotels. You can spend hours exploring Hobart’s pleasant, leafy streets and with its compact layout you will never be far from a good coffee, a superb meal, and a place to see the light.
One of the oldest capital cities in Australia, Hobart is a place where history, nature and modern life intersect. After choosing your luxury hotel, it is time to think about exploring the city and seeing what Hobart has to offer. To help, we have compiled a list of eight of the most unique and interesting things to see and do in Hobart.
Overlooking Hobart is Mount Wellington, part of the stunning Wellington Park nature reserve. To reach the summit, visitors can drive up the winding Pinnacle Road or enjoy a hike through nature on one of the many walking tracks. Once you are there, you can enjoy sweeping views of Hobart and the surrounding natural environment. To see more of the nature reserve, you can arrange to explore it on foot, by horse, on a mountain bike or in a 4WD.
The cold waters surrounding Tasmania are renowned for producing some of the finest fresh seafood in Australia. It would be remiss for any seafood lover not to sample some of the locally caught fish, scallops, mussels, oysters, rock lobster and abalone. Constitution Dock and Sullivans Cove are both home to some of Hobarts fishing fleet, and are lined with seafood eateries, ranging from stalls to fine dining restaurants.
Every Saturday the Salamanca Markets are open. It features products from over two hundred local artisans and producers, including Tasmanian made whisky, truffles, jewellery, and woodcrafts. On Sundays the Farm Gate Market brings locally grown produce into the heart of Hobart. The market organisers ensure that everything sold at the market is Tasmanian made and is sold by the person who grew, cooked, or produced the goods.
MONA, The Museum of Old and New Art, is Australia’s largest private museum. It was built by David Walsh to share his large collection of ancient, modern, and contemporary art. Patrons can explore the galleries with the assistance of a purpose built, handheld device called the O, which explains each of the artworks. If you work up an appetite, there are vibrant onsite restaurants and bars.
Like many of the early British settlements, Hobart’s history is entrenched with the stories of early convicts. Over 5000 female convicts were incarcerated at Cascades Female Factory to be reformed. Today this UNESCO Heritage site shares the largely untold stories of these women, making it an excellent destination for those who are curious about Australian history.
To take in the sites of Hobart from the comfort of a vessel, why not take a lunch or dinner time cruise up the Derwent River. There are two options for route: the North Cruise Route and the South Cruise Route. The northern route passes the Botanical Gardens, Government House, Tasman Bridge and Rose Bay, while the southern route goes past Battery Point, Sandy Bay, Bellerive Bluff and Kangaroo Bay.
Theatre Royal is the oldest continually operating theatre in Australia, with the first performance being back in 1836. Within its historic walls you can enjoy a range of performing arts shows, from modern musicals and contemporary concerts to Shakespeare plays, opera, and ballet.
Within an hour of Hobart is Bruny Island, a natural escape that exemplifies the beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness. Explore the island by land, sea, or air, taking in the stunning landscape and spotting local wildlife. Then, sample the wide range of gourmet food and wine produced on the island.