Hobart in Tasmania is a hidden little gem. I absolutely fell in love with the cute little city during my mini-break in March this year. The city has the charm of an old harbour town, with lots of historic buildings, a cute harbour and lots of pretty views.
Just a short scoot over Bass Straight and you’re in a magical land that’s so naturally beautiful it takes your breath away. There’s mountains, forests, national parks and rustic oceans for days. In my opinion, this makes Hobart the perfect place to relax from city life or just a great place for a mini getaway.
In this post, you will find lots of information on what to do, see and eat when traveling to Hobart, the capital city of Australia’s island state Tasmania.
things to see in Hobart | WANDER AROUND SULLIVANS COVE
Sullivan’s Cove makes up the majority of the downtown harbour area and is the quintessential Hobart tourist spot. It offers the best of both worlds | Food, and sites!
This was a part of Hobart to not be missed! The original downtown and settlement area in Tasmania and it was always a great place to meet locals, tourists and people from all walks of life!
Sullivan’s Cove now encompasses Victoria Dock, Constitution Dock, Franklin Wharf, Elizabeth Street Pier, Brooke Street Pier, Murray Street Pier, the Princes Wharfs etc where there are masses of boats – yachts, fishing boats, Antarctic Research Vessels, Ice breakers, cruise ships, the Mona Rona, whale watching boats, etc -, plentiful restaurants, bars, shops and hotels.
CENOTAPH NATIONAL PARK
The cenotaph is the main commemorative military monument for tor Tasmania.
This Cenotaph is located in a slightly elevated park just out of the center of town (about a 15-minute walk)towards the Tasman Bridge, with stunning views over the Derwent River, the Tasman Bridge on one side and Mount Wellington on the other side of the park.
The walk up to the cenotaph is quite lovely. There are dual pathways across the large grassed area with trees on either side and a large grassed lawn area between the paths. At the place where the paths join there is a small monument to the unknown soldier with an eternal flame burning.
Further on there are two very large triangular-shaped sandstone rocks on an angle. These almost form a guard of honour on the pathway to the actual cenotaph.
On the front side of the Cenotaph there are references to the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian Confrontation, the Vietnam War and Peacekeeping operations. On another face, there are references to the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Let’s hope that there are no more wars added to the list, it is already too long. But the park is a lovely remembrance for those who fought for our freedom.
SHOP TILL YOU DROP | SALAMANCA MARKET
The cities biggest outdoor market is held every Saturday and it is a true treasures cave. First of all, it is massive and it can take you hours to wander around. Secondly, it is filled with amazing local produce, alcohol, designers items, trinkets, cheeses, art, and antiques.
A lot of the stalls have EFTPOS facilities, which is handy if you don’t carry cash like me.
The market is held on Salamanca Pl from 9AM-3PM so if you are in the city on that day, don’t forget to stop by the market.
Not nearly as tall as Mount Wellington, I thought the panoramic views of the bay and islands were still pretty bloody spectacular.
A signal station, built in 1811, still stands on the hill. Inside, there is a fun little history lesson on signal stations and their importance.
From the reserve, you can take a 90-minute return walk descending from the signal station to the Channel Highway at Taroona. The track follows the course of Cartwright Creek through a range of vegetation to a sheltered rainforest-like gully. Duckwalks are provided in the wetter areas and there are several bench seats along the track.
On the way, look out for wildflowers dotted throughout the bush and listen for the song of native birds, including the endangered swift parrot and I even caught sight of a couple of wallabies.
Getting There: Bus 458 from Franklin Square on Macquarie Street. It takes about a half-hour and drops off at the Mount Nelson carpark.
WANDERING THE STREETS AT NIGHT
Don’t forget to put your walking shoes back on after dark cause this city is quite beautiful after dark as well. Wander along Macquarie Street, check out Franklin Square and wander to the Piers at night.
THE SOLDIERS MEMORIAL AVENUE | QUEENS DOMAIN
The Soldier’s Memorial Avenue forms part of the Queens Domain. The Avenue of Honour comprising 520 trees planted in 1918 and 1919 to commemorate soldiers, mainly from Hobart, who died in World War I (the Great War) 1914–1918. Additional trees were added in the Soldiers Memorial Avenue Extension in the Cenotaph precinct in 1926. In all, there are 533 individually named trees plus one for an Unknown Soldier and three trees planted by dignitaries.
It is an impressive way to remember fallen soldiers.
Additionally, the venue is absolutely stunning with lots of nature around it and it offers amazing views of the Derwent River and the Tasman Bridge.
Go up to the peak of Kunanyi, aka Mount Wellington
The pinnacle of Kunanyi (the aboriginal name for Mount Wellington) is only an easy 35 minutes drive out from Hobart. The winding road takes you up to 1,200m elevation, overlooking Hobart and its stunning surroundings.
If you do not have a car then you can go with a shuttle bus. these shuttle buses often offer you a 2-hour return tour from Hobart to Kunanyi/Mt Wellington, including 30 minutes on the summit. they offer two types of tickets
- The return ticket
Adult (17+ years): $35
Concession (Students/Seniors): $30
Child (6–16years): $25
Infant (<5 years): No charge
- The one-way ticket which is great for bushwalkers and mountain bike riders.
Adult (17+ years): $25
Concession (Students/Seniors): $20
Child (6–16years): $15
Infant (<5 years): No charge
CHECK OUT QUIRKY MONA
This is a love-hate museum | Either absolutely love MONA or roam around in a constant state of WTF. But, if you’re visiting Hobart, and it is a gloomy and rainy day, then a quick visit to this museum should definitely be on your to-do list.
The museum is perched on the River Derwent, the privately-funded MONA is unlike any gallery experience in Australia. With obvious exhibits designed to confront people, the large expanse and range of the items make this quite extraordinary. It’s eccentric, whacky and provocative.
The best way to get to MONA is by ferry, which departs from Brooke Street Pier and takes about 30 minutes.
The city has some cool antique shops. There are second-hand books, maritime trinkets (which made sense since Hobart is Australia’s second oldest settlement after Sydney), household tools, old vintage prints, vintage maps, and cutleries.
Some recommended vintage/antique shops in Hobart:
- Kookaburra Antiques Collectables | 113 Hampden Rd, Battery Point TAS 7004, Australia
- Antiques Warehouse |64 Warwick St, Hobart TAS 7000
- Archive Antiques | 170 New Town Rd, Hobart, Tasmania 7008, Australia
PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITES
The Port Arthur Historic Site is the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia and among the most significant convict era sites in the world. It has won many awards and has been called one of Australia’s great tourism destinations. The Site combines rich history and scenic beauty to tell the stories of the harsh discipline and determined industry of the settlement. It is a place to discover Australian history and connect with the origins of Australian culture.
Side note | In 1996 Australia’s worst massacre happened at Port Arthur, changing our country and its laws dramatically, so I ask if you are to visit Port Arthur to please remember to be respectful at all times, it is an incredible historic site but for so many people in this country it is also a painful reminder of the terrible events that happened not so long ago.
FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK
This one is a bit of a stretch as a day trip, but if you are willing to wake up early and drive back late, Freycinet National Park is doable as a day trip from Hobart. It takes about 3 hours to drive up and most of the sights can be seen in one day.
The most famous sight in this national park is, of course, Wineglass Bay.
When in Tasmania, you must drink the local pride. There are many amazing wineries that you can visit.. and taste test a lot of local wines of course.
Additionally, Tassie also does amazing Ciders, Beers, and Whiskies. Who knew! I certainly did not before I decided to go to this amazing island.
Beer-lovers will swoon on a brewery tour of Cascade Brewery, which is Australia’s oldest house of beer. A Tour is a great way to experience the proud heritage and brewing craft of the Cascade Brewery, a Tasmanian icon.
Anyone who is crazed for a cider will have a lot of fun following the Tas Cider Trail | Here you will discover the people behind the drink, their characters and the stories, the love and the passion that goes into crafting every bottle of Tasmanian cider.
WHERE TO STAY
When I was looking into my accommodation I noticed that there is not a shortage of hotels. From the famous hotels’ chains to small boutique hotels, Hobart has a smear of accommodation.
I stayed at the Ibis Styles hotel, which is easily located and has lots of amenities. The hotel room was pretty standard, nothing wrong with it, and the amenities were great.
Some other options of hotels that are located in or near the city center that were recommended to me whilst I was in Hobart
- The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel | Hobart’s multi-award winning Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel has built a reputation among travelers as one of Australia’s most welcoming and relaxing inner-city hotels. Renowned for spacious rooms and friendly hospitality, the property has centrally located a block from Hobart’s waterfront and just a gentle stroll to Salamanca Place
- Zero Davy Boutique Apartments | Their location is perfect since they are right at The Dock, which means you can walk practically everywhere. There are also lots of restaurant options around the area. Plus because they are apartments you can save some costs by dining in every now and then.
WHERE TO EAT
Given Hobart arguably does some of the best fish and chips in Australia, it would be rude to visit and not try their famous foods. The best way to do this is straight from one of the floating fish punts selling seafood at Constitution Dock.
If you want your seafood in fancier surrounds, Hobart’s historic waterfront is littered with restaurants that will happily oblige. Underneath are some great restaurants that you could try:
- Mures Upper Deck | Had some of the best scallop and white fish I had in my life. You can tell that there were fresh from the boat as the tastebuds had a great night. Reasonably priced and absolutely delicious.
The city center is actually quite small and totally walkable! I pretty much walked everywhere. If you are not much of a walker, or you just need to rest your feet, then there are buses going everywhere pretty regularly.
I went to Mount Nelson (a 30-minute bus ride) for $3.50 each way. You can either pay cash on the bus or get a card from the tourist office. But if you only want to hop on the bus once or twice don’t bother getting a card. The hotel did advise me to get small notes, if you pay in large notes, the bus driver might get a bit upset.
Getting to the city from the airport is pretty easy. I wished I looked into this prior to arriving, cause it would have saved me a pretty penny. Get tickets for the sky bus, this will drop you off at 1 of the 6 stops in the city, so there is always one close by your accommodation. This ticket costs $18,50 one way and it a hell of a lot cheaper than a taxi. I got on at stop 4 and it took about 25 minutes to get to the airport from there – easy peasy.
PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL TIPS HERE:
- Perth City Guide
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