Hobart City Guide
240km southeast of mainland Australia is the island of Tasmania - and its capital city, Hobart. If you're looking for wild sights, mild temperatures, and an inviting island atmosphere, Hobart is the place for you!
If you're a history buff, Salamanca Place is perfect! There, you can get a good taste of Hobart in the 1830's - back when it was a whaling town.
By the 1970's, Salamanca Place had gone from whaling to art - when the area became a cheap place for starving artists to work and showcase their creations. Some of that art history is still alive and well today - thanks to the Colville Gallery.
But Salamanca Place offers a whole lot more than just interesting history. Scattered throughout the quaint sites, you'll find plenty of modern conveniences - like great shopping, fantastic art galleries, and gourmet food. In fact, no matter what kind of cuisine you're looking for - from Italian, to French, to seafood - you can find it in Salamanca.
Thanks to Hobart's seaside roots, you can't leave Salamanca Place without trying the fish and chips. Luckily, Fish Frenzy has what is widely considered the best fish and chips in all of Australia.
Every Saturday, Salamanca's streets become a wall-to-wall shopping paradise. The Salamanca Market features food, music, native art, and even jewellery. Whether you're looking for a new addition to your home or just a simple souvenir, you can find it all at the Market.
Over at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania, you'll see how Hobart got its start - as a whaling village. Along with an up-close look at various ships and navigational instruments from different centuries, you will also get to learn all about Tasmania's involvement in naval warfare.
Hobart's history isn't all about whaling, though. Thanks to the Cascades Female Factory, you can learn all about the women who were sent to Hobart from the UK back in the 1800's - as prisoners. Many of them fell in love with the area and decided to stay when their sentences were finished.
For another taste of history, head to Battery Point - an area lined with sandstone homes, apartments, restaurants, and stores that have been around since the early 1800's. Walking along the streets will take you back in time - while the dozens of cafes and restaurants will satisfy your every craving!
Australia has great food, and Tasmania's world-class produce is known worldwide. No matter when you're in Hobart, you'll have a chance to eat some great food.
At Hobart's annual Taste Festival, you can indulge your taste buds in practically anything - from fresh fruit to fresh oysters to freshly-produced wine. Held at the end of December, the Taste Festival turns Hobart's waterfront area into a sea of different colours, tastes, and smells. It's no wonder than 250,000 people flock to the festival every year!
Once you work up a thirst, there are several local places where you can whet your whistle. For a look at how the local whiskey is made, head over to Lark Distillery and check out all of the barrels.
Hobart is also home to some great watering holes. One of the favourites is The Shipwright's Arms Hotel. Originally a tavern built for sailors in the 1800's, today even landlubbers can belly up to the bar.
If you're into a more bohemian scene, check out the Republic Bar and Cafe - where you can find both live music and poetry readings.
If you can't decide on one specific bar, you can try them all - thanks to the Hobart pub tours that will take you to all of the most popular places in town!
For a fresh beer on tap, take the Cascade Brewery Tour. Cascade is Australia's oldest brewery, and from the outside, it almost looks like a castle! If you're hungry, head over to the Visitors Centre - where chefs prepare gourmet foods that are perfectly paired with Cascade's beers.
If you want to check out all of the local brews, you'll love the Tasmanian Beerfest. Held every November, it's the biggest beerfest in all of Australia!
For more modern boat fans, there are plenty of yachts and fishing opportunities in the area. If you're in Hobart in February 2012, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival is a must-see. More than 500 wooden watercrafts from all over the world glide into town - flanked by tons of food, music, and entertainment. For a couple of days, dockside is the most popular place to be!
One of the most exciting times to be in Hobart is during the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in late December. All of the boats start in Sydney, travel the high seas for 628 nautical miles, then cross the finish line in Hobart.
During the race, Hobart turns into a full-fledged party area. Not only is everyone excited to see which yacht will show up first, but the race also takes place during the Taste Festival - so it's a treat for all of the senses!
But that's not the only yacht race that ends in Hobart. There's also a yacht race from Melbourne to Hobart called the Westcoaster. Fittingly, there's also an Eastcoaster race. For both, the finish line in Hobart features a big celebration!
And if you want to see what life is like aboard a giant yacht, then there are several tours that will take you out for the day.
If you're more laid back, take advantage of Hobart's fishing. One of the most popular places to fish is Sandy Bay. However, you can also see what's biting in the nearby rivers - like the Derwent River and the Franklin River. Arthurs Lake - about an hour outside of Hobart - offers great fly fishing and trolling opportunities.
For a water trip that indulges all of your senses, take the Cadbury Cruise. On this 4-hour trip, you'll go down the Derwent River towards the Cadbury chocolate factory. Once you're there, you will head on a 2 km walking tour, complete with plenty of sweet samples! If you want to take some yummy treats home, you can get chocolate at the factory at discounted prices.
If you're looking for some indoor fun, head to one of Hobart's many museums. At the Museum of Old and New (MONA), you'll see just that - ancient treasures and modern marvels.
At the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, you'll get to see animals that are extinct - like the Tasmanian Tiger (also known as the Thylacine). You can also find out about the Tasmanian Devil. If you want to check out the museum from an insider's perspective, go on one of the 50-minute guided tours. That way, you won't miss a single detail!
Between its beaches and mountains, Hobart is the perfect place for outdoor activities. And, luckily, your outdoor plans will rarely be ruined by Mother Nature because the city only gets about 24 inches of rain each year!
For a look at true natural beauty, head to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. No matter what season it is, you can count on seeing beautiful flowers, lush landscaping, and breathtaking views.
While there are amazing Chinese gardens and lily ponds, the most unique sight is the Subantarctic Plant House - a climate-controlled environment that's home to some of the most unusual plants in the world.
For something more adventurous, head to Mount Wellington, in nearby Coningham. There, you'll find a variety of challenging hiking trails. At the top, you'll be surrounded by clouds - and maybe even some snow - but the trip is well worth it.
Hobart has other races that will get your heart pumping. The most famous is April's Targa Tasmania - during which roads are closed off for some of the best sports cars in the world.
Or, see Hobart from the seat of your own mountain bike. There are several parks around the city where you can ride and relax.
One of the best mountain bike parks in the area is Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park - and it's only about 15 minutes from Hobart's city centre. It offers cross country trails, downhills, and dirt jumps.
After all that activity, a trip to Savoy Baths is a must. Located on Elizabeth Street, Savoy Baths offers massages and spa treatments that can help you indulge on practically any budget!
If you're looking for something to do outside of the Hobart city limits, then head to Richmond. Located about 25 kilometres northeast of Hobart, Richmond is chock full of history. It's also home to the Richmond Bridge - the oldest bridge in Australia.
For a look at undisturbed nature, take a 35 minute ferry ride to Bruny Island. There, you will find stark-white beaches, plenty of wildlife, and even gourmet treats. You can spend your time lying on the beach, hiking through the brush, or kayaking around the water. During your stay, be on the lookout for wallabies, quolls, and Fairy Penguins!
Salamanaca Place is a great place to stay during your trip. That's because there are plenty of Hobart hotels there to choose from. As an added benefit, Salamanaca Place is only a short walk to Hobart's central business district.
Another option towards the middle of town is Sullivan's Cove. With plenty of accommodations to choose from, Sullivan's Cove is only a short walk away from the botanical gardens, the Constitution Docks, Battery Point, and Salamanca Place. As an added benefit, you'll wind up with a view of the water!
Those contemplating long stay accommodation in Hobart would be recommended to consider one of the many Hobart serviced apartments which offer spacious family style accommodation. They are also ideal for business visits.