The Tasmanian capital is a compact city packed with history, culture and great food, and surrounded by stunning scenery within easy reach.


By Imogen Eveson

Mona Art Gallery

Take in the controversial collection of art at Museum of Old and New Art.

Hobart, and Tasmania as a whole, has undergone a cultural renaissance of late thanks largely to the 2011 opening of the Museum of Old and New Art, or Mona, a subterranean gallery that houses one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world; catch the ferry (it takes about 25 minutes) from the city.

After Mona’s jolt of modern, head off on foot to explore the city’s many historic neighborhoods including Battery Point, with its pretty old cottages, and the waterfront area of Salamanca Place.

Best places to eat in Hobart

An abundance of quality produce guarantees the high standard of dining in Hobart.

Search out Fico, a small bistro in the center of town opened in 2016 by returned local Oskar Rossi and his partner Federica Andrisani, where producers pick ingredients the same day as they end up on the menu.

A similarly local approach is taken at in-demand fine diner Franklin, headed up by Analiese Gregory, one of Australia’s most talented young chefs. You don’t even need to book a table to sample delicious dishes made from local produce: head to Salamanca Market, held every Saturday, to find Smith’s Specialty Pies’ renowned scallop pies.

Where to stay in Hobart

Budget accommodation

Located in the heart of the city center, Hadley’s Orient Hotel is a boutique four-star accommodation that oozes heritage style.

Hotels

Henry Jones Art Hotel is set across a row of historic warehouses and an old jam factory on the waterfront.

Luxury Accommodation

A luxury ‘story hotel’, MACq 01 blends a top-tier stay with immersive storytelling based on tales from Tasmania’s intriguing history.

Lark Cellar Door and Whiskey

Sample Tasmania’s own whisky at the Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar.

What to do in Hobart

The former penal settlement of Port Arthur is one of the most evocative historical sites in the country. Hear its tales of hardship on its nightly lantern-lit ghost tour.

While Mona seems to get the lion’s share of attention in the city these days, the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, known locally as TMAG, offers an insight into the island state’s rich history.

Head to the Henry Hunter Galleries on level 1 to track the story of the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct when the last one died in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Then take a short walk to Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar to sample Tasmanian whisky in cozy surroundings.

Mona’s recalibration of Hobart’s identity includes the creation of what’s become one of the ultimate arts festivals in the country, Dark Mofo. A weird and wonderful affair held over two weeks in June, it’s known for its decadent Winter Feast, controversial art and nude swim in the Derwent River.

Easy side trips from Hobart

A trip to Tasmania is one of the most popular destinations for international visitors so we created a guide for you. But Tasmania has a lot more to offer than just Hobart.

Huon Valley

The Huon Valley begins 30 minutes south of Hobart and finishes on Cockle Creek Road, the most southerly spot in Australia that you can drive to.

What to do

Tasmania is known as ‘the Apple Isle’, and this area is where the reputation was built. Explore around Huonville, which sits on the banks of the Huon River, for local growers and producers, many of whom have shops and tasting rooms, and continue on to the town of Geeveston, which sits in beautiful countryside.

The Huon Valley is also a great place to try and see the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) during winter (June, July, August).

Where to stay

Spend the night in the town of Cygnet in the Old Bank’s light and airy rooms.

Where to eat

The menu at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed in Grove uses fresh local produce.

Bruny Island

This island off the island of Tasmania is recognized for its produce including oysters, cheese and even wine. You need a car to get around, so the easiest way to get from Hobart and see all the best bits is on a tour; check out Bruny Island Safaris Overnight Explorer Tours, which takes care of accommodation and all transfers, including ferry tickets.

What to do

In between sampling fabulous food, check out Bruny Lighthouse, go walking in South Bruny National Park and visit the isthmus of Bruny Island Neck, a habitat for native wildlife including penguins.

Where to eat

Visit Bruny Island Cheese Co., sample fresh Bruny Island oysters at Get Shucked, and enjoy a long lunch at Bruny Island Premium Wines.

 

Agrarian Kitchen

Take a side trip to Derwent Valley and eat at The Agrarian Kitchen in New Norfolk.

Derwent Valley

Scenic countryside and historic villages characterize the Derwent Valley, an easy drive from the heart of the city.

What to do

Tasmania is renowned for its historic villages and towns, and the Derwent Valley has some lovely examples: head to New Norfolk with its landmark church and the Bush Inn Hotel, the longest continuously operating pub in the country.

In the small village of Hamilton, wander by foot to take in the lovely architecture of the buildings, many of which date back to the 1800s. Mt Field National Park (roughly an hour from Hobart) is also worth spending some time in, especially the 20-minute return walk to see Russell Falls.

Where to stay

Tynwald Heritage Accommodation & Restaurant is a lovely 1830s mansion sitting on the edge of the Derwent River offering accommodation in antique-filled rooms within the house itself and two self-contained cottages, including the Granary, the old grain store dating back to 1822.

Where to eat

The Agrarian Kitchen eatery in New Norfolk serves a constantly changing seasonal menu.

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