Planning a trip to

Hobart

Combining heritage charm with modern luxuries, Hobart, nestled at the foothills of Mount Wellington, truly is beautiful. Tasmania’s capital, and the second oldest capital in Australia after Sydney, Tasmania is a mixture of bustling city, bushland and beaches. And it’s most definitely a city that will please everyone, with history, waterways, rugged mountains and gourmet experiences to enjoy.

Top Things to do in Hobart

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay for weeks in this picturesque city. Whether it’s walking around Battery Point to see the historic houses dating from the first European settlement, heading up to the summit of Mount Wellington to enjoy the spectacular views of the city and harbour, or simply strolling around the art galleries and stopping into the fabulous restaurants for a bite (or three), you’ll be kept busy from dawn until dusk.

Salamanca Markets

It’s one of Australian’s most vibrant outdoor markets and it offers more than 300 stallholders. Salamanca Market is really a must-do experience, even if you’re not going to buy anything. Operating every Saturday and situated right next to the Hobart waterfront, it’s the stall holders that make the Salamanca Market so memorable. There’s hand-made glass, innovative timber designs, clothing, bespoke jewellery, delicious produce, leather goods and even wine and spirits on offer. Fun fact: Salamanca Market is Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction, attracting up to 40,000 visitors every Saturday.

Zoodoo Wildlife Park

With exciting hands-on encounters, a safari bus and the opportunity to play with lion cubs, Zoodoo Wildlife Park has become one of Tasmania’s biggest attractions. It’s certainly one of the state’s largest wildlife parks and while it started off as a small zoo with a handful of native animals in 1999, it’s now home to a huge range of exotic and native animals including meerkats, Bengal tigers and rare white African lions. The hands-on encounters include feeding lions, emus and zebras, and seeing all the animals up close and personal.

Museums

With everything from small artist-run spaces to world class museums and galleries, Hobart is home to some of the greatest cultural offerings.

 

Of course, the pinnacle of all contemporary museums is MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art. The daring museum is privately owned with a provocative and eclectic art collection. Board a ferry at Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier and sail upstream to the museum, which has its own exceptional restaurant and winery. The indoor collection is frequently updated and has been described by art collector and owner, David Walsh as a “subversive adult Disneyland”. The museum also holds events throughout the year including MONA FOMA in Summer and Dark MOFO in winter.

 

It’s often overshadowed by MONA but don’t miss a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Combining artistic works with and historical artefacts and natural history, TMAG is a museum-gallery hybrid where you’ll find examples of Tasmania fauna set alongside Colonial paintings and a portrayal of the island’s indigenous heritage.

 

While not museums in the traditional sense, Tasmania is also scattered with convict sites, one of which is situated in Hobart. The Cascades Female Factory was built at the base of Mount Wellington, separated from the main colony. It’s estimated that 25,000 female convicts were transported to Australia, making an important contribution to the colony’s development. Today, you wander through three of the original five yards, the matron’s cottage and see ruins of the perimeter wall. Staying on the convict theme, there’s also the Hobart Convict Penitentiary where you can uncover the hidden secrets of the site, seeing the solitary cells, underground tunnels and even the gallows.

Where to Stay in Hobart

From luxury hotels to elegant manor houses, Hobart has an eclectic mix of accommodation options, with many of them emphasising one of Hobart’s best qualities: the art.

Luxury Accommodation

A collision of art and history is on full display at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, set on Hobart’s waterfront. The city’s oldest warehouses have been transformed into the country’s first hotel dedicated to art. The Henry Jones Art Hotel is also set in the hustle and bustle with galleries, restaurants, bars and cafes at the doorstep. Plus, there are sweeping views over the port with Mount Wellington in the distance.

 

Sticking to the art theme, you can stay at MONA in one of the eight bold pavilions, which all have a unique style, named and designed after famous artists and architects, including Sidney Nolan, Brett Whiteley, Walter Burley Griffin and Roy Grounds. There’s literally everything you could possibly need on site including a winery, famed restaurant, and of course, MONA right next door.

 

The Islington Hotel, set in an old Regency house, has magnificent views of Mount Wellington, gorgeous gardens and, again, more art and artefacts. While it’s a luxury hotel, it feels like an intimate private home, albeit a big one. Each of the 11 rooms is decorated slightly differently, but if you want to feel connected to the history of the house, request to stay in one of the five original rooms.

Hotels

Like most major Australian cities, there’s no shortage of hotel options in Hobart. From the budget-friendly options right through to the five-star chains, there’s a choice for every wallet.
The latest hotel from the team at The Henry Jones is Macq01. It’s well-positioned and celebrates Tasmania’s history, from the indigenous population right through to the colourful characters that have made the city home. Unqiuely, each room focuses on a particular character, telling their story through the design.

 

For those wanting to stay in the hub of Salamanca, Lenna is an excellent choice. The hotel overlooks Sullivan’s Cove and is a great spot to base yourself if you love the idea of historic Battery Point. Plus, it’s spitting distance from Salamanca Market and its charm is enhanced by the fact that it’s a restored sandstone mansion.

 

One of the oldest hotels in Australian, Hadley’s Orient Hotel was built by convict labour back in 1834. It’s right on the edge of Hobart CBD so an excellent spot to stay. The hotel also claims to have Hobart’s best high tea, but don’t take our word for it – it’s served between 2 and 5pm from Wednesday through to Sunday.

 

For those who are after a bit more of an apartment feel, the Salamanca Wharf Hotel has studio and one bedroom apartments which all feature fully equipped kitchens as well as laundry facilities on site. It’s contemporary, comfortable and conveniently situated in the cultural and historic heart of the city.

Where to Eat in Hobart

Hobart is undoubtedly known for its culinary scene. For those who want to indulge in flavours from around the world, head to Elizabeth Street in North Hobart. Historic Salamanca also has an abundance of options to satisfy all taste buds.

 

Positioned in a former newspaper building, Franklin has previously been chosen as part of Australia’s Top 10 Restaurants. The restaurant itself sits in an old Ford showroom and it’s chic and sophisticated décor is complemented by the delectable food. With the kitchen positioned in the middle of the restaurant, preparing the meals becomes entertainment for diners, a little added special touch.

 

Gorgeously positioned along the city’s docks, Frank is a South American inspired waterfront restaurant and bar. The restaurant evokes everything there is to love about Argentinian food culture and Latin American flavour. It’s an Australian take on the culinary passions of the South American countries. And the cocktails are excellent too.

 

A degustation-only menu which is written up on the wall in chalk and made with all local ingredients served in a heritage room, Dier Makr is run by an unpretentious couple which certainly adds to the appeal of this unique restaurant. It’s all about original and unique food the menu mixes traditional flavours with new twists.

 

The idea of Templo may sound like a nightmare for many diners, but for others, eating dinner around a communal table with a bunch of strangers seems like a fantastic experience. Templo is a small 20-seat shopfront restaurant is absolutely charming with exceptionally attentive service. The chef only sources ingredients from a 50km radius, putting an Italian spin on the dishes, which makes for simple, rustic and delectable food.

 

When it comes to cafes, you can pretty much walk into any and be satisfied. But for some of the finest breads and pastries, head to Pigeon Whole Bakers. For excellent coffee and a solid breakfast menu, Pilgrim Coffee should be your first stop. And for something at any time of the day, make a bee line for Room for a Pony. It’s a former service station and has something for everyone – exceptional coffee by day, exceptional drinks by night, and one of the best breakfast menus in the city.

Packages and Tours

There are loads of ways to experience Hobart. Whether you’re hiring a car or basing yourself at one of the many accommodation options and choosing to tour some days and wander freely on others, there are a multitude of ways to experience Tasmania’s capital.

 

Of course, there are some attractions where it’s infinitely better to have a guide with you, especially in a place like Hobart that has so much history and culture to share. Battery Point, for example, is fascinating to merely wander around, however if you really want to immerse yourself in the stories of your surroundings, it’s handy to have someone in the know with you.

 

Being on the water, there are several options for harbour cruises. You can even kayak around the harbour which provides a better opportunity to spot the crustaceans that call the harbour home, including Australian crayfish. There also several scenic flights you can take around the city so you can see everything from a bird’s eye view.

 

Whether you’re settling in for a week or a weekend, you’ll be constantly entertained by this enchanting city, even if you’re merely taking a stroll around. With so much to capture your attention and your imagination, you’ll never want to leave Hobart.

Popular places to explore in Tasmania