If you’ve often overlooked Hobart in summer for more obvious destinations, it’s time you reconsidered.
Sure, it’s alarmingly close to Antarctica, but that doesn’t mean Hobart is without its fair share of sunshine and warmth. These are some of our favourite things to do in Hobart in the summer.
1. Head to the top of Mount Wellington
On a really hot day, heading up to the summit of kunanyi /Mount Wellington can be a great way to escape the heat. At 1271 metres above sea level, it offers some incredible views over the city and the harbour. If you’re feeling like a bit of a challenge you can also hire mountain bikes to explore the area.
2. Enjoy a fish and chip lunch at Sandy Bay
Sink your feet into the beach at Hobart’s Sandy Bay and watch the yachts sail by as you enjoy a calorific lunch of fish and chips. The South Hobart Fish Shop has a good reputation with locals. There are also a couple of piers here where you can while away some time watching people fish with varying degrees of success.
3. Take a Cascade Brewery Tour
Cascade beer is one of Tasmania’s most well-known exports. Just four kilometres from the CBD (via car or Metro bus) the brewery, which was established on this same site in 1824, has plenty to offer visitors. You can take a tour of the working brewery (check the site for times and bookings), or simply order a tasting paddle to enjoy in the gardens.
Take a short drive to tour the Cascade Brewery.
4. Jump on the ferry and head up the river to MONA
The Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) has undeniably played a big hand in making Hobart one of Australia’s hottest travel destinations. Don’t be put off if you haven’t traditionally been an art lover. MONA is quirky, bizarre and utterly memorable. And it’s not just about the art itself – it offers incredible architectural design in a gorgeous spot up the river.
The journey there is also a big part of the fun. Take the ferry (which looks like something out of a James Bond film) from the pier in Hobart (also one of our top things to do with kids in Hobart) and sip a glass of champagne as you admire the suburbs of Hobart from the water.
After you’ve had fun drinking in the art, take your shoes off, find a spot on the lawn area near the MONA stage and watch random chickens roam by (you can buy excellent snacks and drinks to enjoy on the grass).
Take the ferry to MONA. It’s quirky, bizarre and utterly memorable.
5. Get some shaved ice and wander around Salamanca Market
If you happen to be around on a Saturday morning, the Salamanca Market should be on your list of things to do. After all, it is one of the best markets in Hobart – if not the country.
Here you’ll find local produce, artisan products, crafts, clothing, live music and plenty of food options to enjoy as you wander around. Chopping boards and other miscellaneous items crafted out of the beautiful local Huon pine wood make an excellent souvenir.
Peruse the Salamanca Markets for local produce, artisan products, crafts and clothing.
6. Laze about in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Just a stone’s throw from the CBD you’ll find the beautifully maintained Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, with a wealth of different flora on show. Grab a takeaway coffee or throw together a picnic and find yourself a shady spot among the towering trees. Be sure to check out the gift shop while you’re there too.
7. Have a cold beer at the Shipwrights Arms
Battery Point is one of Hobart’s most beautiful suburbs and the Shipwrights Arms (or “Shippies” as it’s known by locals) is one of its most charming old-school pubs. It opened in 1846 and as the name suggests there’s a strong nautical theme here, with photos of local yachtsmen and maritime memorabilia gracing the walls. They also do counter meals with some good fresh seafood on offer, of course. If you’re after some more suggestions on where to sink a cold one, we’ve also revealed our pick of the best bars in Hobart.
Have a pint at the Shipwrights Arms, Hobart’s most charming old-school pub.
8. Have a lazy lunch at Templo
Templo is a tiny restaurant (just 20 seats) so be sure to book ahead. But you won’t regret committing to lunch at this intimate neighbourhood eatery – it’s one of Hobart’s hottest offerings and the $60 chef’s menu represents great value. But why stop there? There are plenty of excellent places to eat in Hobart, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants. Set aside some time to make your way through them all.
Try the chef’s menu at Templo.
9. Take a spin around Bruny Island
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys offers cruises around Bruny Island, just a short drive from Hobart (there are buses, or it’s around 45 mins in the car). The three-hour cruise gives you the chance to see the beautiful scenery and wildlife around the island (including dolphins and whales if you’re lucky).
If you have a bit of extra time you can choose to take your car on the ferry and stay a few nights on Bruny Island; there are definitely enough experiences to be had on Bruny Island to keep you busy. Be sure to check out the Bruny Island Cheese Company for a tasting board if you do.
Cruise around Bruny Island with Pennicott Wilderness Journey.
10. Cool off with a walk to Secret Falls
One of the most amazing things about Hobart is that true natural beauty is right at your back door to explore. One of the most tranquil spots to cool off in the summer months is Secret Falls – but don’t let the name fool you – plenty of people have cottoned onto this mossy wonderland. The falls are situated on the Myrtle Gully track in the foothills of kunanyi /Mount Wellington, in a secluded part of the trail.