Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is a city that’s totally easy to fall in love with. Situated on the majestic Derwent River upon the foothills of Mount Wellington, it boasts awe-inspiring landscapes and scenic waterways.
As a seaside metropolis that lies outside mainland Australia, Hobart possesses a unique lively culture with art and history as its highlights. First-time visitors to Hobart are delighted when they find that the flourishing travel destination – now featuring a modern cityscape – used to be a penal colony and is home to numerous heritage attractions. There are also plenty of art spaces, galleries, and museums showcasing word-class art to explore, great for art-lovers, artists, and even the plain curious.
Another thing domestic and foreign tourists love about Hobart is its easygoing lifestyle. Hobart has a robust and diverse food and entertainment scene. And owing to the fact that it is blessed with abundant food sources and a great climate, the café culture is something to look forward to and experience.
If you’ve been mulling over a weekend trip to Hobart, here’s how you can have a perfect weekend getaway in the beautiful harbourside capital.
Enjoy a wonderful brunch
Hobart is filled with dining options that offer the best of Tasmania’s bounties. Travel to the state capital with a curious palate and a huge appetite and you’ll find yourself thoroughly satisfied, meal after meal. Start your days in Hobart with coffee, grilled sandwiches, and baked treats at any of the city’s numerous brunch spots. Brunch in this city where there is no shortage of fresh produce is always flavourful and hearty, just what you need for a full day of sightseeing.
Explore Salamanca and Battery Point
One of the best ways to experience the local way of life in Hobart is to take a stroll through Salamanca. With Mount Wellington in the backdrop, Salamanca Place is just a fascinating place to explore. Meander through this historic precinct, famous for its sandstone buildings facing the dock. The buildings were once warehouses and have been converted into art studios, galleries, crafts shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants.
And on a Saturday morning, Salamanca becomes more exciting as it plays host to the buzzing Salamanca Market, one of Australia’s most loved outdoor markets. With hundreds of stalls selling fresh produce, handicrafts, souvenir items, and snacks, a few hours spent at the outdoor market is a different kind of adventure.
From Salamanca, you can head to the historic neighbourhood of Battery Point. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful districts in the city and is known for its collection of grand mansions and 19th century Georgian cottages that provide a glimpse of Australia’s colonial history.
Climb all the way to Mount Wellington’s summit
A climb to the summit of Mount Wellington is a must when in Hobart. Known as ‘Kunanyi,’ the mountain is just a short drive from the city centre. The lookout at the summit offers breathtaking views of the city, of Derwent River, and even all the way to Port Arthur. The views are just amazing and there’s no better way to take in the beauty of Hobart and its surrounds.
Discover incredible art
No trip to Hobart is ever complete without a visit to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), a privately funded museum on the Berriedale peninsula that’s a 30-minute ferry ride from Hobart. You can spend an entire day exploring MONA’s collection of offbeat, controversial, distressing, and sometimes blatantly offensive art like walls lined with vaginas and the Cloaca, a stinky digestion machine. The MONA may be filled with dark, disturbing, and repulsive pieces but it surely is one of Tasmania’s most visited tourist attractions.
If you’re not into controversial art, you can visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. It is one of the oldest museums in Australia and offers amazing collections relating to Tasmania’s colonial, convict, and Aboriginal history.
Delve into a chapter of Tasmania’s rich history
Tasmania is steeped in history and Hobart makes for a great starting point to destinations that will let you gain insight into Tasmania’s complex heritage. Delve deep into Hobart’s history by visiting the town of Richmond, right in the middle of Coal River Valley. Easily accessible from Hobart, Richmond is a colonial village that is home to Australia’s oldest bridge. It was originally a convict station and today, you’ll still find the town’s beautiful heritage buildings featuring Georgian architecture.
Another attraction worth visiting is Port Arthur, where one of Australia’s earliest penal colonies was established. The Heritage-listed attraction spans 40 hectares with more than 30 convict-era buildings that will let you learn more about Australia’s colonial roots. Not to be missed during your exploration are the penitentiary, the Convicts Church, and the Isle of the Dead, a mass grave adjacent to Port Arthur.
Here are tours and activities to spice up your Hobart itinerary.
By: Brendelyn Balaga