Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, is nestled between the river Derwent and the mighty peaks of Mt. Wellington and offers a very relaxed lifestyle, fascinating heritage and world-class sights and outdoor activities. International travellers regard Hobart as the gateway to road trips and tours of Tasmania. However, Hobart has a flair, with many fun attractions and activities. A hub for hip cafes and quirky shops. Historic breweries, award-winning vineyards, fabulous restaurants, a pub scene, and unique local markets make it a thriving city with a funky atmosphere worth visiting. Below are our picks for the best things to do in Hobart and short side trips.
If you want a good budget place, I recommend YHA. It has good private rooms and is right in the heart of Hobart. Here are the places I recommend for staying in Hobart if you travel solo:
The Best Hotels to Stay in Hobart:
Hobart CBD Hotels
Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse
YHA Central Hobart
If you are on a short visit to Hobart, then the Hobart Convict Penitentiary will give you an exciting glimpse into the city’s history. If you are lucky to visit on a Saturday, you can enjoy the beauty and vibrant atmosphere of the Salamanca Markets. The third thing I recommend is a bus ride to Mount Wellington. On a clear day, you will enjoy a magnificent view of Hobart’s picturesque settings and admire the World Heritage Wilderness in the distance.
One of the best attractions in Hobart is the Salamanca Markets are held every Saturday at Hobart’s waterfront. Convicts built it, and today houses art galleries, fine restaurants, and a variety of fantastic shops. If you are an art lover, visit the Salamanca Art Centre nearby. Be sure you go there early morning, as it gets hectic. For lunch, be sure to have d drink at the pubs lining up or the restaurants. I’m sure you will love the Salamanca Markets and will find something to take home.
Battery Point with historic 19th-century cottages. This is the old district of Hobart, just 5 minute walk from Salamanca Markets. So ideally, stroll through its picturesque lanes on a Saturday afternoon. Don’t miss out on walking the Nanny Goat lane to take a beautiful view of Hobart and the Paramatta River. Enjoy the new Battery Point Walkaway, a newly opened iconic feature of the city; with 157 concrete panels, it builds a foreshow boardwalk linking the southbound of Battery Point to the Hobart CBD, thus bypassing the steep hills and creating the perfect walkway and cycling path for locals and visitors alike.
A visit to the oldest brewery in Australia is a must in Hobart. It was established in 1824 and since then crafts a range of Cascade beers and most known ciders like Mercury, using pure Tasmanian water sourced from Mt. Wellington and Tasmanian-grown hops and barley. The Cascade Brewery is 10 minute’s drive from the city centre to Mt. Wellington. You can either visit it on a self-guided tour or go on a brewery tour. The guided tour is best if you are interested in learning about the history, seeing the brewing operations and tasting the excellent craft beers. A fabulous restaurant and bar offer a beautiful view of Mt. Wellington too. Cascade Brewery Tours are open from 10 am to 3.00 pm and last 75 min. The entrance is below 40 dollars.
The Cascades Female Factory
If you tour the Cascade brewery, it is an excellent occasion to visit the Cascade Female Factory. This is Australia’s largest and most important historic site for female convicts. More than 5 thousand women and children were imprisoned there to reform female convicts. You can read about emotional stories.
Located to the West of Hobart, the 1,270-meter-high Mount Wellington is a place to enjoy the pristine and unspoiled Tasmanian wilderness. The best way to walk up to Mount Wellington is to start the Summit Circular walk at The Springs and take the Pinnacle track, then follow the Zig Zag track to the Summit. If you want a shorter walk, do the Organ Pipe circular walk. At the top, you can also go biking and even take further hikes. The dolerite cliff, the Organ Pipes, is an excellent rock climbing spot. Mount Wellington also has a fantastic 21-kilometre road leading to the Pinnacle, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city. So, if you prefer a self-drive, it’s the ideal place for a day trip from Hobart.
Hobart is the home to the cutting-edge MONA, the Museum of Old and New. MONA was opened to the public in 2011 and has since created controversial and thought-provoking collections of art and antiquities. It has many amazing and unique exhibits to see. There are also entertainment venues, a trendy onsite restaurant, a library, a cinema, and accommodation pavilions. You can go to MONA by a 30-minute ferry ride along the Derwent River. Another option is to travel by car or to take a bus from the city centre. I visited, and I loved it. It’s a quirky and exciting place. For more info, check out Mona.
Just a few minutes from Hobart, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is another great thing to do on a morning walk by discovering the unique climate garden. They showcase Australia’s only Subantarctic Plant House. They celebrated its bicentennial in 2018. Enjoy a coffee or a meal at Succulent Restaurant with a fantastic view of Hobart, and don’t miss out on the Tasmanian native plant collection, including the Huon Pine.
In thirty minutes by car or bus from Hobart, you get to Richmond, the oldest Georgian village in Australia, which convicts built. You can visit the Richmond Gaol built-in 1825, the courthouse, the cottages, the town hall, St. Johns Roman church, and the Richmond Bridge, the oldest bridge in Australia, still in use. This bridge was built in 1823 by convicts from sandstone, and the legends say several ghosts haunt the bridge; St. Luke Church was built in 1834 by convicts, and the one who did the timber work was granted his freedom as a reward for his work. To get to Richmond, get the Skybus Hobart bus, with six drop-off and pick-up locations across the city.
If you love markets, you cannot miss out on the Farm Gate Market, a bustling local market in Hobart, which takes place every Sunday from 8.30.00 am to 1.00 pm in Bathurst Stree. It started 12 years ago and has become one of Tasmania’s top 5 largest farmers’ markets. The market next to selling the freshest local produce from Hobart and its surroundings also provides inspiration to grow your garden. Many stalls have artisan products with olive oils, spirits and wines, healthy treats, bread, cakes, locally roasted coffee, and hand-blended teas. Another attractive market is the HTM, the Hobart Twilight Market on Friday afternoon, held at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, and Brooke Street Pier.
The Tasmanian Museum of Art Gallery has free entry and free tours to learn more about the historic buildings and exhibitions from 1-2 pm from Wed to Sunday, on Dunn Place, Hobart.
Stroll down to Hobart’s waterfront marina and stop for a glass of wine. Don’t miss out on the best Fish and Chips in Australia. The best places are Fish Frenzy, Flippers Fish and Chips, Fishy Business and many more. You will find the one that speaks to you, from small fish and chips stalls to the finest restaurants. And you will not be disappointed. If you fancy more classic meals, check out these places for eating out in Hobart: Faro, Aloft, Fico, and Franklin.
Do spend more than a day here since you will find many nice things to do in Hobart. Here are also some of the easy day trips that Hobart offers. Rent a car to get around Tasmania and explore these lovely locations. You can start your self-drive trip from Hobart, which will take 4 hours along the coast. A day trip to Bruny Island will be a good start, followed by exploring the walking trails at the Mount Wellington Summit. You could also stop at Bicheno, a lovely coastal village 34 km northeast of the Freycinet National Park. There is much to do on your Tasmania solo road travel. To hire a car in Hobart, check out what we recommend:
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A 45-minute drive from Hobart will lead you to Kettering. You can take a ferry to Bruny Island, with walking trails and ample campsites. The Bruny Lighthouse is also a place you can visit with the most spectacular view of the cape
The Hastings Caves are located an hour and a half away from Hobart. They are the largest dolomite caves in Australia and are millions of years old. It is a great spot to see the natural thermal springs located here. This is the most excellent place in Tasmania to spend your day exploring and enjoying its tremendous natural beauty.
Port Arthur is an old convict settlement just an hour’s drive southeast of Hobart via the Tasman Highway. It gives one a glimpse into the turbulent past of this region. To learn more about Tasmania’s history, you can browse through fascinating documents and relics in the museum. An exciting thing to do in the evening is to be a part of the lantern-lit ghost tour of the ruins. There is also a 45 minutes guided tour of the historic sites included in your day-pass ticket, at the cost of 40 dollars.
Bruny Island is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Tasmania, just off its southeast coast. Here there are many fun activities that you can be a part of. You can cruise to see the seabirds, fin-slapping humpback whales in the water, and an array of animals as you pass by on the boat. It is an excellent place for food lovers due to its famous gastronomic treats, which you can sample on island-tasting tours. The South Bruny National Park offers an eco-cruise and many challenging nature trail hikes. The Fluted Cape Walk on Bruny Island. is a must and one of the best walks of Tasmania. It is a steep walk for active travellers who want to explore the spectacular cliffs.
The best way to get to Hobart is to fly from any Australian city. From Melbourne, you can also take the night ferry. Flight prices vary a lot during the year. If you can plan, booking 2 or 3 months earlier is advisable to get a flight deal for 100 Australian Dollars. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Melbourne to Launceston, hire a car, and drive to Hobart.
More Related Posts:
A Solo Travel Guide To Tasmania
A 7-day Eastcoast Road Trip of Tasmania
The Three Capes Track of Tasmania
Best Short Walks of Tasmania
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