Mini City Guides: Stroll Through Hobart’s History, Art & Food

26 October 2016

Words by Renae Spinks

Hobart offers a blend of heritage, culture and cuisine, in a picturesque setting that makes it easy to forget you’re here on business. The compact downtown area means artistic delights, historic buildings and award-winning restaurants are all within easy walking distance. So head out on foot to make the most of your business trip – on and off duty.

Art

Hobart City Council loves public art, and you can download a self-guided walking tour brochure or ‘Podwalk’ from the council’s website. In North Hobart, where multicultural eateries line Elizabeth Street, take time at lunch to explore the murals, sculptures and installations on footpaths, lamp posts, walkways and parks and galleries. Look out for patterned tree guards by Sharyn Woods along Elizabeth Street, and trompe l’oeil murals by Peter Gouldthorpe along Tony Haigh Walk.

Art adorns the walls of the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.
Picture: Henry Jones Art Hotel

Meanwhile, at Sullivan’s Cove, where the massive ice breakers loom above smaller vessels, you will find sea-themed sculptures along its shores, as well as the Tasmanian School of Art, plus the Henry Jones Art Hotel, which has an atrium gallery, and the artist’s studios of Salamanca Place.

In the city centre, art is everywhere – in the signs, seats and pavers, as well as sculptures. Look for Irene Bryant’s Duality sculpture in Collins Street as you duck between business meetings. And don’t forget to check out Patrick Hall’s Thompson the Dog and Maurice the Pig in Elizabeth Mall.


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History

More than an art trail, the Battery Point Sculpture Trail (also available on Hobart City Council’s website) is a wander through history. The trail takes the form of nine numerical sculptures between Salamanca Place and Marieville Esplanade, each a date or number of significance in the district, which is home to artillery placements, some of the city’s oldest homes (below), and historic buildings. The 1833 sculpture, for example, consists of steel cages of stone chips, which represent the efforts of the convicts who gouged rock from the cliff face to build the early colony.

Batter Point has some of Hobart's oldest houses.
Picture: Getty Images

Meanwhile there’s no shortage of walking tours that highlight the dark side of Hobart’s past – from ghost tours to gallows, and cannibal convicts, such as Alexander Pearce, who was hanged and dissected in Hobart. When the work day is done, head out after dark for a spine-chilling adventure.

Alcohol also looms large in the city’s heritage – join a pub crawl through the city’s historic waterfront drinking holes, such as the Hope & Anchor, which lays claim to be Australia’s oldest pub, and is full of maritime artefacts, historic tools, cooking implements and firearms. Not a bad place for business drinks, either.

Food

Tasmania is known for its gourmet creations and fresh local produce, and the good news is you don’t have to travel to the farm gate to get your foodie fix. On Friday nights, check out the Hobart Twilight Market at Macquarie Point for gourmet fare and local artisan produce.

Fresh produce for sale at Hobart's Salamanca Markets.
Picture: Getty Images

And if you’re in the city on a Saturday, take a walk through Salamanca Market and its 300 stallholders for a taste of heaven. Check out the organic produce at Harvest Feast; and, just near the markets, stop in at Wursthaus Kitchen, a deli, butcher/charcuterie, cooking school and wine and cheese shop. Just around the waterfront from the markets splash out at Aloft Restaurant on Brooke Street Pier – you’ll be sure to make a good impression on your business connections.

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