It has been growing in popularity for some years now, but Tasmania – with Hobart at its commercial and cultural heart – remains one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Australia’s second-oldest city after Sydney, nestled between mighty Mount Wellington, the River Derwent and its estuary, has been largely spared detrimental development in the 200 years since it was founded as a penal colony.
Its people hold great empathy for the city’s heritage and there is plenty of evidence of that in well-maintained colonial architecture, particularly within striking distance of its waterfront and iconic Sullivans Cove. Take in the history, enjoy the wonderful food, sample some marvellous wines, shop for curios. Hobart is also an excellent base for exploring further afield in the island state.
- Country: Australia
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Offical Language: English
- Visas: International visitors need a visa to enter Australia and different types apply depending on country of origin, your travel agent can advise
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: Australian outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 23, F 22, M 21, A 18, M 15, J 13, J 12, A 13, S 15, O 17, N 19, D 21
Rainfall (max mm)
J 41, F 36, M 36, A 42, M 36, J 32, J 44, A 47, S 42, O 46, N 45, D 53
Its natural setting, fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture, love of arts, crafts and gastronomic treats, make Hobart an enticing holiday destination.
It is inevitable that what is emerging as one of the great artisan food and wine-producing states of Australia should have at its heart a burgeoning dining scene. Hobart is home to restaurants with Australia-wide reputations, from cafes to fine dining and an equally wide range of cuisine.
In keeping with its growing reputation as a magnet for visitors, Hobart offers a wide range of accommodation. You will find great empathy for the city’s history with cleverly developed waterfront hotels and self-contained accommodation behind the 19th-century stone facades of former factories and warehouses.
The Saturday Salamanca Market has become synonymous with the Hobart shopping experience, attracting tens of thousands of visitors (and locals) each year. Browse, shop, eat – there are more than 250 stalls displaying everything from arts and crafts to local liquors, vintage clothes to gemstones, books and antiques to organic produce, and savoury snacks to go. It lives up to the hype as a top shopping experience, but it would be wrong to let it overshadow everything else Hobart has to offer.
Hobart like a Local
Hobart offers a perfect base for day-by-day exploration of the south of this spectacular island state. World Heritage-listed Port Arthur is an easy day trip away. Ditto historic Richmond, New Norfolk, and the Huon region, including the southernmost point of Australia. There is so much to see and do.
1: Get your head out of the clouds: When the clouds descend upon Mount Wellington, or snow and ice closes the road, there is an alternative delivering a great view of Hobart and the Derwent. Mount Nelson and its historic signal station, above the suburb of Sandy Bay, offers excellent vistas – and what’s more it has a superb brasserie.
2: A wee dram, half a world away: Forget Scotland and Ireland, some of the best whisky in the world is distilled right here in Hobart. You will find the award-winning Lark Distillery in Davey Street. Don’t overlook Hobart’s Overeem, another single malt that’s making waves.
Did you know...? It was a gamble all right: in the 1970s the pitch to attract tourists to what was then a largely unappreciated Tasmania had nothing to do with promotion of its natural beauty. When the chips were down, the government won a popular vote to build Australia’s first casino at Sandy Bay. You could say it was a winner.