Explore Hobart

Hobart Travel Guide

Tucked between Mount Wellington and the River Derwent, 12 miles (20km) upstream of the river mouth, Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, and boasts one of the world's most secure deep-water harbours. Hobart was established in 1804 and is saturated in colonial history. It is a sleepy, charming city and a great travel hub for Tasmanian adventures.<br /><br /> The main historical district, Battery Point, is characterised by colonial stone cottages, tearooms, antique shops, restaurants and pubs. The Narryna Van Diemen's Land Folk Museum at Battery Point depicts 19th-century pioneer life. Here one also finds the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. Like most Australian cities Hobart has plenty of green lungs: the largest is the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, which is known for English-style plantings and trees, and a Japanese garden dominated by a miniature Mount Fuji.<br /><br /> Other amusements for visitors include steam locomotive rides, guided tours of a former women's prison, tours of the Cascade Brewery, gaming at Australia's first legal casino at Wrest Point, taking a cruise of the harbour, or sampling the delights of the fudge factory at Island Produce Tasmania. Mount Wellington, which is a 13-mile (22km) drive from the city, offers extensive views across alpine shrubs and the city below.<br /><br />

Cradle Mountain

Address: Hobart

One of Tasmania's most popular attractions is the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1982. Landscapes include ancient rainforest and alpine heath lands, interspersed with button grass and stands of deciduous beech trees. Trails winding through forests of King Billy pines around the mountain offer superb day treks, and the 50-mile (82km) trek from Cradle Mountain in the north to Lake St Clair in the south is Australia's most famous bushwalk. The Park is equipped with mountain huts that offer accommodation for long treks, and Cradle Mountain Lodge offers log cabins in a tranquil setting. Lake St Clair, a narrow 10-mile (15km) long waterway in the south of the park, is Australia's deepest natural freshwater lake.<br /><br />

Port Arthur

Address: Hobart

In the far south of Tasmania, on the Tasman Peninsula, is Port Arthur, which in the early 1800s was originally a timber station. In 1833 it became a prison settlement for male convicts, and quickly established a reputation as being 'hell on earth'. Today Port Arthur lies among 40 hectares of English Oaks and magnificent gardens as a memorial to Australia's convict past. The Port Arthur historic site offers an inclusive all day ticket, which includes a guided historical walking tour of the ruins and restored buildings, a harbour cruise and access to the visitor centre and interpretation gallery. One of the more popular features of a visit to Port Arthur is the Historic Ghost Tour run at night. Port Arthur is located 65 miles (100km) southeast of Hobart. Allow about an hour and a half to enjoy the scenic drive along the Tasman and Arthur highways.<br /><br />

Devonport

Address: Hobart

Tasmania's third largest city, Devonport is the gateway to the island state, situated as it is in the centre of the north coast, at the mouth of the Mersey River. It is the point of arrival for car ferries from the mainland and it also welcomes visitors at its modern airport. The city is three hours by road from Hobart on the Midlands Highway. The city has a number of attractions for visitors, including aboriginal rock engravings, a maritime museum and a cycling/walking track which extends around the picturesque foreshore, past the Olympic Swimming Pool, to the historic Don River Railway, which operates vintage and steam trains. The city's central location makes it an ideal base for discovering the wilderness experiences of northwest Tasmania, especially the Mt Cradle National Park.<br /><br />

Mount Wellington

Address: Hobart

Visitors in Hobart can't help but notice that the city's skyline is dominated by the majestic Mount Wellington, which towers over the city at 4,170 feet (1,271m). Travellers can enjoy the incredible panoramic views from atop the mountain by taking a bus to Fern Tree and walking a steep zig-zag track to the top. It is frequently snow-capped, even during the summer months from time to time, and the lower slopes are thickly forested. Those who choose to rent a car can even enjoy a scenic drive to the summit. Mountain biking is also a popular sport in Wellington Park, so enthusiasts can look into hiring a bike and some gear to enjoy the wonderful single trails on offer.<br /><br />

Louisas Walk

Address: Hobart

Hobart's premier tourist attraction, Louisa's Walk is a 'live history show', that tells the heart-breaking story of an Irish woman, Louisa Regan, who was sent to Australia in 1841 as a convict, on a seven-year sentence for stealing a loaf of bread. This piece of strolling theatre - thoroughly researched, appropriately narrated, and well-acted - takes the audience through the historic areas of Hobart, before ending up at the climactic location of the Cascade Female Factory, an infamous prison workhouse. The purpose of the show is to fascinate, inform and challenge audiences, to allow them to experience, through the medium of theatre, the chilling origins of Australia's settler history. Referred to time and again as the one thing everybody should experience while in Hobart, Louisa's Walk is an educational experience that holds the affective power of theatre, and should not be missed.<br /><br />

The Wall in the Wilderness

Address: Hobart

'Something special is taking place in the heart of Tasmania, and you are invited to witness its creation' - these are the words that greet you on the official website of The Wall in the Wilderness, and by all accounts, the sense of excitement they communicate is well earned. An ambitious project, Australian sculptor Greg Duncan aims to create a massive frieze, carved from gorgeous Huon Pine, depicting the best and worst of Tasmania's history from pre-colonial times, to trailblazing European foresters, to the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger, and the advent of hydro-electric power in the region. The sheer scale of the undertaking is mind-blowing - Duncan aims to use 50 panels, each one metre long and three metres high, carved front and back, giving a grand total of 300 square metres of realistic engravings. Duncan says he hopes that viewing the Wall will be 'an educational as well as an artistic experience', an important reminder of both the successes and mistakes that characterise Australia's history as a nation. The work is ongoing but the carvings are already very extensive.<br /><br />

Annapurna Indian Cuisine

Address: 305 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart Hobart

Food Type: Indian

Located in North Hobart's multicultural dining strip, Annapurna Indian Cuisine certainly delivers when it comes to good Indian food. Heavily spiced dishes and generous portions keep diners coming back time and time again to this great value for money eatery. Brave diners should try the Beef Tindaloo, diced beef cooked with mushrooms in a chef's special dynamite sauce which is hotter than vindaloo, while more timid diners can enjoy the more subtle and aromatic flavours of Butter Chicken. Open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday. Bookings recommended.<br /><br />

The Source

Address: 655 Main Road Berriedale Hobart

Food Type: International

Located in MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), within Moorilla, Australia's most awarded vineyard, the Source serves some of the finest gourmet cuisine in a contemporary setting with some of Australia's finest wines. Try the lobster, herb and zest cous cous, almond milk and perfumed tomato to start, followed by the Roasted duck, Belgian endive, salted caramelised apple and coffee sauce for mains. The extensive wine list boasts not only local but international wines too, coming from as far afield as France and New Zealand. Open for breakfast and lunch every day but Tuesday, and for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.<br /><br />

Ball and Chain Grill

Address: 87 Salamanca Place Hobart

Food Type: Steakhouse

Located in Hobart's historic centre of Salamanca Place, the Ball and Chain Grill serves some of the best steaks in the city in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Boasting one of the most extensive wine lists in Australia, diners at the Ball and Chain will have no problem finding that full-bodied red to compliment their choice of steak. Try the pepper steak rolled in crushed peppercorns, or the Australian classic, the Carpetbag steak stuffed with oyster meat. Non-carnivorous guests can enjoy dishes like the grilled Tasmanian rainbow trout served with herb butter or char grilled quail with plum and ginger sauce. Bookings recommended.<br /><br />

The Drunken Admiral

Address: 19 Old Wharf, Hobart Town Hobart

Food Type: Seafood

One of Hobart's iconic restaurants, the Drunken Admiral was established in 1979 and has been feeding hungry landlubbers the best delights of the sea in a nautically themed dining room where couples can enjoy cosy corners for a more intimate dining experience. Try the seafood platter, the juicy King Prawns or the Marrakech market Tagine baked salmon with chickpea curry, tomato and coriander. Open daily for dinner from 6pm. Reservations recommended.<br /><br />

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