Australia’s second-oldest city and southernmost capital, Hobart’s rich colonial heritage and natural charms are complemented by great festivals and top-notch food and drink.
Rising high above the city is Mt Wellington, a wild and rugged monolith perfect for mountain and bushwalking. Stretched out below the mountain, the Derwent River is a vital link to Hobart’s maritime past. Every February the Royal Hobart Regatta fills the historical expanse of water with boats of all kinds, and sailing on graceful tall ships is possible year-round.
It’s a gorgeous place, but until quite recently Hobart was far from cosmopolitan or self-assured. It’s taken a while for Hobartians to feel comfortable in their own skins, and some locals did become protective of their town, shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ at big city escapees who invested in Hobart’s Georgian and Federation houses.
The mainland attitude to Hobart has now shifted from derision to delight, with investors recognising that Tassie’s abundant water, stress-free pace and cool climate are precious commodities. The city’s waterfront, architecture, market, mountain and river have always been here, but these days Hobart is boutique, not backward.
Tasmania’s growing reputation as a centre of food and wine excellence is on display every Saturday at the famous Salamanca Market, and the cafes, bars and restaurants of Salamanca and the nearby waterfront showcase the best of Tassie produce. There’s more great eating in historical Battery Point, cashed-up Sandy Bay and along dynamic Elizabeth St in bohemian North Hobart. Salamanca is also a vital hub for cultural and arts festivals in summer and winter.
No doubt about it, Hobart’s future is looking rosy. Tourism is booming and the old town is treading confidently onto the world stage. Plan on staying a while – you’ll need at least a few days to savour the full range of beers flowing from the city’s pubs.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Discover Port Arthur from Hobart
- Trek along Tasmania's rugged southern coastline
- Raft the mighty Franklin River
Last updated: Oct 23, 2012
Tips & articles
6 October 2012
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