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:
Best places to stay in Hobart
Tasmania - Hobart & Around (Chapter)
Australia’s second-oldest city and southernmost capital, Hobart dapples the foothills of Mt Wellington, angling down to the slate-grey Derwent River. The town’s rich colonial heritage and natural charms are complemented by great festivals and top-notch food and drink. Coverage includes: Hobart & around, Richmond & around, New Norfolk & around, Mt Field National Park, Seven Mile Beach and Channel Highway.
Top nine experiences in Tasmania
Tasmania is still Australia, but beguilingly and bewitchingly it’s just that little bit different. It’s compact enough to ‘do’ in a few weeks and layered enough to keep bringing you back.
Australia - Tasmania (Chapter)
Tasmania is compact enough to ‘do’ in a few weeks and layered enough to keep bringing you back. Look forward to plentiful wildlife and vast tracts of virgin wilderness, superb gourmet food and wine, a flourishing arts scene and impressive colonial architecture.
Hobart destination guides
Flavours of Tasmania: take a bite out of Australia's Apple Isle
There’s much more to the self-styled Apple Isle than, well, apples. Australia’s southernmost state, the island of Tasmania, is a foodie’s paradise and a world apart from mainland Oz. The cooler climate produces elegant dry wines and the unspoiled coastline ensures the freshest seafood around.
Mount Wellington Descent Cycling Tour departs Hobart
Rising to a height of 1270 metres, The Mt Wellington Descent is by far the most fun and exciting activity if you only have limited time in Hobart. This three-hour adventure departs daily to the top of Mt Wellington with a thrilling bike ride back to sea level.
Cadbury Chocolate Factory Tour and Derwent River Cruise from Hobart
This is a chocoholics dream come true, with a trip to the Cadbury chocolate factory visitor center. Discover the history of Cadbury in Australia and how it became a leading chocolate producer. Finish your morning with a cruise along the picturesque Derwent River back to Hobart. You'll be picked up from your Hobart hotel by coach and travel to the Cadbury chocolate factory.
Travel literature review: In Tasmania
In Tasmania by Nicholas Shakespeare Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Reviewed by Kirsten Rawlings In Nicholas Shakespeare’s eyes, Tasmania is a secret and rarely visited place, ‘a byword for remoteness’. His comprehensive biography In Tasmania paints this outpost as a magnet for the lost, a place to be renewed or be forgotten.