An empty rum bottle’s throw from the waterfront, the old maritime village of Battery Point is a tight nest of lanes and 19th-century cottages, packed together like shanghaied landlubbers in a ship’s belly. Spend an afternoon exploring: stumble up Kelly’s Steps from Salamanca Place and dogleg into South St, where the red lights once burned night and day. Spin around picturesque Arthur Circus, refuel in the cafes on Hampden Rd, then ogle St George’s Anglican Church.
Battery Point's name derives from the 1818 gun battery that stood on the promontory, protecting Hobart Town from nautical threats both real and imagined. The guns were never used in battle and the only damage they inflicted was on nearby windowpanes when fired during practice.
Architectural styles here reflect the original occupants’ varying jobs (and salaries), ranging from one- and two-room fishermen’s cottages to the lace-festooned mansions of merchants and master mariners. Most houses are still occupied by Hobartians, and many are now guesthouses where you can stay (usually for a pretty penny) and absorb the village atmosphere. For a fortifying stout, duck into the historic Shipwright’s Arms Hotel.
For an interesting (and free!) guided walking tour of Battery Point, check out www.batterypointwalk.com.au.