Best Places to Visit in Hobart
Australia’s southernmost city, Hobart, is located at the foot of Mount Cooney/Wellington at the mouth of the Derwent River. In such a beautiful setting, it’s hard to believe that this vibrant Tasmanian capital was once a brutal exile. Today, however, the city is rich in history and culture, and its beautiful buildings built by convicts and its fascinating museums and galleries are some of the city’s top tourist attractions.
Hobart also has a rich sailing tradition, thanks to its deep-water port. Sailing remains a popular pastime, and the city is the finish line for the iconic summer Sydney to Hobart Yachting Race. Throughout the year, tourists and locals flock to the beach to enjoy the fresh seafood and watch the yachts rush in the harbor.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Hobart and make your trip enjoyable.
12 Best Places to Visit in Hobart
Here are the top 12 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Hobart:
1. Kunanyi/Mt Wellington
Even in the summer, the 1,270-metre-high Kunangi/Mt Wellington is covered in snow, rolling like a gentle sleeping giant west of Hobart. It hints at the rugged wildlife beyond this cultural capital. (Tasmania’s dual naming policy also recognizes the Aboriginal word for the mountain as “kunanyi.”)
A 21 km narrow mountain road winds the Huon Highway through temperate rainforest and sub-alpine scenery. At Pinnacle, you can browse old photographs from the viewing deck and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, sea and stunning World Heritage wilderness in the distance.
A distinctive feature of the mountain is its organ pipes, basalt column cliffs and famous rock climbing sites. Walk from Springs to Sphinx Rocks and enjoy the stunning views of these fragmented rock formations on the way to the summit. The forest path is suitable for all abilities and you can follow a safe boardwalk to the edge of a steep cliff. It’s a good idea to bring thick clothing to avoid frequent icy winds and changeable weather.
Mountain bikers love to ride from the top down.
But if you prefer four-wheel transportation, consider signing up for a Mount Wellington tour from Hobart. This two-hour excursion includes hotel pickup and informative commentary from an expert guide, as you pass top attractions including Battery Point and Cascade Valley along the way.
Official website: http://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/
2. Salamanca Place and Salamanca Market
Built between 1835 and 1860, Salamanca Place’s historic sandstone buildings on Sullivan’s Bay exude traditional charm. Once the commercial center of old Hobart, this cobblestone lane is now a tourist hotspot.
From Battery Point, walk down the Kelly Stairs to this busy area where cafes, restaurants, antique shops and shops adorn former Georgian warehouses. Salamanca Art Center is a cultural center with galleries, performing arts venues and artist studios.
One of the most popular attractions in Salamanca Place is the Salamanca Market on Saturdays. More than 300 suppliers sell everything from handmade wood and jewelry to ceramics, glassware and fresh fruit and vegetables. Shoppers looking for an event in Hobart on a Sunday should also head to the Farmgate Market on Bathurst Street, where you can find a variety of fresh Tasmanian produce.
Feasting on fresh fish and chips on the nearby Constitution Dock is the city’s most popular pastime, with tourists flocking to it after the Sydney to Hobart regatta annually in the first week of January. Adjacent to Salamanca Plaza, the Capitol Building was originally built by convicted workers from 1835 to 1840 and is open to visitors when Parliament is in session.
If you’re staying downtown and looking for car-free things to do in Hobart, these Places are within easy walking distance from most city hotels.
Official website: http://www.salamanca.com.au/
3. Port Arthur Day Trip
The history of the brutal penal colony of World Heritage-listed Port Arthur seems strangely different from its magnificent location at the tip of the Tasman Peninsula. In 1830, Governor Sir George Arthur founded the settlement where Tasmania’s most notorious criminals were sentenced to hard labor.
Today, a visit to Port Arthur, about 95km southeast of Hobart, is one of Tasmania’s hottest things to do and a poignant reminder of the hardships of a criminal’s life. You can visit guard towers, sandstone churches, hospitals, prisons and museums. At night, the brightly lit ghost tour is sure to send chills down your spine.
Nearby Tasman National Park, with its towering basalt cliffs, impressive rock formations and secluded coves, is a popular recreation of Port Arthur’s bleak past.
You can learn about the history of this important World Heritage site and immerse yourself in the surrounding natural beauty on a tour of Port Arthur from Hobart. This eight-hour tour includes round-trip transportation from Hobart to Port Arthur; a stop in the historic city of Richmond; Includes a guided tour of Port Arthur and a 30-minute cruise to Caernarfon Bay, where you can see Tasman from the water. breathtaking coastline of the national park.
Official website: http://portarthur.org.au/
4. Museum of Old and New Art
Opened in 2011, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is one of Hobart’s most talked-about attractions. This fascinating private collection of modern art and antiquities resides underground and offers interactive interpretation via portable touchscreen devices.
Described as “destructive adult Disneyland,” the gallery showcases artworks ranging from Egyptian sarcophagi to machines that turn food into brown slime.
Among the many facilities here are stylish restaurants, entertainment venues, a library, cinema and modern accommodation.
The most enjoyable way to enter the museum is by high-speed ferry from the Hobart coast; A 30-minute Derwent River cruise will take you directly to the steps of the museum.
Address: 655 Main Road, Berriedale, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: http://www.mona.net.au/
5. Battery Point Sculpture Walk
The old waterfront at Battery Point is like an open-air museum. Explore its fascinating history and beautiful convict-built buildings on the two-mile Battery Point Sculpture Trail. Named after the battery that once occupied the promontory, this charming Hobart seaside suburb is surrounded by quaint 19th-century cottages, boutique hotels and restaurants.
Start your tour at Salamanca Plaza. As you wander this scenic route, look for the nine statues and numbers that are associated with the story of each historic site by date, quantity, weight or distance.
Highlights of the area include the heritage-listed sandstone mansion Lenna House, now the luxury Lenna Hotel in Hobart; Princes Park on the waterfront, home to the original battery; Narina Heritage Museum; and mid-19th century cottages around Arthur’s Circus.
The neoclassical St George’s Anglican Church here was built in 1836 by John Lee Archer and James Blackburn, two of Tasmania’s leading colonial architects.
The entire tour takes less than two hours, depending on how long you stay at the attractions along the way. Finish your stroll with a meal at one of the cafes in the delightful Battery Point Village.
6. Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens
A stroll through the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Hobart. Built in 1818 and perched on a hill overlooking the Derwent River, these beautiful, cool-climate gardens change with the seasons and take on a riot of color, especially in autumn.
A highlight is the peaceful Japanese garden, but you’ll find everything here, including native and exotic plants. Other popular collections include Tasmanian ferns, and you can also explore the Subantarctic Herb House, Greenhouse, Fuchsia House, Vegetable Field, and Lily Pond.
Want to do something with your family in Hobart? Plan a picnic in these beautiful gardens. Children can run wild on the lush grass. Garden walking tours start at 11:00 am daily and share fascinating details about the history and highlights of the garden. After a stroll through the gardens, make time for Devonshire tea at the cafe.
Address: Queens, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: http://gardens.rtbg.tas.gov.au/
7. Mawson Cottage Replica Museum
Curious about the unique events in Hobart? Go to the Mawson Cottage Replica Museum. Located opposite Constitution Pier, this popular attraction offers a fascinating view of the living conditions of Australia’s intrepid early Antarctic explorers. Heritage architects and builders have painstakingly reproduced the original snow-covered cabin used by Douglas Mawson’s expedition in Antarctica from 1911 to 1914, a short walk from the museum.
Inside the cabin, with the wind whistling, you can see and feel what it’s like to live in these close quarters. You can also view artifacts from the actual expedition, as well as samples of equipment that may be in use at the time.
The museum also details each explorer’s story with background information, life and death experiences, and historical footage, many photographs and handwritten notes, and brings the harsh conditions to life.
The friendly volunteer staff is happy to answer questions and share stories about the discovery. Entry fees go directly to the preservation of these historic lodges still in Antarctica.
Address: Corner of Morrison Street and Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: http://www.mawsons-huts-replica.org.au/
8. Hobart Convict Penitentiary
Hobart Gaol has a chapel that was built in 1831 by the famous Irish-born architect John Lee Archer and provides a poignant snapshot of the convicts’ life. In 1860, the two wings of the prison were converted into criminal courts and remained in use until 1983.
Today you can take a wonderful guided tour of the courtroom, cells, execution court and well-preserved chapel. You can also watch the short film Pandemonium, which depicts the cruelty of prisoner life, which is projected onto the walls of the prison church.
Better still, if you’re looking for something to do in Hobart at night, sign up for a spooky one-hour night ghost tour. The excellent guides here bring Hobart’s fascinating criminal history to life.
Address: Corner of Brisbane and Campbell Streets, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: https://nationaltrusttas.rezdy.com/catalog/44174/hobart-convict-penitentiary
9. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Tasmanian museums and art galleries include the Commissioner’s Order of 1808, the state’s oldest public building, in a more traditional contrast to the cutting-edge MONA. Hobart is one of the top attractions for families and a one-stop destination for Aboriginal and criminal heritage, natural history, and art.
Of particular interest are the fascinating details about the history of shipping and whaling in the Southern Hemisphere and the extinct Tasmanian tiger.
The museum hosts interactive kid-friendly exhibits, while the gallery showcases Tasmanian art from colonial times to the present. One of the best things to do on a cold, rainy day in Hobart’s winter is to find inspiration in the cozy warmth.
Address: Dunn Square, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/
10. Bruny Islan
A 35-minute drive south from Hobart and a 20-minute ferry ride along the D’Entrecasteaux Canal from Kettering is the beautiful windswept wilderness of Bruny Island. The island is a foodie paradise with handmade chocolates and nougat, handmade cheeses, local fruits and freshly caught seafood. Many day trips include tasting these local delicacies.
At the southern tip of the island is South Bruny National Park, with its towering green coastal cliffs reminiscent of parts of northern Scotland. Eco trips and nature walks are popular activities in the park. In the open sea, fur seals and fairy penguins play in the cold waters, and kelp forests sway in the current. On land, you can see white wallabies, wombats, echidnas, buddguas, and seabirds.
Adventure Cove and Pier Beach offer sheltered swimming areas where experienced surfers can relax in Cloudy Bay.
Hikers can traverse the wilderness along nature trails along pristine beaches. Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built by convicts from 1836 to 1838 and offers views of the turbulent Southern Ocean.
The easiest way to see the island is to take a Bruny Island tour from Hobart. This full-day tour includes a three-hour eco-trip around the island with morning tea and lunch, as well as the chance to see wildlife such as dolphins and fur seals.
11. North Hobart’s Restaurant Strip and Runnymede
North Hobart’s restaurant strip is a 30-minute walk from the city center along Elizabeth Street. Gourmets can travel the world with taste: China, India, Italy, Turkey and Thailand are just a few of the delicacies on offer.
The space exudes a bit of a weird bohemian vibe. A popular attraction in the area is Runnymede, an elegant mid-19th-century two-story mansion set in beautiful gardens overlooking New Town Bay. It was originally built around 1837 for a lawyer named Robert Pitcairn, who campaigned to end the transport of criminals.
12. Farm Gate Market
Eager to shop during your visit to Hobart? Farm Gate Market should be your first choice. This popular farmer’s market draws hundreds of shoppers to a busy city street in central Hobart every Sunday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. The market began with the belief that “if you can’t eat, drink, grow or meet the producers” you won’t find it here. Such is the case today.
Food is a highlight. Get to know the farmers and talk to them about their produce, from fresh vegetables and succulent seafood to crunchy Tasmanian apples, black Périgord truffles and winter vegetables piling up on the stalls. Come here for a vibrant bouquet of flowers, too.
Bring your appetite. Food stalls sell everything from finger-licking bau to vegan wraps, mince pies, artisanal cheeses, flaky croissants and sugar-coated scones. Live music adds to the convivial atmosphere, and if you’re wondering about the weather, you’ll be happy to know if it’s raining, hailing or sunny in these markets. The market opens when the farm bell rings.
Address: 104 Bathurst Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Official website: https://farmgatemarket.com.au/
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Hobart. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Hobart, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.