Welcome to Hobart.
History is etched into the walls. Nature wraps around it. Art beckons and adventure calls. At every turn there’s a curious thing to explore.
Here are some top things to do in the capital.
Step back in time
Ghosts live here. See the grand Georgian sandstone warehouses that convicts built in Salamanca. Admire the pretty colonial cottages that hide a history of debauchery, and a mystery tunnel in a city jail.
Wander along cobbled alleys weaving between the impressive convict-built sandstone warehouses of the historic docks area. Listen to tales of the hardship of convict life on an historical walk.
Leave from Salamanca, climb Kelly’s Steps and wander past quaint colonial cottages and whalers' pubs. Sit in the park encircled by Arthur Circus and stroll back to Salamanca by the waterfront.
Cascades Female Factory
This historic site was home to about 7000 convict women. Life here was harsh. Discover their stories.
More than 50,000 convict prisoners spent time behind these walls. Hear their stories as you wander through old courtrooms, mystery tunnels, solitary confinement cells and finally to the dreaded execution yard.
Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum
Gain insight into the daily lives of the men on Mawson’s expedition to Antarctica in 1911, where they spent two winters living and working in the windiest place on Earth.
Into the wilderness
Head less than half an hour in any direction and be on a mountain, at a beach, by a waterfall or in the countryside. There’s a natural wonderland surrounding Hobart.
Enter the world of sub-alpine plants and striking dolerite columns on kunanyi / Mount Wellington, just a 30min drive from the city centre. Catch the shuttle bus from the city and hop off to traverse one of the many walking trails and get a coffee at The Springs. Thrill seekers can abseil down the organ pipes. The view from the summit is extraordinary and takes in Hobart, the River Derwent, Bruny Island and the Huon Valley.
Shred trails not far from the city centre. Head to the Clarence Mountain Bike Park on the eastern shore for a series of climbing and gravity trails as well as a jump and pump track. There are trails across kunanyi / Mount Wellington. The adventurous might want to tackle the descent. Or go on a tailored mountain-bike ride with a group.
See Hobart from sea level on a kayak and paddle past its oldest suburb while weaving between tall ships. Explore the River Derwent on a chartered cruise or visit Australia’s oldest lighthouse and discover Hobart’s rich maritime past. A trip on the Mona ferry will be unforgettable – take in the view with a glass of bubbles while sitting on a sheep. Or a tiger.
Get a fix of fresh salty air at a nearby beach or coastal track. Grab a coffee and walk along the coast at Sandy Bay, or head further south to the Alum Cliffs Track and take in views to Kingston Beach. The Clarence Foreshore Trail has a great vista of the mountain between long beaches.
Stroll through the 14-hectare Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens with historic plant collections and heritage buildings. Rug up for the Sub-Antarctic Plant House and check out the vegie patch that appears on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.
Grab a picnic blanket and have a barbecue at Waterworks Reserve in South Hobart. The reservoirs capture the flow of creeks running on the higher slopes of kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Discover more in the historic sandstone Receiving House or take the walking loop around the reservoir.
Indulge in art
From small galleries on cobbled laneways to a modern museum built into the side of a cliff, you’ll be blown away by the art scene in Hobart.
Spend an afternoon exploring the galleries in the Salamanca precinct. Wander into Salamanca Arts Centre, Long Gallery, Handmark, Colville Gallery and Despard to see a mix of local and international artworks.
Expect the unexpected as you descend into the subterranean void. Mona is a powerhouse of challenging ideas, provocative contemporary art, rare antiquities and curveball events.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
Learn about Tasmania’s Aboriginal history, the mysterious Tasmanian tiger and rich colonial history while engaging with interactive displays and masterful storytelling at TMAG. Check the events for visiting art displays.
This family-run gallery in the heart of the city represents a mix of local artists, Aboriginal artists and mainland art.
Take a walk
Lace up the hiking boots and venture out. There are myriad trails on the mountain, as well as fun walking groups and hidden areas of the city to explore.
Join a free 2hr walking tour of Salamanca and Battery Point. Delve deeper into the character of early settlers and see heritage buildings on an historic tour. Craft-beer lovers will enjoy The Brew Hop. And for those who like to explore what lies beneath, a geology tour will tick that box.
kunanyi / Mount Wellington
There are long and short walks for all levels of fitness on the mountain. Expect spectacular views, cool-temperate rainforest, glacial rock formations and sub-alpine plants. Climb the mountain from sea to summit on a premium catered guided walk and hear local stories.
Hobart Rivulet Walk
Start at Molle Street and walk beside what was the main source of fresh water for the settlement until the 1860s. There are parks along the way and the historic Cascade Brewery is further upstream.
Starting at the old IXL jam factory, explore the network of art galleries before meandering along the foreshore past the fishing punts and piers towards Salamanca. Drop into Brooke St Pier to sample local whisky and pick up a handcrafted souvenir or two.