Hobart is Australia's second oldest city, and whilst it's not a big city, it certainly offers enough to warrant a few days of exploring. If you love the sound of a walkable city centered around a harbour with historic neighbourhoods, historic buildings and a good local vibe - pack your bags as Hobart delivers. Craig Makepeace has the things to do that you cannot miss while in beautiful Hobart.
1. Historical Battery Point
Battery Point is known as one of Hobart’s more prestigious suburbs and has a large number of historic houses. Talk a walk around this suburb and admire the prestigious homes and their rose gardens. For a coffee or bite to eat check out Jam Jar Lounge Cafe and the Village Cafe.
2. Salamanca Place
My favourite area of Hobart is Salamanca Place and Salamanca Square with the historic Georgian sandstone warehouses. Eating and drinking in the cafes and pubs is one of the best things to do in Hobart. A popular place for the locals is the funky Machine Laundry Cafe and Retro Cafe.
3. Salamanca Markets
With a reputation as one of Australia’s best, the Salamanca Markets are held every Saturday in picturesque Salamanca Place. They're essentially one long street of vendors selling their wares, buskers performing and yummy street food to try. This one should be most definitely be on your list of things to do in Hobart.
4. Historic Harbour
I love a harbour city and Hobart's is a beautiful harbour to wander and so serene early in the morning on a clear day. Things really ramp up though in early January when the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race comes to town. Don't miss Fish Frenzy for the best fish and chips in a cone right on Hobart waterfront.
MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) is the place that revitalized Hobart and put it on the must see destination list of Tasmania. The founder David Walsh describes MONA as a “subversive adult Disneyland.” I'm normally not a museum person, but MONA is very interesting indeed, and I like how you’re a part of the experience as you move through it. On the list of things to do in Hobart - this one is by no means last on the list!
6. The Cascade Brewery
The Cascade Brewery is Australia's oldest brewery. Here you can sample their great range of beers and cider in a lovely terrace setting. Take a brewery tour and learn about the brewing process, or a heritage tour takes you around the 3 acres of gardens which also includes tastings and is suitable for families.
7. Mt. Wellington
Mt. Wellington rises 1,270 metres over Hobart's harbour and is often referred to as 'the Mountain' by the locals. You've got to be lucky to get a clear day though, I didn't, but if you do I've been told the 21 km drive to the summit ends with panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula.
8. Port Arthur Historical Site
No visit to Tasmania is complete without experiencing Port Arthur. It's one of the most fascinating, moving and interesting places I've visited in all of Australia. It's violent and troubled history as a penal colony for some of Australia’s hardened convicts is well noted, yet it’s beauty brings this contrasting sense of peace and happiness. Don't miss the ghost tour.
25 km north-east of Hobart the town of Richmond makes for a great side trip. Step back in time as you walk across Australia's oldest bridge, stroll along the picturesque river, visit galleries, antique shops and have lunch at the Richmond Arms Hotel or famed Bakery Cafe in Richmond Village. It's a good trip to mark the finish of your quest to see the best things to do in Hobart.