Hobart is Australia’s southernmost capital city and just an hour’s flight from the mainland. It is focused around the River Derwent and the dockside where ocean liners berth en route to Antarctica. It has a population of just 200,000 and yet remains wonderfully peaceful and unspoilt. Because of this, Hobart holidays have a growing reputation as one of Australia’s best off-the-beaten track options. It is a place of exceptional beauty and is the second oldest capital city in Australia after Sydney.
The city nestles in the sheltering arms of the giant Mount Wellington which provides a picturesque backdrop to everyday Hobart life. In bygone days, Hobart's whalers and ship builders enjoyed a thriving trade from the handsome Georgian warehouses that decorate the harbour.
Today, the harbour is filled with yachts for the annual Royal Hobart Regatta and those same warehouses at Salamanca Place are home to an array of boutiques, cafés and art galleries. Enjoying a Saturday morning breakfast in the bustling open air market offers a fresh perspective and relaxed atmosphere that can be enjoyed on the island of Tasmania.
In fact, Hobart is becoming increasingly renowned for its thriving culinary culture, made possible by a cool climate that benefits agriculture and a burgeoning wine industry. With its fascinating convict history and rugged mountain scenery, plus gourmet experiences, Hobart is an enigmatic choice of travel destination: there’s simply no place like it in Australia.
Famous throughout Australia is Cascade Beer (it’s arguably one of the best produced beers Down Under) and there are tours of the 175-year-old Cascade Brewery Company to whet your whistle, not to mention the beer-tasting which is all part of the experience. Meanwhile, a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory should satisfy any sweet-toothed tourists.
Explore Tasmanian heritage
For the city’s cultural heritage and an insight into the surrounding area, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery will inform and entertain visitors with exhibitions on Tasmania’s convict history, plus artefacts from the whaling industry and the infamous Tasmanian tiger to discover.
Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness can be glimpsed in the distance, as suggested by the ever-present tree-covered slopes of Mount Wellington, yet within the city limits is the Royal Tasmanian Botanical gardens, a beautiful stretch of parkland containing the world’s only Sub-Antarctic Plant House and a number of historic structures, including convict built walls that date back to the earliest days of the gardens.
So whether you head down to sample old colonial houses in the narrow lanes of Battery Point Head, wander along Salamanca Place enjoying the renovated bars and restaurants, or take a walk on the wild side in the beautiful landscape of Tasmania, Hobart is the perfect starting point that will lay the foundations of a love affair for this stunning corner of Australia.