Tasmania’s capital city packs a lot of punch despite its small size. From exciting restaurants and exceptional wine to unusual cultural experiences and incredible scenery, Hobart is full to the brim with exciting things to do, see and taste.
With a bit of forward planning and a relatively early start, you can try to squeeze most of Hobart’s attractions into one day – but if you can, allow a few extra days so you can take the time to really appreciate one of the most unique and fascinating cities in Australia. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Hobart.
The suburb of Battery Point dates back to the early 1800s, when Hobart Town was founded, and used to be home to the battery of guns that made up part of Tasmania’s coastal defence. The quaint neighbourhood is made up of winding roads, fragrant rose bushes, independent boutiques, cafés and the cute cottages of Arthur Circus. From Princes Park, take in the views out to the ocean and back to the harbour. Pro tip: Jackman & McRoss is a local institution in Battery Point, popular with locals and tourists alike. Grab a table on the street corner while enjoying one of their many delicious baked treats.
Hobart is conveniently located just a 20-minute drive from the Coal River Valley, one of Tasmania’s major wine-producing areas. Jump in the car or, even better, get a driver, and explore the beautiful scenery and some family-run wineries. The road to Richmond is home to many of these, and make sure to stop in the little town – historic buildings and inviting bakeries await. Pro tip: Pooley Wines not only offers an extensive wine tasting, but also has a courtyard restaurant with views across the valley where you can treat yourself to a wood-fired pizza before heading off to explore even more of Tasmania’s exceptional wine.
The restaurant scene in Hobart is really taking off at the moment, but if you only splash out on one place, then make it Aloft. Found on the top floor of Brooke Street Pier, it is widely considered to be the best restaurant in the city, if not the entire state. With à la carte and tasting options available, expect delicately flavoured dishes with some Asian twists – using only the freshest Tasmanian produce. Book in advance to nab a window seat and watch the sunset over the harbour and out to the ocean. Pro tip: Order the tasting menu to get more for your money, then sit back and relax as a series of delicious and exquisitely presented dishes make their way to the table at a gentle pace.
In the lush Huon Valley, about 90 minutes from Hobart, Hastings Cave State Reserve is one of the most beautiful and unusual destinations in Tasmania. Hidden under the lush rainforest landscape with its fern-filled glades, dense forest and natural springs, the Hastings Caves are filled with huge stalagmites and stalactites and make for an impressive day trip from the capital. After exploring the caves, you can choose to do the 10-minute Platypus Loop from the thermal pool to the springs, keeping your eyes open for these unique and unusual creatures, or the 30-minute Hot Springs Walk, which is well worth it. Reward yourself with a relaxing dip in the naturally heated pool before heading back to the city. Pro tip: You can also combine a day trip out to Hastings Cave State Reserve with a visit to the Tahune Airwalk and/or a ride on the Ida Bay Railway.
Additional reporting by Cassie Wilkins