Mount Wellington is one of the most popular attractions in Hobart, and with good reason. Rising 1270m high, snow can be often be seen covering the peaks, and the views from the summit are truly stunning. At this altitude the sky is often perfectly blue and clear, and you will have 360 degree views of surrounding Hobart and as far out as the sea. There is one road from the city centre to the top of Mount Wellington for car users, or you can catch a bus up to Fern Tree and then finish with a three hour hike to the top. Wellington Park itself is beautiful, and there are many other trails and walks in the park where you can appreciate the wildlife and the park’s natural beauty. For those looking for more thrills, there are many other ways to see the park including horse riding, biking, four wheel driving and rock climbing. Whatever way you decide to see Mount Wellington, make sure not to miss the most beautiful vistas in all of Australia.
Salamanca Place is a precinct of Hobart, home to rows of picturesque sandstone buildings. Built in the 1830s as warehouses, Salamanca Place was home to Hobart’s thriving industries. Nowadays, Salamanca Place is as busy as ever, but with tourists and locals rather than industry workers, as these old buildings have been converted into shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and art galleries. Find interesting and unique pieces of Tasmanian art in the galleries and shops, or enjoy a meal looking out on Salamanca’s historic waterfront. Set just behind the place is Salamanca Square, a more modern shopping experience where you can browse for high end fashion, and relax in one of the chic cafés. Be sure to come to Salamanca Place on a Saturday for the Salamanca markets, where you’ll find over 300 stalls showcasing the best of Tasmanian produce, arts and crafts, fashion, music, and more.
Battery Point can feel like a step back in time. Most of the buildings date from the 1830s and you will find many colonial-style buildings as you wander its streets. The best way to explore Battery Point is on foot, and you will come across many quaint shops and cafés along with some of the most expensive real estate in Hobart. Battery Point is an architectural gem with highlights including St George’s Anglican Church and Arthur Circus, a collection of cottages built for officers of the garrison. If you have a keen interest in the history and architecture of the area, try a guided walking tour of the town. Battery Point is a great place to dine, ranging from some very exclusive restaurants to more reasonably priced restaurants and pubs.
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
Opened in 2011, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has been said to have revitalised Hobart, and put it on the international map. Described by founder David Walsh as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’, MONA blends both old and new art and will impress and surprise even the most modern art cynic. MONA is not for the faint hearted though, as many exhibits on display are quite controversial, and include scenes of nudity and/or violence. Take Shanabrook’s ‘On the Road to Heaven the Highway to Hell’ , or Delvoye’s ‘Cloaca machine’, both famous pieces at the MONA which caused much controversy but were both highly popular. The artwork is arranged randomly throughout the museum so visitors can wonder as they please and choose what they want to see. To reach the MONA you will have to get the ferry or the bus, as it is right on the seafront. Whilst controversial contemporary art may not have been on your list of things to do in Hobart, the popularity and importance of the MONA makes it an unmissable attraction.
Port Arthur Historic Site
Listed as a World Heritage site, the Port Arthur Historic site is made up of 30 buildings, and was a penal facility used by the British Empire to send convicts to Australia. Many of the original buildings are ruins now, but you can still see and explore the penitentiary, the Hospital, the Separate Prison and the Convict Church. If you have time, go for one of the guided tours of the Isle of the Dead Cemetery or the Point Puer Boy’s Prison, both located on separate islands from the main site. Port Arthur also has the longest running Ghost Tour in Australia, an after dark tour and history of paranormal experiences that have occurred on the site. Port Arthur is also famous for the 1996 massacre, which left 35 dead, and remains one of the deadliest shootings committed by one person of all time. The 1996 massacre also lead to the huge change in gun ownership laws in Australia, and lead to Australia having some of the strictest gun laws in the world. You can learn more about the massacre and reflect on the lives lost at the Memorial Garden. Port Arthur is a drive or boat ride away from Hobart, and you can enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding Tasmanian landscape as you make your way there. For an interesting day learning about the lives of convicts and Australia’s history, Port Arthur is a must.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Opened in 1818, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is a 14 hectare site home to many historic and native Tasmanian plants. It has many important conservation projects and also houses the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House. The Subantarctic Plant House has been built to replicate the climate and look of Macquarie Island, and houses flora collected mainly from the island. Come to the Botanical Gardens to discover and enjoy plants and flora native to Tasmania, and spend a relaxing day admiring your surroundings. The gardens are located on the Queens Domain, and is an easy 25 minute walk from the centre of Hobart.
The Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest brewery, built in 1832 and still in use today. The building itself stands rather imposingly against its backdrop, a beautiful example of older, colonial architecture. The Brewery runs two tours: a Brewery Tour and a Heritage Tour. On the Brewery Tour you’ll learn about the process of brewing, the most popular beers, and the history and stories of the Cascade Brewery, however visitors on the Brewery Tour must be over 16 years of age. The Heritage Tour is a good choice for those with children, and takes you on a tour of the surrounding areas of the brewery including the Woodstock gardens and the Cascade museum. Be sure to finish your visit to the Cascade Brewery with a nice cool pint, or schooner, of Cascade beer.
131 Cascade Rd, South Hobart, Tasmania
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Just half an hour away from the centre of Hobart, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a range of native Tasmanian animals, such as namesake Tasmanian devil, wombats, bettongs, and wallabies. This is a great trip for all animal lovers, and for kids especially. If you can, visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary at night for a night tour, where you’ll be guided around the Sanctuary in small groups and have the chance to feed many of their animals. The night tour is quite pricey, but if you’re an animal person it’s definitely a unique opportunity to learn about and meet some of Tasmania’s wildlife.
The Truganini Track is an uphill walk from Hobart with gorgeous views of Hobart and the surrounding area once you reach the Mount Nelson Signal Station. The track takes around 2 hours and starts from Sandy Bay Road. From here you follow the Cartwright Creek, before passing through for rest where you can see native Tasmanian flora and plants. Just before you reach the summit, make sure to stop off at the Truganini Memorial, dedicated to the Aborigine population of Tasmania and their descendants. With gorgeous panoramas of Storm Bay, the Truganini Track is a free and beautiful treat for the eyes.
Machine Laundry Cafe
With so many different cafés to choose from, it can be hard to pick where to go in Hobart. If you can, stop off at the Machine Laundry Cafe. As you can guess from the name, it is an interesting mix of both a café and a laundry. You’ll find locals doing their laundry mixed in with others looking for a cup of coffee and a good breakfast. The café has a friendly and very retro vibe, with views of Salamanca Square. There is no set big breakfast, but you can create your own breakfast from a list of sides. Try the ricotta hotcakes for something a bit different: a stack of ricotta pancakes with chocolate fudge, raspberries, candied pistachio crumbs and clotted cream, perfect for a sunny day in Hobart. The café is always busy however, so arrive early if you can.