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, everything below can be done in one hit – but visitors will benefit greatly from a slower pace over two or three days in Tasmania’s capital city. Take the time to really appreciate Hobart and it will fast become one of the best cities to be experienced in Australia.
Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art officially opened in 2011, and has been making waves ever since. The brainchild of Australian businessman David Walsh, the MONA houses his extensive art collection and is an architectural labyrinth of wonder. As Mark Wilsdon, co-CEO of MONA, told Culture Trip: “Visitors to MONA can expect the unexpected. MONA doesn’t follow conventional thinking and structures around a museum or a gallery—it’s certainly not a ‘white cube’ model of a traditional museum. We like the experience to be one of discovery and a bit of confusion, with the intervention of events, performances, food and beverage as part of the overall experience.”
There are tunnels, rooms within rooms, light wells at random intervals, and much more to keep visitors shocked, amazed, and potentially confused. Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Brooke Street Pier, a visit to the MONA is something that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Pro tip: Once the museum has shown everything it has to offer, head around the corner to Moorilla for some wine and a chance to reflect on everything that’s just been seen.
On Saturdays Hobart springs to life with the arrival of Salamanca Market. Just follow the gentle stream of people through the harbour and it can be found right next to the waterfront. Grab a coffee from one of the stalls, or take a seat at one of the cafés around the edge of the market and watch the world go by. Local traders, farmers, and artisans pitch their stalls here from 8.30am so make sure to allow enough time to have a look at everything, and maybe even enjoy some free tasters too.
Pro tip: The market closes at 3pm, so stock up on some snacks and gifts before then. Grab a bag of fresh apricots if the season is right, they make excellent road trip fuel!
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 which made up part of Tasmania’s coastal defence. The quaint neighbourhood is made up of winding roads, fragrant rose bushes, independent boutiques 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.
In 2013 the Australian government announced a dual naming policy, which saw the dramatic backdrop to Hobart once again be referred to by its Aboriginal name. kunanyi / Mount Wellington is an absolute must see when in the city – the brave can take a lengthy hike to the top, or just hop in the car for a 30-minute drive to the pinnacle. The expansive views over Hobart and up to the Derwent River and Coal River Valley are truly breathtaking, and a series of wooden walkways provide a number of different viewpoints.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on the weather which can change very quickly in Hobart. Pick a sunny day with little wind, and try and go early to avoid the crowds – the road can get quite busy around the winding bends.
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 – enjoy one of their wood-fired pizzas before heading off to explore even more of Tasmania’s exceptional wine.
The restaurant scene in Hobart is really having a bit of a 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 a 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.
This is an updated version of a story originally created by Sarah Lawrence.