City Guide to Hobart, Australia
Author: Julie Thompson | Last Updated: 30 Jun 2019
The capital city of Tasmania, and with a population of just 200,000 people, Hobart is a small city by most standards. But don’t let that fool you – this city has a huge amount on offer. History; art; delicious cheese, wine and other fresh produce; and unparalleled nature, this city packs a punch.
Best time to visit Hobart
Hobart is cooler than most Australian cities however winter temperatures are still relatively mild with daytime temps max out at 12 degrees and average lows of 5 degrees overnight although it can get cooler. Rainfall is relatively low year round, although varies dramatically on other parts of the island. Temperatures top out at about 22 degrees in Summer, although there are occasional hot days up to 30 degrees so if you prefer warmer climates, then the months of December to February are definitely for you.
Mona, a Museum of Old and New Art. This is the largest privately owned museum in the southern hemisphere, and it’s located in a winery. Intriguing patrons since 2011, this is a museum like no other and an absolute must-see. Housing 3 exhibitions at any one time, and also the host of the annual Dark MOFO music and arts festival, this museum has more than just great art. It has been described as subversive, irreverent, and an “adult disneyland” due to the fact that it’s themes often involve sex and death. Whether you are an art aficionado, or you’re just a little bit intrigued, this place is worth a visit.
Next to the Hobart waterfront, this open air market has won awards for excellence. If you enjoy beautiful, fresh local produce and hand made works then you should check this out while you’re in town. It’s on every Saturday and after almost 40 years, is vibrant and alive with over 300 stall holders showcasing their products: local truffles, honey, wine and cheese can be tasted and taken home; hand made jewellery, clothes and accessories; home furnishings made with locally sourced timber and the list goes on. Be prepared to get swept up in the experience and take home some truly unique souvenirs.
In the South eastern corner of Tasmania and just a 20 minute drive from the city, Mt Wellington reserve offers breathtaking views and brilliantly preserved native Australian bushland complete with some truly unique flora and fauna. A multitude of trails through native bushland offer views across the city and the “Organ Pipes” rock formation is a 4 hour return hike. A great way to spend a day in Australian bushland just moments from the city.
Tasmania’s cool climate makes it perfect to produce high quality grapes, and the region is dotted with vineyards producing beautiful Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc as well as some Riesling and sparkling wines. With more than 10 wineries within a 30 minute drive of Hobart, you can easily spend a delicious afternoon sipping wines at the various cellar doors, and while you do, make sure you enjoy some fabulous local cheese. Some of the best cheese in the southern hemisphere is produced here – cheddar, camembert and don’t forget the triple cream brie. Whether you venture out on your own or join a day tour so no-one has to drive, this is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
This might just be heaven for a foodie. This cooking school and farm offers paddock-to-plate cooking experiences. The property is all organic with an orchard, berry patch and vegetable and herb gardens as well as pigs, chickens, geese, milking goats and more. They have an incredible array of different cooking classes including tomato-gluttony, charcuterie, smoking, cooking with truffles, cooking with fire and even cheese-making. Courses can be 1 or 2 full days, but well worth it if you have time. If not, then make sure you head to the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery just a few kilometers down the road so you can experience the deliciousness of these impeccable ingredients.
Sail the Tasman peninsula
Being a port town, Hobart offers many options for sailing enthusiasts. This is a city that has a public holiday for boats so whether it’s an evening dinner cruise; a day on a traditional sailing ship or a multi-day adventures exploring the Tasman you are bound to find a tour that suits you. And if you’re in town early February, then get ready for a few days of boating enthusiasm as the city enjoys the Royal Hobart Regatta
A small island a short distance off the coast of Hobart is a nature lovers paradise. The South Bruny National Park showcases the Australian wildlife beautifully, and the Cape Bruny lighthouse is a popular destination owing to the views of this rugged coastline. Also home to a cheese factory, oyster farm, vineyard, smokehouse, and some great pubs, this little island is perfect for those who enjoy great food as much as exploring.
Originally a penal colony, Port Arthur is steeped in history and is now an open air museum. Just an hour an a half from Hobart, the ruins include the penitentiary where convicts were held and punished, and the church where convicts were attempted to be reformed. This is a place where history is kept alive by telling the stories of the individuals who passed through here, and with a multitude of unexplained events some believe a few of them may still be there. What better way to live a little bit of history than with an evening ghost tour?
Wineglass Bay and Frecyinet national park
About 2.5 hours north east of Hobart, Freycinet national park is spectacularly beautiful. Home also to wineglass bay, this is where you can enjoy pristine sand and crystal clear water after a day hiking in the bush. Offering the best of both worlds, this place should be on every Tasmanian itinerary.
While you are in Tasmania, this really is a must and a personal favourite of mine. Cradle Mountain is a truly special national park in the centre of Tasmania> About 4 hours drive from Hobart, you need a few days for this one, but it is well worth it. Stay at the Cradle Mountain lodge and breathe in the fresh air. There are countless hikes to do here from easy and relatively flat walks around Dove lake to multi-day hikes for hardcore hikers. Whatever your level, this place will offer you spectacular views and a chance to see the Australian bush and it’s wildlife in a rarely seen untouched environment. Just be warned, that one visit will not be enough..you will definitely want to come back here.
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