Hobart on the southeast side of Australia's only island state, Tasmania, goes into a flurry of activity just after Christmas as boats in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race start sailing in. At most other times, Hobart has the atmosphere of a fairly laid-back country town where nothing much happens and is more of a jump-off point for other Tasmanian destinations. But looks can be misleading.
Rediscover the past
Hobart has a rich colonial history and abounds in the buildings and relics of a past era.
- Take one of Hobart's historic walks and visit sites around Sullivans Cove, walk through narrow laneways and down into cellars and into old jails and have a whiff of the past. Get the information you need at the visitor centre on Davey St.
- Walk down to Battery Point and walk through its maze of narrow streets to view convict-built structures.
- Visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery at Macquarie St close to the visitor centre and discover the riches of Tasmanian heritage through fauna and mineral displays, maritime and convict history, early Australian art and stories of Tasmania's Aborigines.
Discover the craft markets
Every Saturday, Salamanca Place becomes a bustling marketplace with handcrafted products, gemstone jewelry, and assorted, often unique, other products. Art galleries, arts and crafts shops and souvenir stalls are open most days of the week at Salamanca Place.
Australia's oldest legal casino is found at Sandy Bay south of Hobart city centre. Have a flutter at the gaming tables, enjoy floor shows, dine in its restaurants.
Beer and chocolates
There are tours to Australia's oldest brewery, Cascade Brewery, southwest of the city centre; and to Australia's largest confectionery manufacturing plant, the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, on 15 hectares of land up the Derwent River some 12 kilometres from the Hobart city centre, and yes, you get free chocolates as well.
Go on a daytrip
- Travel southwest from Hobart to the Huon Valley. Take a jetboat cruise at Huonville. Take the scenic route back to Hobart through Cygnet and along the D'Entrecasteux Channel.
- If you have time, or on another day, take the ferry from Kettering across the D'Entrecasteux Channel to Bruny Island.
- Drive roughly east, then south, to the Tasman Peninsula and visit the historic site of Port Arthur. Take the ghost tour if you dare.
- Drive northeast to the historic village of Richmond, and see the church and bridge built in colonial times, get lost in a maze, be a Gulliver in a miniature model village.
Go biking, golfing, cruise the Derwent River, take a scenic flight.