Top 10 things to do in Hobart

Visiting Hobart: what are the best things to do and see in Tasmania’s capital?

Would you like to discover Tasmania, a small island south of Melbourne in Australia, with an air of New Zealand ? Then Tasmania is the place for you! Its capital, Hobart, is a dynamic, pleasant waterfront city of almost 220,000 inhabitants, well worth a visit, and the ideal base for exploring the island. Despite a somewhat troubled past (former penal colony, former seal and whale trading port) the city, named after the explorer Abel Tasman who discovered Tasmania, is today attractive and rich in authentic activities. The natural beauty of the island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will leave you speechless! Wondering what to do in Hobart? Here’s the answer:

Also read on the Hobart guide :

1. Battery Point

Battery Point, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr – Robyn Jay

If you’re wondering what to do in Hobart, you’ve got to start with a visit to Battery Point! This is the city’s oldest district, which exudes an incredible charm. Stroll along its narrow streets and admire the historic buildings hidden away. It’s more of a residential area, but you’ll find many charming little cafés, restaurants and boutiques to stroll around.

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2. Mount Wellington

Perched almost 1,300 metres above the city, Mount Wellington will be an integral part of your visit to Hobart. Easily accessible from the city center, you can choose from a variety of activities once you reach the foot of the mountain: hiking, mountain biking, climbing… Once at the top, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views! From up there, Hobart and the Derwent Valley take on a whole new dimension.

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3. Downtown

As in so many cities, the city center always has a little something extra… and that’s exactly the case here in Hobart. There’s plenty to see and do in the bustling city center, mainly around the main thoroughfare of Elizabeth Street and its harbor area. You’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for in one of the many charming boutiques, cafés or restaurants along Elizabeth Street. It’s also here that you’ll find the Tasmanian Maritime Museum and the Museum of Saint David’s Anglican Cathedral. Unlike during the day, in the evening the city center becomes very quiet, and activity shifts to other areas.

4. Hobart Harbour

Port de Hobart

Photo credit: Pexels – Victoria Ugarte

In the same area, Hobart Harbour is an attraction in its own right, given the city’s focus on the sea and fishing. A must if you’re visiting Hobart? Eat fish and chips on a terrace or simply in a newspaper, on a bench in the sun, along the harbor, admiring the boats.

5. Salamanca Place

Salamance Place, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr – Jörn Guy Süß

Close to the harbor and the city center mentioned above, a must if you’re looking for something to do in Hobart is Salamanca Place! Ideal for a drink on a cobblestone terrace, or for lunch in a cosy bistro in the 19th-century brick buildings. The superb market held here every Saturday morning is well worth the detour: delicious local produce, typical island crafts… It’s THE popular spot in town.

6. MONA

Museum of Old and New Art, MONA, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr -Bruno Sarlandie

Still wondering what to do in Hobart? Take the ferry from Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier to the famous MONA,(Museum of Old and New Art). This is Australia’s largest private museum. As well as having an impressive and eccentric collection, its construction is also quite astonishing. In fact, the museum is carved out of sandstone cliffs. It’s a very controversial, eccentric and surprising museum! Most of the exhibits here deal with sex, death and religion.

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Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr – Alex Davern

If you’re visiting Hobart, there are plenty of other museums and exhibitions to discover, such as the TMAG(Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) and the Salamanca Art Centre. The latter is in fact a collective of artists and associations who exhibit their diverse creations here, ranging from paintings to handicrafts. The TMAG, meanwhile, is packed with fascinating information about Tasmania, its history and its symbols, such as the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, whose race became extinct in 1936.

8. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr – njcull

If you’re looking for something to do in Hobart to relax and unwind in a quiet, peaceful setting, then head straight for the city’s botanical gardens. The added bonus of these gardens is that they boast the only greenhouse of its kind in the world, dedicated to sub-Antarctic vegetation, an extreme region that makes this greenhouse a rare and exciting place to visit!

9. Bruny Island

Bruny Island, Tasmanie

Photo credit: Flickr – Steven Penton

Located less than 2 hours’ drive from Hobart, Bruny Island is a must-see if you’re looking for something to do in Hobart! Head for the small town of Kettering, from where you can catch a ferry to the island. Hiking in the national park, tasting local produce, watching « the Neck » penguins in the evening at sunset… You won’t be disappointed with your little getaway on Bruny Island!

Book your trip to Bruny Island

10. Cascades Female Factory

Cascades Female Factory, Hobart

Photo credit: Flickr – Peter

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this former women’s prison is a must-see if you’re visiting Hobart. Open to the public, it shows the stigma of the harsh conditions in which women were held! Between 1788 and 1853, almost 25,000 women and some of their children were held within these walls. Their daily chores were mainly sewing, but the conditions and insalubrity of the place left little chance of survival for its occupants. An exciting and historic visit awaits you.

How to get to Hobart

To get to Hobart, let’s be honest… It’s a long way! There are no direct flights to Tasmania (or Australia.) First of all, you’ll have to get to Australia, preferably to the south like Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. You’ll inevitably have a stopover, depending on the airline you choose. Hang on to your hats, you’ll need to allow for more than 20 hours of travel… As far as fares are concerned, a long-haul flight inevitably commands a certain price: so you’ll need to check offers in advance to get the best price for your departure dates. Like our partner Ulysse, comparisons will be your best allies in finding your ticket.

Once in Australia, a number of airlines offer direct flights to Hobart (between 1h30 and 2h30 flight time). Hobart airport is 16km from the city center, which you can reach by shuttle bus, cab or, for even greater convenience, rental car.

Another way to get to Tasmania if you arrive in Melbourne (and if you have the time) is by ferry. Every day at 7.30pm, the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service links Melbourne to Devonport (in northern Tasmania) in around 10 hours. Once in Devonport, it’s another 3.5 hours to Hobart by car or bus.

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Where to stay in Hobart?

Australia and Tasmania are popular destinations for bacpackers, so hostels are everywhere! However, you should be aware that this is a destination where the cost of living is high… so accommodation prices are no exception! From small youth hostels and typical bed-and-breakfasts to 5* hotels, whatever your taste, you’ll find something to suit you. If you choose to visit Hobart, you can read our article on where to stay in Hobart, and if you opt for a hotel, visit this hotel comparison site, which lists the best accommodation offers in the area.

There’s no doubt that you’ll be charmed by this small Australian island, with its end-of-the-world feel! We dare you to bring back a photo of the Tasmanian devil, a small marsupial with red ears that exists nowhere else! So, you’re still wondering what to do in Hobart?

Map of hotels and accommodation – Hobart,au