Hobart is a beautiful city, only 1 hour flight from Melbourne or 1.5 hours from Sydney. Sitting beneath Mt Wellington, it is certainly situated in a beautiful area.
It is a city with a lot of history related to the convict period and they’ve done a great job in keeping with the heritage.
Hobart also has a reputation for good food, wineries, cellar doors and some world-class distilleries – whether you take a tour or drive around yourselves, there’s plenty to eat, drink and see.
Drive up Mt Wellington and get a breathtaking view of Hobart, though you may have to try a few times as there is often a great deal of fog!
Australia’s largest private museum / Mona – the museum of old and new art is certainly a place recommended to visit. Only about a 20 minute drive from the Hobart CBD but most people catch the ferry for a relaxing journey over.
The museum is pretty cool, interesting but some pieces might be a little confronting for some. You get an iPhone and headphones when you enter to access information and stories about the works of art, which is helpful as you’re walking around.
It was suggested we start from the bottom floor and work our way up. Spiraling down you being in a huge sandstone space with a waterfall creating words of art and this is super cool.
There’s art work using different mediums and even a model of a digestive system and a fat Ferrari. There’s a stage and outdoor area where they often host shows and concerts.
It’s pretty accessible with lifts and ramps for those that need it. There’s a gift shop and plenty of places to eat and drink; museum cafe, wine bar where they offer guided tours of the vineyard and tastings, void bar (on the bottom level of the museum), the source restaurant and faro restaurant.
It is only closed on Tuesday’s and Christmas Day. Entry fee is $28 for adults, $25 for concession and under 18’s are free.
Farm Gate Markets
The farmgate markets on bathurst st are an ideal place to grab a bite to eat. Primarily focusing on local seasonal produce with plenty of fresh fruit and veg on offer. There is also a bit of seafood to sample. Artisans are there with truffles, olive oil, seasonings, honey, mustards and preserves.
We loved the fresh local oysters and took every opportunity to give them a try, very fresh with a beautiful creamy texture. The cheese on offer looked spectacular as did the baked goods, we could not pass up Lady Hester sourdough doughnuts. The vanilla custard doughnut was phenomenal and they certainly didn’t skimp on the filling.
There was plenty of specialty coffee available we sampled the yipykayaa coffee with some honey, this was different to the norm and went down a treat. There’s boutique wineries and distilleries where you can try and buy some bottles. Then you have all of the food trucks with an array of food on offer including mexican, toasties, bao and more, take your pick. The wallaby burrito from pachamama was a tasty and filling bite to eat. Held every Sunday from 8:30-1pm
There are all sorts of markets around Hobart where you can grab a bite to eat every Saturday at the marina. The Salamanca markets are hands down the best to visit with some of the best places to sample fresh local produce.
Salamanca markets are synonymous with food and Hobart. We had a great experience at these markets and were impressed with the variety on offer. The markets were way bigger than we expected. Tip: get there nice and early, the markets officially open at 8:30am. We arrived at 8am and most stores were already set up and this gave us the opportunity to explore without the crowds.
The famous scallop pie by Smiths Pies was right at the top of our list. It was noted by a number of people that this sells out quickly. We made a v line straight to the caravan and were first in line. At 8 bucks a pie they are reasonably priced, a delicious pie with flacky pastry packed with plenty of scallops with roe and flavoured with a light curry gravy, this pie is well worth a crack if visiting the markets.
Then there was all of the fresh produce seafood including oysters, salmon and more. The fruit and veg on offer is as fresh as can be, we tried some delicious apples! Then there are the baked goods, one of our favourites being the Cygnet wood fired bakery. Their almond croissants were top notch, they were crisp and flakey on the outside and light and airy on the inside. There are also plenty of places to grab a coffee and some amazing donuts from Cream Coffee. The markets also have artisans selling truffles, beef Jerky, cheeses, honey olive oil, seasonings, honey, mustards and preserves amongst plenty more. There are plenty of crafts too from leather goods to antiques and jewellery. You can certainly spend hours exploring.
Street Eats @ Franko
Street Eats @Franko are held every Friday from 4:30-9:30 from November to April at Franklin Square Hobart and it is a busy night food market with plenty of stalls offering food, beers, wines and local spirits. Music gives it a good vibe and it’s a great Friday activity.
Visit historic Richmond
In the 1820’s, Richmond was the third largest town in terms of population in Tasmania. There were lots of convicts there to work in the public labour sector with the discovery of coal. It has remained in keeping with its heritage and can be described as a Georgian Village with beautiful sandstone homes and quaint shops selling antiques, crafts and there are plenty of cafes offering tea and scones.
There are a number of vineyards and as doors to explore whilst you’re in the area. Only a short drive (25m) from Hobart but there’s plenty of accomodation if you’re interested in staying.
Richmond also have Australia’s oldest existing colonial gaol which was needed to house those convicts, that committed offences whilst working. The goal is very well preserved and conserved and super interesting to look around and learn. The gaol, including solitary confinement areas, the gaolers house, latrine and exercise yard. The site has been done really well and certainly worth a visit.
Visit convict sites
There’s 11 convict sites around Australia that are heritage listed and 5 of these are in Tasmania, including Port Arthur, Coal Mines Historic site, Woolmers Estate and Brickendon, Cascades female factory and Darlington Probation station. Visiting a few of these will give you great insight into the nations past. If you can’t visit them all, certainly consider at the very least Port Arthur, a scenic 1.5 hours drive from Hobart.
Port Arthur was one of the largest sites in Tasmania where the convicts lived and worked. The site today is an air museum with over 30 historic buildings, including houses, a church, school, as well as beautiful grounds and gardens.
Your entrance ticket gives you entry to the site, a guided tour and a short ferry ride around the bay, by the Isle of the Dead cemetery.
We also visited the Cascades Female Factory (prison) site where approximately 25 000 female convicts were transported and held. A small site, only ten minutes from Hobart. It is more of an interpretive site. You can read through the brochure, or it would be recommended to have a guide.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
This is about 30 minutes from Hobart and it is perfect to visit for those interested in seeing animals like Kangaroos, wombats, birds, snakes and of course, the Tasmanian Devil.
A great place which is working in the field of conservation to assist in saving many of these species threatened by extinction. They offer guided tours to guests at 4 times throughout the day but you can also guide yourself through.
Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
We enjoyed visiting here and learning about the Tasmanian devils. The staff are working to ensure these animals dont become extinct and the park has been developed for conservation purposes. The entry fee is expensive (as everything seems to be) but at least your money is going to a good place. The staff presenter was extremely knowledgeable with information about the devils and passionate about his job. Be sure to go at 1:30 for the feeding and presentation time. The park has birds and kangaroos etc too and is about an hour drive from Hobart.
Mawsons Replica Hut
Only 50 metres from the waterfront, this is a tourist attraction and conservation project designed to teach people about Masons Antarctica expedition. It is a replica of one of the huts constructed by Douglas Mawson and his team on the expedition.
On the day we visited, there was a fabulous volunteer in the hut telling us heaps of information and stories about the expedition and she was very interesting.
$15 for adults, $12 for concession and $5 for children to enter. Money goes to preserving the original huts in Antarctica.
Port Arthur Lavender
A place to experience fields of lavender, a gift store selling products and food too.
Other places to visit – Launceston, Bruny Island, wineglass bay (hopefully next time)
They also have plenty of events like the finish line of the Sydney – Hobart Yacht race, Taste of Tasmania festival, falls festival and more!
We 100 percent recommend visiting Hobart and we are sure you will love it as much as us.