10 Fun & Interesting Things to Do in Hobart

Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, might not look like much. But what visitors quickly realize is how many hidden treasures there are behind the town’s seemingly simple facade. If you’re planning a visit to Hobart soon, there’s much to do to make your visit worthwhile.

Hobart was founded back in 1804 as a British penal colony. It’s the second oldest capital city, following only Sydney. Located on the Estuary of the River Derwent, Hobart has a spirit that’s both easygoing and still lively. That said, you’re bound to find color in the quiet in Tasmania’s main center.

In this guide, I’ll go through some of the most iconic attractions and things to do when you’re in Hobart to make your visit memorable. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Visit the Salamanca Market

You’ll want to begin your Hobart adventure at the Salamanca Market, one of the town’s most iconic attractions. Salamanca is a bustling hub of local produce, artisan crafts, and eclectic wares. 

Every Saturday, the historic Salamanca Place comes alive as over 300 vendors display their goods. From fresh Tasmanian delicacies to handcrafted jewelry, there's a treasure for every traveler to uncover. Take your time to explore, sample, and chat with the locals – it's an authentic slice of Hobart life.

Salamanca Market in Hobart, Australia.
Source: Unsplash.

2. Check Out the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

A stone's throw from the city center lies the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). This establishment is a reliable custodian of Tasmanian history and art that should paint a better picture of the town’s culture and character. 

In the museum and art gallery, you can meander through exhibits that narrate Tasmania's natural and cultural heritage. It's a journey through time, art, and science that offers insights into the island's unique identity, all housed within a cluster of beautifully preserved colonial buildings.

3. Slow Down at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

If you want to escape the city's hustle and bustle, we highly recommend heading to the tranquil Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. This verdant oasis spans over 14 hectares and is home to a stunning collection of native and exotic plants. Whether you're marveling at the historic plant collections or finding solace in the Japanese Garden, the Gardens are a haven for those seeking a slower pace and fresh air.

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden in Hobart, Australia.
Source: Unsplash.

4. Catch a Ferry Out to MONA

No visit to Hobart will be complete without a quick trip to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The museum is located on the Berriedale peninsula and accessible by a scenic ferry ride, which is an experience in itself. 

Departing from the Brooke Street Pier on the waterfront, the ride takes roughly 25 minutes. The ferries boast bars, quirky art installations, and the infamous sheep and tiger chairs on the deck, immersing you in MONA's eccentricity before you arrive at the museum.

This subterranean museum will challenge your perceptions of what art should be. It boasts an avant-garde design and provocative exhibits that are sure to tickle the creative soul in you. Prepare to have your mind stirred and your opinions tested; MONA is anything but ordinary.

5. Visit Cascade Brewery

For beer aficionados and history buffs alike, the Cascade Brewery is a must-see. The brewery is Australia's oldest operating brewery and one that you don’t want to miss if you love learning a thing or two about the days of old. 

The Gothic façade is as commanding as its legacy. Join a tour to learn about the brewing process, then settle into the gardens with a fresh pint. It's a taste of Tasmanian heritage that goes down smoothly.

Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Tasmania.
Source: Unsplash.

6. Go Cafe Hopping Around Town

Hobart's cafe culture is a delight to the senses, where the love for coffee is rivaled only by the passion for fresh, local ingredients. Each cafe around town offers a unique experience, from hip, art-filled spaces to cosy, hidden gems. Indulge in the rich, artisanal blends and homemade treats as you soak up the laid-back Hobart vibe.

Check out this list of cafes in Hobart with the best coffee to fuel you up when you’re in town.

7. Watch a Show at the Theatre Royal

Step into the world of drama and elegance at the Theatre Royal. As Australia’s oldest operational theatre, it holds a special place in the heart of Hobart's cultural scene. Check out the lineup and dress up for an evening of entertainment, whether a captivating play, ballet, or musical performance.

Sullivan's Cove Waterfront in Hobart, Australia.
Source: Unsplash.

8. Check Out Sullivan’s Cove’s Waterfront

Sullivan’s Cove is Hobart’s maritime heart, where the city's seafaring history is palpable. Stroll along the waterfront and watch yachts and fishing boats bob in the harbor. The area has exemplary eateries, galleries, and shops, offering the perfect blend of leisure and culture.

A leisurely walk along the docks provides a picturesque view of the boats and old sandstone warehouses, which have been thoughtfully converted into restaurants, cafes, and studios. The cove is a hub for local sea-based activities, including sailing, cruising, or boarding a fishing charter

9. Climb to the Top of Mount Wellington

For the adventurous spirit, a trek to the summit of Mount Wellington is a non-negotiable. In the indigenous Tasmanian language of Palawa kani, the mountain is called kunanyi.

The panoramic views from the top are simply breathtaking, providing a stunning vista of the city, waterways, and beyond. Whether you hike, cycle, or drive up, the mountain's rugged beauty is a testament to nature's grandeur.

10. Spend a Day at Runnymede

Runnymede is an elegant colonial house in New Town that captures the essence of 19th-century maritime life in Hobart. The beautifully preserved house and gardens offer a glimpse into the past lives of ship captains and their families.

With a rich collection of maritime artifacts, each room tells a story, inviting you to step back in time and explore a pivotal era in Tasmania’s history.

How to Get Around Hobart

Navigating Hobart is a breeze thanks to its small scale and well-organized transport options. Whether you prefer to travel on foot, by bike, bus, car, or ferry, this compact city caters to it all with an ease that adds to its charm.

By Bus

The heart of Hobart's public transport is the Metro network. The efficient bus service links the city with its suburbs. Most bus services commence from central hubs such as Elizabeth Street or Franklin Square. You can also plan your trips easily with Metro Hobart Network tools. You can also purchase tickets and passes that suit your itinerary.

By Car

While Hobart’s compact nature means a car isn't necessary, it can be useful for those looking to venture beyond the city limits to explore Tasmania's stunning landscapes. In the city, you’ll find on-street parking and several off-street car parks, although parking can be challenging during peak times. If you plan to hire a car for further travel, consider picking it up as you leave the city to avoid parking issues.

Final Words

We highly recommend that you delve into the deep and meaningful experiences that Hobart offers. As you do, you’ll discover this city is beyond a gateway to Tasmania's natural wonders. The city is an alluring destination rich with its own tales, traditions, and a warm, welcoming spirit. 

So which attraction are you planning to visit when you’re in Hobart, Australia? Whether steeped in history or buzzing with contemporary flair, Hobart invites you to find color in the quiet, excitement

Guest Author

Nathan Murphy is an entrepreneur from Altona, Australia. When he’s not growing his blogs under Just Media Network, he’s bootstrapping internet businesses. He is the owner and chief editor of Local Australian, a news and lifestyle blog on all things Australian. 


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