Battery Point – a quaint, historic Hobart suburb filled with charm and effortless appeal. Established in the early 1800s as a coastal battery to defend the capital city from invasion – and in the years following housed colonial whalers and dockworkers – Battery Point has since retained much of its unique heritage. Today, the area is a popular Hobart suburb filled with cosy cafes, eclectic boutiques and contemporary art galleries. The battery itself no longer exists and instead is home to Princes Park, the perfect place to sit in the sun with a picnic basket and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.
Experiencing Battery Point is best done on foot where you can truly appreciate its character.
Wander the historic streets
It is only when wandering the streets and lanes of Battery Point that you really get a sense of its heritage; The vintage details on the cottages, the picket fences overflowing with roses, and it’s unique ambience amongst the hustle and bustle of Tasmania’s capital city. Start your walking tour via Kelly Steps in Salamanca. James Kelly, a whaling captain, built the sandstone steps as an access point from the wharf to Battery Point where many dock workers lived. Follow the steps to Kelly Street and stroll the surrounding area, allowing your imagination to drift back to life in the early 1800s. Many of the buildings still standing were once home to dockworkers and merchants.
Savour the Tasmanian flavours
Take a walk down the main street, Hampton Road, and immerse yourself in the village life where many cafes, bakeries and boutiques now reside. Visit Jackman and McRoss, the local bakery, and enjoy baked goods and freshly brewed coffee or wander down to Pollen Tea Room for a pot of almond milk chai and a vegan raw treat. Take note of Da Angelo’s Pizza, a famous name in Hobart, as an option for dinner of an evening.
Explore the local boutiques
Within the beautiful sandstone buildings along Hampton Road sit many boutique stores offering eclectic goods, antiques and bespoke giftware. Leisurely browse the stores and chat to the locals, hearing their stories of Battery Point and its history.
Along the Salamanca strip you will find an array of boutiques and gourmet food stores, along with the site of the famous Salamanca Market which comes to life every Saturday.
Marvel at the architecture
Further along Hampton Road, you will find Narryna. Once a merchants house from the 1830s, this beautiful Georgian home is now a museum with a rich collection of fine and decorative art and social history. Visit the museum for a chance to see what life was like in Battery Point in the 1800s.
At the opposite end of Hampton Road sits the iconic Arthur Circus – a quaint village green surrounded by cottages once home to officers of the garrison. Take time to enjoy the architecture and reflect on how different life would have been in the 1800s. A short stroll from Arthur Circus and you will find the stunning Lenna. Formerly home to Alexander McGregor a deep-sea whaling and trading merchant, today Lenna is one of Hobart’s premier boutique hotels.
Visit the local watering hole
As you make your way around Battery Point, drop into the popular local pub, Shipwrights Arms – or more commonly referred to as ‘Shippies’ by the locals – for a crisp, refreshing ale. Shippies has continued to pull pints and pour rum since 1846 – although these days the local crowd is slightly more civilised.
For something a little more contemporary visit The Den or Society in Salamanca for an extensive range of Tasmania’s finest whisky, gin and wine.
Enjoy the art
Hobart’s art scene is thriving, with many galleries popping up around the city. Visit the Colville Gallery on Colville St before following the Battery Point Sculpture Trail from Marieville Esplanade back to Salamanca Place. The Sculpture trail celebrates the stories of Battery Point from the construction of the wharf – now Salamanca – to modern maritime industries.
At Salamanca, visit the Salamanca Arts Centre for more contemporary art. The Arts Centre is home to local artists, artists in residence, the performing arts and many galleries. A visit to Handmark Gallery on Salamanca Place is a must for a gift to take home or a piece of art to add to the collection.
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Words and images:
Olivia Sattler – Olivia Claire Media