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History, Art and Maths: Walk the Battery Point Sculpture Trail

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Where do art and numbers unite to guide us on a stroll through history? In historic Battery Point, of course! Lace up your walking shoes and soak up the old town and sailor atmosphere. Our guides are sculptures depicting meaningful weights, measures, times, quantities, dates and distances. There are nine special sculptures on the trail, each quietly portraying a unique part of the Battery Point story. It takes around an hour to walk in one direction.

Begin at the southern end of Salamanca Place, and look for the large caged rock sculpture. This sculpture is a salute to the chained convicts who chiselled away cliff faces to build Salamanca’s Georgian warehouses and the wharf that was Hobart’s business hub in the mid-19th century.

The next sculpture on the trail is dedicated to the Robert Huckson’s tide gauge, which has been working since December 1889, and rises with the tide twice a day in the octagonal tide gauge house opposite the sculpture. The height of 12.43 feet above sea level was the base point for all levels surveyed in Tasmania.

You’ll find the next sculpture with a perfect view of the harbour, a view which has changed over thousands of years. On Boxing Day, watch the yachts glide in at the end of their 628 nautical mile journey for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

This sculpture contains etchings of women who once worked in jam factories, and is a tribute to the many people whose hard labour once ran the city.

1833 from HCC website

12.43 from HCC website

628 from HCC website


This sculpture is a living reference to the immaculately manicured gardens of the first imposing residences on the Secheron Estate, which was subdivided in the 1920s and became the site of some of Hobart’s most prestigious real estate.

You’ll have to look out to sea to spot this sculpted number, floating in the Derwent like the 313 vessels launched from Battery Point slipyards through the 1800s.

This is a delicate installation on a heritage site, and is unintrusive and non-permanent to allow any future archaeological investigation of the place where a steam-powered winch once hauled vessels of up to 1,250 tonnes from the water.

This solar-powered light glows within a block of transparent resin as a symbol of the many different lights that  have glowed every hour of the day and night along the banks of the Derwent.

Movie star Errol Flynn grew up in Sandy Bay, and his birth year stands tall in white letters that echo the shape and style of the famous Hollywood sign. This is the end of the walk, and why not meander your way back through the streets past the historic buildings of Battery Point.


313 from HCC website cropped

1250 from HCC website


For more information:
City of Hobart Website

Related pages:
Battery Point

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