Australia’s southern-most capital city is a real charmer, nestled between the scenic River Derwent and majestic kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Discover natural beauty, hip restaurants and bars, eclectic art, historic gems, and friendly locals.
We’ve listed a few of our favourite things to do (in no particular order). If you’re flying in, catch the SkyBus into the city. For help with travel plans, pop into the Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre.
1. See the sights with Red Decker
Get your bearings in style on board Red Decker Company’s fun double-decker bus. There are 20 different stops, showcasing the best cultural sights and attractions in and around the city. Hop off and on at your leisure, or kick back on the top deck and enjoy the full 90 minute city loop tour. Their audio guide is available in eight different languages.
2. Head up the mountain
Traveling up to the very top of kunanyi/Mt Wellington is a must-do (the kunanyi/Mt Wellington Explorer Bus can take you there). The views from the summit are spectacular, and sunrise and sunset are absolute magic! If you have more time, get to know the mountain on one of Wellington Park’s stunning walks.
3. Catch the ferry out to Mona
The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) is an eclectic, odd, surprisingly delightful adventure that you simply must embark upon. The ferry departs Hobart regularly from the Brooke Street Pier and takes around 25 minutes (choose a Posh Pit ticket if you’re feeling fancy). Plan to spend a good few hours at Mona—it’s a frenzied feast for the senses. Have an actual food feast and enjoy their Moorilla wines at one of the amazing restaurants and bars onsite. It will fuel your soulful, artistic journey.
4. Tour Australia’s oldest brewery
Australia’s oldest brewery can be found in South Hobart, nestled on the foothills of kunanyi/Mt Wellington. Take a tour of the Cascade Brewery (c. 1824) to learn the secrets behind the brews. Settle in at the bar and restaurant and taste the delicious range of beer and cider, enjoying top views of the brewery’s charming historic facade and lovely Heritage-listed gardens.
5. Discover our convict history
Another interesting place to visit in South Hobart is the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site. Take a guided Heritage Tour and discover the compelling stories of some of Australia’s female convicts and their babies. Alternatively, join the ‘Her Story’ Dramatised Tour and let a roaming theatre show take you back to harsh and unforgiving 1833. To delve into more of Hobart’s 19th century history, visit the Hobart Convict Penitentiary.
6. Explore on foot
Hobart is a fantastic city to explore on foot. With very visible landmarks in kunanyi/Mt Wellington and the Derwent River, it’s hard to get too lost. Wander around the CBD, do some shopping, and fuel up in the cafes. Visit the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery to learn about Hobart’s history, people, environment and wildlife, and admire some art, then pop across the road for a tipple at Lark Distillery‘s cellar door. Stroll around the scenic waterfront, watch the boats, and munch on some fresh fish and chips. Pop into the shops, galleries, and bars along Salamanca, then explore historic Battery Point on the Sculpture Trail.
7. Bar and restaurant hop
Hobart’s restaurant and bar scene keeps getting better and better, and Tasmania’s fresh, local produce is the star. Some of our tips on hip places to dine include Peacock and Jones Restaurant & Wine Bar, Restaurant Tasman, Beef & Seafood Grill, Embers Restaurant, Mr Good Guy, Mures Upper Deck, Pearl + Co, The Glass House, Landscape Restaurant and Grill, the Old Wharf Restaurant at MACq01, and The Lounge by Frogmore Creek. Enjoy a cocktail or a nightcap at Society Salamanca. Kayak up to the landing deck outside the Brooke Street Larder and treat yourself to a tasty breakfast (or just go the old fashioned way, on foot).
8. Enjoy a night out at Wrest Point
Wrest Point Hotel & Casino offers a fun night out, with a range of entertainment on throughout the year. Enjoy regular live music as well as special events featuring international superstars. There are a range of restaurants and bars to choose from: feel fancy and get the highest high tea in Hobart at The Point Revolving Restaurant; enjoy the scenic water views at Pier One Restaurant and Bar; and treat yourself to a cocktail at the Birdcage Bar. You can also stay in their comfortable hotel rooms.
9. Do a day cruise from Hobart
Jump aboard the Peppermint Bay Cruise for a wonderful day out. Enjoy city and harbour views from the water. Sip a glass of Tasmanian bubbles as you cruise down the stunning d’Entrecasteaux Channel to peaceful Peppermint Bay. Enjoy lunch at the Peppermint Bay Hotel, walk it off with a stroll around the quiet village of Woodbridge, then cruise back up to Hobart.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Iron Pot Cruises are another fantastic way to see Hobart from the water. Cruise down the Derwent River, visit Australia’s oldest lighthouse, circumnavigate Betsey Island, and discover Hobart’s rich maritime past.
10. Hit up our events and festivals
If you can time your visit with one of our awesome events or eclectic festivals, then all the better! The popular Salamanca Market is on every Saturday from 8am to 3pm. Hyperactive street food market Street Eats @ Franko is on every Friday night between December and April, from 4.30pm to 9pm.
Fun annual events on every summer include Falls Music & Arts Festival, the Taste of Tasmania, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Cygnet Folk Festival, and the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival. In winter, make the pilgrimage south to worship the wickedly epic Dark Mofo Festival, sing at the soul-warming Festival of Voices, and dress up for the pagan-inspired Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest.
For accommodation options, see Where to Stay. Our tips include the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, the Salamanca Wharf Hotel, Zero Davey Boutique Apartments, the Best Western Hobart, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, The Henry Jones Art Hotel, Somerset on the Pier, Salamanca Suites, Salamanca Inn, Motel 429, Wrest Point Hotel & Casino, and Mona Pavilions.
If you have more time, venturing out of the city can really enrich your Tassie experience. There is a lot to explore in the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands, Heritage Highway, Tasman Region, and Southern Trove.
We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.
Our Guide to Exploring kunanyi / Mt Wellington
Hipster Hobart: 6 Places to Grab a Drink
10 Tips for Watching Wildlife in Southern Tasmania
Our Guide: Beaches of Southern Tasmania
5 Historic Sites to Visit in Hobart & Beyond
Hobart to Cockle Creek: An Adventurous Itinerary
The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Hobart & Beyond’s Waterways
Hobart | @jm_vella/Instagram