Amazingly diverse and stunningly beautiful, Hobart sits at the foot of Mount Wellington and on the banks of the Derwent River . A city of contrasts, and Australia's smallest and most southerly city, Hobart offers sophisticated nightlife and World Heritage wilderness within a geographically compact area. Settled by the British in 1803, Hobart's convict heritage remains evident in the architecture, with many unspoiled Georgian and Victorian buildings. An increased demand for inner-city living has seen recent growth of townhouse and apartment-style developments.
Central Hobart & The Queen's Domain Here, the ambience of yesteryear blends with today's conveniences. Stroll around the business district and enjoy the charms of the Cat and Fiddle Arcade's animated clock, or visit the oldest theatre (Theatre Royal) in Australia. To the north lie the Botanical Gardens and Government House . In close proximity is the sporting centre of Hobart, the Queen's Domain , home of the aquatic , tennis and athletics centres.
The Waterfront & Salamanca Dominant in early days, the waterfront has recently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. Many sandstone buildings, such as Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and Parliament House , reflect the area's historical roots. This is a popular dining and nightlife area with sidewalk cafes and restaurants intermingled with galleries, craft and gift shops. The fun Socrates for Curious Minds is located here as well as many cafes. On Saturday, Salamanca Place transforms into the legendary Market . Constitution Dock is the finishing point for sailors in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Gasworks Village features Australia's best commercial whiskey distillery .
Battery Point A short walk from Salamanca is the historic suburb of Battery Point , originally home to the whalers and mariners of Hobart Town. Original charm remains as tiny cottages and grand mansions interweave into one enchanting suburb. Many of the houses in this slice of history are National Trust listed and are fine examples of sandstone building. Whilst largely residential, the area also offers a myriad of antique shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs, and some exquisitely restored accommodation.
Mount Wellington Bushwalkers and photographers are rewarded by the views from the summit of Hobart's famous backdrop . A great way to explore the mountain is by foot on one of its many tracks. Snow is commonplace in winter, and possible in summer. To warm up, call in for a drink at Australia's oldest brewery, Cascade , where the beer is made using water from the mountain. Nearby are the magnificent Woodstock Gardens blooming with color and fragrance.
Southern Suburbs The Kingborough area includes towns such as Kingston , Margate , and Snug . At Woodbridge discover all the undersea world has to offer at the Marine Discovery Centre. A ferry from Kettering across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel will take you to beautiful Bruny Island, where you will encounter rainforest and wetland areas, sandy beaches and native wildlife. This is a favorite holiday destination for Tasmanians keen to take advantage of pursuits such as fishing, diving, swimming and even camel riding.
Huon Valley Waterways, wilderness, arts and crafts feature prominently in the Huon . The majority of Tasmania's fruit is produced here and roadside stalls offer bargains. Access to the Hartz Mountains National Park with its Alpine heathlands, dolerite ranges and glacier-carved lakes is through this valley. The Park has the distinction of being the closest World Heritage Area to any capital city in Australia. Hastings Caves , with their magnificent limestone formations, are also located nearby.
Northern Suburbs Once a working class area, North Hobart has been transformed into a gastronomic delight with its restaurant strip offering a diverse selection of cuisines. Further north, Glenorchy is home to venues such as the Entertainment Centre and the Showgrounds . Elwick Racecourse hosts The Hobart Cup, Tasmania's premier horse race. Chocoholics beware—the Cadbury Chocolate Factory is near, as is the miniature Swiss Village of Alpenrail .
Eastern Shore Journey across the Tasman Bridge to the Eastern Shore and Bellerive Oval , home of international cricket matches. Bellerive is another riverside suburb, and meandering around Bellerive Village is a boardwalk that provides an idyllic scene for a Summer Jazz Festival . This side of the Derwent features some of Hobart's best beaches including Seven Mile , < Clifton and Carlton . It is also the gateway to the beautiful Tasman Peninsula , and the Port Arthur Historic Site . East Coast & Richmond Spectacular coastlines and pristine beaches are commonplace on this coast where pursuits such as swimming, fishing, surfing, diving, sailing, walking and horse-riding are popular. Tasmania's cool climate is ideal for wine-making and both the East Coast and Richmond are premier locations for vineyards which welcome cellar door sales and tastings. Richmond is a truly historic village with Australia's oldest bridge , oldest Catholic Church and oldest postal building. It has retained the charm of a bygone era with slate and sandstone buildings, and there are many craft shops and galleries.
Derwent Valley North lie the golden hopfields. Vineyards, trout fishing and nature reserves are all on offer. You can even feed the fish at the oldest southern hemisphere hatchery at Salmon Ponds. Tasmania is one of the last temperate wilderness areas in the world and there is no better illustration than at scenic Mt Field National Park with its breathtaking waterfalls, ski fields and excellent walking tracks through rainforests, many ideal for the novice bushwalker. The South West World Heritage area lies further to the west.
The grand old city of Hobart offers both locals and visitors a unique combination of a leisurely and laid-back lifestyle with striking landscapes, unspoiled wilderness and clean waterways. This city will charm with its beauty and delight with the warmth of its welcome.
Ever since Captain Bligh (yes, he of the infamous Bounty) planted the first apple tree, Tasmania has been known as the "Apple Isle." Apples are still an important export industry but visitors are often delighted to discover other outstanding food and drink during their stay. With some of the cleanest air and water in the world, a temperate climate and rich soils, quality seasonal produce is readily available. Plump asparagus is ready in November while berries and stone fruits span the summer months. Autumn is heralded by varieties of mushrooms, quinces, apples and pears difficult to find anywhere else. Such abundance, along with a thriving aquaculture industry means that restaurateurs need not go far to source ingredients for creative menus. Indeed, truffles, olive oil and game meats are now becoming as justifiably famous as Tasmanian salmon, abalone and cheese. Wine is produced all around the state. The Taste of Tasmania is a celebration of this food heritage.
Close to the City Although there are restaurants in the city centre, the culinary culture of Hobart rotates around three distinct precincts. Salamanca Place and the waterfront are both within easy walking distance of town. North Hobart is a little further out.
Salamanca offers the casual diner much choice. The sandstone buildings, former shipping warehouses, now accommodate most of the restaurants, cafes and bars. Restored to maintain their sense of history they also offer contemporary ambience. Sunny lunchtimes see many enjoying Maldini's fare on the pavement. The Saturday Market has many casual food stalls. Inside the sheltered Square , a reclaimed quarry with a piazza feel, Machine Laundry Cafe is a popular al fresco spot. Salamanca's Cafe Bar sizzles and no pub crawl is complete without a visit to Knopwood's or Irish Murphy's for a glass or ten of Irish beer.
The waterfront is synonymous with Constitution Dock , finishing line of the famous yacht race . The three piers that make up this precinct spoil the diner for choice. The Murray Street Pier complex is home to Sisco's, Blue Skies , Sticky Fingers and Waterline . Across the road, the Customs House Hotel is popular with crews from visiting yachts. On Elizabeth Street Pier go Turkish at Pasha's or enjoy sublime fish and chips at Fish Frenzy . Further along at Victoria Dock, with their boats moored alongside, Mure's is a Hobart landmark. The Upper Deck and Lower Deck restaurants, and the Japanese Orizuru serve only the freshest of catches. The nearby fish punts offer more casual fare. The Drunken Admiral beckons across the boats from Hunter Street. Tapas lovers should book into Rockerfellers. In an area rich with eating places, these are but a few.
Beyond the City Centre With restaurants and galleries opening almost daily, North Hobart is cosmopolitan and interesting. The Republic and Queen's Head are popular drinking places offering good food and entertainment. A strong ethnic influence is well served by Vanidol's , Annapurna , Saigon Kitchen and Taste of Asia . Lovers of Italian food will not be disappointed by Concetta's , Marti Zuccos or Casablanca. Mit Zitrone, justifiably award winning, has the owner-chef using daring food combinations for sublimely innovative meals. A little further west in New Town , true food lovers should treat themselves to the Lebrina experience, where Tasmanian produce is treated with care and respect and where the wine list is extensive.
Although these areas house many restaurants, fine dining experiences can be had elsewhere. Many of the cottages of Battery Point have metamorphosed into restaurants. Kelleys was a sailmaker's cottage and Ristorante Da Angelo and Jackman and McRoss also reflect the heritage of this lovely area. Walking the crooked streets truly takes the visitor back in time, and after enjoying the beauty of the architecture and sweeping river views, a drink at The Shipwright's Arms is refreshing. The former mansion that is now Lenna of Hobart , houses the sumptuous Alexander's , a perfect place for a celebration. French provincial cooking and marvellous murals make Le Provencal in South Hobart worth a visit. A little to the east of the city is the university suburb of Sandy Bay , also home of Wrest Point Casino complex. The Point Revolving Restaurant offers dining by day or night with stunning views and a little further east, the view from Mt Nelson is also spectacular and can be enjoyed from the Signal Station Restaurant .
Wine, Beer & Spirits Lower production quantities have kept Tasmanian wines a secret from many but their excellence cannot be ignored. Vineyards surround the city, and the climate is especially suited to varieties such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Award-winning sparkling and Pinot varieties can be sampled from Moorilla Estate . Include lunch and a trip to the < Museum of Antiquities for a wonderful day out. An expanse of small wineries in the Richmond area has been augmented by the Meadowbank Estate . The beautiful d'Entrecasteaux Channel is home to Hartzview and many smaller vineyards, which welcome a visit with a prior phone call. The Tasmanian Wine Centre is an ideal starting point for a wine itinerary.
High on the hill in South Hobart is the famous Cascade Brewery . Many around the globe consider Cascade to be one of the great beers of the world. The secret must be in the purity of the mountain water and the quality of the hops grown in the Derwent Valley.
When it was known as Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania boasted 22 distilleries. Today, Australia as a nation only has three--all here. Perhaps it's that water again! The Distillery at Sullivan's Cove produces single malt whisky to rival anything from Scotland. Lark Distillery uses local products such as native pepper berry and apples to create memorably unique liqueurs. Hartzview also produces fruit liqueurs.
No visitor leaves Hobart without remarking on the variety, quality and affordability of Tasmanian food and wine. With Australian cuisine considered to be one of the world's most exciting, close examination will reveal that many of the ingredients come from this little island. These internationally renowned products tasted on their home soil are indeed memorable.
The first step off the plane brings a fresh breeze of some of the cleanest air on earth—and the realization that this is no ordinary capital city. Dolphins and whales may be found in the crystal clear waters of the bay, and Hobart's backdrop, Mt. Wellington, is home to an amazing variety of native flora and fauna. If you stay alert, you may even see the ever-present black cockatoo or sea eagle overhead.
Mt. Wellington and the Cascade Brewery Start the day off right with breakfast in Salamanca at Zum Cafe —notorious for its freshly-baked goodies—or watch all of the activity on the waterfront with starters at the locals' favorites Timeless Way or T42 . After breakfast, take your previously arranged Experience Tasmania Bus Tour to Mt. Wellington and enjoy Hobart's spectacular, early morning views as well as the Derwent River from this ancient extinct volcano. Expect to return to Hobart in the late morning, and proceed to your tour of the Cascade Brewery , the oldest one in Australia. After the tour and tasting, lunch in this garden-surrounded venue is a welcome, relaxing respite. After lunch, make your way back to Hobart and have a look at the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 's resident exhibitions and imported special events. Tasmania's beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens are also within five minutes of the city. After a full day, treat yourself to a before-dinner drink in North Hobart at Onba ; then top the day off by walking just a couple of blocks up the street to Restaurant 373 for a five-star extravaganza, or, for a lighter choice, taste the freshest catch of seafood at Fish 349 in the same area.
Salamanca Saturday Markets Spend the day on the waterfront and check out the Salamanca Market , an absolute must-see if you're looking for local crafts, souvenirs, and lots and lots of food. Get there early and have breakfast at Bar Celona , right in the square adjacent to the market. To burn off your meal, spend the rest of the morning pleasantly wandering around the vast number of booths and taking scenic shots of the harbor. When your stomach starts grumbling again, head into Irish Murphy's for a great pub meal, or venture into the classy Maldini Cafe Restaurant . If a cruise is in order after lunch, pop into the Cruise Company in the same area and book an afternoon sail of the bay. Granted the endless choices of restaurants, making a decision for dinner will be difficult. The very popular Catch restaurant is a good selection right across the street from the water; but if seafood is required, then don't miss out on the Drunken Admiral on Hunter Street. After dinner, stop into the waterfront's Hotel Grand Chancellor for a night cap where you can listen to the world-renowned Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra right next door.
Cadbury Chocolate Factory and Moorilla Wineries Have a great day out by letting yourself indulge in these two hot-spots located right in the same vicinity. If you're looking for an adventure, hire a car and stop into the fantastical Raincheck Lounge for an incomparable breakfast experience before heading to spoil yourself at the sinful Cadbury Chocolate Factory . There are guided tours daily, and if you're won over by their famous chocolate, you can sample or purchase some after the tour. Drive a short ways south to Moorilla Estates Winery , where a lovely restaurant, five-star accommodation, and the famous Moorilla Museum of Antiquities await you. Enjoy some wine-tasting and a special lunch in this modern venue before taking a free tour of this stunning museum and then making your way back to Hobart. A pre-dinner drink and tapas in high-class surroundings on the waterfront at the Observatory might complete the day; or if you need something heartier, try the iconic Astor Grill steakhouse just a couple of blocks up from the water.
Port Arthur and Richmond Experience Tasmania boasts a variety of tours; however, if you like to play it by ear, then by all means rent a car and have breakfast at the Macquarie Food Store on your way out of town. Head across the Tasman Bridge and west to the Port Arthur Historic Site on a scenic, hour-and-a-half drive. On the way, you will pass the Tassie Devil Park and Refuge —definitely worth a stop. Fill up at the Fox and Hound 's old English-style pub for lunch, and then continue on to Port Arthur . Guided tours thoroughly explore this fascinating historical venue. On your way back to Hobart, you may want to stop off at Richmond, yet another historical village worth seeing, and just a hop away from wine country. The Meadowbank Winery there hosts a popular lunch and dinner menu accompanied by their award-winning wines. If you're lucky, you may even catch some music with your meal.
Huonville and the Tahune Air Walk Just about a half-hour drive south of Hobart is the town of Huonville . This part of the world is quite beautiful any time of the year; but in spring and fall, the colors are simply spectacular. Before leaving Hobart, be sure to stop into Kingston just off the highway and wake yourself up with a delectable breakfast at Chill in the small shopping center there. Continue on to Huonville up over the mountains and down into this special valley. You may want to grab a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes there before carrying on to the Tahune Air Walk . Here you can expect to enjoy the cafe's lunch specials and the trails leading to the incomparable views of the river: the path itself is an engineering marvel certainly worth tackling. On your return, you may want to stop at Huon Manor Restaurant on the river for dinner, or wait until you get back to the city to try Mojo in West Hobart or Monty's on Montpelier for something unique.
Whatever your taste, everyone will find something exciting in this awe-inspiring corner of the world.