Hobart's emergence as a serious tourism player served only to underline the many attractions it already had, but was shyly hiding. From the bustling Salamanca markets on Saturdays to the genteel old buildings of North Hobart and Battery Point, the historic Cascade Brewery and the quirkiness of MONA, there truly is something for all tastes.
When David Walsh launched MONA he wanted a museum that was “a subversive Disneyland for adults”. It is now a “must do" on virtually every visitor's itinerary. It's home to The Source restaurant, a wine bar, cafe and room to laze on the lawns in bean bags.
Many of Hobart's grandest old sandstone homes can be found in the well-maintained waterfront suburb of Battery Point, which is just a short stroll from Salamanca Place and is also home to several bed and breakfasts and benchmark cafes and eateries.
One of the liveliest quarters in the city, North Hobart has a bohemian feel with top-notch ethnic restaurants, bars, lively pubs featuring live entertainment and wide range of boutique shops offering everything from pastries to antiques. It is also home to the much-loved State Theatre.
Every Saturday morning, rain or shine, stallholders set out their wares on Salamanca Place and up to Davey Street with a massive range of arts, crafts, foodstuffs, second-hand books and jewellery. With live music on offer, the colourful markets are a traditional meeting place for Hobartians.
Award-winning local tourism entrepreneur Rob Pennicott presents a range of adventures and the chance to get up close with seals on his day trips to Tasman Island and Bruny Island; part of his Wilderness Journeys offerings, which depart from Franklin Wharf and focus on scenery and wildlife.
One of the most beautifully preserved towns in Australia, Richmond is a 20-minute drive from Hobart and home to dozens of beautifully-preserved Georgian mansions dating back to the 1830s – as well as a lovely stone bridge. Enjoy traditional tea and scones in one of the tea gardens.
History lovers can choose between a visit to the former Female Factory in South Hobart, variously a jail, a hospital and an asylum in the 1800s, or a day-trip to Port Arthur, the impressively-preserved former convict settlement, now a heritage site, 100km south-east of the city.
Also known by its aboriginal name of kunyani (cq), Mount Wellington towers over Hobart and its sprawling suburbs and can sometimes be obscured by clouds. On a clear day, its peak at 1,269 metres offers spectacular views. It contains several popular mountain bike and walking tracks.
The starkly impressive Cascade Brewery towers over the lower slopes of Mount Wellington in South Hobart and is Australia’s oldest brewery – it dates back to 1824. It is set in lovely English-style gardens and offers beer tastings, tours and hearty meals.
The focal point of the Sullivans Cove waterfront area, Constitution Dock is the destination, and party venue, for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race fleet. It is used by the local fishing fleet and several pleasure craft and is home to restaurants and punts serving fish and chips.
Maritime Museum of Tasmania
As Australia’s island state, Tasmania naturally enjoys a rich maritime history. This this fascinating past is retold through the MMT's wonderful collection of historic artefacts and photographs as well as informative exhibits and displays – all housed in Hobart’s iconic Carnegie Building.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The peaceful grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens are situated near the banks of the Derwent River and just a 10 or 15 minute walk north from city centre. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour through the beautifully landscaped 14 hectare oasis and enjoy such rare delights as the Cactus House and Subantarctic Plant House – housing rare southern latitude plants.