We were excited to find lots of fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania, when we escaped there for a week recently. As disparate as lively Salamanca bars and cute rose covered houses in historic Battery Point, Hobart attractions include some great casual restaurants, funky Mona, peaceful Royal Gardens, Hobart Markets, budget accommodation and walks. Start planning your Hobart Itinerary today.
Mount Wellington Hobart
Save your 20 minute drive from Hobart to Mount Wellington for a sunny day, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate don’t be disappointed. Imagine the story you can tell about snow on Mount Wellington! The views from summit boardwalks are extensive and the Pinnacle Shelter observation room offers stunning views and escape from the weather. Walking tracks riddle the summit so allow time to investigate them.
Pinnacle Shelter Mt Wellington is open 8 am to 8 pm in Summer and 8 am to 4.30 p.m. in Winter.
Mount Wellington Sunset
Visiting late afternoon and staying for a Mount Wellington sunset is tempting and amazing, BUT for a first time visit I suggest going earlier in the afternoon when the views will knock your socks off and driving back down the mountain is so much easier. Having said that, the Council does close the road when deemed too dangerous.
Mount Wellington Lookout Views
It’s fun to try and locate all the places to visit in Hobart from on high. Views extend to locations for day trips from Hobart like Bruny Island, the Tasman Peninsula (Port Arthur) and South Arm and I’m not sure that we ever did locate Richmond.
Salamanca Place is the name of the road, bordered by Battery Point and Princes Wharf, which houses a fabulous collection of convict built 1830 waterfront warehouses. Warehouses that once stored whale oil, grain and wool, now hold a mix of galleries, offices, shops and bars spilling into generous outdoor dining areas.
Salamanca Square with it’s open space, central fountain and restaurants was built in 1995 and sits behind Salamanca Place where the original quarry stood. Check out the 2014 bronze sculpture “Happy Birthday Mr. President”and Machine Laundry Cafe. The first time we visited a cafe in a laundry was in Jasper Alberta and I was surprised to find another here in Hobart.
Salamanca Place starts to buzz around 5 pm with plenty of eating, drinking and partying.
Eating Out at Salamanca:
- Grape Food and Wine Bar – one in a row of great places to eat in Hobart. Try the large Beer Battered Flathead ($22) and Pizzas (from $16) plus flights of Wine. They also make a super-sized thirst quenching Tonic with lime and ice which Marty adored and I shared when he wasn’t looking. Budget $13-$35.
- Salamanca Lane Whiskey Bar – stylish drinks on leather lounges and front of house lavish flower displays. Budget – look for half-price cocktail sign in the lane.
Grape has the best beer battered flathead and I’m a self-declared expert!
Salamanca Market Hobart
It’s sacrilege to discuss Salamanca Hobart without mentioning the ever-popular Salamanca Market. Each Saturday (except Anzac Day or Christmas Day) a line-up of 300 stalls stretches enticingly from St. David’s Park at the top of Salamanca Place to the welcoming grass, trees and picnic tables at Salamanca Lawns. It’s a good mix of specialty foods, locally made gifts, quirky art, fresh produce and inventive performers.
I left the market happy with a copy of “The Long Hitch Home” by now Tasmanian resident Jamie Maslin. We chatted over the transaction, discussing Iran and Budget Travel and he signed his book for me.
Salamanca Place is closed from 5.30 a.m. till 6 p.m. on Saturday so it pays to plan how to arrive at the market. We drove from South Hobart parking outside the Prince of Wales Hotel at Battery Point and walking along Kelly Street and down historic Kelly’s Steps built in 1839.
Food and Coffee at Salamanca Market Hobart:
- Pocket Curries Market Stall: Choice of 3 curries served in a quickly grilled roti cornet with rice. Budget $10
- Retro Cafe – Great coffee, market atmosphere and alfresco seating
Farm Gate Market
Sunday Farm Gate market in Bathurst Street in the CBD is a ritual for Hobart food lovers looking for fresh Tasmanian produce. Arrive at 8.30 a.m. to hear the starter’s bell ring and kick start the day with a coffee brew and tunes from the buskers at the Playhouse Theatre.
When our Airbnb host heard we were off to his favourite Hobart market, he offered up his kitchen for us to whip up a culinary masterpiece. But we were headed south to a self-catering hideaway the next night, so purchased a freshly made pesto pizza base, box of ruby red cherry tomatoes and a bunch of basil to create our own gourmet pizza. Together with Mozzarella from our local South Hobart Deli and the amazing hot oven at our Cygent Airbnb, it turned into a gourmet experience.
It was an action packed St. Patrick’s Day at Farm Gate and the New Sydney Hotel partitioned off part of the street for Guinness and Irish dancing.
Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse stall had customers lining up for freshly baked Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Pain aux raisins and Marty’s favourite Almond Croissants.
Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, Royal Gala and more from Surges Bay Orchard, between Geeveston and Dover in the far south, are on sale at Farm Gate Market. Check out their Cider too.
Street Eats @ Franko
When and Where is Franko market
- Fridays 4.30 pm till 9 pm from 30 November to 26 April.
- Franklin Square, 70 Macquarie Street Hobart City.
I’m sorry we didn’t get to sample the lively atmosphere and street food @ Franko. This market specialises in Tasmanian food – if it is not produced on the island it won’t be there – plus you can pair your food with locally produced alcohol.
It’s very handy to Salamanca Place so if you’re in the vicinity drop in and taste the delights.
Take a walk through Battery Point, a captivating older suburb and one of the best places to stay in Hobart. With it’s quaint rows of brick houses and rose gardens, Battery Point is a teeny bit addictive. Situated behind Salamanca and the hilly Princes Park, we returned time and again to it’s restaurant hub in Hampden Road. It’s where you will find the iconic Jackman and McRoss Bakery, a sprinkling of trendy boutique shops, the Prince of Wales Pub and my favourite Hobart Restaurant Da Angelo.
Turn out of Hampden Road to Finlay Street to A.J. White Park on the Derwent, a popular fishing and sitting place on the Battery Point Sculpture trail. From here you can boat, SUP and kayak watch over the river.
Where to stay in Battery Point
I’m excited to have found a funky budget place to stay in Battery Point. I love this area and although we stayed with a lovely lady in a delicious Battery Point Airbnb, travellers who prefer other budget friendly accommodation – I hesitate to use the term hostel – should consider Montacute.
It has double rooms in this beautiful building with amazing reviews.
Eating out at Battery Point
- Da Angelo – Much Loved Italian Restaurant Hobart Budget $18 – $37. Highly Recommended.
- Prince of Wales Hotel – Choose from their excellent range of counter meals. Bargain Budget $15.
Prince of Wales Hotel in Battery Point is a great place for a Budget Lunch.
Hobart Waterfront from Salamanca Place to Henry Jones Art Hotel, is one of the most stroll-inspired wharf precincts around.
Salamanca is neighbours with the Wharf precinct including Constitution Dock where the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race concludes.
Brooke Street Pier
It is an easy walk from Salamanca to Brooke Street Pier which looks like a building but is actually a floating 80 m x 20 m pontoon This is the departure point for the Camouflaged Mona Ferries.
Elizabeth Street Pier
Home to Somerset on the Pier Hotel and restaurants. It’s a popular place to watch the end of the Sydney to Hobart race and eat seafood at Fish Frenzy. The atmosphere is very nautical with fishing boats and antarctic vessels moored nearby.
This square dock is partitioned off from the rest of the harbour by the uplifting Constitution Bridge. A harbour seal voluntarily resides here, performing for his own amusement and that of the crowd. The fishing fleet congregates here as do boats competing in the biannual Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
Lined with Take Away Seafood Restaurants, the dock hosts Hobart Race Village (Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race) from 27th December, complimented by Taste of Tasmania food and wine festival 28/12 to 3/1. This event was birthed in 1988 as a reason for the boating crowd to linger and has grown to be the largest festival of it’s kind in Australia.
To add a little more adrenalin to the mix, Constitution Dock then revs up for Hobart’s New Years Eve celebrations.
Victoria,the final dock in Sullivans Cove houses Mures Seafood Restaurant on Franklin Wharf. Not only do Mures have their own fishmonger here, but a lower deck restaurant (think fish and chips, platters and burgers) and upper deck a la carte seafood restaurant.
A walk over Constitution Dock Bridge allows you to inspect the workings of the bridge which lifts skywards to allowing yachts passage – mostly without incident.
Henry Jones Art Hotel.
Even if you can’t afford to stay at Henry Jones, pop in and check out the art, have a meal, or pay $20 per person (free for guests) for a guided tour around the 500 pieces of art on display.
Places to Eat Hobart Waterfront Recommendations.
- Constitution Dock Take Away Seafood.
- Daci and Daci in Murray Street just up from Princes Wharf on Hobart Waterfront. European Bakery selling items like Croque Monsieur. Inspect their awe-inspiring food cabinets and you won’t want to leave.
- Best Ever Blueberry Danish and Almond Croissant with 2 coffees. $24.
- Budget $4.50 – $16.50
- 11 Murray Street, Hobart
Daci & Daci European Bakery Murray Street Hobart
Cornelian Bay Hobart
Cornelian Bay Boat Houses
Over 100 years old now, 33 boat houses listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register, line the southern shore of Cornelian Bay. Being on the register there are rules about maintenance and building alterations.
Although they can’t be lived in as such, they are sought after as a recreational base. Some have been in the one family for the life of the shed, while others are nostalgic or prestige purchases. One sold recently for $350,000.
The Seafood Chowder at Cornelian Bay Boathouse Restaurant has a reputation as one of the best in Hobart. Sit at the fantastic viewing windows if possible, but the dining space is split level so that everyone has a view of the bay.
On the left of the restaurant is a playground and a Kiosk eating area catering to walkers and picnickers. Seafood Chowder is available at the kiosk.
The southern point of the bay has a bench seat to bird or boat watch from.
Eating Out at Cornelian Bay
- Cornelian Bay Boathouse Restaurant – We chose their tasty Oysters and Seafood Chowder.
- Great views of the bay.
- Budget $7 – $37.
- Attached Cornelian Bay kiosk is popular with walkers and picnickers – dogs are allowed.
Take the easy 2 km Queens Walk from the Boathouse to the Hobart Botanical Gardens or the intercity bikeway. The bikeway runs directly along the water and is used by walkers and cyclists, although walkers should be proactive in avoiding cyclists.
Most walkers head on the path directly behind the boathouses, past the bench seat and continue on the bike path (caution required). Follow the path until you can see the gates of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden. Then comes the tricky part – crossing the highway. I don’t take responsibility for your safety – that’s up to you. I’m just reporting that this is the favoured route of locals walking from Cornelian Bay to the Gardens.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Hobart
We saved the Botanical Gardens for our last day in Hobart, but it was on our list from the beginning and is well worth visiting. An enthusiastic and thorough Gardens Volunteer gave us a map and told us the highlights.
We were interested to explore Pete’s Patch (of ABC Gardening Australia fame), another highlight being the unique Subantarctic Plant House. This is a controlled climate exhibit replicating the temperature and landscape of Macquarie Island featuring only plants from the island.
Eating Out at the Hobart Botanical Gardens
- Cornelian Bay Boathouse (see above) – we ate there Budget $17 for the Seafood Chowder.
- Succulent Restaurant at the Gardens – A La Carte with mixed reviews – great garden and Derwent River Views.
- Sprout Cafe at the Gardens – coffee, snacks and local Valhalla Ice-cream – we had coffee.
View from Mona over Faros Restaurant (beneath the concrete igloo) and Berriedale Bay. Look down through the viewing window into the restaurant.
Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art has a reputation for exhibitions that challenge you to find your limits. It’s a great tourist attraction whether you enter the bowels of the Museum or not. I like how owner David Walsh refers to his creation as “Subversive Adult Disney”.
Everyone can visit the Museum Cafe. Sit outside in the grassed courtyard with fabulous Derwent River views. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the courtyard, sipping Wine and Coffee and eating really good Fruit Scones with butter.
Everywhere at Mona the architecture is mind blowing and we prowled the grounds taking photographs, looking down into the Faro Wing and listening to live music in the garden of the main stage area.
Budget for Museum Admission $28 Adults $22 Concession
Camo boats transport you 11 km upstream from Brooke Street Pier to Berriedale, taking 25 minutes and providing a nice river cruise.
Budget for Boat Posh Pit $55 Standard $22. You can book on-line.
Charles Darwin Walk on the Clarence Foreshore Trail – Kangaroo Point to Bellerive
For stunning views of Hobart City and Mount Wellington, walk or ride the 2 km trail from Kangaroo Point to Bellerive. It is both a cycle and a walking path that sticks close to the riverfront with information boards on-route. We enjoyed this walk and recommend it if you have the time. It’s peaceful and the views are beautiful – what’s not to like?
Looking across Bellerive Marina to Hobart and Mount Wellington.
Bellerive cricket ground (Blundstone Oval) provides the backdrop for Bellerive Park playground. There’s a great beach for swimming and afterward you can grab some Bellerive fish and chips. Although the trail continues on, from the oval we cut back along Queens Street past the fish and chip shop to the Waterfront Hotel Bellerive.
How to get there:
- Drive 10 minutes from Hobart CBD over the Tasman Bridge – park at Kangaroo Point Car Park
- Or, Take Public Buses 605, 613,615, 620 and 625 from Hobart to Kangaroo Point via Rosny Park
Bellerive Restaurants to try:
- The Fish Bar at 51 Queens Street Bellerive Beach is an institution – eat in or out – overflowing when we visited.
- Next we returned to Waterfront Hotel Bellerive – also full.
- We ate at Boardwalk Fish n Chips on a punt at the front of the hotel – servings large enough for 2 – on the water.
North Hobart Restaurants
While my current favourite Hobart restaurant is in Battery Point, we loved the restaurant strip of Elizabeth Street in NoHo, for sheer choice and variety. Morning and afternoon is cafe time but at night the action steps up a notch and the restaurant and bars shine.
Step inside the 1913 State Theatre and explore. A local’s gathering spot for coffee, wine and movies, the cafe is open from 9.30 am and ask about their rooftop screen and bar.
Cat Cafe Hobart at 269 Elizabeth Street reflects the adult vibe of North Hobart by introducing a Friday and Saturday 5 to 9 pm Adults Only Session.
Try Cyclo and Saigon Express for Vietnamese, the Greek Filoxenia, the large outdoor venue “Room for a Pony” for drinks and Pizza, the popular Born in Brunswick modelled on a Melbourne Cafe, Boodle Beasley for Craft Beers and Bao, Annapurna for Indian and Capital for Italian. This is just to start with there are many more.
This was a must for me as I remembered visiting Cascade Brewery as a 17 year old, while travelling in Tasmania for five weeks with a girlfriend. Cascade is Australia’s oldest operating brewery and the grand old brewery building (1824) looked just the same as it did on my original visit.
The brewery stands at the base of Mt. Wellington, the source of the pure water required for brewing. Tasmanian hops are equally essential and Mercury Cider is also brewed here.
A Cascade History and Brewery Experience lasts 75 minutes and costs $30 p.p. The tour does include four 7 oz. beers of your choice.
Alternatively, just chill in the gorgeous gardens with a tasting paddle, shared beer snacks or a meal. The 3 acres of heritage gardens are great for families with kids, weather permitting.
How to get there:
- Public Bus 446 – Stop 14.
- 48 hour hop on hop off bus loop tour including a 90 minute Cascade Brewery Tour with free tastings.
- 24 hour hop on hop off bus tour (stops at Cascade Brewery but tour and tastings are not included).
- Walk the Rivulet Track from the CBD (1 hour). They say 1 hour but it my opinion it could take 2 hours!
We spent too much time at the Brewery and missed the prison. We weren’t too disappointed as it does not have many original buildings. It is however very close to the brewery so it’s easy to drop by. If you visit the intact convict built jail at Richmond (and we suggest you do) don’t worry too much about missing this one.
How to get there:
- Walk along the Rivulet track (1 hour/2.7km – possibly 2 hours from Hobart CBD),
- Walk or drive from the Brewery (you can park in front of the prison).
- By bus from Franklin Square (446,447,449) hop off at stop 13 and walk down Aspley Street.
Take a Day Trip from Hobart
With so many excellent choices available, it’s a pleasure choosing a day trip from Hobart. We visited all the top contenders including Port Arthur, Bruny Island, Richmond +Wineries and the Huon Valley and truly they are all superb.
Port Arthur is an excellent day trip from Hobart.
If you’re feeling devilish visit Bonorong Wildlife Park and see a real Tasmanian Devil. The hairless ears of this marsupial fill with blood when excited giving it red pointy ears just like the Devil.
Further afield, Freycinet National Park and Wineglass bay are definite starters on our future to do list. We did look at an 11 hour day trip from Hobart to Freycinet but thought it too much for us on this trip. We will be returning to Tasmania and Freycinet would be an obvious inclusion on a tour from Hobart to Launceston or vice versa. I can’t wait.
Look for things of Historical Interest
It’s an irritating fact that Marty is way more observant than I am. Weeks after we left Hobart he mentioned the white stones on the hill at the end of our South Hobart street. What Stones and why hadn’t he point them out to me or photographed them?
Well it turns out the stones were a 1905 advertising sign placed on land owned by Horace Watson of the iconic Australia brand Keens Curry. The words Keens Curry are spelled out in white stones 15 metres high – how could I have missed them?
Over the years pranks have been played and the letters rearranged but they always return to their original message.
Another thing to look for and I did notice this one – is the McCann Bros. music store advertisement on the side of the Loretto building at the corner of Macquarie and Warneford Streets. We quite often drove down Macquarie Street and I photographed it because it looked so authentic. Piano and Radio 5 shillings weekly.
This 1930’s pre-decimal signage was badly worn away before being restored by a heritage restoration expert. The Loretto building on which the advertisement is painted was built in 1846 and is historically listed.
Happy planning and I hope you enjoy all the fun things to do in Hobart.
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