Tasmania may be small in size, but it is significant in heart! So often the forgotten state by international tourists wanting a quick trip to Australia, but I must say it is one of Australia’s most underrated places to visit. It is full of hidden gems that will want you to come back for more, so here are my ten reasons to visit Hobart this year.
A little bit of Hobart’s history
Although Abel Tasman named the island Anthony Van Diemens land back in 1642, although eventually shorted and called Van Diemen’sDiemen’s Land, it was officially changed in 1856 to honour the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. The latter was the first European to discover this piece of Land.
However, it was in 1803 that the first European settlement in Hobart began and was explicitly built as a prison and defensive outpost. Originally established on the eastern shores of Derwent river, a place named Risdon Cove was eventually moved in 1804 up the river to Sullivans Cove.
By 1811, Hobart had established a township with hotels, shops, a hospital and church, housing and a quarry. A newspaper also popped up along with jobs in milling, brewing (yes, beer brewery) and shipbuilding, which makes it Australia’sAustralia’s second-oldest town.
Why visit Tasmania?
Tasmania has a little bit of something for everyone. Think natural beauty, fresh produce, rugged mountain hiking and gorgeous beaches. So why wouldn’t you want to visit this part of Australia?
Do not expect it to be anything like the hustle and bustle that other major cities in Australia bring. The best part of this island is the unique country feel in a major city, the friendliness it brings, and of course the slower pace (you are on holiday after all!)
The best time to visit Hobart
I believe anytime is the best time to visit Hobart, Tasmania. It can get cold during winter, but it also comes with cosy fireplaces in pubs, fantastic fresh produce at the restaurants and fewer tourists to interrupt your stay.
The weather in summer isn’t too hot either, with a maximum (usually) in the early ’20s’20s (Celcius). And the nights are a little cooler, so ensure you bring something to keep you warm at night (all year round).
What is a Tasmanian Devil?
Tasmanian Devils, named for their otherworldly howling many years ago, are the biggest carnivorous marsupials in the world. However, due to their rapid decline, the Tasmanian Devil is now on the endangered list of species. They are dark brown or black, weigh from 4kg to 14kg, and are about 30cm tall.
You could once find these animals throughout all of Australia (as they can travel up to 14km in one night. However, they are only in Tasmania around the bushland and coastal scrubland (mostly).
How to get to Hobart
Hobart airport to Hobart city
Car – You can hire a car from Hobart Airport (which is very easy). Book online here before you go and pick it up at the airport on arrival. It is approximately a 20-minute drive to Hobart.
Bus – You can catch the Skybus from Hobart Airport to Hobart, which is an approximately 45-minute bus ride. You can book online, head to the baggage carousel area, and purchase a ticket there too.
Taxi/Uber – These are by far the easiest and most efficient ways to get into the city. You can either use your uber app or head to the taxi line right in front of the terminal.
Ten reasons to visit Hobart
Check out the new art at MONA.
For lovers of art, you can not go by without visiting MONA; be prepared to be dazzled and shocked in the blink of an eye. This place is not for the faint-hearted, but there is a lot to take in. Appreciate different art styles and take in unique ways to interpret new art at this unique gallery.
Spend the day on Bruny Island
Head over to Bruny island by ferry or by cruise; either way, explore this unique island. Once there, explore the island on your own or book a tour here. Must-sees are the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, Point Gallery and the Bligh Museum. However, if bushwalking is your thing, then you will not be disappointed. Are you thinking of staying overnight? Then book here for your Bruny Island accommodation.
Wander around Salamanca market
I love the local market, and the Salamanca market is a great one to explore. From local produce to local products, they have it all. So whether you are there to taste the local products (and you should, by the way) or pick up something from your time in Hobart, this is the place to find it.
Visit Wineglass Bay
Wineglass Bay is one of the most breathtaking places you’ll ever see. Sure it is not a quick trip (approximately 2.5 hours away), but well worth the visit. There is plenty to do here on this little piece of heaven, so stay overnight (or two). Explore the island, take a tour, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Hop on one of Hobart’s Historic cruise
Hop on Hobart’s historic cruises any time of the year. Sit inside, enjoy a fresh salmon lunch on a cold day, or head outside during the warmer months. Here you will hear the commentary of the area by one of the experienced guides, who will explain not only the city’s history but also what the neighbouring regions are like today…
Whisky tasting at Hobarts Lark Distillery
Whether you spend time on a tour of the distillery or pop in for a wine tasting, Lark’s Distillery does not disappoint. For those who love whisky (and a little bit of history), you will be delighted to know that Lark Distillery was the first licensed distillery in Tasmania. So if they have been open since 1839, they must be doing something right.
If you aren’t a whisky drinker, do not worry. The selection of gin cocktails is worth heading over there.
Enjoy the views that Mount Wellington brings.
Mount Wellington is 1271 metres tall, so the views from the top are amazing. Whether you drive to the top or for those wanting the full experience, go halfway and hike the rest of the way (approximately a 3-hour hike). The views are worth the 3-hour hike – you can thank me later.
Step back in time to Port Arthur
A perfect trip away for me is somewhere I can learn about a little history of the place. Port Arthur does just that, as it is rich in history. Okay, so it has a somewhat murky and eerie past, but it is by far my favourite place to visit in Tasmania. Wander around the little town and take the boat tour. Here, you will get a glimpse of the old Van Diemens Land. Book your tickets online here to say your time when you get there.
Explore the beauty of Mount field national park
Mount Field National Park is one of Hobart’s best places to visit. It is approximately a 1-hour drive from Hobart, where you will find many of Tasmania’s local wildlife, such as the eastern quoll.
Whether you are visiting for the waterfalls or heading over to snowboard, this place is fantastic any time of year. Do you want to stay longer? Check out the accommodation here.
Other Recommendations for Places to visit in Tasmania
Port Arthur Lavender farm
If you are planning on spending some time in Port Arthur anyway, then the Port Arthur Lavender farm is worth spending some time there. Of course, you could combine the two and tour or head out to the lavender farm on your way to Port Arthur. Whether you go on a self-guided tour or stay for lunch with the lavender-inspired dishes, this place is just beautiful and one of the best places to visit around Hobart.
Wrest Point Casino
When people ask me where to visit Hobart, I always recommend Wrest Point Casino. The casino has been a part of this city since 1973 and is worth checking out. Sure it is a little tired, and it still has that 70’s feel in some areas. However, it is a great place to stay, and there are a few options for dining. There are also a few bars to choose from and entertainment happening daily.
Federation Artisan Chocolate
Please pop in and watch them make this delicious chocolate treat. Federation Artisan Chocolate is slightly different in how the cacao is grown. This full-bean stoneground chocolate is handcrafted, and each bean supplier grows its bean in other regions and microclimates.
Federation Artisan Chocolate has been in Tasmania for over 30 years. Go for a tour or pop in to taste and purchase some delicious treats for your weekend in Hobart.
We make authentic, less processed, more ethical, and sustainable chocolate.
Hop on, Hop off bus experience
Suppose you have limited time and want the best places to visit Hobart. Then I always highly recommend the hop on-hop off bus. This is the best option if you do not have a car or time is a factor. You can choose when and where to hop on and off based on your map. The commentary is also great for those wanting more than just a direct route to your destination.
Seafood at the harbour
One of the best places to visit in Hobart is around the docks, where you can pick up fresh seafood. Choose one of the many takeaway options, such as Flippers or sit down to a mouth-watering seafood treat at Mures. Tasmania is known for its delicious fresh salmon, so for those who like seafood, it should be a must on your bucket list.
Where to stay in Hobart
MACq 01 Hotel
The MACq 01 Hotel has views over the water, spacious rooms and all the amenities you would expect from a luxury-style hotel. In addition, the hotel is in an ideal location in Hunter St so that you can walk to many of the main tourist attractions downtown. Ideal for a weekend getaway, with friendly staff, and the rooms are genuinely spacious and beautifully decorated.
Riverfront motel and villa
The Riverfront motel and villa is not far from MONA, ideally located for families with its playground, river access and pool for the little ones. The rooms are clean and spacious and contain kitchenettes. The restaurant’s food is affordable and delicious; there is ample parking, so an excellent location for you and your family to explore Hobart.
Alabama Hotel Hobart
The Alabama Hotel Hobart is ideal for those on a budget. Perfect location, clean rooms and friendly staff. This super convenient location is within walking distance of shops and major attractions. There are male and female toilets on each floor, so it doesn’t make sharing a bathroom awkward.
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Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. I hope this post has given you the necessary information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or travel advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!