Top 10 Best Things to Do in Hobart, Tasmania

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A sunset over a bay in Hobart, Tasmania

Being a resident of Victoria (the closest state to Tasmania) has meant that I have visited Hobart in Tasmania increasingly as I have gotten older.

Tasmanian wine and produce, landscapes and art galleries appeal to many, mostly travellers whose search for the finer things in life increases with age.

A short flight from Melbourne, Victoria (only 50 minutes in the air) and you will touch down at the small airport in Hobart.

Below, you will find my list of the top 10 best things to do in Hobart, Tasmania.

  • 10 things to do

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Hobart Map

Using the map of Hobart, you can explore all the things to do.

Wine, Cheese and Produce

Every year, the Taste of Tasmania is held in Hobart, on the waterfront at Salamanca. Offering an incredible array of local, gourmet produce, fresh food and wine, 'The Taste' is an event not to be missed.

The festival has grown since its conception in 1988. From initially 22 stalls over two days to one of the biggest wine and food festivals in the state of Tasmania, it is held at the beginning of every new year (please check their website for updates).

In addition to the Taste of Tasmania, here are some other food produce and wine sellers to try:

WINERIES

  • Derwent Estate Vineyard: Located a short drive north of Hobart, the Derwent Estate Vineyard and Winery is eco friendly and currently moving towards being completely organic. It is open seven days a week for lunch for those that want to try their award-winning wines.
  • Frogmore Creek Winery: A cool climate winery and cellar door, the Frogmore Creek Winery is a 15-minute drive from Hobart's CBD. The award-winning wines and stunning views here will not disappoint!
  • Every Man & His Dog Vineyard: A small, boutique vineyard located on the Coal River Valley. Another “cool climate” winery which specialises in Cab Sauv, Pinot Noir and Unwooded Chardonnay. It is situated close to the small town of Richmond, half an hour north of Hobart.

PRODUCE

  • Farm Gate Market (fresh food): This iconic market is located at 104 Bathurst Street in Hobart and occurs every Sunday. In any weather conditions, vendors gather to sell their baked goods and seasonal produce. This market is a social event designed for visitors to learn about who exactly grows their chosen quality produce in the area. The Farm Gate Market has evolved in the last ten years from 12 store holders to one of the most popular Farmers Markets in Australia.
  • Hill Street Grocer: The Hill Street Grocer in West Hobart is full with very fresh produce at reasonable prices, making this friendly, Greek grocery a trendy food store in the city.
  • The Salmon Shop (Salamanca Square): The Salmon Shop is a retail outlet for the Tassal fish farmers. It specialises in deli items and fresh cuts of salmon at affordable prices.
  • Bruny Island Cheese Company: Nick Haddow began the Bruny Island Cheese Company after travelling the world and learning from specialist cheesemakers. Using cow's milk for their array of cheeses, the Bruny Island Cheese Company uses environmentally sustainable practices to provide the best quality milk and cheeses.

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The busy Salamanca Market, Hobart by Tktktk

Salamanca Market

To say the Salamanca Market is big is an understatement. On my last visit to Hobart, a stroll to the markets was met with endless lines of stalls, including all you could imagine.

Everything from vintage, design, boutique, produce, crafts, jewellery, woodcrafts and coffee can be found in the vibrant 170 stalls.

Held every Saturday, Salamanca Market is one of Australia's most-loved outdoor markets. If you are a market lover, put aside adequate time to be able to explore most of the massive variety of stalls!

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The MONA Museum in Hobart, Australia from above

MONA Museum

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is situated in Hobart on the Berriedale peninsula. It is a huge, privately-funded museum that showcases contemporary, modern, and ancient art, and it is owned by David Walsh.

MONA is best accessed by the equally-enthralling MONA Ferry. Complete with fake cows and bar service, taking the MONA Ferry across the water from Salamanca is a must for the full MONA experience.

Entering the art gallery, you are greeted by friendly staff who are all experienced in providing the required information with a laugh to ensure you enjoy your time at MONA.

Exhibitions change seasonally, so do keep that in mind.

One thing I wish I knew before I visited was the extent of incredible artwork alongside picturesque dining and bar areas that exist here. Having known this, I would have spent more time on the grounds!

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The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG) is not only a museum and art gallery but also a herbarium. It is located at Dunn Place in Hobart.

Collections of fine art, old fossils, shells, molluscs, flora and fauna, and a photographic collection dating back to 1849 to the present day, are but a few of the many collections here.

The TMAG's mission is to collect and maintain their collection, and to provide knowledge on the culture and history of Tasmania.

If you are an art lover, ensure to include the TMAG on your Hobart things to do list. Make sure to also allow enough time to view the full collection!

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View from the summit of Mount Wellington in Tasmania

Hike Mount Wellington/Kunanyi

The Kunanyi trail is the most popular hike on Mount Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania.

The mountain is known to the original indigenous Tasmanians as Kunanyi, who have revived the name today, resulting in the mountain now possessing the dual-title of Mount Wellington/Kunanyi.

Before visiting Mount Wellington/Kunanyi, be sure to do some research online about the history of the area.

Generally, researching indigenous culture and travel tips before visiting historical sites is the way to go to help you properly understand Australian history.

Located in the southeast of Hobart, at 1271 metres above sea level, Mount Wellington is often covered in snow, or at the very least, is frosty.

If planning to hike Mount Wellington/Kunanyi, ensure to always prepare for cold conditions as there are usually icy winds throughout the year. Moreover, the weather on the summit can include anything from rain to clear skies, sun to snow, icy winds and hail, or all in one day.

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The stunning Bruny Island in Tasmania, Australia

Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a 362-square-km island off the southeast coast of Tasmania. It is known as a wild, untouched island that includes activities like cliff-top trails and things to do near the water, such as laying by the beach. Foodies and beach-loving Hobart locals often head to Bruny for short mini-breaks.

Bruny Island is also on many interstate and international travellers' Australia road trip itineraries for the same reason. The coastal wilderness and accessibility draw nature and produce-lovers from far and wide, too.

The ferry to Bruny Island departs from the town of Kettering, which is approximately 40-minutes south of Hobart.

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Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay is known as a breathtaking location, drawing photographers and travellers from near and far.

Situated 2.5 hours north of Hobart, the bay area of Wineglass Bay and its surroundings are part of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's east coast.

Top activities here include rock climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing. Stunning sunsets also provide the ideal place to relax with your newest vacation book and take in the view. Wineglass Bay is a definite must if you are venturing north from Hobart.

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View of northeast Hobart from Mt. Wellington

North Hobart

North Hobart is the place to be if you're searching for a café experience while visiting Hobart. The relaxed area is a short cab ride from the CBD of Hobart and has many cafes and even a brewery to choose from. Many offer brunch or lunch and showcase the local produce in fine form.

These are some of the top eateries to try:

BRUNCH

  • Room for a Pony: A relaxed brunch spot with friendly staff and delicious coffee.
  • Born in Brunswick: A modern brunch spot with creative twists on breakfasts and lunches.

BARS

  • Boodle Beasley: A friendly and relaxed brewery, ideal for lunch and to try some boutique beers on tap.
  • Republic Bar & Café: Ideal for a night out to see touring bands or for a quiet beer or meal while soaking up the live music pub atmosphere.

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Sandy Bay

Three kilometres south of Hobart's Central Business District is the suburb of Sandy Bay. Many homes here are close to the water, possessing sought-after views of the Marina and Mount Wellington while still being an accessible location close to the CBD of Hobart.

This is also where the Wrest Point Casino, Yacht club and popular cafes and restaurants are located, also drawing locals and their dogs to stroll along the beach.

There is plenty of free parking, but get in quick when the sun is out!

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Cascade Brewery

The Cascade Brewery in South Hobart was opened in 1824, and it is the oldest functioning brewery in Australia.

Located at the bottom of Mount Wellington, the brewery tours include history, recipes and large amounts of taste testing.

If a brewery tour isn’t for you, relax and sample the Mercury ciders or Cascade beers, or have some lunch and wander around the heritage gardens.

Cascade Brewery also provides homebrew and non-alcoholic beverages.

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Conclusion

I’d always heard that Hobart was pretty, but I never really understood why until I visited the city and saw the accessibility of everything, the laid back atmosphere and the historical and artistic community.

Hobart, Tasmania is perfect for the beginning of a road trip or a mini getaway from the mainland of Australia. Tasmania is also full of interesting Australian landmarks to visit, such as the Port Arthur Historic Site.

I would recommend staying in accommodation in South Hobart or high up in one of the hilly suburbs for exceptional sunset views of the harbour and beyond.

Ideal seasons to visit are January (Australian summer) for the Taste of Tasmania festival or mid-winter for the Dark Mofo festival (organised by MONA) and winter trekking on Mount Wellington.

And don't forget to pack your most giant winter jacket and plenty of layers if you visit between June - August!

This article was first published on Nov 11, 2020 10:20 UTC.


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Written by Kate Rae

Kate_Rae Kate Rae studied creative writing, editing and screenwriting, before venturing down various paths in the music and film industries. She is currently fulfilling her writing ambitions with her own blog that focuses on Australian travel for unique travellers. Real advice written by a local, providing tips to 20 and 30 something travellers, who are keen to experience all Australia has to offer.


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