Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Hobart (Australia), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania and one of the 15th largest cities in Australia. It was founded already in 1804 as a British penal colony.
Moreover, it’s the second-oldest capital city after Sydney, although the area itself has been inhabited for as long as 35,000 years by semi-nomadic tribes.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit in Hobart as well as attractions that shouldn’t be missed while visiting.
Mount Wellington is a 1,271 m high mountain located right on Tasmania’s southern coast. The thick forests surrounding this beautiful peak are a true treasure trove for hikers and cyclists.
The peak can also be reached via car as there is a sealed road leading all the way up. Keep in mind that the road is only open during Australia’s summer as it is otherwise covered in snow.
The panorama from Mount Wellington is one of the scenic highlights of southern Tasmania so don’t miss it when you come to Hobart.
During each Saturday, the Salamanca Market becomes one of the liveliest places in all of Hobart when residents and visitors alike flock here to make some great bargains.
There is not just great produce on offer here but also plenty of handicrafts, souvenirs, and artworks that serve as great gifts to bring home from your trip to Hobart.
What makes the market so lively, is all the live music coming from the buskers who use the weekly market to earn some extra income.
Theater Royal opened in 1837 and has since then been one of the cultural hearts of the city. Today the theater is the oldest continually operating venue of its kind in all of Australia.
Many residents come here regularly to enjoy musicals, dance performances, theater plays, and operas.
Even though the Theater Royal isn’t the most impressive or elegant venue it has a special charm that is very hard to resist and thanks to constant modernizations you are guaranteed to enjoy great acoustics and modern stage technologies when coming here.
Explore Battery Point
If you are planning to experience the city on foot, Hobart’s Battery Point neighborhood is an area you definitely shouldn’t miss.
It only takes 10 minutes from the city center to get here and once you are here you will be awarded a very historic atmosphere and a wide range of colonial-era buildings.
Many of the private houses found here date to the 19th century and have retained their eccentric charm. Due to the neighborhood’s increasing popularity, many of the residences have been turned into guesthouses, offering you a great place to stay during your time in Hobart.
Go wine tasting
Hobart and its surroundings are known for being a great place for wine so why not check out some of the local wine in one of the many inviting wine bars the city has to offer?
Many of them are located on the city’s waterfront and serve as a great place to spend a nice evening. If you don’t like bars too much, you can also join one of the wine tours that are on offer here.
Local tour operators organize trips into the city’s surrounding countryside including visits to some of the best wine estates found in this part of Tasmania.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are located just north of the city’s central business district. The gardens are showcasing some of the plant life found in Australia’s cool southern climate as well as a collection of Subantarctic plant life.
There are 14 hectares of greenery to be enjoyed here so make sure to bring plenty of time for your visit to these lovely gardens. Morover, there are also walking tours available here, they take around 50 minutes and are led by experienced guides.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are considered the country’s second-oldest of their kind and were established right after the first settlers arrived here.
Cascade Brewery was established in 1824, which makes it the oldest still-operating brewery in all of Australia. Another unique aspect of Cascade is that it operates its own maltings.
Only locally grown barley is used for the company’s main products. The range of beer produced here is very extensive and includes Lager, Draught, Bitter, and Stout.
And even if you don’t drink alcohol, the Cascade Brewery has some interesting drinks for you to try out including fruit syrups and juices.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Another very historic destination in Hobart is the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery which has been established here in 1846. Today the TMAG (as it is often abbreviated) receives around 400,000 visitors a year making it one of the most popular sites in all of Tasmania.
There are 2,000 m² of exhibition space to be explored here and no matter if you are interested in learning more about the local history, want to enjoy great artworks, or are looking for an educational experience for your children, the TMAG will not disappoint you.
Guided tours are free and are a great way to experience the highlights of the museum.
Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum
Located right on Hobart’s central waterfront, the Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum is definitely one of the best places to experience the historic Antarctic Expeditions of the early 20th century.
Visitors get a first-hand experience of how the brave adventurers lived and how their little huts served as a survival shelter in the harsh climates of Antarctica.
Make a day trip to the Port Arthur historic site
If you are looking for a good destination for a day trip, the UNESCO-listed Port Arthur historic site is a great place for you. It is located around 100 km south-east of Hobart and getting here by car takes around 90 minutes.
This historic site consists of a former convict settlement that was in use during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today around 30 historic buildings are remaining.
And considering they are stretched over a territory of around 100 acres, you should bring plenty of time when coming here. The entrance ticket to the Port Arthur historic site also includes a guided tour, a harbor cruise, and access to the local museum and gallery.
Visit Bruny Island
Bruny Island is amazingly beautiful and very much worth a visit if you like untouched nature. This large island is located south of Hobart and can be reached by a short ferry ride from the town of Kettering, 30 km south of the city center.
One of the highlights of Bruny is the narrow stretch of land that connects the northern and southern part of the island as well as the South Bruny National Park that offers many stunning viewpoints that allow a great panorama, a great place for hiking.
MONA: Museum of Old and New Art
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is an interesting museum that features modern architecture as well as art collections that range from ancient to modern.
MONA can be found in the Berriedale neighborhood north of the city center and is located right along the ocean shores. The annual music events MOFO and Dark Mofo are some of Tasmania’s cultural highlights and take place annually.
This museum is also known for its focus on sex and death which definitely sets it apart from most other museums you might have visited in the past.
Hobart Convict Penitentiary
The Hobart Convict Penitentiary tells the important story of the convicts and their role during the first years of Australian colonization. Many of the historic courtrooms, gallows, and cells have been conserved and can today be explored on guided tours.
Included in these tours is Pandemonium, a world-class multi-sensory film experience. There are also so-called ghost tours taking place at night that make coming to the penitentiary an incredibly spooky experience.
You will hear many gruesome stories of how convicts died here and how their spirits haunt the penitentiary to this day.
St. David’s Cathedral
St. David’s Cathedral is one of the religious highlights of the city. This Anglican church was consecrated in 1874 and serves as Tasmania’s seat of the bishop and a symbol of Christianity in Tasmania.
This church is part of a streetscape that is often called the finest example of Georgian architecture in Australia. You can find the church right at the corner of Macquarie and Murray Streets in the center of Hobart.
The cathedral is particularly known for its fantastic choir which is the centerpiece of the many concerts taking place here throughout the year.
Cascades Female Factory Historic Site
The Cascades Female Factory served as a workplace for female convicts and was part of the Van Diemen’s Land penal colony. The factory operated from 1828 to 1856 but is very well preserved and part of the UNESCO-listed Australian Convict Sites.
Coming here is a great way to learn more about how the forced migration of convicts helped to shape the global power of the British Empire. The best way to experience the site is by taking part in a guided tour.
Want more recommendations on things to do in Hobart, Australia? Leave a comment below!