After visiting a handful of times over the years, I can safely say that there is no place quite like Tasmania. It’s undeniable. A diverse island state, home to secluded beaches, white sand, rugged coastlines, majestic mountains, colonial history, national parks and luxurious vineyards, Tassie’s beauty and vastness knows no bounds. And then at the heart of it all is the state’s vibrant and eclectic capital Hobart, and one of my favourite Australian cities.
Here are my recommendations for where to stay, what to eat, what to see and what to do during a weekend in Hobart.
My entire family stayed at the exquisite Customs House. Sitting right on Hobart’s fabulous waterfront, this heritage-listed building is directly opposite Parliament House and is just minutes by foot to the famed Salamanca precinct. The reception staff were exceptional, the breakfast we enjoyed each morning was phenomenal (and 100% responsible for the Eggs Benedict obsession I’ve developed) and the rooms were spacious and extremely comfortable. It was the perfect place to ‘come home to’ after a day of exploring and felt like a highlight of our Hobart visit all on it’s own.
Sullivan’s Cove, Hobart’s historic waterfront precinct, is home to the picturesque marina, refurbished warehouses and the finish line of the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Visit Elizabeth Street Pier, a food and wine destination, for everything from cheap eats to high-end restaurants, and Brooke Street Pier, the tourism and transport hub. With everything from Hobart’s fishing fleet to grand Antartic vessels to tall sailing ships, the Cove itself is well worth a wander all on it’s own.
Rising 1270 metres above Hobart’s waterfront, a visit to Mount Wellington’s summit should be on any Hobart itinerary list. 20 minutes from downtown by car, the summit offers spectacular panoramic views of Hobart, Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula. It is frequently blanketed in snow, even in the summer, and is criss-crossed by many hiking and biking trails.
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
If you are looking for something a little left of centre, you’ll find it at Australia’s largest private museum MONA. 15 mins from central Hobart by car or 30 minutes via direct ferry from Brooke Street Pier, MONA houses a diverse contemporary and antique collection of what is arguably some of the world’s most controversial and thought-provoking art. Descending the stairs into this subterranean lair is akin to entering another realm, and the quirky and risque installations, imagery and art pieces are likely to linger with you long after you leave. Be amused or be appalled, either way, it’s an experience unlike any other and shouldn’t be missed!
Every Saturday from 8.30am until 3pm, the iconic Salamanca Markets bring Hobart’s waterfront precinct to life with the sights and sounds of Tasmania. It’s a celebration of Tasmanian arts and crafts and the finest in Tassie produce, as well as showcasing the talented musicians, artisans and creatives who call Tasmania home. Definitely not one to be missed!
The Kelly Steps
At the end of Kelly Street, this architectural landmark connects the upper neighbourhood of Battery Point to the lower Salamanca Place and is the best way to start your explorations of the beautiful Battery Point from the waterfront precinct. The top of the climb offers a beautiful view over the city of Hobart and a glimpse of Mount Wellington with it’s peak in the clouds.
Connected to Salamanca by the Kelly Steps, Battery Point is undoubtedly my favourite area of Hobart. It has oodles of old world charm that makes it the most idyllic neighbourhood that’s well deserving of an afternoon exploring by foot. Climb the Kelly Steps, spin around in Arthur’s Circle, refuel on Hampden Road, marvel at the still-occupied colonial cottages and frolick in Princes Park – whatever you do, be sure not to miss a walking tour of this most historic area of Hobart. I could photograph it all day, and then some!
Situated in the foothills of Mount Wellington 5 minutes from Hobart’s CBD, the Cascade Brewery was established in 1824 and is Australia’s oldest brewery. Whether you are a beer-lover or not, a brewery tour provides a fascinating look at the entire beer-making process and I genuinely enjoyed tagging along with my beer-enthusiast husband a few years ago during our last visit to Tassie. Besides, the brewery’s castle-like facade and heritage listed gardens are well worth the visit all on their own.
Tasmania is fast developing an international reputation as a leading producer of some of Australia’s most premium wines and a vineyard visit should be on every Tasmanian travel itinerary! As well as being home to the picture-perfect town of Richmond, the Coal River Valley is just a short drive from Hobart and contains a number of excellent vineyards and wineries well worth a visit. Frogmore Creek Winery is a recent favourite!
Jackman and McRoss
You can’t go to Hobart without visiting this bakery-cafe, you just can’t! Located on Hampden Road in Battery Point, Jackman and McRoss offers an amazing selection of breads, cakes, pastries, pies, gourmet sandwiches and more, and all of it is baked in house on the premise. It’s always busy, so probably not the best place to go for a quiet morning or to read the newspaper, but if you love to people watch, sip delicious coffee and nibble of fabulous cakes, this place can’t be missed.
The incredible waterfront location on Elizabeth Street Pier at Sullivan’s Cover perfectly compliments the amazing fish and chips on offer at this relaxed establishment. The seafood is the freshest you can find, and my sister swears by their hot seafood chowder. Dine in or takeaway, it’s simple food done perfectly and it’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Don’t miss it!
A very lively and popular venue in Hobart, the Telegraph Hotel offers great pub meals, a huge array of beers on tap and great live music.Within close proximity to Sullivan’s Cove and only a short walk from our accommodation, the Telegraph offers unbeatable value with their generously-sized $5 steak or chicken parmigiana meals.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – is Hobart on your Australian travel itinerary? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to share/bookmark this post for future reference! XO