Set on the broad Derwent River and founded in 1804, Tasmaniaís capital is Australiaís most charming city - packed with history and unique attractions. Make sure, however, you allow time to explore beyond the city limits with one of the many scenic day trips.
Start your Hobart sightseeing around the waterfront at Sullivans Cove. This area offers restaurants, an array of fishing and sailing boats at Victoria and Constitution docks, the Maritime Museum of Tasmania and the acclaimed Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
With lively Saturday market and 1830s warehouses containing dozens of shops, cafes and craft galleries, nearby Salamanca Place and Salamanca Square are a must. One of the newer attractions here is Antarctic Adventure, a fascinating interactive centre dedicated to all matters Antarctic. From here take a walk up Kellys Steps to explore Battery Point, a charming old suburb thatís packed with Georgian houses and churches, quaint cottages, cafes and atmosphere. You can also visit the Narryna Heritage Museum and the 1818 Signal Station.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in the City Centre, but donít miss a ghost tour of the old Penitentiary Chapel, a peek inside the beautiful 1837 Theatre Royal, and a visit to the State Library of Tasmania. And the tranquil Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, overlooking the river, are just a short walk away.
A cruise on the Derwent is highly recommended and other options include tours of the famous Cascade Brewery and the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. The 20 minute drive to 1270 metre high Mount Wellington is another must. From this imposing windswept peak thereís a superb panorama of the city, river and surrounding countryside.
And as far as dining and entertainment go, Hobart offers some excellent restaurants, the Wrest Point Casino and a good variety of theatrical and musical performances.
Some of Tasmaniaís most historic settlements lie in the Midlands, north of Hobart. Take the Heritage Highway to Brighton, home of the Bonorong Park Wildlife Centre, then through the charming old villages of Pontville and Kempton.
Continue to Oatlands, with its arts and crafts shops and historic buildings - the Court House, Gaol and 1836 Callington Mill. Next stop is Ross; home of the excellent Tasmanian Wool Centre, while nearby Campbell Town offers Georgian buildings and the Heritage Highway Museum, which traces the regionís fascinating history.
Drive east to Sorell and follow the Arthur Highway to Eaglehawk Neck - part of the Tasman National Park, featuring dramatic coastal attractions such as Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen.
Once on the Tasman Peninsula, stop off at Taranna to visit the Tasmanian Devil Park before continuing to the Port Arthur Historic Site - Tasmaniaís most popular tourist attraction. Youíll need plenty of time to see this old convict settlement, dating from 1830 and including the impressive Visitor Centre, sandstone prison buildings and a collection of cottages. Other options are a cruise to the Isle of the Dead and the scary Historic Ghost Tour!
Where to Stay
Time required: 2 -3 days recommended.