Guide to Hobart
Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, is a beautiful and trendy city. It is the perfect place to start your adventures around Tassie. You could spend weeks exploring the state filled with varying and impressive landscapes.
How to get there
You can fly to Hobart International Airport from any city in Australia, however if you are flying from Perth or Darwin you won’t find a direct flight and it will cost you up to $800 return. There are direct flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The cheapest and shortest flights are from Melbourne with Jetstar, which takes 1hr and they often have $90 return flights available.
You can also take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne to Devonport, where you can take your car on board. However this is a much more expensive option and it is cheaper to take a flight and rent a car once you arrive.
Once you’re there, I would strongly recommend hiring a car. Public transport is limited and you will not be able to see many of the main attractions without access to a car. I hired a Nissan Micra for $20 a day with Europcar. In fact, it was more economical to hire a car for 2 days between 2 people then to pay for the airport shuttle bus which costs $36 return! If you are driving outside of Hobart, there are many gravel roads so make sure you pay for unsealed road and windscreen insurance.
Where to stay
I stayed at the Pickled Frog hostel in the city and I would highly recommend it. There is a great communal area with a coffee shop by day and bar by night with beer and $9.50 bottles of local wine for sale. The staff are bubbly, helpful and always keen for a chat. If there is a group of you, I recommend booking the Frog Suite. It is $100 per night and is an apartment in the hostel with its own bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms with TV.
What to do
There’s a lot to in this beautiful city over a weekend, whether you’re into art, food, history or landscapes.
Visit Salamanca market
Starting in 1972, the Salamanca market is Tasmania’s most visited tourist venue. It operates every Saturday from 8:30am until 3pm and has hundreds of stalls with fresh food, arts and crafts, clothes and more. There is plenty of great live music to act as a soundtrack as you wander past the stalls.
Take in the views from Mount Wellington
The spectacular Mount Wellington can be seen from anywhere in the city on a clear day. You can reach the summit by driving just 20 mins from the city, or some hostels operate free tours on certain days. Make sure you check the weather as it is best to go on a clear day with minimal wind. As you drive up, you can already see the impressive views out the window.
Once you’re at the summit, you can take a short walk up to the pinnacle point. You can also walk across to an indoor and outdoor observatory, which has phenomenal views across all of Hobart and its surrounding areas. You will probably also see some snow up there!
Visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
MONA is one of the most outgoing and controversial art museums in the world. From the entrance being a tennis court, the museum spirals 17m underground into what seems like Disneyland for adults. It is definitely worth a visit and you can take a ferry from the city to reach it, which is an experience in itself.
Take a day trip to Bruny Island
Bruny island is a great day trip for nature and food lovers. The island is home to an abundance of local produce, making it a foodie’s perfect road trip. There are also some spectacular beaches and view points to discover.
For a day trip itinerary, check out my guide to Bruny Island:
Take a day trip to the Tasman Peninsula
The Tasman Peninsula is home to the famous UNESCO site of Port Arthur, the former convict settlement which is now an open-air museum. On the way to Port Arthur are many fantastic lookouts and nature walks you can enjoy.
For a day trip itinerary, check out my post on the Tasman Peninsula:
Take a waterside walk from Battery Point to Salamanca
Take a wander through the old and picturesque neighbourhood of Battery Point until you hit the water. Take a nice walk and follow the path along the water back to Salamanca. You can enjoy views of surrounding mountains and bays.
If you’re lucky you may see some Antarctic expedition or icebreaker ships docked at the harbour.
Have a meal in Salamanca square
Salamanca is a beautiful area which has retained its colonial architecture. Salamanca Place has many great restaurants and if you walk into Salamanca square you can have a great meal amongst a lively atmosphere.
How long to stay
There is a lot to see and do in and around Hobart. I would definitely recommend 2 full days in the city and then an additional 1 or 2 days for each road trip you would like to take out of the city to either Bruny Island or Tasman Peninsula.