Hobart is a city of contrasts: backed by the glorious Mount Wellington, sitting at the mouth of the Derwent River that feeds out onto Storm Bay, this beautiful city was once an infamous penal colony, and was built on the backs of convicts. As a result, today you will find this is a place of rich history, great natural beauty, blended with all the fixings of a contemporary, progressive Australian city.
Things to do in Hobart, Australia
The first thing any visitor must do in Hobart is to seek the summit of Mount Wellington. You can hike or drive, but from this vantage point you overlook the entire city, to the bays that surround the city, and out to the Pacific Ocean, far as the eye can see. Walk from the Springs over to Sphinx Rock and you can also enjoy the spiking columns affectionately known as the Organ Pipes.
Once you’ve gotten situated, come back down to earth for your tour of the city. Start at Battery Point, where a gun battery once ensured the safety of the old harbour. Here you can see much of the convict-built architecture of the city. Wander past the St George Church, the heritage mansion Lenna House, and the cottages of Arthur Circus.
From Battery Point, take the Kelly Steps to Salamanca Place, and browse the shops, the Arts Centre, and of course, the vibrant Salamanca Markets. This market comes to life every Saturday, and you can find vendors selling all types of goods from fruit to jewellery. This part of Hobart is also renowned for its bars, cafes and restaurants, and is a brilliant place to stop and relax after a day of sightseeing.
For day trips , why not book a trip out to UNESCO listed Port Arthur? Situated near the Tasman National Park, this is a place of great beauty and a controversial history. Learn about the most notorious convicts sentenced to do hard labour here, and take in the views of the Tasman peninsula.
For nature lovers and trekkers alike, the Hartz Mountains National Park should be top of your list; probably among Australia’s most dramatic parks, with lakes, cliffs and waterfalls, this is a spectacular place to spend the day hiking.
Best time to visit Hobart, Australia
- Generally the best time to visit Hobart is in the summertime (December-February) when average temperatures are a pleasant 17-23°C.
- The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are cooler, but still experience lots of sunny days, and are fantastic for exploring the national parks and Port Arthur.
- Winter is for taking advantage of the seasonal perks of fires in the hearth, clear days, and a chance at spotting the Aurora Australis.
Best time to book
- Booking as soon as possible will yield you the best prices for Hobart. Typically the cheapest month to fly in Australia is November, and planning 17 weeks ahead will help you secure that bargain flight.
Expect to pay
- Australian Dollar (AUD).
- Buying a cup of coffee in Hobart should run to around $4.15.
Arriving in Hobart, Australia by plane
- You can fly directly into the city via its main air facility, Hobart Airport (HBA). Airlines that fly into HBA are Jetstar, Tigerair, Qantas and Virgin Australia.
- HBA Airport is about 17km outside of central Hobart. The airport offers passengers access to a bar, a coffee shop and a restaurant, as well as a souvenir and gift shop.
- There are regular, direct flights from HBA to Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE) and Sydney (SYD), with occasional flights to Avalon (AVV).
- If you are travelling on your Australian passport you will not need further documentation to visit Hobart. However, if you are not an Australian citizen you will need to present your visa, or be eligible for a short-term stay in the country. For more information, check your requirements and eligibility on the government website.
Transportation to city centre
- A taxi into the centre of town can cost upwards of $40, or you can arrange an airport transfer in advance.
- There are shuttle services available that run into downtown for about $18 per person.
- If you’d rather drive, you can arrange and book a vehicle with our car hire tool, or organise one with a rental agency upon arrival.
Where to stay in Hobart, Australia
- The city centre is great for access to attractions, shopping and economical and moderate hotels.
- Battery Point is perhaps the most popular part of the city, because it is the historical heart of Hobart. You can find boutique and luxury accommodation here, perfect if you’re looking to treat yourself.
- For affordable B&Bs, hotels and guest houses and stunning views, head just outside Hobart to Sandy Bay where you can take advantage of this lovely seaside location.
Useful tips before you go
- Hobart has a maritime climate, so it can be cold in the winter, and very hot in the summer. Packing and wearing layers is the best way to be prepared for any weather change.
- If you are going to go on any boat trip or sea excursion, then purchasing some preventative motion sickness medication will ensure that you have an enjoyable day out.
- Tipping is not expected in Hobart, though any change you leave for the waiting staff will be appreciated.
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