Don’t miss out with our Top 5 things to do in Hobart

August 18, 2016

During your time in Tasmania you’ll get to explore the stunning and dramatic coastline, highlands and national parks of Tasmania, interspersed with charming villages.  

If you’re starting off in Hobart, we’ve put together this list of places to go and visit to make sure you see the best while you’re there! You can also download this information for free hereYou’ll find that Hobart oozes with both historic and modern charm, is fairly compact and easy to get around. It’s also home to an eclectic mix of modern art, restaurants, hip bars, art centres, artisanal produce, markets, botanical gardens and wildlife making it a wonderful place to visit. We hope you’ll find this guide useful to plan your time in Hobart.

1.      Have your breath taken away by the views from Mount Wellington (officially known as Kunyani)


Sunrise at Mount Wellington. Photography Ellenor Argyopoulos

It’s only a 10-minute drive to reach the bottom of Mount Wellington and from there you can either choose to take a short walk, a long hike or just take your camper to the top to enjoy the vista. There is plenty of parking up there and the road up isn’t too hair-raising, with only a couple of narrow sections to drive through. You’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the city and Derwent Valley.  Be sure to take a warm jumper as it can get a little fresh up there – if you’re lucky, grab a coffee from our favourite restored caravan, Bentwood Coffee.

On your way back down, you might want to pop in at the Cascade Brewery. Here you can enjoy sample a fantastic range of beers and ciders, join one of their tours or enjoy a stroll around the three acres of heritage gardens that overlook the Cascade Brewery and Mount Wellington. Check out their site for more details.  Nearby visit the Cascades Female Factory.  This operated in southern Hobart from 1828 to 1856 as a place to punish and reform female convicts.  After it ceased operation as a Female Factory in 1856, it continued as a gaol until 1877.

Alternatively, you could visit Mount Nelson Lookout (this can sometimes be less busy than Mount Wellington) and you’ll still be rewarded with panoramic views over Hobart and Bruny Island. Perfect when Mount Wellington is covered in cloud or it’s raining.  There is also a restaurant that serves light lunches. Up here you’ll also find the Truganini Reserve with its 130 protected hectares of native bushland and the site of the Truganini Memorial, which is dedicated to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their descendants.

2.      Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

With a convenient location near Hobart’s centre and a gold coin donation for entry, this is a great place to spend a couple of hours or a whole afternoon! The gardens have a fantastic collection of fauna from Tasmania and around the world and has nice views back over Hobart and the water. Address: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Lower Domain Road, Queens Domain, Hobart. Phone: 03 61660451.

3.      The Tench – a significant convict site in the heart of Hobart which went on to become the old gaol and supreme court

‘The Tench’ (which was named by the inmates, otherwise known as Van Diemen’s Land Prisoners Barracks Penitentiary) is a building in the shape of a cross and was erected to make space for the growing number of convicts arriving in the colony. Its design includes 36 solitary confinement cells beneath the chapel floor which were later declared inhumane. The site went on to become Hobart’s Town Gaol after the transportation of prisoners ended. Some sections of the chapel were converted into 2 supreme courts, which were connected by tunnels to the gaol, an execution yard and where gallows were added.

If you have an interest in convict history, this is well worth a visit to take a guided tour and hear the stories of the 50,000+ convicts that passed through the Tench.

Address: 6 Brisbane St / Crn Brisbane & Campbell, Hobart. Open:   Access by Guided Tours, Tues -Sun: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00. Closed: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Phone: (03) 6231 0911. Admission: Adult $25, Conc. $18, Child 4+ years $15 (up to 2 hours free parking on Brisbane Street).

4.      Explore the shops, café’s and markets of Salamanca Place


Salamanca Market. Photography Graham Freeman

Every Saturday, along the historic Salamanca Place and next to the Hobart waterfront you’ll find a showcase of over 300 stallholders offering an eclectic mix of delicious foods, Tasmanian handcrafted timbers, artisan jewellery, handmade clothing, plants and flowers as well as vintage collectables.

The market is well known for its friendly locals with a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. If you aren’t in Hobart on a Saturday, then Salamanca Place is still home to many cafes and exquisite boutiques.

You’ll also find on the historic waterfront Sullivan’s Cove which is a working harbour and a place to take a lovely 30-minute walk where you’ll see ships, yachts and restaurants, bars and cafes.  Nearby Battery Point is like stepping back in time with many buildings dating back to the 1830s. Grab a walking guide from the local Post Office which highlights points of interest for first timers.

Salamanca Market is located between Salamanca Lawns and the historic warehouses of Salamanca Place a five-minute walk from the city centre. The market operates all year long every Saturday from 08:00 to 15:00.

5.      Be amazed by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and Hobart’s Art scene

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Photography Rob Burnett

This is a privately owned museum and one that gets great reviews! Even if you’re not a huge fan of modern art, there is something here for everyone with a mixture of historic, modern and contemporary art.

The experience begins with the quirky ferry ride over on the MR-1 either in the Posh Pit @ $55 (glamour on the river. Posh as!) or the Standard @ $22 (sit on sheep). When you arrive at the MONA after a 30-minute journey, you’ll be welcomed by an art gallery 3 levels underground and built into the rock, with each level having something to offer seasoned gallery visitors. It boasts a cocktail bar, café, book shop and even a brewery and tapas bar.

Ferry leaves from Brooke Street Ferry Terminal (parking is limited, especially for large vehicles) or you can grab MONA Roma Express Bus that leaves from the same place.

If you’re looking for more art galleries to keep the creative juices flowing, take a look at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) Open: Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 and 16:00 (closed Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day). Admission is free. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, visitor entrance, Dunn Place, Hobart. Phone: (03) 6165 7000.

There is also the Salamanca Arts Centre which is another Hobart must see. It is Tasmania’s valued and vibrant creative hub and is an integral part of the state’s art and creative industries infrastructure. Wonder around at a leisurely pace soaking up the atmosphere this area has to offer. Address: 65-77 Salamanca Place Hobart. Phone:  03 6234 8414

Depending on how much time you have in Hobart, there are more things you could see during your stay in this beautiful part of Tasmania.

  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is just half an hour by road from Hobart city centre. With friendly staff and an apparent care for their animals, this sanctuary is home to koalas, wombats kangaroos, tasmanian devils, emus, quolls and many more.  Open: 09:00 – 17:00 daily. $31 per adult – (includes a bag of kangaroo feed), all fees go directly into conservation and wildlife rescue programs.  Free tours at 11:30 & 14:00 – run for 45 min, no prior booking required. Address: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Wildlife Rescue, 593 Briggs Road, Brighton, Tasmania, 7030, Phone: (03) 6268 1184
  • Head offshore for an island cruise and explore the pristine scenic coastline on one of the many tours that are available in this area.
    Kings Pier Marina, Hobart waterfront

    Kings Pier Marina, Hobart waterfront. Photographer Rob Burnett.

    • Pennicott Wilderness Journeys get good ratings for the various tours they have on offer: Bruny Island, Tasman Island Cruises, Iron Pot Cruises, Tasman Seafood Seduction to name a few. Dock Head Building, Franklin Wharf, Hobart Phone (03) 6234 4270
    • Hobart Historic Harbour Cruise set sail on the Derwent River and display the spectacular and historic buildings of Hobart. They offer lunch cruises and dinner cruises. Hobart Historic Cruises, Murray Street Pier, Hobart. Phone (03) 6200 9074
    • Peppermint Bay Cruises depart from Sullivan’s Cove and takes in harbour and city views, the River Derwent and its magnificent estuary, slicing its way along the stunning d’Entrecasteaux Channel, arriving in the near-pristine waters of Peppermint Bay. Peppermint Bay Cruises, Brooke Street Pier, Sullivans Cove, Hobart. Phone 1300 137 919

We have only included three of many other cruises available. We suggest getting in touch with the Hobart Visitors Information Centre to find other available day cruises as well as up to date cruise times and details. Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre, Hobart, Cnr Elizabeth & Davey Streets, Hobart. Phone: (03) 6238 4222

  • Rosny Hill Lookout is also a great place to get photos of the Derwent River and Tasman Bridge and Mount Wellington. This spot is well known by locals, has fantastic uninterrupted views of Hobart city and surrounds with Mount Wellington in the background and the Tasman Bridge and Derwent River at your feet.

A carpark and viewing area sits atop Rosny Hill (follow the highway across the Tasman Bridge to the Eastern Shore and follow the signage toward Bellerive). You will see the turnoff on your right half way down the small hill leading toward Eastlands shopping centre. The route is well signed through the suburban area to the hill top. Walk the carpark circuit around the top of the hill and don’t forget your camera!!

Useful Information

Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre, Cnr Elizabeth & Davey Streets, Hobart. Phone: (03) 6238 4222.

Parking for your camper in and around Hobart

There are a few options for parking your motorhome in Hobart.

  • There is outdoor parking on Evans Street, just north of Sullivans Cove near Hobarts Freight Terminal and that’s $3 per hour or $12.50 all-day parking.
  • Right next to Salamanca Square, you’ll find Montpelier Retreat (in Battery Point) on the south side of Sullivans Cove. You can park here for $12 a day.
  • You will also find suitable metered outdoor parking around the Wharf Area too.

If you are interested in finding out more about Tasmania, check out our Tasmania travel route which gives lots of tips on things to see and places to go. If you’re looking for campervan hire, then get in touch with us for a quote and find out when you can set off for your adventure around this beautiful country!

Images courtesy of Tourism Australia

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