City Guides, Tasmania
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What to do in Hobart, Tasmania

I was sent on a road trip to explore Tasmania by Cheaptickets.sg and Tourism Tasmania (@tasmania). In this post, you’ll find details on what to do, see and eat around Hobart, the capital city of Australia’s island state Tasmania.

If you are planning a trip to Tasmania and is interested in a self-drive itinerary, please read this post first! For more travel guides to Tasmania, you can see more of my Tasmania posts.

Where to stay in Hobart

One thing I noticed about Hobart is that it’s devoid of many of the familiar-sounding hotel chains elsewhere in the world. Here are the two hotels I’ve personally stayed in or been recommended while I was in Hobart:

1. Shipwright Arms

Shipwright Arms is a really small, no-frills hotel & pub located in the historic Battery Point neighborhood of Hobart. Their rooms are very simple and there is no dedicated receptionist at the desk (the person checking us in was also tending to the bar), but this hotel was the cheapest I could find in Hobart that isn’t a hostel or with shared bathroom. It was also just a short 10-mins walk from the famous Salamanca Market and The Dock area, so the location is super convenient.
Book Shipwright Arms

2. Rydges Hobart

The hotel is a renovated heritage building, located conveniently close to the center of Hobart. I’m not sure if they upgraded us, but our Manor Twin room was huge! It has its own living room and a huge bathroom. It’s definitely the most spacious and modern out of all three accommodations I stayed in Tasmania. Location-wise, it’s a bit further out than Shipwright Arms – walking to the dock would take you about 20-25 minutes.
Book Rydges Hobart

3. Zero Davy Boutique Apartments

I did not personally stay at Zero Davy, however, it was recommended to me by multiple people. The only reason why I didn’t stay with them was due to availability, or else I would have definitely booked them. Their location is perfect since they are right at The Dock, which means you can walk practically everywhere. There are also lots of restaurant options around the area.
Book Zero Davy in Hobart

How to get around Hobart

I had a car rental while I was in the city so we mostly just drove the car or walked. The city center is actually quite small and totally walkable! We walked from Battery Point to the dock which took about half an hour. I saw a few buses but I think the easiest way would be to drive yourself.

What to do in Hobart

1. Explore the Vintage & Antique Shops

On the way to Salamanca Market, I started noticing how there are so many antiques and vintage shops in Hobart! There are second-hand books, maritime trinkets (which made sense since Hobart is Australia’s second oldest settlement after Sydney), household tools, old vintage prints, vintage maps, and cutleries. What also strikes me as amazing is most of these antiques are also still in good condition! there was even a field full of well-preserved cars next to Salamanca Market.

We attempted to ask one of the antique shop owners why vintage goods are so abundant in Hobart – his speculation is because the population in Hobart has been mostly stagnant – many of the previous generations did not move and as a result, left most of their belongings in Hobart. He also mentioned rent is quite cheap so he was able to keep his antique-curating business profitable, which may not be the case in other towns. I myself speculated that it is probably because Hobart was one of the earliest ports into Australia, so a lot of goods went through this place. Either way, it was very interesting to trawl through them.

Some recommended shops:

Vintage@44

5 Knopwood St, Battery Point TAS 7004, Australia

Some goods at Vintage@44, a Vintage shop in Hobart

Some goods at Vintage@44, a Vintage shop in Hobart

Kookaburra Antiques Collectables

113 Hampden Rd, Battery Point TAS 7004, Australia

Second hand books at Kookaburra Antiques Collectables

Vintage goods at Kookaburra Antiques Collectables

Gerard Willems Antique Prints & Maps

10 Argyle St, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia

Gerard Willems Antique Prints & Maps

2. Shop and chill at Salamanca Market (Saturdays Only)

If you happen to be in Hobart on a Saturday – you’re in luck! The city’s biggest outdoor market is held on Saturday morning from 9AM-3PM, and it’s huge. It feels like everyone in Hobart comes down to the market to eat, shop or just hang out at the market.

At Salamanca Market, you can expect to find good food, flowers, and plants, arts made by local designers, fresh produce, gourmet products and (even more) antique trinkets.

Crowded Salamanca Market

Crowded Salamanca Market

Fresh herbs at Salamanca Market

Fresh herbs at Salamanca Market

Picnic area behind the market

Picnic area behind the market

Vintage goods in Salamanca Market, Hobart

Vintage goods in Salamanca Market, Hobart

When I was there, there was also a vintage car exhibition next to the market at the Parliament House Gardens. Though I’m not sure if they are there every week. All the cars there were very well-preserved and very diverse in variety. There were cars from as old as the 1920’s to cars from as recent as the 1980’s, all still in great condition!

Vintage cars

Vintage cars

Vintage carsVintage cars

3. Visit Maritime Museum

Did you know that Hobart is the second oldest port in Australia after Sydney? At this museum, you get an informative display of how Hobart contributed to the early days of Australia settlement, aboriginal watercraft, early European explorers and whalers.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for kids under 13 years of age.
Visit the Maritime Museum website for more information.

4. Walk around The Dock and Battery Point

Hobart Dock

Hobart Dock

This is a self-guided tour you can do on your first day in Hobart, which will take you to some of the most well-preserved historic buildings in Hobart.

You can start by walking around the dock area, which has some signs explaining the history of Hobart and slowly make your way up to Battery Point – a historic part of Hobart. You can do the Battery Point Historic Walk on your own or visit Narryna Heritage Museum to get a better understanding of the area.

5. Visit Museum of Old and New Arts (Closed on Tuesdays)

Museum of Old and New Arts, or MONA for short, is about 15-minute drive North from Hobart, or you can take a ferry ride from Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier for $22. Truth to be told I almost gave this a miss, but one of my followers on Instagram recommended it, so we squeezed this on our way up to Freycinet – I’m so glad we did! This museum was super cool.

MONA App

Upon entry, you go straight to the basement and work your way up. There are no wasteful paper pamphlets or explanations on the artwork, instead, you collect an iPhone with their app loaded on it, which detects whatever artwork is near you (via Bluetooth I assume) and provides you with more information.

Admission is $28 for adults and free for kids under 18 years of age.
Visit the MONA website for more information.

6. Go up to the peak of Kunanyi, aka Mount Wellington

The pinnacle of Kunanyi (the aboriginal name for Mount Wellington) is only an easy 35 minutes drive out from Hobart. The winding road takes you up to 1,200m elevation, overlooking Hobart and its surrounding. I highly recommend you to go up here when the weather is clear! The peak is at cloud level and thick clouds might pass by from time to time, which might render zero visibility, but don’t worry – if it’s a sunny day, the sky quickly clears up from time to time.

Mount Wellington, Hobart

Mount Wellington, Hobart

A viewing deck on top of Mount Wellington in Hobart

A viewing deck on top of Mount Wellington in Hobart

Where to eat in Hobart

1. Fish Frenzy

Elizabeth Street Pier, Sullivans Cove, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia

This place is strategically located right in the middle of Hobart and has a gorgeous view of the dock. We had lunch here on our first day in Hobart and I went straight for the most popular menu item, which has the same name as the restaurant – Fish Frenzy ($24). it’s basically Fish & Chips with some fried calamari and fried oysters served in a paper cone just like how they’d do in the olden days (except back then, it would be served in newspaper cone).

Fish Frenzy

Fish Frenzy

View outside the restaurant

2. Jackman & McRoss

57 Hampden Rd, Battery Point TAS 7004, Australia

This cafe is located at the historic Battery Point. They are mostly a cafe with some pastries, coffee and light brunch bites. We got the Poached Eggs and Scrambled Eggs ($11) with Tasmanian Salmon ($14). The food was quite tasty and moderately priced in relative to Australia.

Jackman & McRoss

3. Urban Greek

103 Murray St, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia

We were tired that day and couldn’t be bothered to think of where to go, so we just went the easy route – TripAdvisor recommendation! Urban Greek is the #1 rated restaurant in Hobart and very close to our hotel, so we gave them a try. We did not regret the decision – we got a banquet (set meal) since we were quite hungry, but be warned that their portion is HUGE. Looking around at other tables in the restaurant, this seems to be true for a la carte meals as well.

Our Minotaur banquet includes Pita bread with three dips, a mezze platter, Saganaki (fried cheese with fig jam), and a main of mixed grills (which you can see in the photo below – this photo does not include any of the previous dishes mentioned). Oh, and an amazing classic Greek dessert called Galaktoboureko.

Yeah, it was just a lot of good food. I think it would have been better if we were a group of 3 but there were only two of us and we could not finish everything so we had to take away some. But everything was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend this place!

Urban Greek

Day trips from Hobart

Hobart is quite strategically located, so you can do a bunch of day trips while still staying in the city!

1. Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a holiday island 45 minutes south of Hobart. The island is formed by two large land masses, separated only by a narrow stretch of sand called “The Neck”. The island is famous for its gourmet local produce! You can read about my day of eating and drinking on Bruny Island here.

The House of Whisky is also a very beautiful place to grab a drink and wind down

2. The Tasman Peninsula

The Tasman Peninsula is only a short 1-hour drive from Hobart, and houses some of the most beautiful terrains Tasmania has to offer. Hint: It’s one of the locations for the movie Lions, which if you haven’t seen – you should. It’s both shot beautifully and the story is very unique.

Port Arthur Historic Sites

I recommend stopping by Port Arthur, a historic village that served as convict settlement built in mid-18th century. Some of the hardest convicted British criminals were sent here to be imprisoned and penalized with labor work for their crimes. More recently in 1996, Port Arthur played a part in Australian modern history as the site of the deadliest shooting massacre which eventually leads to the transformation of gun control legislation in Australia.

Tasman Island Cruises

I also recommend checking out the Tasman Island Cruises by Penicott Wilderness Journeys (The same company I went to Bruny Island with). The cruise takes you down to Tasman Island, and along the way, you get to admire the rugged beauty this peninsula is known for, such as the Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen. From afar, these rocks looked like something out of Minecraft because of its sharp, pixelated edges, but these rocks were all naturally formed and carved by the violent sea wave.

If you’re lucky, you might come across pods of dolphins! We came across two of them while sailing south to the Tasman Island. Thanks to Yuri for this amazing footage of the dolphins. I couldn’t get a good one since because I was busy holding on to dear life – the waves get pretty aggressive down there!

3. Freycinet National Park

This one is a bit of a stretch as a day trip, but if you are willing to wake up early and drive back late, Freycinet National Park is doable as a day trip from Hobart. It takes about 3 hours to drive up and most of the sights can be seen in one day, so I would drive out by 6AM to get there by 9AM, and drive back by 5-6PPM so you’ll still get back to Hobart at an okay time. You can read all about the park in my Freycinet National Park guide here.

At the top of Mount Amos, Freycinet National Park

At the top of Mount Amos, Freycinet National Park

If you are planning a trip to Tasmania and is interested in a self-drive itinerary, please read this post first! For more travel guides to Tasmania, you can see more of my Tasmania posts.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa, thanks for writing this!!!
    I’ll be traveling to Hobart (and its surrounding) next month and I find your travel guide to be very useful.

    • Melissa Hie says

      Thanks for coming by Sharon 😀 Let me know how it goes and what you end up doing!

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