Hobart is Australia’s southernmost and smallest capital city, sitting below Mount Wellington on the shores of the Derwent River.
Home to approximately 200,000 people its population has remained relatively stable over recent years. The city is protected from the extremes of Tasmania’s weather and has an average rainfall of about 615mm per annum and an average temperature range between 23 degrees Celsius in summer and a low of about 12 degrees in winter.
Founded in 1804 by Colonel David Collins and the second oldest city in Australia, Hobart grew out of the original settlement at Risdon Cove, eight kilometres up-river. Risdon Cove today remains much as it was 200 years ago and is a popular tourist destination.
By 1827 Hobart was a thriving port with an estimated population of 5,000. It was the centre of trade not only for Tasmania but also for the sealers working the islands of Bass Strait and the whalers who plying the southern oceans. Its chief exports included sealskins and whale oil as well as hides, wool and an extract derived from wattle. Ships from Europe, China, Batavia, Singapore and the United States all used the port.
Toward the end of the 1830’s the seal trade had virtually disappeared. Whaling continued but the need to find an additional industry led to the establishment of considerable shipbuilding facilities. The quality of Tasmanian hardwoods combined with the excellent port facilities meant that by the 1850’s Hobart was building more ships than the rest of the Australian ports combined.
The inevitable march of technology saw shipping needs change to vessels driven by steam and built of steel and Hobart’s timber-based industry slipped into decline by the end of the century.
Today Hobart is without doubt one of the worlds most beautiful cities. Sitting astride the Derwent River with the majesty of Mount Wellington towering above, the city combines its restored colonial history with modern commercial and residential developments to present to the visitor a vibrant and cultured place recognised for its great natural beauty and crisp, clean environment.
If the Derwent is the heart of Hobart then Mount Wellington must be the cities lungs. Rising 1270 metres or 4000 feet into some of the cleanest air on earth the mount exhibits a diverse range of flora from temperate rainforest to sub-alpine grasses and moss. It provides a fascinating outdoor experience only 15 minutes drive from the CBD and, in the right conditions, the views from the summit across the city, down the Derwent and to the Tasman Peninsula and beyond are simply breathtaking.
Back at sea-level the seedy side of Hobart’s early maritime history, the docks around Sullivan’s Cove, once the haunt of tough, hardened sealers, whalers, thugs and ladies-of-the-night have been transformed into centres for social and commercial activity. Here restaurants serve fine wine and local seafood, artists & artisans ply their wares and each Saturday, come rain, hail or shine, Salamanca Place, with its beautifully restored Georgian warehouses, hosts the cities iconic open-air market.
Hobart is a wonderful city and definitely worthy of a visit in its own right, but it’s also a great base from which to experience the delights that southern Tasmania has to offer.
The cities world class accommodation and fine dining restaurants are second to none and the importance of tourism to the Tasmanian economy virtually guarantees that there will always be a value-for-money deal to be had somewhere.
Glorious Hobart might just be the jewel in the crown that is Tasmania.
This Tassie Local snapshot was produced by Footloose Photographic & Media Solutions
Hobart has such a wide range of activities to choose from it is difficult to cover even a small number here, with many historic buildings, a wide range of galleries and adventures around every corner, Hobart is a city of contrasts and a place where everyone will find something to keep them entertained.
Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) - Located on the Berriedale Peninsula just 12 kilometres North of Hobart is the Museum of Old and New Art, this museum features an interesting collection of antiques, contemporary and modern art works, the museum contains over 400 items from the private collection of David Walsh.
There is also a Winery, Brewery, Restaurant and Mona Pavilions a compemporary hotel with eight interesting pavilions each featuring artworks from the museum.
Telephone: 03 6277 9900 Location: 655 Main Road, Berridale, Tasmania.
Old Hobart Gaol - Located on the corner of Campbell and Brisbane Streets in the northern part of the city is the Old Hobart Gaol and Penitentiary Chapel. Constructed in the early 1830's the building housed cells for solitary confinement an execution yard and the Chapel which continued to be used until 1961, towards the end of its life part of it was converted into law courts.
Telephone: 03 6231 0911 Location: Cnr Brisbane and Campbell Streets, Hobart, Tasmania.
Cascades Female Factory - Is located in Degraves Street South Hobart and only 10 minutes from the CBD. In 1827 the Colonial Government purchased the Lowes Rum Distillery site and extended the complex to include a series of yards, cells, storerooms and offices. The Female Factory operated from 1828 until 1856 and continued life as a gaol until its closure in 1877.
Telephone: 03 6231 0911 Location: 16 Degraves St, South Hobart, Tasmania.
Lark Distillery - Located on Hobart's historic waterfront the Lark Distillery is one of Australia's leading distilleries, producing a range of premium spirits including their flagship Single Malt Whisky created using traditional methods.
Lark Distillery offers a range of fully escorted tours including One and Two day tours and the Ultimate Whisky Experience Four day tour.
Telephone: 03 6231 9088 Location: 14 Davey St, Hobart, Tasmania.
Mt Wellington - rising to a height of 1271 metres, Mt Wellington provides a stunning backdrop to the city of Hobart, often covered with snow even in summer the lower slopes are thickly forested. The summit 22 kilometres from the city offers stunning views of the city, Tasman Bridge and the distant mountains to the South West.
For the truly adventurous Under Down Under Tours offer a 3 hour 'Mt Wellington Descent' Tour - This Mountain Bike Tour includes transfers, professional guide and offers stunning views as you wind your way back to Hobart, an optional off road section is also included.
Telephone: 1800 064 726 Location: 204 New Town Rd, New Town, Tasmania.
Cadbury Chocolate Factory - Understand the process of how Cadbury chocolates are made, see chocolates being moulded and enjoy tasting raw materials. Visitors can sample chocolates and visit the retail shop - special chocolate prices and high quality Cadbury merchandise.
Telephone: 1800 627 367 Location: 100 Cadbury Road, Claremont, Tasmania.
Maritime Museum of Tasmania - explores, preserves and interprets Tasmania's rich maritime past.
Maritime heritage comes to life in the historic Carnegie Building, uncover the exploits of early explorers, discover the whaling industry, hear stories of trading barges and ferries, learn how important sailing and steam ships were for exporting apples, minerals and timber.
Telephone: 03 6234 1427 Location: Corner Davey & Argyle Streets, Hobart, Tasmania.
The weather in Tasmania’s Capital is typically mild with a temperate climate, the city is well protected by Mt Wellington from the weather from the west - with an average maximum temperature around 22 degrees Celsius (71 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter.
Derwent River - Hobart, Tasmania