We visited Hobart for three days and (after a lot of research) these are the best things we found to do in Tasmania’s capital city.
We have lived in Victoria for nearly five years now and recently ventured over the water for 10 days on Tasmania.
For the final part of the trip we spent three days exploring Hobart, and (after extensive research, and a little bit of luck) these are the best things we found to pack into a long weekend.
N.B. depending on what days you visit Hobart you may have to mix up the order of the days, as Salamanca Market only happens on a Saturday
Day 1 of 3 Day Hobart Itinerary:
There is a small amount of irony that on the first day of our three-day Hobart itinerary, I’m encouraging you to leave the city, but go with me here.
Richmond is one of those country villages that lazy writers such as me describe as ‘charming’. It reminded me of being back at home in the UK, wandering through the Cotswolds. Old, stone buildings, local businesses and surrounded by countryside.
Richmond’s biggest draw is that it has the oldest bridge in Australia. Maybe not a draw for everyone, but for weird travel collectors like me, it was a must-see!
But there was more than just bridge photography to entertain, we enjoyed the model village of old Hobart (with its hidden games), the Pooseum was unexpected (and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like) and we also had some first-class gingerbread from a local shop. And we didn’t even go to the Gaol or local vineyards.
Richmond is definitely worth getting out to if you’re in Hobart for a few days.
The Museum of Old and New Art is officially Tasmania’s most-visited place, and would be top of many people’s Tasmania must-visit list. In fact, it’s actually been voted in the top 20 best places ON EARTH by Lonely Planet writers.
You can spend an entire day here easily, with a winery on site, many places to eat and the huge gallery, dug into the rocky banks of the Derwent River stuffed full of curious installations, artwork and curios from around the world.
We spent around four hours at MONA and felt it was enough. We’re not really art buffs, and we had a toddler in tow, so maybe we’re not quite the target audience, but we felt we got to see most of the key attractions in this time.
Evening: Rosny Point
For something a little different at the end of the day, head up to Rosny Point.
I saw this place mentioned on a travel forum, and it didn’t disappoint. From the top, there are views back down to the old city of Hobart, with the sun setting behind Mount Wellington. It was a great way to finish the day.
Day 2 of 3 Day Hobart Itinerary
Morning: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary was the only place on our Hobart must-do list that we didn’t get to, and will be one of the first places we go when we come back.
Bonorong has a focus on Australian animals, with wombats, quoll, kangaroo and (of course) Tassie Devils all found here.
Afternoon: Mount Wellington
Mount Wellington is the backdrop to Hobart, looming large over the city (when it’s not lost in cloud).
Getting up the mountain is an absolute must. There is hiking, rock climbign and mountain biking on offer, but most people just head up for the views back over the city.
We caught Mount Wellington on a most typical day, blanketed in cloud and buffeted by strong winds, but even through the small windows in the mist we got some incredible views back down over the city.
Late Afternoon: Cascade Brewery
Tasmania is known for a lot of things, but one of them I hadn’t realised was that is had the oldest brewery in the whole of Australia.
Established in 1824 to quench the thirst of the European settlers, it’s still producing beer today, and offers some tasty bar food alongside the range of beers.
Tasmanian’s love their beer so much, that when the building was almost completely destroyed by bushfires in 1967, they had it rebuilt and running again in less than three months. That’s some serious commitment!
Day 3 of 3 Day Hobart Itinerary
Morning: Salamanca Market & Battery Point
Salamanca Market is the Saturday showpiece of Hobart’s old town. It’s run since 1972, starting with just 10% of the 300 stalls now on offer.
We visited, and quickly then moved on. Maybe we caught it at a bad time, but it was so busy it felt almost impossible to stop and browse.
Where we had much more fun was browsing the old streets of Hobart, happening across places like The Kuldelka Shop (a quirky local art gallery with an obsession with currawong) and Plato’s Wonder (a great little kid’s shop). There is so much history here, it feels more like exploring Edinburgh even though it came hundreds of years later.
Take some time, if you have it, to walk through the docks and further out through Battery Point. Look out for the Castray Box, a nondescript shelter that is the finish point for one of the biggest boat races on earth, the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.
Afternoon: Hobart Botanic Gardens
It doesn’t take much to tempt me to a Botanic Gardens, but Hobart’s definitely overdelivered.
The Japanese Gardens and veggie patch were a highlight, but getting lost in tranquillity after a busy morning in Salamanca Market was the lasting memory.
If you’re here, also take the time to walk a few hundred metres up the road to the site of the old Beaumaris Zoo, the place where the last captive Tasmanian Tiger died.
Evening: Enjoy the Nightlife
There is lots to do in Hobart after dark.
You could also check out the best and quirkiest bars in Hobart, there are a lot of very good ones.
Where to Stay in Hobart
Here are a few suggestions of where to stay in Hobart:
Budget Option: The Nook Backpackers
The Nook Backpackers is a cosy and affordable accommodation option located in the heart of Hobart. It offers a range of budget-friendly dormitory-style rooms and private rooms with shared facilities. The hostel has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, making it a great choice for backpackers and budget-conscious travellers. It provides a communal kitchen, common areas, and laundry facilities. The Nook Backpackers is centrally located, within walking distance of major attractions like Salamanca Place, Battery Point, and the waterfront. It’s an ideal base for exploring Hobart on a budget while enjoying a comfortable stay.
Mid-Tier Option: The Henry Jones Art Hotel
The Henry Jones Art Hotel is a boutique hotel situated on Hobart’s waterfront. It features beautifully appointed rooms with a blend of contemporary design and historic charm. The hotel is known for its extensive art collection, showcasing works from Tasmanian artists. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, bar, and access to nearby attractions, including Salamanca Place and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
Mid-Tier Option: Salamanca Inn
Salamanca Inn is located in the vibrant Salamanca Place precinct, offering spacious self-contained apartments. The rooms are tastefully decorated and equipped with modern amenities, including a kitchenette or full kitchen, making it suitable for longer stays. The hotel features a fitness centre, on-site restaurant, and is within walking distance of the famous Salamanca Market, cafes, and art galleries.
High-Tier Option: MACq 01 Hotel
MACq 01 Hotel is a luxury waterfront hotel that embraces Tasmania’s history and heritage. The rooms are elegantly designed, each telling a unique story about Tasmania’s characters and culture. Guests can indulge in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, lounge bar, and enjoy panoramic views of the harbour. The hotel’s central location provides easy access to the city’s main attractions and the popular waterfront precinct.
Getting Around Hobart
Hobart is a fairly compact city, though some of the most talked-about sights such as Mount Wellington, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Richmond are slightly further afield.
We hired a car for our time in Hobart, but don’t feel you have to.
Is 3 days enough for Hobart?
Yes, 3 days is enough to see the key sights of Hobart. It is a compact city, so you can explore it comfortably over a long weekend.
Do you need car in Hobart?
No you don’t. If you stay near the city centre, the key parts of the old town such as Battery Point and Salamanca Place are in reach, and there are buses and tours to take you to other sights, such as Mount Wellington and Richmond.
What is the best month to visit Hobart?
I would say December, as the weather is at is best and you can also take in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Final Thoughts: A Few Days in Hobart
Hobart is a historic city that also has great flourishes of modernity, meaning it can cater to all tastes. It ticks many of the boxes that great cities do – the waterfront and mountain ranges of Cape Town, the history and architecture of Edinburgh, the bars of Prague.
It manages to feel like it’s not quite part of Australia, a microcosm of the same persona that Tasmania as a whole employs.
Whether you visit as part of a wider trip to Tasmania (please make sure you cruise down the Gordon River if you get a chance) or just take a weekend break to Hobart, it’s one I would highly recommend.
Thank you Hobart, it was a pleasure, we’ll be back!
Read More About Tasmania:
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