I spent 2 days in Hobart, Tasmania, while I was road tripping around that stunningly beautiful Australian island state. At first my plan had been to visit Freycinet National Park, but I was diverted to Hobart, the state’s capital, by bad weather. So, I waited out the storm in the city and headed up the east coast a couple days later.
During those two partially rainy days in Hobart I tried to see as much as I could. My first impression when I arrived there was excellent. It’s not a vast metropolis like the capital cities on the mainland – think Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – but rather a small harbor town. There are no skyscrapers; instead there are old brick buildings and a gorgeous boat-filled waterfront. Of course there were a few fine museums as well, which I loved.
Spending 2 Days in Hobart, Tasmania
I spent the first night drinking cheap beer and goon in the hostel in the city center where I stayed. In the (late) morning I headed out to explore the city, walked past the waterfront, visited a museum and saw Salamanca Place. On day two I went on a day trip to nearby Port Arthur, Tasmania’s old convict settlement.
The Hobart waterfront is a peaceful area where piers extend into the ocean, fishing boats bop quietly on the water’s surface, sea gulls scream in the skies and seafood restaurants are filled with hungry tourists. It was my favorite area of the city and even on a cloudy and rainy day I enjoyed strolling around.
Located near the waterfront, Salamanca Place is arguably Hobart’s liveliest neighborhood. This is where beautiful old sandstone buildings have been converted into shops, bars, theaters and restaurants. On Saturday morning this area is taken over by the fantastic Salamanca Market where hundreds of vendors sell everything from Tasmanian arts and crafts to second-hand books and fresh produce.
Battery Point is one of Hobart’s many historic neighborhoods – it is in fact the city’s oldest. It is located up the Kelly Steps, which date from 1839, from Salamanca Place and is made up of little cottages, narrow streets and cul-de-sacs. There are views of both the waterfront and Mount Wellington.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The wonderful Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery was founded in 1843 by the Royal Society of Tasmania, the oldest Royal Society outside of England. The museum covers both art and natural history. During my visit to Hobart, this was the absolutely perfect place to shelter from the rain.
Located on a narrow peninsula a short drive southeast of Hobart and surrounded by an ocean inhabited by sharks, Port Arthur was an inescapable prison in the mid-19th century. Once home to more than 1,000 convicts, including the most hardened of the entire colony, nowadays Port Arthur consists of landscaped Victorian gardens and both ruined and restored prison buildings. This is a major highlight in Tasmania.
Other suggested activities (that I didn’t do) when staying in Hobart are touring the Cascade Brewery, hiking to the summit of Mount Wellington and visiting the renowned MONA Museum.