Top 10 Things To Do In & Around Hobart

Hobart, the capital of glorious Tasmania. Just over an hour flight from Melbourne, Hobart is the perfect getaway, unless you're after a tan, then maybe it isn't for you! 
Sitting at the foot of Mount Wellington, and overlooking the Derwent River, Hobart is bursting with things to see and do with its naturally beautiful surroundings. 

I booked a YOLO flight from Melbourne to Hobart and spent 6 days exploring everything Hobart had to offer. I organised a lift into Hobart City with Hobart Airporter Shuttle for $19 and they dropped me straight to my hostel: The Nook Backpackers on Liverpool Street. This was a great hostel & despite being in a room with a lunatic and the world's loudest snorer, I enjoyed my stay! One thing I did notice very quickly about Hobart is that they are lacking convenience stores big time! I walked round for 2 hours looking for any resemblance of a Coles, Woolworths, IGA or even just a 7/11 - nothing.

These are things & places I would recommend visiting if you plan to visit Hobart! :- 

The Museum of Old & New Art is probably Hobart's main attraction. The owner, David Walsh describes it is "a subversive adult Disneyland". Now i'm not usually one for museums, but I had to see what all the fuss was about & I actually loved it. 

MONA is outside of Hobart City Centre so you can a few options to get there; the most exciting of which is to board the MR-I and take a 20 minute ferry ride from Elizabeth Pier to MONA. There are several ferry departure times a day and you have the option of riding in "The Posh Pit" or in Standard amongst the sheep (literally). There is food and drinks served on the boat with a choice of inside or outside seating. My personal favourite has to be sitting outside on a sheep. 

At the museum you will receive an O-Device with headphones - there are no signs in the museum, everything is explained in audio or text you can read off your device. I'd set aside around 3 hours for MONA - this gives you plenty of time to explore all the "Art" and get yourself some lunch from the cafe if you're feeling peckish. 
Some of the pieces in the museum are pushing it at being called art - I mean was this just left here by accident?? 

A visit to the highest point in Hobart is a must - either drive yourself to the summit, visit with a tour group, or make the journey by bus and return hike. The views from the summit are absolutely gorgeous and if you get some good weather you can see for miles. I visited in August and it was covered in snow and even began to snow whilst we were at the summit. You can see my full post on visiting Mount Wellington HERE! 

These famous markets run every Saturday in Hobart at Salamanca Place from 5am to 6pm and attract hundreds of visitors each weekend. The markets are located just a short walk from Princess Wharf. I spent hours at the markets and walked up and down the stalls so many times tasting all the different free samples. You can find anything from handcrafted jewellery, clothes, souvenirs, to the best local food and drink. Some of my favourite stalls were Gillespie's Ginger Beer, House of Fudge (SO MANY SAMPLES) and Pacha Mama for the best hot chocolate I have ever had in my life; chilli & cinnamon hot chocolate with coconut milk - it was life changing. 

One thing I did learn whilst in Tasmania, is that is it home to ALOT of "Australia's oldest..." - literally, everything is the oldest. And most are found in Richmond. It used to be the 3rd biggest city in Tasmania after Hobart & Launceston. Now only home to around 800 people and even that seemed unbelievable as we didn't see a single sole while we were there. You literally step back in time when you're here. One of the main attractions is Richmond Bridge, and yes you guessed it, its Australia's oldest bridge. You can also find Australia's oldest Catholic Church, Australia's oldest public toilets (not sure if that was real or just a joke though) and Australia's oldest police station. Its a nice rest stop for an hour to wonder round the antique shops and stroll along the river. Make sure stop stop at the famous Bakery Cafe in Richmond Village for some delicious fresh local goodness. 

Not quite the oldest in Australia, the but the 2nd; these gardens are home to am impressive range of native and exotic plants. It probably takes about half an hour to walk to the gardens from the city centre. Entry is free and you can explore at will round the pretty gardens. From here you can get the best views of the Tasman Bridge crossing the Derwent River. 

From Salamanca Place, you can climb the 175-year old Kelly's Steps to Battery Point and explore one of Hobart's oldest suburbs. A mix of quaint cottages and sandstone mansions, each with their own character. If you need to wet the whistle, stop in for a drink at the Shipwrights Arms Hotel, a delightful pub, and get cosy with local beers.

Before going to Tasmania, the few people I knew who had been, had all told me to visit Port Arthur. I didn't really know what it was - I thought it was a pretty port town, and had heard there was a prison. I didn't realise Port Arthur IS the prison. Its a very popular day trip from Hobart, not one I would personally every do again in my life - but it was something to do for the day and I did learn quite a fair bit about the history. Port Arthur is a world heritage site at the southern end of the Tasman Peninsular, about a 90 minute drive from Hobart. It is a  former convict settlement built during the 18th and 19th century for the hardest of convicted British criminals. 
Entry to the site gives you access to all the grounds and buildings as well as a 20 minute ferry ride. You can choose to self-drive or there are so many tour operators that can take you sole to Port Arthur, or combined with other attractions.  

If you're visiting Port Arthur, you may as well combine it with a visit around the Tasman Peninsular. This was the main reason for me going to Port Arthur, so I could explore the amazing geology in the area. Some of my favourites stops were: 
Pirates Bay Lookout, Tessellated Pavement, Eaglehawk Neck, Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen, The Blow Hole & Doo-Town. I really wanted to visit Remarkable Cave & had purposefully picked the day tour because it was the only one that advertised they went there; but because one of the people on the tour (Mr Wong) had to get to the airport for a flight, we had to miss out! If you can and have the money I would suggest a day boat trip around the Tasman Peninsular, they look incredible and I would have loved to go on one if the weather had been better! 

If you've spent some time wondering round Hobart you will quickly realise how many seafood places there are along the wharf. If you're into checking Trip Advisor, Fish Frenzy in Elizabeth Street Pier is the best rated. I asked a local & he pointed me in the direction of Flippers Fish & Chips at Constitution Dock. It was heavenly - there's no indoor seating so must be bought to go but those chips & prawns were guuuuuud. In that area there are tons to choose from, Mako's Fishy Business, or the very popular Mure's. I went into Mure's for some cake & a hot chocolate & the fish dishes everyone was having looked incredible! 

Now I won't lie to you - I didn't see any in person, just a traffic documentary on the tour bus back to Hobart from Port Arthur. BUT you can! It might be harder trying to find them in the wild, which is why you can visit a number of different wildlife parks and zoo's in the area so you can see these famous residents yourselves. You can take a visit to either Zoo-doo Zoo, just north of Richmond, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania Devil Unzoo, en route to Port Arthur. All 3 located reasonable distances to Hobart and all done in a day trip or half day trip if combined with other activities. 

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Thank you for reading & happy travels :) 

♡ G

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