Best things to do in Hobart in 2019

Welcome to Hobart. Be sure to explore Port Arthur. 
Hobart is in the south of Tasmania and is a real contradiction. Considering it was historically a place where convicts and hardened criminals were sent, it’s one of the friendliest and most beautiful places on earth. It’s a wonderland of stunning natural attractions such as beaches, mountains and wildlife, plus delicious food and friendly locals. The moment you arrive in Hobart, you instantly feel the relaxed vibe. Get even more great Hobart holiday ideas here.

Photo by InspireCreateCelebrate

Getting to Hobart

  • It’s easy to get to by plane. The airport is around 20 minutes from Hobart city. 
  • Catch the spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne. This ocean going ferry docks at Devonport (3 hours drive from Hobart). 

Getting around Hobart

You can get to key Hobart attractions such as Cascade Brewery, Mt Nelson and the MONA by bus, booking a tour, or hiring your own car. If you’re in Hobart for a week or longer, definitely get a car so you can get off the beaten track and explore in your own time.


The top 5 things to do in Hobart city and along the Harbour

1.  Explore Hobart on foot. Wander through Hobart’s city streets, historic buildings, and parks and gardens. Book a walking tour or grab a self-guided walking map and get to know this charming city. Walk along the harbour wharves and stop in at one of the many pubs or bars for a local brew. One of my favourites is the Whale-Inn. 

2. ​While you’re in the city, visit the Hobart Museum & Art Gallery. It's right on the waterfront and is in a lovely heritage building. It’s free entry and you’ll find all kinds of cool collections including the Tasmanian Devil exhibit.

3. Pick up some freshly cooked seafood from one of the floating barges and enjoy 5-star food with 5-star views. There’s also plenty of fine dining restaurants as well as cheap and cheerful including Mures Lower Deck and its famous seafood chowder.

Get to know Hobart city by foot. Why not book a Hobart Free Walking Tour
Hobart Harbour is a great place to hang out.
4.  Explore Salamanca Place which is on Hobart Harbour and has gorgeous renovated warehouses and sandstone buildings. This is the one of the hippest places in Hobart with cool shops, galleries, restaurants and bars. If you’re here on a Saturday, check out the Salamanca Markets.  
5.  ​Continue walking until you get to a set of stairs that take you to Battery Point. This historic township is set on a cliff. Check out the historic houses and the famous Jackman and McRoss bakery.


Top 3 markets in Hobarts to get you through the weekend

Who doesn’t love a market, so we’ve got you covered from Friday to Sunday with the three best-of-the-best markets in Hobart.
  • Street Eats @ Franko - every Friday. ​
    Head to Street Eats @ Franko every Friday night from 4pm in Franklin Square (not far from the waterfront). This street food market is one the most popular nights out with a delicious combination of food and entertainment. Choose from one of the food trucks and stalls around the fountain selling paella, fresh local oysters, wagyu beef, grilled seafood, sliders and burgers, while musicians play cool tunes.

Head to Salamanca Markets each Saturday.
  • Salamanca Markets - every Saturday. ​Salamanca Markets has 300 market stalls lined up along Salamanca Place every Saturday from 8:30am.  The markets are incredibly popular and just buzz with energy. Even if you’re not a market-goer, there’s plenty to taste, see and explore including fresh produce, local wines and spirits, delicious home-made goodies, local arty and crafty stuff, and a bit of live music thrown in.  Tip: get there early because most stall-holders are packing up by 2pm.
  • The Farm Gate Markets - every Sunday.  Farm Gate Markets are all about the local and seasonal produce. If it's not in season, chances are you won't buy it here. This is your chance to get the freshest and most delicious produce from local producers. You'll also find some quirky, and hard-to-come-by goodies that you thought was a myth. If you love seafood, you’ll snap up the local catch at great prices. We snapped up delicious Tasmanian scallops for next to nothing. Talk about melt in your mouth! Farm Gate markets are on Bathurst street each Sunday morning.
Straight from the ground veggies await you. 

8 amazing things to do in Hobart

Port Arthur is an absolute highlight in Hobart.
Uncover the many stories of 'the Church' which was built by the blood, sweat & tears of child prisoners
1. Take a day trip to the Port Arthur.
Port Arthur is about 90 minutes from the city and is Australia’s largest convict site. Your admission includes a walking tour and boat ride around Port Arthur. In between, you can explore the historic houses, gardens and convict buildings.
I recommend spending at least a full day. If you have the time, take a ghost tour in the evening. Port Arthur is beautiful place wrapped in cruel and horrific stories of convicts, and peppered with glimpses of hope and kindness. Hear for yourself everything that makes this place so spectacular.

Port Arthur is eerie, entertaining and beautiful all at once so put it on your bucket list of things to do in Tasmania.
Get there either by your own vehicle or book a tour, or a Port Arthur shuttle bus. Either way, make sure you get to Port Arthur – this place is amazing.
2.  Mount Wellington is where you’ll get spectacular views over Hobart (on a clear day). It’s a 30 minute drive up the mountain and when you reach the top, there’s indoor and out door viewing platforms and walking tracks. If you can plan it, aim for a clear day so you get the ultimate views over Hobart (and without having to deal with cloud cover).

Mount Wellington is pretty high up so make sure you pack a jacket because there’s often snow on the summit even in summer. Getting down – drive, get the shuttle bus back down, or for the truly crazy, you can do a bike ride tour down. Take care though because the roads are narrow and windy.
Head to Mount Wellington summit.
Mount Field has walks for all ages and abilities,
and plenty to see along the way

3. Take a hike to Mount Field National Park.
This national park is a nature-lovers paradise and has walking tracks to suit everyone. Mount Field features beautiful waterfalls, rainforests and local wildlife. The main waterfalls are Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls, and you can enjoy all three on a two hour circuit. 
There’s plenty of short walks that you can connect to make longer walks. As you walk along, you’ll discover something more beautiful than before, from tree ferns, never-ending alpine trees, to being dwarfed by some of the world’s largest trees.
Head further up the hill and take the boardwalk around Lake Dobson. It's a 25 minute walk, and is one of the prettiest walks you’ll ever do. Mount Field is about an hours’ drive from Hobart.
4. Visit the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). The MONA is considered among some of the best international modern art galleries. The owner – David Walsh - made his money gambling on the mainland and invested it back into Hobart.
Check out Tattoo Tim who is a living canvas. He sits in the MONA showing his elaborate back tattoo. When he dies, his skin tattooed skin will be framed by a German art collector who paid 150,000 euros for Tim’s back. 

Get there by the MONA ferry, car or metro bus. If you want to make an entrance, you can also book a helicopter.
Catch the MONA ferry from Hobart harbour.
The Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to relax. Check out the floral clock.
5. Visit the Botanic Gardens. 
Wander around the many gardens, lily ponds and picnic areas. The Botanic Gardens is in the heart of the city, is free, and is the perfect place to hang out and literally ‘smell the roses’.

Be sure to check out the Tasmanian collection with unique flora, the sub-antarctic house filled with plants that thrive in cold and windy conditions, the conservatory, the stunning Japanese Garden, and the community food garden.
6. Cascade Brewery. Sample the beer at the Cascade Brewery which is Australia’s oldest brewery. The brewery is set in an old castle and is surrounded by manicured gardens. Do the walking tour where you’ll learn, taste and try this popular brew.

7. Cruise the Derwent river. There’s plenty of boats to choose from. Maybe you’re after a lunch cruise, maybe you want to experience one of the yachts that raced in the Sydney to Hobart race? Maybe you want an adventure cruise that skirts around Bruny Island.
Take a tour of the Cascade Brewery.
Picture: Siggy Nowak

8 . Head to Bruny Island
Take a walk up to the Bruny Island lighthouse.
You can do Bruny Island in a day, but it’s an action packed day. You need to get to Kettering (about 40 minutes drive from Hobart) and catch the Bruny Island ferry (which is a 20 minute journey). There’s no public transport on the island so you’ll need your own wheels or book a tour to get around. Heads up, in summer or weekends or public holidays, there’s often a long queue for the ferry (an hour to more).

Must-do’s on Bruny include:
  • Taste the island! Whether it’s local Tassie oysters, cheeses, berries, honey, chocolate, fudge and locally brewed beers, wines, cider, whiskey or gin, Bruny has it all. Do your own food trail or book a food tour.

  • Climb to the top of the South Bruny Island lighthouse. 

  • Head to the iconic Neck Lookout and climb the 238 steps to the top. You’ll be rewarded with incredible views over north and south Bruny Island. Making this area even more spectacular is the burrows of fairy penguins that live here….if it’s late in the day you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse. Other local wildlife are seals, dolphins, seabirds, wallabies including the rare white and albinos.
  • Enjoy the beaches that go on forever and are mostly deserted. This makes Bruny Island a very popular weekend getaway for the locals.


Climb the 238 steps to the top of the Neck lookout

Where to stay in Hobart

There all kinds of accommodation options in Hobart to suit ever need and budget, I recommend staying as close to Hobart Harbour because it’s convenient to everywhere in the city.

If you’re lucky enough to stay on the waterfront, you’ll get to enjoy sunrises over the water and action by the Harbour.