35 Things To Do In Hobart

Text by Christina Pfeiffer, Danielle Lancaster and Bruce Holmes.

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The capital of Tasmania, Hobart is a waterfront city rich in history. From vibrant markets to waterside restaurants and ghost tours, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in and around the city. When planning what to do in Tasmania, make sure to leave enough time for all the things to do in Hobart.

The attractions in Tasmania’s capital city will certainly keep you busy and there are several amazing day tours from Hobart that should be included in your Tasmanian itinerary too.

35 Things to do in Hobart 

Fortunately, in summer, they say Hobart gets more sunlight than any other Australian capital. As Hobart is a city full of atmosphere, a great way to get oriented is to walk so start with these walking tours and take your time to tick all the other wonderful things to do in Hobart off your to-do list. 

Top Things To Do In Hobart

1- Visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)

MONA in Hobart the most Avante Garde of the Hobart museums and arguably Tasmania’s best museum.

Located on the outskirts of the city you can visit as a day trip or stay in one of the sleek MONA Pavilions.

The Museum of Old and New Art is Australia’s largest private museum.


Founded by philanthropist and collector David Walsh, it has made a dramatic impression since its opening in 2011.

Often discussed are the confronting exhibits, focusing on death and overt sexuality (ask at the desk how to avoid those if necessary) but Mona is much more than that.

The architecture for a start is unlike conventional museums.

Its three display levels are underground, cut into the side of a sandstone cliff, the sheer wall of which seems an artwork in itself.

Down the spiral staircase, we go.

Start at the bottom and work upward.

The O, a how-to-learn-about-the-art device, is an iPhone-sized companion with GPS that checks where the visitor is standing and offers in-depth explanations about the art.

All under the refreshingly irreverent tab “art wank.”

Mona’s own evolving exhibition, Monanism, features such varied offerings as Sidney Nolan’s Snake, a vast mural inspired by the Australian desert and its indigenous inhabitants, and Erwin Wurm’s sculpture Fat Car, a comment on 21st-century consumer indulgence.

things to do in hobart
One of the popular things to do in Hobart in winter is to spend time at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Simon Cuthbert

The second oldest museum in Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (TMAG) is a top spot to get out of the cold and open your mind to a world of discoveries.

Somewhat more traditional, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) sees itself as the keeper of the state’s cultural identity.

Situated near Hobart’s waterfront, the museum building itself is part of that history with some galleries housed in colonial bond stores.

There are fascinating archaeological collections, special displays and exhibitions such as the permanent exhibition “Our land: parrawa, parrawa! Go away!”

This focuses on the impact of colonisation on the aboriginal population in the Black War.

Contemporary accounts show stark perspectives.

There’s the now-shocking editorial in the Colonial Times of 1826: “The government must remove the natives – if not, they will be hunted down like wild beasts.” The indigenous people shouted, “Parrawa, parrawa! Go away you white buggers. What business have you here?”

Not the only ones to be persecuted, there’s an entire room devoted to the extinct Tasmanian tiger or thylacine.

Another display contrasts specimens of animals native to Tasmania, from the Tasmanian Devil to Cape Barren Geese, with introduced species not only featuring the pig, fox and cat but perhaps surprisingly the lyrebird, which was released here in 1934 to save it from foxes in Victoria.

Permanent displays range from the art and design of colonial times to the power of change, featuring social, environmental and political protest, and the significance of Hobart to the Antarctic expeditions.

Apart from instruments, logbooks, stuffed albatross and the like the exhibit Islands to Ice lets the visitor touch one piece of ice and see another from a 200m-deep core sample taken from under Lake Dome, with trapped air bubbles from before the Industrial Revolution.

Free guided tours are available and admission is free (donations are gratefully accepted). TMAG is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm and closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

3- Visit Mount Wellington

Sheltered within the glass walls of the observation shelter at the summit of Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) winter is one of the best times of the year to gaze at the views of Hobart, the Tasman Sea and heritage-listed South West Park.

The alpine peak is 1270m above sea level and the picturesque views can be spectacular looking over the clouds. Remember to take your camera but there are binoculars available.

Or log onto the Pinnacle webcams installed by the Hobart City Council and take in the views from home.

The road is sometimes closed and its best to either call the Pinnacle Road Information Line 6278 0200 or check the Hobart City Council website before driving in winter.

Take a guided tour to Mt Wellington, where the walking segment lets visitors experience the cultural and heritage landscape of Tasmania’s First Nation people, heading through sub-Alpine forest to the Octopus tree, where a healing ceremony is performed.

Hobart Walking Tours

4- Get a taste of Hobart with Gourmania 

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Tasting the Bruny Island Cheese Co offerings. Image courtesy of Gourmania Food Tours.

The tour begins at Doctor Coffee, where your guide Mary explains a little of the area’s history, how most buildings lining Salamanca Place are warehouses from the 1830s-1840s and how it’s only been a pedestrian precinct since the 1990s.

Saturday is market day and the fresh produce stalls are interesting.

Fork and Hoe Collective is an organic producer south of Hobart, offering tomato tastings from yellow cherry ones to red varieties with tiger stripes.

Sample walnuts, blueberries and strawberries from the Huon Valley.

A few steps and you’re in a warehouse building at the Bruny Island Cheese Co. where tastings give an insight into different cheeses, such as the camembert-style “Saint,” so-called because in France many such cheeses are named after local saints.

At 43 degrees south, William McHenry and Sons is Australia’s southernmost distillery, situated near crystal pure spring water that’s invaluable for quality spirits.

At their market stall, different styles of gin are up for taste testing and we manage a few. The Old English Sloe Gin is made using sloe berries and is certainly popular.

Other interesting stops include Smolt Restaurant, where we sample some Get Shucked oysters from Great Bay, a Pachamama Mexican food stall with a wallaby burrito, Ashbolt Farm’s specialty elderflower products and the Tasmanian Truffles stall.

In Wursthaus Kitchen, a gourmet deli, we enjoy some cheeses and ocean trout with crème fraîche.

Saturdays at Salamanca concludes at Dickens Cider House, where I’ll finish up twice in one afternoon. More later.I’m sure you can see why this is a popular Hobart walking tour for foodies.

5- Discover the Alcohol History of Hobart 

what to do in hobart
Gasworks Cellar Door, where the tasting is organised around Tasmania’s different regions. Image courtesy of Hobart Walking Tours.

Can’t get the friends along for history tours?

Try the Alcohol History of Hobart to pique their interest.

We begin at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, where our guide Robyn explains how Henry used his cold storage facility to stash the entire crop of hops he’d bought from local growers.

No hops, no beer, but teetotaller Henry didn’t care, using them as leverage to have regulations changed so he could sack union labour in exchange for selling Cascade Brewery the hops at a cheaper price.

Our first tasting stop is Gasworks Cellar Door, where the tasting is organised around Tasmania’s different regions.

The Jansz Cuvee Vintage 2008 is an inspired way to illustrate how the Pipers River area makes fine sparkling wine, while the 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir from Frogmore Creek Winery shows what Tasmania’s cool climate can do for that variety.

Next is the Lark Distillery outlet where we taste a single malt whisky.

Lark is using Tasmanian peat from the Central Highlands, giving the whisky a more earthy quality.

History stories include how customs officers took barrels for themselves at unloading, moved them through a secret tunnel and had the product sold for them by the Customs House Hotel.

Walking into Dickens Cider House, the proprietor John Dickens gives me a wave. Been here before!

Tastings of various ciders are offered, from a Granny Smith wild fermented one to a Pink Lady apple and pear cider with a little pinot to boot.

And the group decides to sit awhile and get over all that walking.

6- Live History Hobart 

Image courtesy of Tourism Tasmania.
Image courtesy of Tourism Tasmania.

“You’ve nicked that loaf of bread,” says Matt, the overseer.

“It’s off to the magistrate with you.”

“But I have to feed my children,” she retorts in her Irish accent.

Here we are in the streets of 19th century London.

Well, not quite.

We’re actually in Tasmania and, leaving the Cascade Brewery building behind, we follow two actors along the path on a theatrical presentation by Live History Hobart.

The story we’re told is a true one, with the names changed of a female prisoner sentenced to be transported to the convict colony, remains herself throughout while the male actor morphs from overseer to ship’s captain then prison warden.

The Cascades Female Factory is a World Heritage-listed site, of which sufficient ruins remain to see how it functioned.

From 1828 to 1856 it operated with the intention of reforming female convicts.

Women were divided into three groups according to the seriousness of their crimes, with the least serious offenders assigned as servants to free settlers and members of the ruling class.

We learn about rations, the chapel being segregated and punishments for misdemeanours, including working at unravelling tar-encrusted ropes.

We’re also given a heart-rending account of how about 900 babies died here, babies that the female convicts often had after working outside as servants.

7- Go on a Ghost Tour  

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The photo reveals an ectoplasm at Lenna. Image courtesy of Ghost Tours of Hobart and Battery Point.

Ours is a group of all sorts, young and old, sceptics and believers, as we follow our colourful Ghost Tours of Hobart and Battery Point guide from Salamanca Square toward Battery Point in the gathering dark.

Outside the Narryna Museum, a Greek Revival townhouse built in the 1830s, our leader explains that museum guides have told him, for years now, of pregnant women going up the stairs complaining of feeling unsteady and descending without seeing the floor above.

A local historian has since found that an unmarried housemaid named Polly faced a future of poverty and ostracism in the 1850s such that a fellow worker thought to “save” her by pushing her down the stairs so she’d lose the baby.

Unfortunately, she broke her neck and died.

Various houses along the way have ghostly tales to tell, but I must not spoil it by relating them all.

At one point the patrons of a once-haunted hotel even give us a rowdy cheer, for it seems the walk’s established fame of its own.

We stop at Lenna, a heritage-listed hotel, built as a house in the 1870s-1880s by Alexander McGregor, a shipping magnate.

The lookout on top was well-suited for signalling ships in the Derwent River and from here McGregor kept watch.

Coming back down from the lookout, our guide tells of many patrons experiencing a swaying feeling up there, as if on a ship.

There have also been photos with images of possible ectoplasms or spirit energies, where none had been seen by the naked eye.

Things to do in Hobart If You Love History

8- Discover Battery Point

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Exploring Battery Point on foot is one of the things to do in Hobart when the weather is fine. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Paul Sinclair

No part of Hobart has more significant cultural heritage than the Battery Point precinct.

It’s the location of some of Hobart’s most historic buildings and where many of Tasmania’s first industries began.

The Battery Point Sculpture Trail features public artworks around the theme of ‘sculpture by numbers’.

Spend an hour following the trail that winds from Salamanca Place to Marieville Esplanade and learn about the captivating Battery Point story.

9- Visit the Cascades Female Factory

things to do in hobart
Exploring the Female Factory is one of the things to do in Hobart if you’re interested in Tasmanian history.

The Cascades Female Factory is a World Heritage site at the base of Mount Wellington. Between  1828 and 1856, 25,000 female convicts were hidden away here.

It holds an integral part in Tasmania’s history as it’s one of the few surviving convict sites for women in Australia.

Only three of the five yards remain, along with the matron’s cottage and ruins of the wall built to keep the women in.

10- Sip cocktails at the Henry Jones

Australia’s first art hotel, The Henry Jones Art Hotel on Hobart’s waterfront is located within one of the original stone warehouses.

Sit back in the IXL Long Bar and gaze at contemporary art while sipping a cocktail.

The bar is open from 5 pm Sunday to Thursday and 3 pm on Friday and Saturday.

There is a restaurant, café and Henry Jones Art Hotel is an iconic place to stay.

11- Explore Mawson’s Hut Museum 

things to do in hobart
Wondering what to do in Hobart? Brush up on Antarctic history at this Hobart museum.

Deep in Antarctica at Cape Denison stand the original huts erected by the expeditionary group from Australia led by Dr Douglas Mawson during 1911-14.

The conservation of these huts, buffeted by harsh winds and subjected to encroaching ice, is the aim of the not-for-profit Mawson’s Huts Foundation.

While the foundation cannot easily take us to Antarctica, Hobart’s newest tourist attraction offers an insight into what life in the huts was like.

The Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum opened on 2 Dec 2013, the 102nd anniversary of the departure from Hobart of Mawson’s expedition.

It is built to the same structure and with wood from the same mill in Finland as the hut in Antarctica.

The so-called Main Hut is actually two buildings combined into one.

The one with the pyramid-shaped roof provided sleeping, kitchen, dining, laundry, storage and darkroom facilities for 18 men, all in a building only 7.3 metres square.

The smaller adjoining hut was equipped as a workshop, with wireless equipment, generator, lathe, stove and benches for the carpenter, mechanic and scientists.

Two Greenland sled dogs, a credit to their taxidermist, provide a warm greeting for the visitor at the entry.

In Antarctica, the workshop’s eastern verandah housed the sled dogs.

Standing inside the building, looking at the bunks laid out just as they would have been in 1911-14, one is amazed at how so many men could co-exist in such a small space.

Maybe the gramophone player helped.

Yes, it’s a replica of course.

All profits from the museum go towards the conservation of the original huts in Antarctica. Mawson’s Hut Museum is open from April to October 10 am to 5 pm, November to March 9 am to 6 pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

12- Tour the Cascade Brewery

what to do in hobart
Another thing to do in Hobart in winter is to take a tour of the Cascade Brewery. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest continuously operating brewery established in 1824 by ex-convict Peter Degraves.

Situated near Mount Wellington, a five-minute drive from Hobart’s city centre, the brewery serves up a range of beers and soft drinks.

On the two-hour brewery tour, you’ll see the process of making beer and taste samples at the end of your tour.

The brewery manager’s house is now the Information Centre with a bar and restaurant.

13- Take a tasting tour at Lark Distillery

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Whisky tasting at Lark Distillery is one of the fun things to do in Hobart in winter. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Adrian Cook

Shelter from the winter chills and warm the cockles of your heart with a tasting at Larks Distillery.

It’s one of the cosiest places to hole up in Hobart in winter.

Take one of the tours and learn the secrets of the producers of Tasmania’s original single malt whisky.

Along with the award-winning whisky, spirits such as the unique Quiet Cannon Rum are also gently distilled.

Don’t like whisky?

Well, there are coffee, beer and cheese platters to enjoy inside the warm Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar located on Hobart’s scenic waterfront.

Well, there are coffee, beer and cheese platters to enjoy inside the warm Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar located on Hobart’s scenic waterfront.

Hobart in Winter

14- Explore the Salamanca Arts Centre

Salamanca Arts Centre close to Hobart’s waterfront, showcases local artists, theatre, workshops and retail galleries in its historical 1830s-built sandstone warehouses.

Upstairs at the Long Gallery, you can see contemporary Tasmanian, national and international visual arts, design and photographic exhibitions.

The Sidespace Gallery is an exhibition space for professional artists to show their work; while at Kelly’s Garden, an outdoor installation space, you can sit and contemplate some intriguing works.

On Saturdays, you can also enjoy the food and entertainment of the Salamanca Markets too.

15- See Indigenous art at ART MOB

Exhibiting an impressive range of Australia’s Aboriginal art and craft from many communities and artists, ART MOB (29 Hunter Street) has rare and exquisite necklaces, baskets, prints and paintings.

The gallery specialises in Tasmanian Aboriginal art and also features artists from around Australia in their exhibitions and collections.

16- Shop for handmade jewellery at Metal Urges

The crew at Metal Urges produce handmade diamond, platinum and there’s an 18ct gold fine jewellery gallery.

Handcrafted, cut and designed, the four times winner of the national jewellery design competition attracts not only lovers looking for a special piece but also those appreciative of the fine elements and design skills of the jewellers.

You can watch the passionate jewellery artists at work in their studio at Metal Urges (105 Liverpool Street).

17- Fly a A737 with Simsation

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Flying a jumbo jet is another fun thing to do indoors when the Hobart weather is wintery.

Soar through the skies piloting a A737 without leaving the ground.

You become the pilot on a wonderful adventure to destinations around the world like Hong Kong, Caribbean, Swiss Alps and Hawaii (some a little warmer than Tasmania in winter!).

The full-sized flight simulator is a replica of the flight deck and spectacular scenery accompanies you on your flight.

It’s an all-weather activity with 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-minute packages available.

18- Relax and Unwind at Savoy Day Spa

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When it’s chilly outdoors, one of the things to do in Hobart is to warm up in a spa. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Savoy Baths

Relax, unwind and rejuvenate with a range of spa and beauty treatments at Savoy Day Spa.

With a heated ozone-treated pool, large spa tubs and on over-sized traditional stone Swedish sauna room and therapeutic steam room you’ll soon be forgetting the cold outside.

The spa in Elizabeth Street is open from 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 9 pm Friday and Saturday and 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays.

19- Dine at Franklin

hobart things to do
Another of those classic Hobart things to do is to cosy up in a top restaurant, such as Franklin.

Keep warm while dining in front of a wood-burning oven at Franklin Hobart.

An industrial space turned chic restaurant and bar has a cool and funky atmosphere.

A highlight of the design is the kitchen in the centre of the restaurant and the ten-tonne Scotch oven claimed to be large enough to hold a small cow.

The menu changes daily.

20- Eat a steak at Stockman’s Restaurant

Featuring the finest Tasmanian food and freshest produce, Stockman’s Restaurant is a diner’s delight.

This restaurant has a warm and friendly ambience and is situated in the multi-award-winning historic Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel.

Next door is the Baar Bar, which is a great spot for a drink before dinner.

21- Treat yourself at Sweet Envy

Call into Sweet Envy (341 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart) and you’ll discover its more than just a coffee shop.

Shelves are stacked with mouth-watering cakes, savoury delights, and they serve delicious homemade ice cream too!

The cupcakes are hard to resist. We love the Lemon Delicious and Raspberry Surprise. This little shop with its vintage feel is well worth a visit.

Day trips from Hobart

22- Derwent Valley

The Derwent Valley is home to tranquil Mount Field National Park and spectacular Russell Falls.

Take a 30-minute from Hobart to the Sally Wise Cooking School near the township of Molesworth.

With the surrounding hills covered in snow, you’ll be toasty and warm inside while you learn how to cook under the guidance of cookbook author and regular ABC guest Sally Wise.

A variety of classes are offered: Making and Baking Yeast Goods is coming up along with Slow Cooking and Convict and Colonial Era Cookery.

23- Southwest Wilderness

The Southwest Wilderness is a day trip from Hobart in a helicopter or a light aircraft.

You land a Melaleuca Airstrip, hike through the wilderness and take a boat trip around Bathurst Harbour, which is a marine reserve that’s part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

There’s a winding boardwalk through the Port Davey Marine Reserve, which is a patchwork of button grass moorlands, heathlands, rivers, bays and estuaries.

It’s a drowned valley with Bathurst Harbour at its centre.

Southwest National Park is a pristine region that is seldom visited yet only a short flight away.

24- Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise

A cruise from Adventure Bay is an exciting day out.

Soak up the scenery as you cruise past soaring cliffs and into sea caves and, if the tide is right, the boat might pass through a narrow gap between the coast and ‘The Monument’.

A highlight is being at the point where the Tasman Sea meets the Southern Ocean and knowing there’s nothing between you and Antarctica but ocean.

Seals, dolphins and sea birds abound. During the season, there’s a chance of seeing migrating whales too.

25- Visit farms and food producers on Bruny Island

South Bruny National Park offers a Tasmanian wilderness bushwalking experience.

The island is also a drawcard for foodies and has farms and producers who make handmade fudge, chocolate, truffles, berries, cheese, fresh oysters and wine.

This is where you’ll find Australia’s southern-most vineyard, excellent restaurants and good cafés.

26- Explore Port Arthur

hobart tourist attractions
Discovering Tasmanian history at Port Arthur is one of the things to do in Hobart as a day trip.

Tasmania’s convict past tells the tale of the country’s convict settlement and the chilling lives the prisoners at Port Arthur Historic Site lived.

While Port Arthur can be explored as a day trip from Hobart, it’s worth staying on the Tasman Peninsula for a few days to cruise and hike the Three Capes Walk.

27- Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

what to do in hobart
Wondering what to do in Hobart for kids? See wombats and other wildlife at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

Meet Tasmanian wildlife at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, where volunteers and rangers nurse sick or injured wildlife with the aim of releasing them back into the wilderness.

Some of the animals you’ll see are Tasmanian devils, wombats, spotted quolls and kangaroos.

28- Maria Island

day trip from hobart
It might be a long day but for a unique remote Hobart day trip, check out Maria Island.

Maria Island is doable as a day trip from Hobart.

A road trip along Tasmania’s scenic east coast to Triabunna followed by a ferry to Maria Island.

There are plenty of short walks on Maria Island, where you can see the stunning Fossil Cliffs or Painted Cliffs.

The township of Darlington is a UNESCO World Heritage convict site and there’s plenty of Tasmanian wildlife everywhere, including Tasmanian devils, Cape Barron geese and kangaroos.

29- The Huon Trail

things to do in hobart
Visiting Newdigate Cave is one of the Hobart attractions you can do as a day trip. Photo: @laurenepbath

The Huon Trail is a journey past orchards, vineyards, cider cellar doors and roadside stalls of the Huon Valley 25 minutes south of Hobart.

Other highlights are Hastings Caves and Cygnet, which has quirky cafes and stores.

The vast dolomite Newdegate Cave in Hastings State Cave Reserve is simply jaw-dropping.

It’s like walking into Aladdin’s Cave and has soaring chambers that began forming around 40 million years ago.

Discovered in 1917 by timber workers, the cave was named after a former governor, Sir Francis Newdegate, and is the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia (most other caves are limestone).

Also in the reserve is a thermal springs pool.

What’s On In Hobart

30- Theatre Royal

Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre, Theatre Royal, was originally built in 1834.

Since opening in 1837, it has provided locals and visitors with theatre, dance, comedy and activities for children.

The beautifully restored building is warm and inviting – perfect to enjoy various performances.

Theatre Royal also includes a small studio theatre – the Backspace Theatre, offering an intimate opportunity to see smaller-scale theatre by interstate and Tasmanian theatre companies.

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What to do in Hobart at night? Check out the programme at Theatre Royal. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Alastair Bett

Whats on in hobart
What’s on in Hobart? Enjoy a performance by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Alastair Bett

31- Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

For more than six decades, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has been delivering world-class concert performances to Hobart’s locals and visitors.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the finest small orchestras in the world.

Federation Concert Hall is the home of the TSO and its principal performance venue but they also perform at other concert venues around Tasmania.

32- State Cinema

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Check the State Cinema schedule for what’s on in Hobart. Photo: Mandatory credit: Tourism Tasmania & State Cinema

Snuggle with someone special inside a Hobart icon that has entertained Tasmanians for over 100 years.

The State Cinema has an art-deco façade while inside there are eight screens and a cinema and bar on the rooftop.

Each theatre is small and can only seat a few people on plush comfortable chairs making your viewing an intimate affair.

Many of the films showing can’t be found in mainstream cinemas and films appeal to all age groups.

The State Cinema is located on the northern end of Hobart’s main restaurant strip.

33- Peacock Theatre

Peacock Theatre, managed by the Salamanca Arts Centre, presents works from emerging artists and performers offering theatre, dance and performances.

There’s a programme of exhibitions, performances and events as well as classes and creative workshops.

Check out the programme here.

34- Arts Forums

Arts Forums is a free weekly event hosted by the Tasmanian College of the Arts (during the semester period) and provides an opportunity to hear noted artists, critics, theorists and curators from Australia and overseas speak about their area of professional practice.

The Tasmanian College of the Arts is housed in a striking refurbished warehouse on Hunter Street adjacent to historic Sullivan’s Cove and includes studios and gallery space.

35- Explore the Maritime Museum of Tasmania

Maritime Museum of Tasmania is one of the top Hobart museums
Maritime Museum of Tasmania is one of the top Hobart museums. Part of the wreckage of the Petrel. Image courtesy John Wadsley, MMT Collections.

The companionway is that feature on deck through which a captain descends to his cabin.

I had never imagined I’d be looking at the one used by novelist Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness, who from 1888-89 captained the barque Otago.

The vessel was later scrapped in Tasmania in the ships’ graveyard now known as Otago Bay.

The Maritime Museum of Tasmania, located near the dock area, narrates the state’s history on water from aboriginal canoes to Able Tasman’s sighting of the island in 1642, naming it Van Diemen’s Land, and on to the present day.

Among the obligatory scale models of ships is an intricate one of Tasman’s flagship the Heemskerck, which was manned by 60 crew and carried trade goods and provisions for 18 months.

Museum artefacts include a ship’s compass, the bell from the 20th-century motor vessel the Rhexenor, a signalling searchlight with a 12-inch reflector and 1000 watt lamp and the wheel from the SS Victory.

Seafarers often believed that figureheads of women at the bow were the eyes of the ship, guiding her to safety.

Here on the wall are figureheads from the Zephyr and Mary Wadley.

Sadly, the hopeful superstition did not hold up for either trading vessel, the former being wrecked on Maria Island in 1913 and the latter lost at Garden Island Creek in 1901.

There’s even a piece of the Petrel on display, ship-wrecked in 1853 but not washed up until 2006.

Modern displays cover whaling, the navy and ferries.

Hobart Sightseeing Tips

1- Leave enough time to explore Hobart

There’s so much to do in Hobart. Plan to visit for a minimum of three days but ideally five days for a first visit.

2- Plan a foodie weekend

Arrive at the end of the week (on a Thursday or Friday) and stay for the weekend to make the most of opening hours of local businesses. There are so many wonderful food experiences, restaurants and cafes to choose from both in and near Hobart.

3- Hire a local guide

The guides from the wine industry and the fruit growers association and also specialist guides are excellent resources to help you navigate your way around the city.

Hobart Accommodation

There are plenty of Hobart hotels, cottages and B&B’s in Hobart to suit most budgets. From five-star luxury hotels with amazing water views to budget hostels.

Check the latest prices of hotels in Hobart here.

Best season to visit Hobart


The mountains are clad in snow, bare branches of deciduous trees droop under the weight of the latest snowfall and snowmen (and women) are being built.

Don’t hide inside, there are some fabulous warm places to visit and things to do during winter in Australia’s most southern capital city. Here are some things to do in Hobart in winter.

30 Things To Do In Hobart

30 Things To Do In Hobart

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