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. Also, there are several amazing day tours from Hobart that should be included in your Tasmanian itinerary.
- Things to do in Hobart
- 1- Explore Salamanca Arts Centre
- 2- Discover Battery Point
- 3- Visit the Cascades Female Factory
- 4- Join a Hobart food tour
- 5- A tasting tour at Lark Distillery
- 6- Sip cocktails at the Henry Jones
- 7- Indigenous art at ART MOB
- 8- Shop for handmade jewellery at Metal Urges
- 9- MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)
- Day trips from Hobart
- What to do in Hobart in Winter
- 18- Explore the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
- 19- Gaze at the snow-clad landscape from Mount Wellington
- 20- Fly a A737 with Simsation
- 21- Relax and Unwind at Savoy Day Spa
- 22- Explore the life of Mawson and crew
- 23- Brewing at Cascade Brewery
- 24- Dine at Franklin
- 25- Eat a steak at Stockman’s Restaurant
- 26- Treat yourself at Sweet Envy
- What’s On In Hobart
- Hobart sightseeing tips
- Hobart Accommodation
Things to do in Hobart
Fortunately, in summer, they say Hobart gets more sunlight than any other Australian capital. Here are our top things to do in Hobart.
1- Explore 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.
2- Discover Battery Point
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.
3- Visit the Cascades Female Factory
The Cascades Female Factory is 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.
4- Join a Hobart food tour
Find out more about Hobart’s history, food and culture by joining a Hobart walking tour with a local food guide.
Taste cheese, local gin and oysters and meet local chefs and producers as you walk around the city.
Most food tours will include a visit to Salamanca Market or the Farmer’s Market, where you can meet Tasmania’s producers and discover a cornucopia of tastes.
5- A tasting tour at Lark Distillery
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.
6- 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.
7- 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. However, artists from around Australia are featured in their exhibitions and collections.
8- 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).
9- 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.
If you’ve never been to MONA it’s a great place to stay warm while being swept away by artistic creativity.
Day trips from Hobart
10- 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.
11- 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.
12- Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise
A cruise form 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 an Antarctica but ocean.
Seals, dolphins and sea birds abound. During the season, there’s a chance of seeing migrating whales too.
13- Visit farms and food producers on Bruny Island
South Bruny National Park offers a Tasmanian wilderness bush walking 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.
14- Explore Port Arthur
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.
15- 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.
16- 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.
17- The Huon Trail
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 to do in Hobart in Winter
It’s snowing in Hobart! Winter is indeed here. 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.
18- Explore the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
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.
There are fascinating archaeological collections, special displays and exhibitions. Free guided tours are available and admission is free (donations are gratefully accepted).
TMAG is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm and closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
19- Gaze at the snow-clad landscape from 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.
20- Fly a A737 with Simsation
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.
21- Relax and Unwind at Savoy Day Spa
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.
22- Explore the life of Mawson and crew
A cold winter in Hobart is the perfect time to spare a thought for the Antarctic explorers.
On the waterfront in Hobart, Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum is a timber building where you’ll gain an insight into the lives of these intrepid expeditioners.
Mawson and his team spent two winters living and working in freezing temperatures during the Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14.
The museum is cosy and displays offer a fascinating peek into the lives of the men on this ground-breaking expedition to the most southern continent on Earth.
All profits from the museum go towards the conservation of the original huts in Antarctica.
Open April to October 10 am to 5 pm, November to March 9 am to 6 pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
23- Brewing at Cascade Brewery
This is one for adults only! 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.
24- Dine at 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.
25- 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.
26- 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.
What’s On In Hobart
27- 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.
28- 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.
29- 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.
30- 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.
31- 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.
Hobart sightseeing tips
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.
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.
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.
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.