Introduction to Hobart
Australia’s second oldest city and Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, lies nestled between the brooding peak of Mount Wellington and the banks of the Derwent River. With a population of just 225,000, Hobart may be relatively small, but minus the city life pressures of its northern counterparts Sydney or Melbourne with an easy commute and the added abundance of good food, wine, shopping and picturesque countryside, you can understand Hobart’s appeal – even just for a short holiday. Hobart has long been a crowd-puller for its lively port, outstanding colonial architecture and green suburbs. Hobart is the place where people still say “good morning” to each other as they walk the city streets.
Nature lovers hear the call of Tasmania. With so much unique flora, fauna and terrain, the state is a playground of discovery in the great outdoors. Hobart’s most iconic natural wonder is Mount Wellington, the majestic peak that shadows the city. A visit to nearby Bruny Island is a must for nature (and cheese) lovers with stretches of stunning coastline and a cheese maker that put the island on the map.
There’s a whole lot of history that comes with the status of Australia’s second oldest city. Hobart's European beginnings as Van Diemen's Land are visible everywhere. Unlike other cities, Hobart has retained and restored many of its historic buildings, giving it a distinctive old-world feel. Founded as penal colony in 1803, Hobart and its surrounds are dappled with interesting historical sites. The grand Cascade Brewery, the city’s colourful wharf areas and the iconic sandstone buildings of Battery Point all throw back to centuries past.
Bit of history buff? Visit the 1830s-built Penitentiary Chapel and Prisoner's Barracks just a few blocks up from the waterfront in Hobart. Frightening and informative tours run several times a day and offer the opportunity to explore hidden tunnels, solitary confinement cells and creepy gallows.