21 Reasons to Visit Hobart, Tasmania

21 Reasons to Visit Hobart, Tasmania

Once considered a rather sleepy town, Hobart is making waves thanks to flourishing gastronomic and creative scenes, meaning there has never been a better time to visit.

is a small city located on Australia’s “Apple Isle”, more
commonly known as Tasmania. With Melbourne
to the north and Antarctica to the south, the island of Tasmania is
remote, rugged and wild, full of natural wonders and ripe for
adventure. Hobart, its capital, is perched on the edge of the
Derwent River and is a laid-back place with a strong sense of
community. The air is clean, the pace is slow, the standard of
living high. It’s no wonder so many artists, musicians and other
creatives call it home.

Once considered a rather sleepy town, Hobart is making waves
thanks to flourishing gastronomic and creative scenes, meaning
there has never been a better time to visit.

You probably don’t know much about it, so we’ve rounded up 21
reasons why you should factor it in if you’re heading to Oz.

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1. Eat local at Templo

This tiny neighbourhood joint is a highlight of any trip to
Tassie. Seating just 20 people, it’s a cosy space with a tiny menu
(about eight items). Go with the chef’s choice – Matt Breen
showcases local, seasonal flavours and produce in interesting and
dramatic combinations. Templo also offers an exquisite
list of local, natural and organic
. Booking ahead is essential.

2. Browse Farm Gate Market

This is undoubtedly the best way to spend a sunny Sunday morning
in Hobart. With the market kicking off at 8:30AM whatever the
weather and endless food stalls to choose from, it’s the perfect
spot to grab coffee, breakfast and some fresh local produce. Our
pick for breakfast is fresh sushi (yes, really) from Masaaki
Koyama’s Japanese stand. There’s always a queue, but the authentic
fare is well worth the wait.

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3. Sample Tasmanian wine at Gasworks Cellar Door

On touchdown in Hobart, be sure drive to by the Gasworks Cellar Door
on the historic waterfront, where you can pick up some local wine
for your trip. James Hordern has an incredible selection of
Tasmanian wine and spirits, with generous tastings and informed

4. Forage at The Agrarian Kitchen

It may be slightly out of Hobart in the Derwent Valley, but this
is one of those experiences that will stay with you forever. A
cooking class on a farm, The Agrarian Kitchen is
run by lovely husband and wife duo Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet
in a former 19th-century schoolhouse just 45 minutes outside the
city. Sign up for the full-day agrarian experience – a celebration
of the seasons in which you will forage, harvest, cook, learn, eat
and drink. The couple are soon to open a restaurant down the

5. Hike Mount Wellington

It’s a long way to the top along a very steep and winding path,
but the views from the summit of Mount Wellington are pretty
spectacular (the pinnacle observation shelter will get you the best
shot). Choose from an array of hiking trails, while mountain biking
and horse riding are also popular. Pack a coat – it gets very cold
and windy at the top.

6. Brunch at Berta

North Hobart is where it’s at when it comes to eating and
drinking, with many of our favourite spots cropping up in this
somewhat grungy neighbourhood. For an awesome breakfast, it’s
straight to Berta. A
bit further down the road you’ll find Born in Brunswick – which
has a Melbourne feel to it with bright, airy decor and fantastic
coffee. If you happen to be in West Hobart, head to Pigeon Hole and make sure
you order the “green eggs and ham” baked eggs.

7. Get your coffee fix

Hole up in on one of the outdoor window seats at Small-Fry for coffee before
sauntering down the hill to the Farm Gate Market on a Sunday
morning. This place is also known for its open kitchen and private
dinner parties – a good opportunity to meet locals.

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8. Indulge your sweet tooth

Run by an ex-Gordon Ramsay alumni, Sweet Envy is a little cake shop is a
haven for all things sugary. Great coffee, croissants and homemade
ice cream are also available. We love it.

9. Spend hours at MONA, obviously

MONA (the Museum of Old and
New) was founded in 2011 by local man, David Walsh, using the
proceeds of his gambling habit. An innovative art site perched on a
hill overlooking the river, it’s full of contemporary, confronting
art in cavernous galleries. At the weekend, look out for the
charming little growers markets that are held on site, music
festivals, and in June,
Dark Mofo, a festival which delves into centuries-old winter
solstice rituals. Grab a glass of wine on a sunny day and sit out
on the lawn after spending an hour or so perusing the gallery.
Other galleries worth popping into include the Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery
and the Salamanca Arts Centre.

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10. Sleep in an architectural barn

This is by
far our favourite place to sleep in the city. Available on
, this 1820s sandstone barn was recently renovated by a
young architect couple and is now a beautifully light and open
architectural dream. We are suckers for its timber-shingled roof,
while it’s conveniently located right in the heart of Hobart.

11. Lose yourself in the city’s neighbourhoods

There are lots of pretty neighbourhoods surrounding Hobart’s
central business district; take time to explore the happening
suburb of North Hobart, picturesque Battery Point with its
colourful cottages, marina-side Sandy Bay and the more touristy

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12. Stuff yourself with bread, glorious bread

For the best bread in town, visit Pigeon Hole Bakers in
Argyle Street. Located next to the popular Franklin restaurant, this
beautiful space makes incredible organic sourdough – they sell out
early, so make sure you’re at the front of the queue.

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13. Dance your socks off at The Falls Festival

Despite the fact this iconic music and arts festival is one hour
outside Hobart in Marion Bay, it would be a travesty to leave it
out. Held over the New Year holiday, The Falls Music and Arts
Festival takes place on a farm overlooking the water and out to
Maria Island. A backdrop of native forest and the Tasman Sea
coupled with an incredible line-up of local and international acts
– it doesn’t much better than this.

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14. Follow the craft beer trail

It’s not just about wine and whisky in Tasmania. If you’re a
beer aficionado, you’ll certainly get your hop fix here. With more
than 20 breweries and microbreweries to visit, you could easily
fill a day following the craft beer trail. Some of the popular ones
include Shambles, The Winston and the Hobart Brewing Company. On
the larger end of the scale, Boag’s and Cascade are also good

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15. Catch some live music

If you want to see a gig while in town, check out either
The Republic
(they have live music everyday) or the Brisbane
. You will find a mix of local acoustic bands and jazz
musicians, as well as alternative and grunge music from established
and up-and-coming artists.

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16. Sleep in an iconic hotel

Housed in a building that’s more than 180 years old, the

Alabama Hotel
is located smack bang in the middle of the city
and is a budget-friendly sleeping option. The hotel was recently
revamped and reopened in 2013 after an almost 10-year hiatus. Cute
retro touches, plastic flamingos and local art on the walls make
for playful interiors to match the atmosphere, with a small bar and
plant-filled balcony looking over Hobart’s main street.

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17. Stock up on local treats

A great place to pick up some edible souvenirs, visit Wursthaus
Kitchen in Salamanca for deli goods such as cheese, meat and
Tasmanian truffles. Daci & Daci Bakers, is a good one for
breakfast, then get some lamb pies, homemade sausage rolls and
orange cake for takeaway lunch. If you’re having a barbecue, pay a
visit to the friendly butchers at Vermey’s Meats in Sandy Bay –
their butterflied quail is ideal, while Tasmanian beef is always a

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18. Picnic on the Derwent River

Stock up on picnic supplies (see above) before finding a quiet
spot along the Derwent River to for a lazy waterside lunch.

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19. Be a tourist in Salamanca Market

You will no doubt have heard of Salamanca Market before your
trip to Hobart. One of the city’s most famous tourist attractions,
the market is made up of 300 food and craft stalls. It runs every
Saturday, rain hail or shine, in historic Salamanca Place. It can
be a bit overwhelming, but if you’re in Hobart for the first time
it’s certainly worth a wander.

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20. Eat the freshest seafood

If you plan on doing your own cooking while in Hobart, stop by
, a local seafood producer, wholesaler and retailer. Call
ahead to order whole salmon, ocean trout, snapper, southern rock
lobster and oysters, or go Japanese with some wakame or mekabu.

21. Stay in luxury

If you’re looking to lounge in the lap of luxury, bag yourself
one of the 11 rooms at
Islington Hotel
. A perfectly private retreat, The Islington is
set in a restored 1847 house and is surrounded by a lovely garden
with incredible views of Mount Wellington. A world of marble,
sandstone and glass, this stately property is the dream base for
any Hobart adventure.