01 August 2014
Hobart First XI: Tourist Highlights
Endowed with natural charms and a rich colonial heritage, Hobart is one of Australia’s rising tourism destinations. To make sure you make the most of all that Hobart has to offer, check out our list of 11 must-do activities in Australia’s second-oldest city.
Photo credit: Scott Leggo
A wealth of wilderness
Only in Tasmania would you find so much wilderness and natural beauty so close to the city. There are many ways to enjoy the beautiful natural features of Wellington Park, including walking tracks that lead into the park from the city and suburbs. Walks range from easy strolls to tough climbs through cool forests, waterfalls and the soaring dolerite columns of the Organ Pipes. Be sure to take in the view from the majestic Mount Wellington summit to really take your breath away. Visit website.
Old and New
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is arguably one of the largest private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world. In all, the collection takes up three floors within a subterranean architectural masterpiece and is guaranteed to impress. With over 400 art works, the collection includes Sidney Nolan's Snake and Wim Delvoye's Cloaca Professional. Visitors can catch a high speed ferry from Hobart's waterfront for a 30 minute ride up the Derwent River right to the steps of the museum. Visit website.
Get on the food trail
Engage with Hobart’s history and culture through a food tour. Visitors and locals alike are introduced to the people with the passion driving Hobart’s blossoming food scene. Visit great local businesses, many that are off the tourist trail, tucked away in the city, and chat with industry professionals to get the inside stories.
View from up high
For the adventurous, why not take a seaplane tour into the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness, from the convenience of the Hobart waterfront. See Tasmania’s wilderness like it was meant to be seen – in all its grandeur. Other spectacular Tasmanian destinations to admire from on-high include Port Arthur, the Freycinet Peninsula, Gordon River, Bruny Island and Port Davey. Visit website.
The southern wine regions surrounding Hobart offer a rich variety of landscapes and experiences. Ranging from architecturally designed restaurants to quaint heritage-listed cottages, these local cellar doors are well worth the visit. From the airport, you’re just a few minutes from the start of the Coal River Valley and Richmond historic village. Heading south to the rich fruit-growing region of the Huon Valley, you can sample the vintages at Australia’s southernmost vineyards, or wind your way north-west to the highlands, following the Derwent River to its source. Visit website.
To the cellar!
It may be a surprise to many to learn that Tasmania is home to award-winning whiskey distilleries, so why not visit a few distilleries in a single day, taste a range of Tasmanian single malt whiskies and go behind the scenes of the distillation process. Guided tours through spectacular Tasmanian landscapes, from the Derwent Valley to the Central Highlands to the Tasman Peninsula, provide visitors with the opportunity to visit estates, tour the distilleries and enjoy seasonal local Tasmanian produce. Visit website.
Enjoy a 90-minute cruise exploring the beautiful waterways of Hobart and learn about the city’s maritime history. Departing Franklin Wharf on the waterfront, you are part of a small group of up to twelve cruising the Derwent River pass historic Battery Point, the iconic Wrest Point Casino and the Shot Tower at Taroona. Then cruise to the ‘Iron Pot’, Australia’s oldest lighthouse. The unique square spire is a testament to convict construction, still standing more than 150 years after being built. Visit website.
Meet the locals
At Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, the Tasmanian devils are active during the day so you can view them at any time. The park also boasts wombats, koalas, birds, quolls and many other amazing native animals. A real highlight is over 80 free-ranging kangaroos that you can walk right next to and scratch under the chin, and receive complimentary kangaroo food on entry. Bonorong offers a hands-on experience, allowing you to view and share special moments with Australia’s unique wildlife. Your entry will also help continue the work with education, conservation and rehabilitation of Tasmania’s threatened wildlife. Visit website.
The World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory is Australia’s most significant site associated with female convicts. It is located in South Hobart in the shadow of Mount Wellington, only a short distance from the Hobart waterfront. The Cascades Female Factory was a self-contained, purpose-built institution intended to reform female convicts, where the inmates did laundry and needlework services, offsetting some of the Colony's penal costs. Visit website.
Set between graceful plane trees and the mellow sandstone façades of historic warehouses, Hobart's famous market at Salamanca Place attracts thousands of locals and visitors, every Saturday of the year. Visitors come for the food and music - hot baked spuds, crisp organic vegetables, fresh fruit, the warm aromas of coffee and croissants, and buskers singing the blues, stroking a harp or strumming a lively folk song. The Salamanca market highlights fine Tasmanian art and craft hand-worked glass, innovative design in Tasmanian timbers, stylish clothing and bold ceramics. Visit website.
Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula is Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site. The Historic Site has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds. Allow plenty of time to fully experience all that Port Arthur has to offer. Visit website.
For more information on what to do in Hobart, visit: www.discovertasmania.com.au
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