Hobart is Tasmania’s capital, founded in 1802 as a Penal Colony. As Australia’s smallest and second oldest capital city, Hobart is a mix of quaint heritage charm and rich cultural diversity in a setting of extraordinary natural beauty.
Stretching along the estuary of the Derwent River, Hobart is equal parts tranquil and vibrant – it all depends where you’re standing. Modern restaurants, rootsy cafés and hip urban bars sit happily amongst the colonial mansions and sandstone warehouses, giving the city a faintly European feel.
For a city that is often affectionately described as being behind the times, Hobart has done a surprising amount of trail-blazing. The city is home to the Wrest Point Hotel Casino - Australia’s first legal casino - as well as its oldest theatre, oldest synagogue and second-oldest Botanic Gardens.
With all this history-making, it’s no surprise that historic tours and museum visits are popular tourist activities. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery – an historical site itself at more than 150 years old – offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past.
For some slightly more frivolous fun, locals and visitors head to Salamanca Place, home of the famous Salamanca Markets. The crowds stick around after the sun goes down to sample the fabulous multicultural cuisine on offer at the precinct’s many restaurants, and then later to blow off some steam at one of it’s many nightclubs.
All this with barely a mention of the natural beauty of Hobart and surrounds – perhaps the city’s most well-known attraction. Itself a scenic marvel, Hobart is also the gateway to many of Tasmania’s most stunning geographical wonders.