Soak up sea air, creative culture and colonial history in Hobart, which sits on the wide Derwent River, in the shadow of craggy Mount Wellington
Walking is the best way to see the city's sandstone and waterways, from bustling Salamanca Market to the fishing docks. Stop to taste Hobart's fabulous food and wine in the streets of Salamanca Place or along North Hobart's restaurant strip. Explore Mount Wellington on mountain bike or foot or kayak past the city's wharves at twilight. Just south of the city lies Kettering and small, rugged Bruny Island. Spend a day walking its windswept beaches, emerald countryside and dramatic cliff tops.
At a glance:
Start your Hobart holiday in Salamanca Place, where the rows of Georgian sandstone warehouses have been converted into galleries, theatres, restaurants and cutting-edge boutiques. On Saturday mornings you can browse the Salamanca Market for fresh local produce and fine Tasmanian arts and craft. Have brunch beneath the brightly-coloured sun umbrellas or travel forward a few centuries to a cafe in ultra-modern Salamanca Square. Check out the grand old mansions and simple fishermen’s cottages lining Hobart’s oldest suburb of Battery Point. See Kelly's Steps, built in 1839 and explore the area’s scandalous history on a ghost tour. See century-old trees and the world’s only subantarctic plant house in Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Head to the harbour for a seafood dinner, see the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra play in Australia’s oldest theatre or listen to live jazz in one of the bars in Salamanca Place.
Stake your claim as king of Mount Wellington after a 30-minute drive to the 1,270 metre (4,160 foot) summit. You’ll be spellbound by the soaring views over Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula. Hike through forested gullies on the Pipeline Track or follow the Lenah Valley Track to Sphinx Rock. See the Octopus Tree, the forest’s tallest tree or climb to the pinnacle on a half-day return trip. Walk to Wellington Falls and abseil or climb the rocky towers of the Organ Pies. Bike ride across the mountain or down it for an exhilarating 21 km (13 miles), past glacial rock formations, sub-alpine flora and temperate rainforest. Back in Hobart, kayak down the Derwent River at twilight or cruise to the harbour. From the water, see Hobart landmarks such as the Regatta Grounds, Government House, the Tasman Bridge and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Have dinner in one of the elegant converted warehouses along Hunter Street.
Drive south from Hobart to the sleepy seaside town of Kettering, which sits on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Watch the yachts and fishing boats bob on the sheltered harbour, then take a car ferry to Bruny Island. Explore the wild coastline, tall forests and gentle green hills on foot, or take a wildlife cruise past crags, caves and sea cliffs. In breeding season, you can see short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins waddling home at dusk in The Neck Game Reserve. Climb the timber stairs to the Neck lookout for panoramic views. Then cross over into South Bruny Island, where you can walk the dramatic clifftops from Adventure Bay to Penguin Island and Fluted Cape. Spot pademelons, echidna and wombats, visit the convict-built Cape Bruny lighthouse and trek along the remote white beach of Cloudy Bay. Spend the night in a bed and breakfast or cottage amidst the wilderness.