Inspiring Island Communities
Getting the measure of Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, calls for a new way of looking at city life.
It’s a lively place, with a waterfront that buzzes with action around the surrounding restaurants, pubs, cafes and clubs. Yet Hobart is a city of contradictions. It has all the advantages of city services but its population of 185,000 has retained a sense of community. So the locals are laidback and friendly despite their urban surroundings.
Shopping, nightlife, art and craft galleries, and fine dining are popular, yet rainforest on adjacent Mt Wellington and a string of secluded beaches are within easy reach. Enjoy a morning of wilderness and wildlife adventures and be back in the city for a lunch of local gourmet food and some of the world’s finest cool climate wines. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the city – slide into a sea kayak at Constitution Dock, opposite your accommodation, to explore the sheltered inlets and bays of the River Derwent.
Scratch the surface of this picture-perfect city and you’ll discover a seamy past, built on convicts, merchants and whalers. This is Australia’s second oldest city, after Sydney, and you can touch the marks of a convict chisel on a public building, down a beer at a pub named after one of the colony’s corrupt ministers of the cloth, or stroll along streets of original workers’ cottages in Battery Point.
Bands, buskers and more than 300 stallholders gather every Saturday in the historic Sullivans Cove precinct for the city’s famed Salamanca Market, which sells everything from hand-crafted wooden sushi trays to organic vegetables, alongside artist studios and cafes.
In summer, Hobart parties in honour of its strong maritime connections, with dockside festivals, the spectacular finish of an international blue water yacht classic (the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race), and a celebration of Tasmania’s traditional wooden boatbuilding skills in the form of the biennial Wooden Boat Festival.
Article: Tourism Tasmania