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Hobart Mini Guide
About the City
Hobart is Tasmania’s largest city with a population of over 200,000 and it’s the state capital. It’s also the home port for the Australian and French Antarctic surveys. Originally the city was called Hobart Town then Hobarton then Hobart.
The city was founded in 1803 as a British penal colony. Charles Darwin visited 33 years later and described it as a thriving community based on potatoes and corn. The identification of its harbour as one of Australia’s best deep water ports led to rapid expansion through the whaling and sealing trade.
The airport is 7 miles east of the city and is served by seven airlines operating flights from other parts of Australia only with the exception of a flight to Casey Station in Antarctica. Last year nearly 2m passengers passed through Hobart Airport.
Things to See
Getting out of the modern city you’ll be able to reach Ross and Richmond, two old colonial towns that have changed little over the years. Here you’ll get a good idea of what old Tasmania was like. Everyone takes a look from the top of Mount Wellington which towers over the city. You can drive to the top or take a bus to the Fern Tree stop. For further great scenery head to Treycinet Peninsular and explore the National Park.
Things to Do
It’s a whole day trip but the Hastings Caves are a great place to explore. The energetic could walk part or all of the Huon River Trail, part of the Tasmania Trail that follows the old stock routes. For the more sedate, a tour of Tasmania’s oldest brewery, Cascade is interesting with a welcome sample pint at the end. Finally, for the chocaholics, head for the Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory.
Hobart is great for shopping with many fine malls selling designer clothes and a variety of Australian originals. There’s almost every kind of shop you could want but for souvenirs, try either Australian designed T-shirts and beachwear or products and gifts made by the local indigenous people. Tasmanian wine is also another excellent choice for gifts or souvenirs.
Eating and Drinking
There are a number of wineries in the area which have restaurants serving the estate produced wine with excellent meals. Local delicacies include the deep sea trevella, a local fish delicacy, often served marinated, Tasmanian lobster and scallop pie. The Salamanca district is where you’ll find the nightlife and here try Bar Celona, an excellent wine bar and coffee shop popular with the locals.
Festivals and Special Events
The highlight of the year is the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which sees thousands of sailing fans cram into the city to watch the end of the race. Hobart Fringe festival is another popular occasion allowing local acts to showcase their talents whilst in spring; Hobart hosts the annual tulip festival.