Discover Hobart: Australia’s Lesser-Known State Capital

solo travelIs Hobart Australia’s best-kept secret? The capital of Tasmania and one of Australia’s oldest cities may look small on the map, but it offers a wonderful combination of rugged mountains, world-class art and a range of attractions and landmarks to explore.

Hobart International Airport is approximately a 15-minute drive to the city centre. Checking out what Hobart airport car rentals are available will be one of the easiest and most convenient ways to discover southern Tasmania, and to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to explore the incredible sites fully.

The scenic route

There are not many capital cities around the world which have a mountain on their doorstep. Hobart’s Wellington Park is the stunning area of natural beauty and the base for the city’s crown jewel that is Mount Wellington, one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Dominating the skyline at a majestic 1,270 meters, Mount Wellington can be climbed on foot (taking an estimated six hours roundtrip), there is a road leading to the top or you can take a shuttle bus. Once at the top you will be greeted with extraordinary sweeping views of Hobart.

The park is home to 500 native plant species and a variety of animals. If you don’t fancy a hike up the mountain, there are some great walking trails in the park where you can admire and appreciate the beauty from the ground. For those looking for something a bit different, you can see the park on horseback, cycling and rock climbing.

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World-class art 

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) does exactly what it says on the tin and displays ancient, modern and contemporary art. Located up the river, the museum presents David Walsh’s $110m private collection as well as a range of exhibitions.

Each year the museum plays host to two of Australia’s best art festivals: in January it’s the turn of the Mona Foma festival and then come June, it is Dark Mofo.

The place to be

If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat, head down to the vibrant and picturesque Salamanca Place – you will struggle to find a more atmospheric place to enjoy your lunch anywhere else in Hobart. Stroll down the cobbled square on Hobart’s waterfront and be graced with an array of art galleries, theatres, cafés and bars to choose from.

Every Saturday the Salamanca Market, Tasmania’s most famous and most visited market, comes to life where you can grab fresh food, listen to music and hunt for antiques.

Australia’s history 

A short distance from the Hobart waterfront visitors will find the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cascades Female Factory. It is one of 11 convict sites, spread throughout Australia in Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia and on Norfolk Island, that together form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property.

Each site represents a different aspect of the convict system, those visiting the Cascades Female Factory will discover the stories of Australia’s female convicts. The Australian government says the Cascades Female Factory is important as it is the only remaining female factory with visual fabric and ruins remaining. 

With much to discover in Hobart and southern Tasmania, everyone should take the time to explore the beauty and history it has to offer. 

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

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