Big adventure in Australia’s smallest state
Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state and it’s a little secret wonderland full of history and adventures. The laidback outdoor lifestyle is often what draws people to Tasmania and its capital city of Hobart. Local Tassies enjoy a quieter and slower pace of life than their mainland brothers and sisters, but that’s the beauty of it.
Hobart city sits on the picturesque Derwent River and has rolling hills and mountains straight out of the city centre. It is steeped in historical stories of Australia’s oldest convict ruins alongside world class heritage sites, gorgeous coastlines and endearing local produce markets.
Hobart city centre isn’t full of shiny skyscrapers like other state capitals. Instead, it’s full of character-filled converted colonial buildings and harbour-side eateries and markets.
If you start your Sunday morning explorations off centrally at the Farm Gate Markets, you can pick up some delightful local produce and a coffee to fuel your day of adventure. Then walk across town to enjoy the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery which is home to Tasmania’s oldest colonial buildings. You can also find the Maritime Museum and Museum of Mawson’s Huts here too. All of these museums will give you an insight into the colourful history of Tasmania and its people, somewhere very different to the mainland state capitals. After all that learning you might fancy a bite to eat or drink down near the attractive Constitution Dock waterfront.
Head south from the city centre you’ll find yourself at Battery Point. Named after the battery of guns held here in 1818 as part of the coastal defences, Battery point is best explored on foot and is home to the famous Salamanca Market (open Saturday) and the Narryna Heritage Museum. If you’re still not museum-ed out then try heading via the shops and restaurants of North Hobart to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in the northern suburb of Berriedale.
If you continue the original tour of Hobart southwards then you will come across the suburb of Sandy Bay, home to the University of Tasmania, Short Beach (Dog Beach) and lots of sailing activities.
After all this exploring you’ll definitely need a refuel and a decent beer. There is nowhere bette than the historical Cascade Brewery. Take a guided tour or just enjoy the food and drink in the beautiful grounds. This is one of our top picks for visiting Hobart or even for locals to spend the afternoon with friends.
Things to do with kids in Hobart
Sometimes museums and breweries aren’t what kids are after. They might need something a bit more interactive and wild. That’s where the wildlife sanctuary and botanic gardens come in.
Bonorong wildlife sanctuary is a fantastic home to many Australian animals, even some that are extinct in other parts of the world. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with wombats, kangaroos and even with the Tasmanian devil himself! The kids will love the interactive nature of the park and get to enjoy sustainable vegan and vegetarian food at the little food hut on site. The sanctuary sits about 30 minutes up the river from Hobart.
The Royal Botanic Gardens lie just to the north of the city centre, right on the Derwent. There’s an impressive cactus garden, a unique subantarctic plant garden and a really lovely cafe. A great way to spend an afternoon with family or friends, and only a ten-minute drive from the city centre.
Short walks around Hobart
Tassies love getting outdoors and we will cover more of these activities in a specific ‘outdoors’ article in the coming weeks. We can’t talk about things to do in Hobart and not mention Mount Wellington and Bruny Island, though. Mount Wellington is the largest mountain overlooking the city. Here you can easily explore waterfalls, rock climbing, sky boardwalks and the best views over the river and city. It can get pretty chilly up there so come prepared and be wary of the snow in the colder months. Always check road conditions before you set off as the road isn’t the easiest drive even in good weather.
Bruny Island sits southeast of the city and is a Tasmanian wilderness wonderland. There are endless coastal and bush walks ready for you and your family to explore and enjoy picnics en route. Why not take to the waters in a kayak or guided island eco boat tour? Bring your tent and stay a while; there’s plenty of artisanal produce to keep you fuelled and there are so many activities to do you won’t want to leave! Bruny Island is home to white wallabies, fairy penguins and albatrosses, to name a few. See if you can spot them on your visit.
More things Hobart
If you’re after some adventure and fresh air, then Tasmania and Hobart could be the destination you’re searching for. We have only skimmed the surface of the smallest state in Australia. Look out for our article on more outdoor activities in Tasmania coming soon.
If Hobart is a bit far south, check out our top 10 things to do in Melbourne.