Breathtaking scenery, historic buildings, world-class arts and culture, and a renowned foodie scene elevate Hobart as a city that rivals all of mainland Australia’s capitals.
Tasmania is Australia’s southern island state and a mecca for arts and culture accompanied by spectacular natural attractions. Hobart is the capital of the state and is the most populous city with about 224,000 residents.
Founded in 1804, more than 70,000 convicts were brought to Hobart from England and there are historic reminders of this throughout the city.
As one of Australia’s fastest growing colonies, breweries, shipbuilding and food manufacturing took a foothold – some of which are now synonymous with Hobart today.
This weekend travel guide to Hobart invites you to immerse yourself in arts, culture, history and a thriving food and drink scene. Visitors are sure to find that one trip will not be enough!
5pm: Travel to Tasmania and check into Hobart accommodation
Hop on a plane from most domestic airports in Australia to reach Hobart.
Make your way to your accommodation via shuttle service, taxi, Uber or hire car – all of which are readily available.
We stayed at an Airbnb residence called The Maid, a beautifully restored historic cottage in the stylish suburb of Sandy Bay.
7pm: Dinner and drinks in Hobart
Settle in and then head out for Friday night drinks at The Den. This cosy wood-lined bar serves signature cocktails, a selection of local beer and wine, and a Tasmanian tasting menu with an Asian influence.
The stylish gas fireplaces both inside and out make for an inviting atmosphere and encourage you to settle in and work your way through the menu.
9am: Visit Salamanca Market
Rise at your leisure and head to the weekly Salamanca Market. Established in 1972, this market boasts more than 230 stallholders.
Many of those selling their wares are local artists and makers that are passionate about their creations.
Choose from a wide selection of sweet and savoury dishes for breakfast – cronuts, vegan porridge, egg and bacon rolls, or a hearty breaky burger are just a few of the options available.
12pm: Take the tour of Narryna
After you have had your fill of food and shopping at the market, walk through the historic streets and laneways of Battery Point and arrive at Narryna.
This historic stone building was built as a merchant’s home and is now a museum. The beautiful gardens are lovingly tendered by friendly volunteers who greet you as you enter through the grand cast-iron gates.
Enter the home and explore the rooms set with furniture and homewares from the 1800s, when Captain Andrew Haig resided here with his family. Volunteer guides provide wonderful, heartfelt stories of this home and its array of residents which have included businessmen and women, lawyers, politicians, and bankers.
4pm: Stop in at Lark Distillery
To wind up the afternoon of exploring, pop into Lark Distillery for a pre-dinner drink (or two).
Nestled in an historic building that was once, ironically, a distillery and bond store.
There is a selection of Tasmanian and international whiskies on offer – more than 250, in fact – plus local beer, wine, cider and gin. Partake in a flight of beverages carefully curated by the knowledgeable staff.
The low ceilings, original wood floors, wooden barrels, and leather sofas make for a comfortable place to enjoy a drink.
7pm: Dinner at Templo
For dinner, venture to Patrick St, to find an understated shopfront that houses Templo, a stylish boutique restaurant.
The 20-seat, set menu restaurant is cosy and welcoming, and the menu features local ingredients prepared to perfection.
Dishes arrive brimming with local produce, and you can taste the care and passion the chef invests in every dish. Due to the limited capacity, bookings are essential.
8am: Breakfast at Sisterhood
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Sisterhood, a light and airy cafe located just off Sandy Bay Rd.
Choose from a delicious offering of dishes featuring local produce such as the house-made granola, pickled zucchini waffle, or the breakfast pasta.
Just about every dietary requirement can be met here, so simply ask the staff.
10am: Explore the Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Visit the Maritime Museum of Tasmania for a look back into the fascinating boating history of the island state.
Ring the ship’s bell, hear soundscapes of the sea, watch videos, and read stories about shipwrecks and survival on the sea.
Friendly volunteers will provide an overview of the museum which you can explore at your leisure.
12pm: Head to MONA
Nearby, board the ferry service from the Brooke St pier to visit one of the jewels in Hobart’s crown: MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art. Take the VIP option, The Posh Pit, and enjoy drinks and nibbles on board.
Explore the museum and be wowed by the extensive collection of the founder, David Walsh. Some of the pieces are confronting, innovative, and thought-provoking.
There are a few lunch options on-site, from the burgers on the lawn to a fine dining restaurant.
6pm: Dinner at Dana Eating House
End your day of culture with dinner at Dana Eating House, just off the CBD grid.
The delicious aromas of the Asian inspired dishes invite you in, as does the chic ambience.
Explore the extensive drinks list, starting with some of the most delicious cocktails in the city. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Plenty of things to do in Hobart, Tasmania
There is so much to experience in Hobart alone without taking into consideration the spectacular neighbouring day trip sites, including the likes of Bruny Island and Port Arthur. But if a long weekend is all you have, you definitely won’t struggle to fill the days.
Needless to say, it is guaranteed you will leave Hobart well fed, well educated, sufficiently cultured, and yearning to return for more.