A vibrant city with a heart-warming sense of community, Hobart will delight you with its natural beauty, exciting dining and captivating festivals.
It’s a ‘must’ for any Tasmanian road trip!
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Nestled between the sparkling blue waters of the Derwent River and the fluted cliffs of Mt Wellington, Hobart is Australia’s most beautiful capital city.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll quickly find it’s not just a pretty city, there is a depth and breadth that will keep you coming back for more – whether that’s a weekend, a week, or more.
Rich in colonial history, Hobart has blossomed into a gastronomic playground, nature-lovers paradise, and art-loving hipster’s heaven all in one! Lonely Planet voted Hobart as one of the world’s Top 10 cities, and you know what? I couldn’t agree more.
Keep reading to find out more about Hobart and how to plan your perfect Hobart and southern Tasmania road trip itinerary.
A tour is the perfect way to get your bearings and see the best sights and attractions of Hobart.
There are plenty to choose from, but I think these four are the best of the bunch:
A Hobart institution, no Tasmanian holiday is considered complete without a visit to the famous Salamanca Markets!
Held between 8:30am and 3pm every Saturday, with more than 300 local stallholders this is the perfect place for souvenir hunting. Hand-carved Huon pine, knitted woollens, exquisite jewellery, bespoke ceramics, fresh organic produce…this is one of Australia’s most loved markets and a must for any Tasmania road trip.
Right next door to Salamanca Markets you will also find the wonderful Galleria Salamanca. The adjacent hotel is a great place to base yourself, and inside the arcade is one of Hobart’s sensory delights – Beauty and the Bees!
This fantastic shop is THE place you want to go for the ideal gift or ‘self care’ indulgence. Jill, the effervescent owner, has built this zen temple from the ground up, using only locally-sourced, eco-friendly ingredients in all her products. And unlike the markets, Beauty and the Bees is open Monday through Saturday!
Visit Beauty and the Bees in buzzzzing Salamanca, and when you mention the Lap of Tasmania you will receive 20% OFF their iconic Luxury Hair and Skin Pack
It’s the perfect sensory memory of your time in Tasmania!
Where else in the world but Hobart can you be sipping an espresso on the waterfront at sunrise, and in less than 30 minutes find yourself 1,200m above sea level and breathing in pure air straight from the Antarctic?
The views as you drive to the summit of Mt Wellington are astounding, and you could lose yourself for hours exploring the huge network of mossy hiking trails through the foothills and up the slopes of Wellington Park.
What do you get when you cross an eccentric philanthropist with unsuspecting suburban Hobart?
MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art – one of the world’s most astounding modern museums perched on the vine-clad banks of the River Derwent.
Challenging, exciting and thought-provoking, the collection is constantly changing and presenting new perspectives on life, death, sex and more. Some say MONA is Disneyland for adults, and it’s hard to argue with that!
With its dappled coves and sandy beaches, Battery Point is one of Hobart’s most prestigious suburbs. Only minutes from Salamanca, we recommend spending a morning walking your way down historic Hampden Road and admiring the quaint colonial cottages of Arthur Circus.
Jackman and McRoss are known for their pastries and light meals – try a Tasmanian curried scallop pie! Or for yachting nostalgia why not enjoy a pint of Cascade draft at Shipwright’s Arms Hotel, original home of the ‘Quiet Little Drink‘ for Sydney-to-Hobart yachties?
Tasmania’s pristine wilderness is within easy reach from Hobart when you experience a day trip with Par Avion!
There are four exhilarating options to choose from:
*** Lap of Tasmania readers SAVE 10% when you use my LAPOFTAS code ***
All four are simply sensational, but my pick of the bunch would have to be the Southwest Wilderness Day Experience.
My wife and I experienced this incredible day trip from Hobart a few years ago, and it was easily one of the most memorable days of entire lives.
The flight into Melaleuca can’t be described – you need to see to believe it as you soar across the rugged Western Arthurs and the tannin-stained waters of Bathurst Harbour.
After landing at remote Melaleuca you hit the waters of the harbour itself, and you could be the world’s worst photographer and still come away with dozens of absolutely stunning shots!
One of the best things about Hobart is how close it is to so many of Tasmania’s southern wonders.
Tasmania is known affectionately by many as ‘The Apple Isle’, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Huon Valley, just 30 minutes from Hobart. Cider breweries, cherry orchards, and award-winning wineries dot the landscape waiting for you to pull in and have a taste.
Keep driving south through the channel towns of Geeveston, Dover and Ida Bay where you can enjoy the waterfalls and alpine peaks of Hartz National Park, glow worms and thermal springs at Hastings Caves, or the sandy coves of Tasmania’s most southerly settlement at Cockle Creek.
Dover is the perfect coastal town from which to base yourself, and the multi-award winning Ashdowns of Dover Boutique B&B is easily the best hosted accommodation in the region. Lorraine and Gary have created a cosy oasis of light and warmth that you will love!
Ashdowns of Dover Boutique B&B is a proud ‘Friend’ of the Lap of Tasmania, and they have an exclusive offer just for you.
Exclusive Offer: Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking online or over the phone and receive a FREE bottle of wine to celebrate your time in Tassie’s far south!
Click here to check their rates and to learn more about this lovely getaway.
And if that wasn’t enough, with an early start you can drive the d’Entrecasteaux Channel to Kettering and only a short ferry ride later you’re on Bruny Island, home to some of Tasmania’s best cheese, oysters and beer.
For an exciting perspective on the island, take Rob Pennicott’s original (and best!) 3-hr Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise all the way to Tasman Head, where the Southern Ocean dramatically meets the Tasman Sea.
To save time there’s also a full-day Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise leaving directly from Hobart.
As you can see, you could easily spend days, if not weeks exploring the delights of the Huon Valley and Far South Tasmania.
It is a wonderfully serene location, and you’ll find a lot of local Tasmanians making it their ideal place to escape and recharge the batteries before heading back to the rat race.
Some of Tasmania’s best accommodation options are scattered along its sparkling shores, lush valleys and pristine forests. To help connect you with your ideal cottage, cabin or studio, I thoroughly recommend getting in touch with the team at Essentially Tas.
Their friendly and knowledgeable team are all locals, and they have curated an extensive portfolio of amazing self-cater accommodation options to suit all styles of travel, and budgets. Family adventures, romantic escapes, or seaside solitude… I can guarantee they’ll have the perfect accommodation with your name on it!
Mention the Lap of Tasmania in the ‘Special Requests’ box when booking your relaxing holiday accommodation through Essentially Tas and receive a complimentary bottle of Tasmanian wine
Valid for direct bookings only, and not available in combination with other offers.
Hobart is a city of convenience, with its compact size ensuring all major attractions are within easy reach of most hotels and apartments in and around the CBD.
Couples will love the spacious and beautifully appointed apartments at Galleria Salamanca, right on the doorstep of Salamanca Market.
For modern convenience with a touch of class, there are many options for families and couples alike at the RACV/RACT Hotel.
MACq 01 is the place to stay for stunning views and decadence alongside Hobart’s iconic waterfront, with each individually tailored room telling its own Tasmanian story.
Staying in central Hobart is perfect for a lot of travellers, but I also find that many – like me and my wife – prefer to base ourselves in the suburbs.
Not only do you escape the hustle, bustle and traffic of Hobart’s CBD, but it is a lot quieter and you can discover some of Hobart’s less obvious and non-touristy attractions.
Staying at a hosted B&B also provides you with the unique opportunity to speak with Tassie locals who can point you towards all the best things to see and do, including insider tips you could never get from a big hotel chain.
There are two amazing B&Bs just outside Hobart that I absolutely love, and highly recommend to anyone wanting to spend a couple of nights or more exploring Hobart.
Both are ideally located – close enough to Hobart to easily access its best attractions like MONA or Salamanca Markets, and right on the doorstep of some of southern Tasmania’s best tourism attractions.
It’s the best of both worlds, and when you mention the Lap of Tasmania you will also receive a handy discount on your nightly rate (details below).
Oceana B&B is perched in the foothills of Howrah on Hobart’s sunny eastern shore, and the first thing you will notice are the absolutely stunning views of the Derwent River and Mt Wellington (often snow capped!). Conveniently located less than 15-min drive to both the airport and Hobart’s CBD, you are also just a short drive from the romantic Coal River Valley, Richmond Village, and all its wonderful vineyards and colonial history – read my review here.
Use my LAPOFTAS code when booking your relaxing getaway at Oceana B&B on Hobart’s sunny eastern shore, and receive 10% OFF!
Valid for direct bookings only.
Waterview Gardens B&B is located in the quiet, coastal community of Margate and it is a little gem that flies way under the radar. If you are wanting to spend a few days driving the Huon Valley and far South of Tasmania, and perhaps a day trip to Bruny Island, then Waterview Gardens B&B is the perfect place to base yourself – read my review here.
Mention the Lap of Tasmania when booking your delightful Hobart getaway at Waterview Gardens B&B and receive:
Valid for direct bookings only.
There are three caravan parks in and around Hobart.
On the eastern shore across the Tasman Bridge is Discovery Parks Mornington – great if you are looking for a cabin (not van sites). Those with campervans or motorhomes will love Discovery Parks Hobart. It isn’t much further away and offers a quieter experience, while also being a great base for exploring the Coal River Valley.
Discovery Parks and the Lap of Tasmania are excited to offer you 20% OFF all rates!
Bookable from 6 February 2023 to 5 February 2024. Valid for site or cabin stays until 30 April 2024 at all five Discovery Parks in Tasmania (excl. Deluxe Cabins at Cradle Mountain – other accommodation options are fine though).
Motorhome Park at the Hobart Showgrounds is your third option. Its facilities are comprehensive, including a dump point and full shower, toilet and laundry facilities.
I hope you’re hungry, because Hobart’s food scene is among the best you’ll find anywhere in Australia!
With its fertile soils and pure cleansing rains, Hobart’s chefs are spoiled for choice. Sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients are central to many exciting menus across town, with sublime seafood such as scallops, kingfish and lobster guaranteed to excite your palate.
Indigenous ingredients are also making their mark. Mountain pepper and kunzea are two fine examples, while native wallaby is an absolute delight in the hands of a good chef.
There are so many excellent places to eat in Hobart it’s hard to know where to start.
My 1-day Self-Guided Food Tour (see the green box further down) will take you to the best restaurants and cafes in central Hobart, but with more time on your hands I recommend exploring these dining options:
Love yourself a farmer’s market? When the brass bell rings on a Sunday morning you’ll know that Farm Gate Market has opened its delicious doors – fresh seasonal produce and moreish street food are plentiful.
And on Friday nights during summer keep an eye out for Street Eats @ Franko, it’s the ultimate combination of good food and chilled beats.
Beer, Wine and Spirits
If you love a tipple you’re in luck, because Hobart is home to some of Tasmania’s finest brewers and distillers. Beer lovers must visit Cascade Brewery for a tour of the facility and tastings at their cosy Brewhouse – get your tickets here.
Looking for something stronger? Lark Distillery by the waterfront is ideal for a wee dram, with more than 150 premium malt whiskies available (including many from Tasmania). Gin lovers will fall in love with the gorgeous Forty Spotted Gin Bar on Argyle Street.
Society Salamanca is wall-to-wall cocktails in historic Salamanca, while Gold Bar offers a more intimate space in which to sip your spirit of choice (they will tailor your cocktail around your preferences).
Willing Brothers in North Hobart ‘NoHo’ have an excellent selection of local and international wines by the glass or bottle.
If you only have one day in the city, this self-guided walking tour showcases the best of Hobart.
Morning: Start at Pigeon Hole Cafe or Born in Brunswick for a light breakfast, followed up with either pastries from Little Missy Patisserie, or cheese tasting at Bruny Island Cheese in Salamanca.
Midday: Fico or Templo are exceptional lunch options, with every dish both inventive and delicious (your Insta feed will thank you!)
Evening: Kick the night off with sunset cocktails on the harbour at The Glass House. For dinner you’ll love the Tasmanian produce and talent on display at nearby Landscape Restaurant and Grill, or the restaurant with the most jaw-dropping waterfront views in Hobart – Aloft.
Celebrate New Year’s in style on Hobart’s waterfront, with a plate on your lap and a glass of Tasmanian bubbles in hand! The Taste of Summer is a gourmand’s delight, and across 7 days you’ll be blown away by all the exciting food and beverage options, foodie workshops, and live entertainment for both young and old.
Equal parts weird and wonderful, MONA FOMA is a celebration of music and the arts like no other. Turning conservative sensibilities upside down, you’re just as likely to walk away in rapture as you are to be offended. This is no festival for the faint of heart, but all it takes is an open mind and a pair of dancing shoes to have your own life-changing ‘MOFO’ experience!
Celebrated every two years across three weekends, Ten Days on the Island brings to life the stories of Tasmania and its global identity through fiercely evocative song, dance and performance art.
As the daylight dwindles and nights become chill, Dark MOFO lights up Hobart in a riot of flame and colour. Medieval feasting? Nude solstice swim? Modern art on the bleeding edge? Dark MOFO has it all!
For other events in the Hobart have a closer look at the internationally acclaimed Wooden Boat Festival, Festival of Voices and the Tasmanian Microbrew Festival.
Or further afield you’ll love the Huon Valley Midwinter Fest (Ranelagh), Cygnet Folk Festival (Cygnet), and Taste of the Huon (Ranelagh) food festival.
As the second driest city in Australia, Hobart is lovely year-round, experiencing a cool temperate climate.
Summer temperatures range from 11°C at night up to 22°C during the day, however warm fronts can raise the temperature as high as 40°C.
In winter you can expect temperatures to range from 5°C up to 13°C. Temperatures below freezing are rare, however southerly storms do cause snowfalls on the hilltops surrounding Hobart.
If you’re planning to drive up to Mt Wellington it’s important to know that temperatures at the summit are often 10°C colder than in Hobart, and with much stronger winds. Snow on at Mt Wellington summit is common in winter, often settling for days.
Wondering what to pack for Tasmania’s cool climate?
To help you out we’ve created a handy Tasmanian road trip packing list.
It lists all the most important things you need to take on your road trip, making your road trip planning a breeze.
If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is the Derwent Valley – the ‘Valley of Love’.
Travelling anti-clockwise, your next destination is historic Richmond and the stunning wineries of the Coal River Valley.
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