Highlights | Accommodation | Road Trip Essentials
© Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett
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? We couldn’t agree more.
Keep reading to find out more about Hobart and how to plan your perfect Tasmanian road trip itinerary!
A tour is the perfect way to get your bearings and see the best sights and attractions of Hobart.
There’s plenty to choose from, but we 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.
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?
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.
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.
We 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. Our 1-day Self-Guided Food Tour (see below) will take you to the best restaurants and cafes in central Hobart, but with more time on your hands we 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.
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.
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 Small Fry (Mon-Fri) or Dandy Lane (7 days) 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 award-winning Franklin.
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 Tasmania is Australia’s largest food festival of its kind, 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.
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.
Or for the ultimate in luxury you can’t beat the cantilevered ‘omnipod’ at Avalon City Retreat, perched high above the Hobart skyline with its own private Huon pine outdoor bath.
There are three caravan parks in and around Hobart.
Motorhome Park at the Hobart Showgrounds is the closest of the three and its facilities are comprehensive, including a dump point and full shower, toilet and laundry facilities.
On the eastern shore across the Tasman Bridge is Discovery Parks Mornington. They also have excellent facilities, while Discovery Parks Hobart is not much further away and offers a quieter experience.
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.
Hobart ⇌ Mt Field: 80km / 1hr 15mins (1hr 45mins for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Derwent Bridge: 175km / 2hr 30mins (4hrs for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Strahan: 300km / 4hr 30mins (6hrs or more for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Richmond: 25km / 30mins (40mins for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Port Arthur: 100km / 1hr 30 mins (2hr 15mins for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Coles Bay: 200km / 2hr 30mins (4hr for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Launceston: 200km / 2hr 30mins (3hr for campervans)
Hobart ⇌ Devonport: 280km / 3hr 15mins (4hr for campervans)
EV Battery Charging Stations (see PlugShare):
A list of Tasmania’s national parks can be found here: Parks and Wildlife
A valid permit is needed before you can drive into these parks. For more information on the which pass you should buy, click here.
Permits can be purchased online here, from National Park Visitor Centres, Accredited Tasmanian Travel Information Centres, the Spirit of Tasmania, Service Tasmania shops, or by mail/email following these instructions.
Discounts are available for Seniors.
For Tasmania Police emergency road closure alerts click here.
Most of Hobart’s CBD streets are one-way only.
The Tasman Bridge to/from the airport has 5-lanes. The direction of the middle lane changes morning and afternoon to cater to peak traffic flows, with red and green lights clearly marking the status.
Huon Road to Mt Wellington is popular with nocturnal wildlife. Keep your eyes open – especially dusk and dawn – for wallabies, possums and Tasmanian devils on the roads.
Pinnacle Road to Mt Wellington is narrow in places, but if you slow down for oncoming vehicles you’ll be fine.
After heavy snows Pinnacle Road can be closed to all traffic.
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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