Hobart, the capital city of the Australian island of Tasmania, is a young city, settled in 1804 (as a penal colony like other cities in Australia). It’s also blessed with a youthful vibe, one that can be enjoyed no matter the age of the visitors. The island city with Mount Wellington dominating the skyline lies to the south of the island that’s about the same size as West Virginia. Today’s Hobart offers a mix of delights to discover in this place where sustainability rules, including good food, great beaches, and plenty of ways to find adventure.
The history of Hobart reads like many of the other cities in Australia. Like Sydney or Darwin, the British arrived and settled a place where people were already living. In this case, the British sent their prisoners to the land along a cove at the southern shores of the island. They gave it the name Hobart Town after the colonial secretary by the name of Lord Hobart. The semi-nomadic Aboriginal tribe who already called this area home was none too pleased, which led to plenty of skirmishes. Eventually, things quieted down and the city came to be called Hobart and grew more respectable. Later as one of the best natural harbors in Australia, Hobart became a city of trade and shipbuilding. In more recently history, Hobart has grown into Tasmania’s cultural capital, known for its museums and performing arts, as well as its gourmet scene and green initiatives.
Another interesting chapter in Hobart history is its role in the exploration of Antarctica. The vast land of the unknown was ripe for scientific discovery, but it takes of lot preparation to ready for a visit to the southernmost continent. Hobart’s earned the nickname as the hub to Antarctica for good reason. Even today, scientists and adventurous souls prepare for their journeys south by spending time in Hobart, home to the headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division.
You don’t need a sense of adventure or a park to discover Hobart’s connection to Antarctica. Many of its attractions showcase the amazing continent. Both the Maritime Museum and Tasmanian Museum, based in Hobart, have extended exhibits relating to Antarctica and the people who have made the journey. Of course, other topics are game too, making both of those museums an interesting place to explore. On a walking tour of Hobart, you’ll walk by statues of explores and others who shaped Hobart’s history.
Hobart citizens join in visitors in experiencing nature. For some, this means savoring the fruit of the vine at one of Hobart’s wineries. For others that means a delightful stroll through the botanical gardens or feeling the sun warm their shoulders on one of Hobart’s beaches. Hugging the shores of Frederick Henry Bay and the Derwert River Estuary, these beaches are as abundant as they are delightful.
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Image: S Baker (flickr)
Once a year, the beaches of Hobart draw crowds who come to see the outcome of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, sponsored by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. The race begins on Boxing Day, December 26, in Sydney and the yachts travel some 630 nautical miles to Tasmania’s capital city. The race is always a challenge and has been since starting in 1945. It remains one of the most followed events that happens in Australia the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Hobart Hotels & Lodgings
As a fully modern city, Hobart is home to a wide range of places to stay. If you’d prefer cozy inns or expansive luxury hotels, it’s no problem to find what you want in Hobart. The city also has a wide range of vacation rentals available right on the beach and budget properties that leave you with plenty of money left to experience Hobart’s tasty dining scene.