The combination of natural wonders, convict heritage and modern art and culture make Hobart a distinctive travel destination.
Tasmania’s largest city (home to 215,000 people), Hobart is also the second oldest of Australia’s capital cities. In fact, it was the first settlement outside of what is now considered New South Wales.
Both large and small, new and old… It’s these contrasts that make Hobart a unique place to visit, be that as a destination in its own right or as part of a road trip around the island state of Tasmania.
Where To Stay Hobart
Speaking of contrasts, Hobart is both small yet spread out at the same time. To really make the most of your time while you are there, I would recommend staying within the heart of the city.
Mantra has two properties within the city which are both sound options, either Mantra Collins Hotel or Mantra One Sandy Bay Road. Alternatively, the Travelodge Hotel Hobart is a fair bit cheaper for a similarly comfortable and modern room.
For a more premium experience then Hobart’s famous waterfront precinct is the way to go. Both Lenna Of Hobart and MACq 01 Hotel offer stunning views over the water and top tier facilities. The Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart is also a fairly excellent option as well.
If you are planning on staying in Hobart for a week or longer, maybe as a base as part of a road trip where you are exploring the surrounds of the city as well, then I would suggest staying just outside of the city in Sandy Bay (just a 5-minute walk from Salamanca and the waterfront area), in particular, the Bay Hotel Apartments or Mayfair Plaza Motel and Apartments so you can have a bigger room, your own kitchenette and easier parking.
Getting To The City From Hobart Airport
Hobart’s airport is located about a 20-minute drive outside of the city. Actually, Hobart is really well connected to the airport with a multilane highway all the way. But road transport is your only option.
I’ll get to this a little later in this post, and I made mention of it in my Launceston post as well, but renting a car is your best bet while you are in Tasmania and it’s a straightforward drive to the city from Hobart Airport.
That said, if you are only planning on staying within the confines of the city, Skybus is a really good alternative.
Run by the same company that runs the bus service between Melbourne Airport and the Melbourne CBD, Sky Bus has a handful of drop off and pick up points around the Hobart with a schedule to match the flights operating that day. You might find that it’s not ideal if you have an unusually early (pre-6am) or late (after 9pm) flight, however.
Taxi’s and Uber are also both options to get you to and from Hobart Airport. There is a dedicated Taxi rank at the terminal, while Uber operates from within the regular public pick-up and drop-off area.
Getting Around Hobart
Hobart is a surprisingly easy city to get around, at least within the city. It looks quite hilly but walking around the city isn’t overly strenuous. Obviously, things level out around the waterfront but its fair city to walk around, which gives you the best opportunity to admire all the historic buildings.
There is a public bus service operated by Metro Tas that can come in handy, for getting to some of the surrounding suburbs, but doesn’t really connect with the tourist attractions beyond the city.
The Red Decker Bus tourist bus is also an option, but I’ve covered that in more detail in my things to do Hobart post.
You would think that being a harbour city, ferries would be a popular option too. But there are no ferry services around Hobart, with the special exception of the direct MONA service.
Getting Beyond The City
I mentioned this in the airport section of this post, but renting a car is your best bet. Driving is the best way to discover all of what Tasmania offers, and many of the best attractions are well outside the city.
Even if you don’t rent a car for the entire time you are in Hobart, you must at least rent a car for a couple of days to check out Bruny Island, Port Arthur and even get up to the top of Mount Wellington.
There is so much to see and do beyond Hobart that having a car is the ideal way to see as much as you can while you are there.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of the Google Maps (or your favourite maps application) offline maps feature. Within Hobart’s city, mobile phone coverage is great, but in the remote regional areas, it can get a little spotty.
What Should You Do In Hobart
I’ve actually put together a whole other dedicated post on the best attractions and experiences that Hobart has to offer which you can read here.
Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?
Hobart has plenty going on. Bars, restaurants, clubs, cafes… the whole works.
During the summer Hobart is home to Australia’s biggest and longest-running food and wine festival, The Taste of Tasmania which transforms the waterfront precinct around Salamanca into a sea of food and beverage stalls.
No matter what you are looking for, from a proper fancy sit down restaurant to pub grub, and even more casual options than that. There are plenty of choices, both in and around Salamanca and within the heart of the CBD. The Ball & Chain Grill and Cargo Bar are a couple of my personal recommendations.
If you are looking to kick on further, keep an eye out for Mobius Lounge Bar or Observatory Bar down by the waterfront or The Grand Poobah in the CBD.
Did you know that Hobart is home to Australia’s first legal casino? Just outside the city in Sandy Bay, The Wrest Point Hotel Casino was opened in 1973 right in the Derwent River waterfront leading the way for other casinos to open up around the country. Like most casinos, there is a fair bit to discover at Wrest Point Hotel Casino, so its probably best you check out their website if you are after more information.
If you’d like to get some more information to help in planning your trip to and around Australia… I’ve got a whole series of blog posts with all sorts of tips and advice for you.
Feel free to share this post with your friends and if you’d like some more general travel tips, head on over to my travel tips page for plenty more tips and tricks.
And if you have a travel-related question you would like me to answer, head on over to my contact page to get in touch and let me know.