The capital of Tasmania, Hobart is the oldest city in Australia after Sydney. It was founded in 1804 at the mouth of the Derwent River at the foot of Mount Wellington by a team of British expedition who wanted to get ahead of the French in establishing a colony on the rugged island of Tasmania.
In those years it was a small tent city, inhabited by people of different professions and destinies – military men, convicts, free settlers. But Hobart’s fortunate location on the deep-water harbour facilitated its rapid development as a port, and by 1842 it was incorporated as a city. And the city received its name in 1875 after Lord Hobart, secretary of the colony.
Today Hobart is the smallest (population just over 240,000) and most southerly capital city in Australia. What’s more, it’s often called the most charming city in the country for its mild climate, amazing natural surroundings and impressive architectural heritage.
The waterfront setting offers stunning views of the beach and towering mountains on the horizon. Australia’s first legal casino is here, and nearby is Port Arthur, the infamous for its rugged colony. And it is from Hobart that most Australian and French Antarctic expeditions start today. And in the summer, cruise ships sailing the Southern Ocean call at its ports.
Hobart has a milder climate than the rest of Australia. Summers are not too hot, with an average temperature of +23ºC. Winters are clear and frosty, averaging around +10ºC.
You want to explore Hobart’s history in the heart of the city, in the old harbour area of Battary Point, where a battery of cannons has stood since 1818 to defend the approaches to the city. Today it’s home to one of the country’s oldest museums, the Museum of the People of Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).
Not far from Hobart is the historic town of Richmond, with Australia’s oldest railway bridge (built in 1823) and its famous jail. There’s also an unusually accurate model of Hobart, based on original maps and drawings from the 1820s. Built over three years by local enthusiasts, miniature Hobart has won the Tasmanian Tourist Prize three times.
Of particular interest is the Cascade Brewery, one of the oldest in the country, which still produces delicious beer. And chocolate lovers waiting for the Cadbury factory, where you can not only get acquainted with the process of making sweets, but also immediately tasting them.
A perennial attraction is the circle of quaint houses built in 1811 around St. George’s Church, once the seat of the military.
And close to the city center is the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, a tranquil corner of nature and Australia’s second oldest botanical garden.
Like the rest of Tasmania, the wildlife parks around Hobart are famous for their unique flora and fauna, and fishing – especially good for salmon. And here you can meet an amazing animal – the Tasmanian devil. This small animal of the marsupial family is known for its heart-breaking night cries and frightening toothy mouth, for which it got its name.
Mountain climbers can conquer Mount Wellington (1270 m). Just relax on the beach at Sullivan’s Cove, a favorite spot of townspeople and tourists.
Hobart hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, the most popular of which is Summer Festival. The event features a range of food from leading restaurateurs, not just in Tasmania but across Australia. In February you can witness the Royal Regatta, the biggest rowing competition in the southern hemisphere.
Visitors can catch the Wrest Point Casino, Australia’s oldest, full range of theaters and cinemas. There are plenty of restaurants serving the freshest seafood and excellent local wines. For souvenirs head to Salamanca Market, home to possibly Tasmania’s most colourful market and impossible to miss.