Amazingly diverse and stunningly beautiful, Hobart sits at the foot of
Central Hobart & The Queen's Domain Here, the ambience of yesteryear blends with today's conveniences. Stroll around the business district and enjoy the charms of the
The Waterfront & Salamanca Dominant in early days, the
Battery Point A short walk from
Mount Wellington Bushwalkers and photographers are rewarded by the views from the summit of
Southern Suburbs The
Huon Valley Waterways, wilderness, arts and crafts feature prominently in the
Northern Suburbs Once a working class area,
Eastern Shore Journey across the
Derwent Valley North lie the golden hopfields. Vineyards, trout fishing and nature reserves are all on offer. You can even feed the fish at the oldest southern hemisphere hatchery at Salmon Ponds. Tasmania is one of the last temperate wilderness areas in the world and there is no better illustration than at scenic
The grand old city of Hobart offers both locals and visitors a unique combination of a leisurely and laid-back lifestyle with striking landscapes, unspoiled wilderness and clean waterways. This city will charm with its beauty and delight with the warmth of its welcome.
City dwellers love to have fun, and have been doing so in Hobart since the very earliest days. Wapping was once a notorious area close to the docks, and if the walls of the Theatre Royal could speak, there would be tales of bawdy music halls with sailors, whalers, pimps and prostitutes in the audience. More refined evenings would have seen the gentry enjoying performances of famous actors, and over the years the theatre has become a well-loved venue on the international circuit. Today, Wapping has been reclaimed as a desirable address, and the theatre still stands proud, the oldest in Australia. The theatrical tradition remains strong, but whether your taste runs to theatre, orchestral music, bands, cinema or clubbing there will be an activity to suit. Each Thursday, the Mercury newspaper publishes an entertainment section with a live music guide and a diary listing of forthcoming events. Free entertainment guides are also available from central venues, such as the Salamanca Arts Centre. The Visitor Information Centre is also a very helpful source.
Pubs & Bars Whether seeking a casual drink or a sophisticated night out, you will not be disappointed. A pub crawl will likely includeKnopwood's, a cosy, popular pub, Irish Murphy's for some blarney, and the Customs House Hotel, awash with visiting sailors. The Atrium at the Hotel Grand Chancellor offers a relaxed meeting spot overlooking Victoria Dock. In Battery Point, the Shipwright's Arms has been serving sailors and locals since the early 1800s. An authentic theme pub, this is always a great place to call in for a drink. Also, the numerous bars of Wrest Point Casino offer everything from tinkling piano to day and night sport.
Live Music Tasmania, being a creative state, has many singer-songwriters, artists and bands who prefer to stay and work here rather than head for the bright lights of bigger cities. Pubs and clubs give them a good hearing. The New Sydney is one supporter of local talent. The Republic in North Hobart has poetry readings and other literary events, as well as live music. Nearby, the Queen's Head and Trout Bar have music gigs, sometimes featuring interstate artists. For some of the best free music in town, wander the length of Salamanca Market. Enjoy buskers, a lively Chilean band or tinkling harp and Irish pipes. Those on a small budget wanting to catch a star, should watch out for gigs at the University of Tasmania. For really big names, the Derwent Entertainment Centre is home to extravaganzas and the Wrest Point Casino's entertainment complex offers great entertainment.
Nightlife Those who love the wee small hours will find plenty of action. Around midnight Syrup starts pumping techno and house music until late. If visiting Wrest Point, play the tables, dance the night away or have a drink at the Boardwalk or Birdcage bars until very late.
Gay & Lesbian Tasmanian attitudes have changed markedly in recent years and lack of gay tolerance is no longer the issue it once was. Hobart is now able to boast a proud gay and lesbian community. A Gay and Lesbian Visitor Guide is available at the Visitor Information Centre. The rainbow symbol will flag a welcome, but not all gay-friendly cafes or bars will display this. A few eating places include Cumquat, Rockerfellers and Lebrina. Enjoy a night out at Syrup or T42.
Theatres & Cinemas The Theatre Royal Subscription Programme includes drama, dance and opera. The amateur theatre scene is strong, with the Playhouse and Backspace Theatres offering challenging programmes, and the Peacock Theatre is wonderfully intimate. Also, the Terrapin Puppet Theatre has a reputation as one of the country's finest, and tours internationally.
Cinema-goers enjoy the same selection as in the bigger cities. The Village Seven city complex offers seven screens of mainstream releases, and has multiplexes in suburban Glenorchy and Rosny. Lovers of art house films head to the State Cinema where they can sip wine or coffee as they watch. Seasons can be short, however, so it is wise to catch any film early in its run, lest it be lost to video forever!
Concerts & Events Cooler climates tend to foster creativity. Hobartians are fiercely proud of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Seasons are well attended and the move to the Federation Concert Hall has enhanced its reputation. The free programme includes Symphony under the Stars each February and other free concerts are held during the year. The Conservatorium of Music also has occasional free lunchtime concerts.
The arrival of the yachts in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in late December, heralds the Hobart Summer Festival. A Taste of Tasmania is an important part of this two month festival, which concludes with the Hobart Regatta. Autumn sees the cars of Targa Tasmania rallying around the State, and in spring, gardens come into their own with the Tulip Festival and Blooming Tasmania. An Arts Festival, Ten Days on the Island, is held every two years, and the Readers' and Writers' Festival sees the award of Oceania's richest literary prize. Cultural life is richly served by many activities. Collect an events guide from the Visitor Information Centre. Hobart Australia's other harbor city may be small in size, but visitors will be delighted by all there is to offer.
Ever since Captain Bligh (yes, he of the infamous Bounty) planted the first apple tree, Tasmania has been known as the "Apple Isle." Apples are still an important export industry but visitors are often delighted to discover other outstanding food and drink during their stay. With some of the cleanest air and water in the world, a temperate climate and rich soils, quality seasonal produce is readily available. Plump asparagus is ready in November while berries and stone fruits span the summer months. Autumn is heralded by varieties of mushrooms, quinces, apples and pears difficult to find anywhere else. Such abundance, along with a thriving aquaculture industry means that restaurateurs need not go far to source ingredients for creative menus. Indeed, truffles, olive oil and game meats are now becoming as justifiably famous as Tasmanian salmon, abalone and cheese. Wine is produced all around the state. The Taste of Tasmania is a celebration of this food heritage.
Close to the City Although there are restaurants in the city centre, the culinary culture of Hobart rotates around three distinct precincts. Salamanca Place and the waterfront are both within easy walking distance of town. North Hobart is a little further out.
Salamanca offers the casual diner much choice. The sandstone buildings, former shipping warehouses, now accommodate most of the restaurants, cafes and bars. Restored to maintain their sense of history they also offer contemporary ambience. Sunny lunchtimes see many enjoying Maldini's fare on the pavement. The Saturday Market has many casual food stalls. Inside the sheltered Square, a reclaimed quarry with a piazza feel, Machine Laundry Cafe is a popular al fresco spot. Salamanca's Cafe Bar sizzles and no pub crawl is complete without a visit to Knopwood's or Irish Murphy's for a glass or ten of Irish beer.
The waterfront is synonymous with Constitution Dock, finishing line of the famous yacht race. The three piers that make up this precinct spoil the diner for choice. The Murray Street Pier complex is home to Sisco's, Blue Skies, Sticky Fingers and Waterline. Across the road, the Customs House Hotel is popular with crews from visiting yachts. On Elizabeth Street Pier go Turkish at Pasha's or enjoy sublime fish and chips at Fish Frenzy. Further along at Victoria Dock, with their boats moored alongside, Mure's is a Hobart landmark. The Upper Deck and Lower Deck restaurants, and the Japanese Orizuru serve only the freshest of catches. The nearby fish punts offer more casual fare. The Drunken Admiral beckons across the boats from Hunter Street. Tapas lovers should book into Rockerfellers. In an area rich with eating places, these are but a few.
Beyond the City Centre With restaurants and galleries opening almost daily, North Hobart is cosmopolitan and interesting. The Republic and Queen's Head are popular drinking places offering good food and entertainment. A strong ethnic influence is well served by Vanidol's, Annapurna,Saigon Kitchen and Taste of Asia. Lovers of Italian food will not be disappointed by Concetta's, Marti Zuccos or Casablanca. Mit Zitrone, justifiably award winning, has the owner-chef using daring food combinations for sublimely innovative meals. A little further west in New Town, true food lovers should treat themselves to the Lebrina experience, where Tasmanian produce is treated with care and respect and where the wine list is extensive.
Although these areas house many restaurants, fine dining experiences can be had elsewhere. Many of the cottages of Battery Point have metamorphosed into restaurants. Kelleys was a sailmaker's cottage and Ristorante Da Angelo and Jackman and McRoss also reflect the heritage of this lovely area. Walking the crooked streets truly takes the visitor back in time, and after enjoying the beauty of the architecture and sweeping river views, a drink at The Shipwright's Arms is refreshing. The former mansion that is now Lenna of Hobart, houses the sumptuous Alexander's, a perfect place for a celebration. French provincial cooking and marvellous murals make Le Provencal in South Hobart worth a visit. A little to the east of the city is the university suburb of Sandy Bay, also home of Wrest Point Casino complex. The Point Revolving Restaurant offers dining by day or night with stunning views and a little further east, the view from Mt Nelson is also spectacular and can be enjoyed from the Signal Station Restaurant.
Wine, Beer & Spirits Lower production quantities have kept Tasmanian wines a secret from many but their excellence cannot be ignored. Vineyards surround the city, and the climate is especially suited to varieties such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Award-winning sparkling and Pinot varieties can be sampled from Moorilla Estate. Include lunch and a trip to the