Hobart Waterfront at Sunset

One Day in Hobart Tasmania

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When you come and explore Tasmania a visit to Hobart, Australia’s second oldest city, is often at the top of everyone’s list. With the current site chosen in 1804, after the original settlement at Risdon Cove was deemed unsuitable, the then Lt. Governor had the majority of convicts that travelled with him, erecting tents along the shoreline. This was just the beginning for Hobart Town.

Over the coming years, more convicts were brought to the southern island to continue the work of building the then-young city, developing and growing over the years to be the town it is today. However, many convicts were sent down to Tasmania as punishment for committing serious crimes, after arriving in Australia. The state became known as the penal colony within a penal colony.

Many of the structures built to contain the continuing offenders can still be visited today. Some such as Cascade Female Factory, are within the city itself, along the Hop on Hop off bus route. Others such as Richmond Gaol and Willow Court Asylum are within a 20-30 mins drive from Hobart city. Both these establishments predate many of the buildings of Port Arthur and make great day tours.

Many of the original buildings of the early 1800s remain standing. Scattered around the waterfront, and Salamanca precinct, though the tents can’t be seen anywhere. These buildings are now filled with restaurants, hotels, galleries, museums, and retail shops. In the waterfront area alone it’s not difficult to fill your one day in Hobart, wandering the area. Especially with the choices of, visiting, one of the galleries, museums, markets, and local artisans or maybe taking a scenic tour around or beyond the city. So many choices are available for your 24 hours in Hobart.

How to Spend One Day in Hobart Tasmania from a Local’s Perspective

Advice on how to spend one day in Hobart Tasmania from a local’s perspective. Go beyond the best things to do in Hobart and discover the local favorites.


In the morning, activities can vary depending on the time of the week you are in Hobart, though if your 24 hours in Hobart is on a Saturday, the iconic Salamanca Market is a must to visit. Filled with Tasmanian artisans you will find something for everyone. If you are in Hobart during the week, the Salamanca area is still filled with local artisans and a great place to spend the morning.

If your one day in Hobart is on a Sunday head to Farmgate, Hobart’s farmers market for fresh produce and artisan produce. For an all-day a la carte breakfast head to Mövenpick Hotel Hobart, the food is amazing, in addition to offering some of the best coffee in town.

Art along the Urban Art trail, a must during your one day in Hobart.

Once fuelled venture out and take one of the self-guided or guided walks about the CBD, the Urban Art trail offers a peek at some unique pieces of art. Alternatively, follow in the footsteps of the Rev. ‘Bobby’ Robert Knopwood and take a Battery Point History Walk (allow at least 2 hours as there are some hills involved).

The Royal Botanical Gardens is another great place to visit, either morning or afternoon with many events held here throughout the year. As well as having a great variety of exhibits, including native plants, those from Victorian gardens, and one with a display of plants from the Antarctic (allow at least 2 hours to wander).

The mornings are also the best time to head down to Constitution Dock and join one of the half or full-day tours that takes you to various popular sites. Some of the options you will find down at the dock are numerous boat tours, whether you choose to travel down to the Tasman Peninsula for the day or take a short trip out to one of the old lighthouses you won’t be disappointed.

Alternatively, you can take one of the several scenic flights available ranging between 30 mins to 2.5 hours. Whether it’s a scenic flight of the city (30mins), or the Tasman Peninsula (90 mins), exploring Bruny Island from the air (60 mins) or a longer journey to the Huon Valley (2.5 hours), there is something for everyone.


Option 1

For an afternoon in Hobart city what better way to get a look around the city than on the Hop on Hop off bus. You can join the bus at several points around town, including Brooke Street Pier or Salamanca Place. The bus takes you on a journey around many of the landmark sites, the botanical gardens, and some of the museums.

Another area worth a visit during your one day in Hobart is the foothills of Mt Wellington, which houses the Cascade Brewery and Female Factory. At the brewery, you can take a tour (60 mins) a learn about one of Australia’s oldest breweries. The brewery bar is also a great place to stop for lunch.

A short walk from the brewery is the Female Factory, here you can take a tour and learn about what it meant to be a female convict and the lives they led. Before returning to the city wander along Myrtle Gully Track or the Cascade walking track just up from the brewery. Where you can immerse yourself in nature, visit Oakes Falls or Secret Falls just a short distance away.

Once back in the city you can visit one of the museums including, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Maritime Museum, Mawson’s Hut Museum or the Hobart Convict Penitentiary. All can be easily accessed by foot or on the Hop on Hop Off bus.

Cascade Brewery #2, South Hobart, a great activity during your one day in Hobart
Cascade Brewery #2, South Hobart

Option 2

Get out of the city and take a tour around Richmond, where you can visit some of Australia’s oldest structures. Like the Richmond Bridge, the oldest stone span bridge, and a visit to the gaol is a must.

Wander around the village, visiting the many local shops, for those young at heart, you are in for a treat at “Sweets & Treats” lolly shop, it’s like entering a bygone era. If you’d like to try some of Tasmania’s finest wines, ciders, beers or spirits, look no further than the impressive range at the “Drink Tasmania Tasting House”. Have lunch at one of the oldest pubs in Australia or enjoy a meal at one of the delightful cafes around town.

A visit to Brooke Street Pier is a great option to include in your afternoon around Hobart. Here you will find, local artisans and produce set up as a market space, in the four-story floating pier. Additionally, dining at the Waterline restaurant (Thurs-Sun) on Brooke Street Pier is an exceptional experience, with magnificent water views. On Sat-Sun at Waterline, enjoy a tasting plater and three gin cocktails between 2:30-4:30.

Alternatively, visit “Frank Restaurant” (Thurs-Sun) a delightful restaurant that focuses on an Argentinian-style menu from small plates to a full menu. If you are looking for some of the best seafood around, visit Mures on Constitution Dock. On the lower deck, you are able to dine casually on seafood platters or a light meal of fish and chips. Or venture upstairs to the upper deck for a more a la carte experience.

If you are on a budget, you will find several green spaces around the waterfront and city. Here you can have a picnic lunch from local foods procured from one of the providores in the city or from the local delicacies purchased during your visit to Salamanca or the Farmgate markets.

Another great way to spend an afternoon during your 24 hours in Hobart if you are visiting between Fri-Mon is a trip to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Whilst you can drive to the museum, from the city the easiest way is to get the ferry. The Mona Roamer takes you directly to the museum’s wharf, whilst the main entrance has steps. There is also an accessible entrance if required.

At MONA, you will find several exhibits, with some unique almost confronting and slightly bizarre, like the human stomach. Have a tasting at the museum’s winery cellar door or visit The Source restaurant where you can feast on dishes created from seasonal produce (bookings required).


Hobart Waterfront at Sunset
Hobart Waterfront at Sunset, a great way to spend the last moments of your 24 hours in Hobart

In the evening you can’t go wrong by heading to Constitution Dock, you can join in some Sip and Paint (Wed-Sun) before dinner.

Constitution Dock is also a great place to have dinner and also has great views of Mt Wellington (on a clear day). Here you can enjoy one of many restaurants, like The Black Footed Pig or wander over to the Drunken Admiral if you prefer seafood for dinner.

After dinner settle in at the dock and explore the unique décor of Evolve bar, with fossils around every corner, and I don’t mean the staff. The Frogmore Creek Lounge bar is also a great alternative, especially if you love wine. Both have wonderful views of the dock area and are a short walk from the Hobart Theatre Royal which is a great place to take in a show.

For a great vegetarian/vegan menu try Aloft at Brooke Street Pier halfway between Constitution Dock and the Salamanca Precinct. Alternatively, head over to the Salamanca Precinct, where you can always find something open. Try Peppina for amazing Italian, Mezethes styled as a traditional Greek Taverna or Syra, for some great Middle Eastern food.

Afterward, there is an abundance of entertainment in the area, live music at bars such as The Den and Salamanca Society. However, you are never far away from a variety of entertainment in the Salamanca Precinct.

If you can’t decide which of the wonderful restaurants to visit, why not visit several, creating your own progressive dinner around Hobart. Most of the restaurants within both areas are open from 5:00 pm, though many like Frogmore Creek Lounge, are open and serve food from 4:00 pm during the week and 1:00 pm over the weekend. The great thing about this style of dining is you can sample a variety of foods from several restaurants. The restaurants are also very accommodating so mention you‘d like to come for appetizer, entrée, mains, or dessert. It’s a great fun way to fill an evening, visiting more than one restaurant and seeing some of the nightlife around the area.

Tips for Spending One Day in Hobart

How to Get Around Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart is only a 20min drive from the Airport, with taxis or private drivers available for transfers. Once in the Hobart CBD, you will discover it’s a very walkable city with access to many main attractions an easy walk, or close to public transport. Alternatively, a walk down to the waterfront will give you the opportunity to join in a ½-1 day tour, before continuing your journey.

Where to Stay in Hobart Tasmania

The Salamanca Precinct and Waterfront are the best areas to stay in, ensuring you are within an easy walk to many of the attractions, landmarks and events that take place in Hobart City. Additionally, these two areas have scattered among them some of the finest restaurants, offering a huge variety of cuisines, Italian, Greek, Argentinian, Seafood and Classic a la carte.

Some of the most sumptuous hotels in Hobart can also be found in these areas. Whether it’s just a classic room, a suite, or an apartment, there is something for all tastes, many are set in heritage-listed buildings dating back to the first settlement.

The Moss Hotel offers a prime position in the Salamanca Precinct a variety of room types in two buildings steeped in a rich, diverse history. At Constitution Dock, a choice of luxury accommodation at MACq01, with each of the hotel rooms, tells the story of one of the colorful characters of the past. Alternatively staying in one of the rooms or suites at the Henry James Art Hotel, where you can enjoy a private art exhibition within the hotel.

Best Time of Year to Visit Hobart Tasmania

The best time to visit Hobart greatly depends on your interests, with a variety of main events throughout the year.

Festivals in Hobart Tasmania

For a cultural experience, the Theatre Royal and Derwent Entertainment Centre have a diverse selection of entertainment throughout the year. Which includes ballet, stage productions, comedy and a variety of musical productions.

For some of the best food from around the state, the Taste of Summer Festival is held in late December to early January. This festival coincides with the conclusion of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. As an alternative, Tasmanian gin from across the state is showcased at Ginuary, which is also held each year in January.

Even as the colder months come upon Hobart (Jun-Aug), there are a variety of festivals to participate in, Dark MOFO in June is the ultimate Winter Solstice event. In July the Festival of Voices celebrates the power of music and Huon Valley Mid-Winter Feast a traditional wassail feast at the conclusion of apple picking season. If you enjoy a dram or three, Whisky Week in August, showcases many of Tasmania’s fine whisky distilleries, with their latest bottlings and old favorites to sample.

No matter when you come, Tasmania is regarded as a cold climate region of Australia. The weather here can be somewhat unpredictable, so packing a coat is always a good idea.

Happy traveling!


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