A comprehensive travel guide outlining the absolute best things to do in Hobart Tasmania. Explore all of the well-known Hobart attractions as well as some off-the-beaten-path hidden gems!
Hobart is Tasmania’s capital and one of Australia’s most historic cities. Situated on the estuary of the River Derwent and nestled beneath the towering Kunanyi, (Mount Wellington), Hobart is a favourite getaway destination for millions of Aussies and international visitors every year.
Hobart, Australia’s southernmost capital city serves as the major entry point to Tasmania. Therefore, this small city is a perfect base or starting place for travellers looking to explore this incredible island.
But, did you know that there are plenty of fun things to do in Hobart itself for both adventure travellers and brief visitors? In this guide, I’ll give you an up-to-date rundown on what to do in the city and surrounds to help you plan your epic Tassie trip.
30 Best Things to do in Hobart
In this guide to the 30 best things to do in Hobart, I aim to highlight all of the best Hobart attractions to help you better plan your Tasmania trip. I’ve also written comprehensively about many of these itinerary highlights so make sure to check out the individual post for each as well.
Also, at the bottom of this post, I’ve included a detailed Hobart travel guide. This outlines everything you need to know about visiting Hobart including how to get here, when to go and where to stay.
So, without further ado, let’s get into my city of Hobart travel guide: 30 Awesome Things to do in Hobart Tasmania.
Update: Make sure to read my detailed accommodation guide to find out where to stay on your next visit to Tasmania’s capital city.
1. See Hobart from the top of Kunanyi (Mount Wellington)
Kunanyi, also known as Mount Wellington, dominates the Hobart landscape. No matter where you go, you’ll see this powerful 1271-metre mountain soaring over the cityscape.
Kunanyi is very important to the people of Hobart. It protects the city from devastating winds, soaks in rain clouds and distributes fresh drinking water from the thousands of creeks and tributaries in Wellington Park.
If you ask anyone for ideas for things to do in and around Hobart, especially for first-time visitors, then a common answer will always be a trip up to the summit! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reach the peak, known as The Pinnacle.
One option for the adventurers is to take one of the many walking tracks in Wellington Park. Below you’ll find a link to what I believe is the best circuit loop to the summit.
If you’re not a keen hiker but still want to experience one of the most popular attractions in Hobart, then it is also possible to drive or take a bus to The Pinnacle. This bus service is known as the Wellington Explorer and departs from Franklin Square near Salamanca Place. There are plenty of stops along the way, including The Springs, which is a popular base on Mount Wellington for many hikes and walks.
Book: The Wellington Explorer Full-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Ticket (best way to get around Hobart)
The Ultimate Tasmania Travel Resource
Looking for more Tasmania travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.
2. Go Hiking in Wellington Park
The Pinnacle on the summit of Mount Wellington isn’t the only awesome hike in Hobart. In fact, there are several dozen trails in the surrounding Wellington Park.
If you’re up for short walks or even long, full-day hikes then I recommend heading to The Springs. From here, there is an information board outlining several of the best hikes and tracks in Hobart.
My favourite hike from Hobart: Wellington Falls and the Disappearing Tarn
3. Explore Hobart’s Waterfalls
Just as there are loads of hikes, there are also plenty of waterfalls to explore near Hobart. The largest and one of my personal favourites is Wellington Falls, which requires a long, full-day out-and-back hike.
Otherwise, there are plenty of smaller but equally scenic waterfalls that are within walking distance of the Hobart suburbs. Some of these include O’Grady’s Falls, Silver Falls, Secret Falls and Strickland Falls. You can read about how to get to each in the link below.
4. Take a Day Trip To Bruny Island
Bruny Island is perhaps the best and most-visited Hobart attraction. This adventure-packed 362 km² island is accessible via a 15-minute car ferry from Kettering, just half an hour south of Hobart.
From the iconic Neck Lookout to rugged coastlines to unique wildlife to world-class gourmet food and produce, it’s no wonder why a visit to Bruny Island is on the top of many people’s list of things to do in Hobart.
To be fair though, Bruny Island deserves much more than just a quick day trip. But still, if you’re short on time then it’s possible to book an organised tour from Hobart that manages to cram in a fair bit.
Read More: 11 Unmissable Things to do on Bruny Island
ALSO ON BRUNY: The Fluted Cape Walk
5. MONA – The Most Unique & Strange Thing to do in Hobart
Mona is definitely one of the weirdest attractions in Hobart. The acronym MONA stands for “The Museum of Old and New”. This quirky mix of ancient, modern and contemporary art is the largest privately-funded museum in the southern hemisphere. I’d argue that it’s also the strangest.
So, if you’re in Hobart town, make sure to plan a trip to MONA if you’re up for the experience!
6. Take a Day Trip to Port Arthur (Unesco World Heritage Site)
If you haven’t noticed yet, Hobart is a great place to base yourself when exploring day trips to some of Tasmania’s best areas and Tourist attractions. And, for history lovers, a trip to Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula is a must-do experience that’s easy on a day trip from Hobart.
The World-Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site is a well-preserved penal colony site where thousands of convicts were sent during the early colonial period in Tasmania. A ticket to visit to the Port Arthur historic site includes a guided tour and allows visitors to explore the grounds, prisons, homes and messes of early convicts and colonists.
7. Go Camping in South Hobart
Are you travelling Tasmania in a van or motorhome? We spent several months exploring Tassie in our van and let me tell you that it’s one of the best ways to explore the island state.
If you’d like to find a nice campsite that allows a campfire, then I can highly recommend the Gordon Foreshore Recreation Reserve. This waterfront campsite is only 45 minutes south of Hobart and overlooks Bruny Island across the deep passage. The campsite at Gordon Foreshore runs on a donation-only principle which means staying here can also be one of the cheapest options near Hobart.
8. Sip A Cascade At the Cascade Brewery
The Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest brewery. Established and running since 1842, Cascade is also one of Tasmania’s most iconic brands. The brewery is located just a short drive from Hobart central and visitors can join guided tours or just taste the beer at the Cascade Bar.
9. Best of Hobart – Three-Hour Hobart Sightseeing Tour
For visitors to Hobart who would like to see as much as possible in a short window, I’d highly recommend the famous 3-hour coach tram sightseeing tour.
These trips run daily on both morning and afternoon trips. The coach tram is a converted historic tram that offers visitors a unique experience. It visits over 40 of Hobart’s historical sites, landmarks, tourist attractions and city highlights. Also, the experienced guide is known for his in-depth and humorous commentary which makes this tour a great way to experience the best of Hobart in just three hours.
10. See Hobart from Mount Nelson Lookout
While The Pinnacle lookout on Mount Wellington offers arguably the best views of Hobart, there is another lookout that is worth checking out too.
The Mount Nelson lookout features a historic signalling station that was used since 1811 to send messages from Hobart to the penal colony at Port Arthur. And, it’s no wonder they chose it. This spot features uninterrupted and spectacular views of the city, Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula in the distance.
To get here, you’ll can either use your own transport to drive up to Mount Nelson via Proctors Road, walk from Sandy Bay or take a bus.
11. Visit the Salamanca Markets
The Salamanca Markets are held on Saturday mornings at Salamanca Place near Hobart harbour (just below Battery Point). This market brings together artists, craftsmen, food stalls, farmers and many Tasmanian small business owners to sell their unique wares and famous street foods.
If you happen to find yourself in Hobart on a weekend, make sure to save time for the Salamanca Markets, one of the best markets I’ve been to in Australia.
12. Take a Day Trip to Wineglass Bay & Freycinet National Park
Easily the most iconic beach in Tasmania and even maybe in Australia; Wineglass Bay is a must-visit for anyone coming to Tasmania. If you find yourself in Hobart for a few days, then it’s possible to visit Freycinet National Park on a self-drive or an organised day trip.
Freycinet National Park is a hiker and bushwalker’s paradise. There are beautiful coastal trails and incredible viewpoints like the Wineglass Bay Lookout, Cape Tourville lighthouse, Mount Amos summit, and Mount Freycinet. I’d say that a visit to this jaw-dropping peninsula is one of the top things to do in Hobart and even in all of Tasmania!
13. Visit Mount Field National Park
Located approximately 1 and a half hours from Hobart is Mount Field National Park, one of Tasmania’s most scenic parks. This lush, fern-filled rainforest is home to some of the tallest trees in the world. There are also several waterfalls to check out making Mount Field a prime attraction near Hobart.
You can get to Mount Field by driving to the Visitor Centre, where you will find information and trails to many of the waterfalls and tracks.
If you don’t have your own vehicle, then relax, I’ve got you covered. The below tour is one of the only offerings from Hobart that includes Mount Wellington and a trip to Russell Falls in Mount Field.
14. Marvel at Some of the World’s Tallest Trees at the Styx Reserve
Near Mount Field is the Styx Forest Reserve. This is a special conservation area that is also home to some of the tallest trees in Tasmania. Some of these giant ash trees (eucalyptus regnans) are over 500 years old and stand over 90 metres in height!
Unfortunately, getting to the Styx requires your own transport as there are no tours or public transport options. However, if you find yourself with a car and looking for epic things to do near Hobart, definitely add the Styx Tall Trees walk to your list.
RELATED POST: 7 Awesome Things to do at Strahan & the West Coast
15. Splurge at the Richmond Cheese Factory
Tasmania is well-known in Australia and around the world for its incredible produce. A great place to try Tasmanian-made dairy products and cheeses is the Richmond Cheese Factory (Wicked Cheeses).
They offer tasting tours and sell direct to the public some of their prize-winning cheeses like their creamy triple brie.
Explore More: Small-group Hobart Cheese and Wine Tour
16. Visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
A visit to the Botanical Gardens in Hobart is a great way to relax and learn about Tasmania’s unique diversity of plants, flowers and trees. While not the first attraction on my list of things to see in Hobart, I’m very glad that I made the visit. The Antarctica room and seeing some giant Huon Pines were definite highlights.
Book: Private Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Walking Tour
17. Walk down to the Harbour At Hobart’s Waterfront
Conveniently situated between Salamanca and the city centre is Hobart’s scenic boat harbour. Taking a stroll by the Hobart waterfront near the piers and Salamanca area is a great way to wind down an evening.
Constitution Dock is the most popular attraction at Hobart Harbour and from here you can see some of the Tasmanian ship icons like the Lady Nelson.
Other piers like Brooke Street Pier and Murray Street Pier are also just across from several bars and restaurants playing live music on the weekends. This is one of the best things to do in Hobart at night and great if you don’t have a car.
Related: Experience the Tahune Airwalk
18. Take a Boat Cruise To Bruny Island
While you’re at the harbour, why not take the chance to book a boat cruise?
There are several options from short sails up the River Derwent to epic coastal cruises on Bruny Island. You will find a tour and information desk just near Constitution Dock but you’ll also find most of the offerings online at Get Your Guide.
Book: Bruny Island Cruise
19. Experience Tasmania from Above on a Scenic Flight from Hobart
Perhaps one of the most epic and memorable things to do in Hobart is to take a scenic flight over one of Australia’s most beautiful coastlines. This particular flight tour departs from Cambridge, just 15 minutes from Hobart and cruises over both the Freycinet Peninsula and Maria Island.
Also included on this epic 3-hour flight is a landing on Maria Island where you will be shown some of the best attractions and enjoy a complimentary lunch.
20. Spend a Day on the Tasman Peninsula
The Tasman Peninsula is an easy and incredibly scenic 70-minute drive from Hobart. Unfortunately, most people head straight to Port Arthur and skip the rest of this beautiful part of Tasmania.
The Tasman Peninsula is a hiking and outdoor mecca! From powerful sea caves to soaring, jagged coastlines, the peninsula offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all levels. For hikers who are staying in Hobart for a while, then I highly recommend checking out The Three Capes Track!
21. Experience Glamping in the Huon Valley
Located 30-40 minutes southwest of Hobart is Huonville and the Huon Valley. This region is famous for fresh farm produce including cheese, wine, apples, honey and more. A visit to the Huon Valley is a great way to spend a day trip away from the city.
If you have another night to spare, then I highly recommend checking out Huon Valley glamping. This is a luxury camping experience and definitely one of the most unique places to stay in Tasmania!
22. Stock up on Fresh Produce at the Farm Gate Markets
Often overshadowed by the extremely popular Salamanca Markets is the fresh produce market on Bathurst Street (near Elizabeth Street) named Farm Gate Markets. This inner-city street is transformed every Sunday morning into a bustling farmers’ market where visitors can stock up on local Tasmanian produce.
There are also always great street-food options and coffee carts, so spending a bit of time exploring the Farm Gate Market is a great bet.
23. See Abundant Wildlife on a Trip to Maria Island
Maria Island is known for its rich convict settlement history and abundant wildlife. For those visiting Hobart interested in seeing some iconic Tasmanian wildlife like wallabies, wombats, possums and even Tassie Devils, make sure you include a trip to Maria Island.
There is a ferry that departs to Maria Island from Triabunna, approximately a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Hobart. However, if you don’t have your own car you can still get to Maria Island on an organised day tour.
Book: From Hobart: Maria Island Active Tour
24. Eat Street
From the months of November to April, Franklin Square turns into a vibrant food and music scene every Friday night! Named Eat Street @ Frankos, this pre-booked, ticketed event only costs $5.50 but is well-worth your time and money.
Food lovers in Hobart rejoice, Eat Street is one of the tastiest attractions and easily one of the best things to do in this incredible city.
25. Go Mountain Biking
Hobart is Australia’s best answer to New Zealand’s downhill-loving Queenstown. The foothills of Kunanyi/Mt Wellington and the Queens Domain have several epic downhill tracks definitely worthy of checking out.
The most well-known track is the North-South Track. This begins from The Springs and connects to Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park for hours of downhill adventure.
If you don’t have your own pushy, you can rent one from Roll Cycles or book a downhill bike tour on Viator.
26. Hobart Evening Sunset Dinner Cruise Down the Derwent River
I’ve recommended a few tours and paid options in this list of things to do in Hobart. But, by far the most bang-for-buck experience you can buy is an Evening sunset dinner cruise departing from Hobart harbour. This 3-hour sunset cruise includes a three-course meal and one alcoholic beverage as you cruise up the River Derwent.
Also, you’ll be guided by an experienced skipper who points out all of the historic landmarks and buildings along the way. All this for less than $60, I’d say that’s one of the best deals in the city!
27. Hobart City Kayak Tour
Looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of Hobart? This 2.5-hour kayak tour allows visitors to see Hobart’s waterfront from a different perspective. This is a locally guided tour that will show you the best spots in Hobart from the water. What’s even more unique is that you’ll even get an on-water dining experience of fish and chips on your kayak included in the trip!
Book: City Kayak Tour
28. Wander Around Battery Point
If you’re looking for beautiful streets, historic buildings, and some hidden-gem restaurants in Hobart, make sure to climb the colonial-era Kelly’s steps to the lanes of Battery Point.
This is one of the most beautiful parts of the city and is one of the best places to immerse yourself in the rich history of Hobart, Tasmania. This suburb was named after the battery of guns that were mounted here in 1818 to serve as the city’s coastal defense.
These days, you’ll find amazing 19th-century stand-stone and weatherboard cottages and historic houses, a few quaint parks, and some great cuisine
29. Visit the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery
If you’re looking for something free to do in Hobart, make sure to stop by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery located right next to the Maritime Museum on Argyle Street.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is just a short walk from many other Hobart attractions near the waterfront. Inside, you’ll discover a great museum with fascinating old and new art, cultural and science exhibitions and a cafe.
Tasmania sure does have an impressive art scene, if that sounds like your crowd, make sure to add the TMAG to your Hobart to do list!
30. Line Your Hobart Trip Up with These Events
If you’re flexible on your travel dates, or looking for the best time to visit Hobart, consider lining your trip up with one of these events and music festivals.
Dark Mofo is a winter music festival that takes place at night. It’s all about celebrating the darkness of the Tassie winter solstice. It’s one of the most unique music festivals in Australia and gathers thousands to the scene.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is one of the world’s best sailing events. Starting in Sydney, sailors make their way over the treacherous Bass Strait and finish in Hobart. This is a spectacular event, and if you find yourself in Hobart town (the finish line) around December or January, you have to come down to see the yachts!
Summer Festival & Taste of Tasmania
This is one of the largest festivals in Tasmania. The Taste of Tasmania is a massive food festival and is known as the biggest open-air restaurant in Australia!
Royal Hobart Show
If you’re from Queensland or New South Wales, you’ll already know about the Royal Easter Show and Ekka. Tasmania has its very own agricultural show in Hobart, known as the Royal Hobart Show.
New Years Eve is always a great time in Hobart. There are yearly fireworks displays over the harbour, shooting out from the River Derwent. Usually, the best place to watch is at the Salamanca waterfront walkways and wharves or at Mawson Place, Parliament House Lawns, Prices Park, or AJ Park.
Where to Stay in Hobart
I’ve written a separate, comprehensive accommodation guide for where to stay in Hobart. But, below are 3 of the best-rated and most popular accommodation options for varying budgets. They’re a good starting point but make sure to check out the complete guide before you book!
The area closest to most highlights in Hobart is called “Salamanca Place“. This area has great restaurants and bars and is close to the markets, wharf, museums and the Elizabeth Mall.
However, Hobart is a relatively small city of just over 200 000 and consequently, most accommodation options in the inner suburbs provide easy access to most of the highlights.
Best Mid-Range Hotel: The Rivulet
The Rivulet is an awesome 19th-century, heritage-listed manor. It offers some of the best suites in Hobart without a ridiculous price tag.
The location is perfect and accommodation includes the best-ranked breakfast in Hobart.
Check best price for your dates at the Rivulet, Hobart.
Best Budget Hostel: Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse
For budget travellers and backpackers, Montacute is by far the best place to stay in Hobart. This is a great hostel that is ranked as having the best vibe in the city.
Dorm beds are as little as $30 a night which is a great value. Especially considering most of the other hostels are the same price or more!
Best Luxury Accommodation: The Grand Chancellor
Centrally located on the waterfront overlooking Constitution Dock, the Grand Chancellor Hotel is one of the most prominent accommodation options in Hobart.
You’ll get harbour views and access to the heated, indoor pool with mountain views. There’s also an in-house gym, restaurant and bar that will make you not want to leave the hotel!
Check best price on your dates at the Grand Chancellor Hobart
Hobart Tasmania Travel Guide: All Your Questions Answered
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide to the best things to do in Hobart, I’ve dedicated this section to help you plan and prepare for your upcoming trip.
Here, you’ll find answers to things like where to stay, how to get around, the best time to visit and more!
When is the Best Time to Travel to Hobart?
The great thing about Hobart and Tasmania in general is that it makes for a great place to visit all year round. However, unlike many other parts of Australia, and due to the extreme distance from the equator, Tasmania experiences greater seasonality, or seasonal variation.
If I had to pick the best time to visit Tasmania, I’d have to choose Autumn or early Winter. Autumn offers a great mix of beach weather and occasional alpine snow. However, it’ll really depend on what out of the many things to do in Hobart you are keenest for.
Seasons in Hobart
What this means is that the difference between Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are all very noticeable. Below is a summary of what you might expect if you visit Hobart during different times of the year.
Summers in Hobart are comfortable and mostly warm. The average temperatures range from a dry 11.5 to 21°C. This is a great time to visit for swimming on day trips to the coast or on longer hikes in the surrounding mountains.
Autumn is a great time to visit Hobart because you will experience many calm, sunny days with temperatures averaging between 9 – 17°C. The city turns a beautiful yellow and orange. Look for the Tasmanian Fagus, or Deciduous beech, which is the only deciduous tree (trees that shed their leaves for Winter) in Australia.
Winter is a great time to visit Hobart, especially for Aussies, who will get to experience a domestic trip that feels like you’ve left the country. Mount Wellington is often peaked with snow and temperatures range between 5 – 12.°C.
Spring is a beautiful time of year in Hobart. It’s also the wettest time with average temperatures falling between 7 – 16.°C. Due to the increased rainfall, many of the waterfalls around Hobart are in peak flow during Spring.
Weather in Hobart
I don’t usually comment too much on weather in blog posts about attractions or things to do, however, Hobart’s weather is so unique that I feel that all visitors should consider it. The weather in Hobart is extremely localised. This makes planning activities to do in Hobart a little difficult.
To explain, it could be pouring with rain on Kunanyi, while Hobart is sunny and cloud-free less than 10 kilometres away. So, when planning your activities and must-see tourist attractions in Hobart, check weather forecasts (although often unreliable and unpredictable) at precise locations.
Getting to Hobart From the Airport
Both domestic and international visitors flying into Hobart land at the Hobart International Airport in Cambridge. This is approximately 19 kilometres from Salamanca (Hobart). Skybus offers a shuttle bus service from the airport for $19.50 per person.
Travel tip: If travelers are flying from Australia or New Zealand, then Flyparks is a great way to save on airport parking. You can book in advance and get great rates on Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and even Perth Airport Parking.
Van Travel in Hobart Tasmania
One of the best and most popular ways to travel in Hobart and Tasmania is to do so in a motorhome, caravan or camper. This is because Tasmania has what I believe to be the best “van-life” facilities in Australia. Due to the wide range of things to do across the island, it’s also really economical to travel this way since you’ll have your own transport.
If you’re travelling to Hobart and plan on bringing or renting your own van, then you might benefit from reading about our experience travelling around Tasmania for several months in our van.
More Fun Activities, Sites & Things to do in Hobart Tasmania
With so many unmissable things to do in the city, it’s hard to squeeze them all into a list of just 30. If you’re up for more Hobart sightseeing and activities, check out the list below.
- Salamanca Arts Centre
- Wrest Point Casino
- Princes Park
- Henry Jones Art Hotel
- Coal River Valley
Beyond Hobart – More Tasmania Travel Guides and Adventure Inspiration
I hope that this comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Hobart Tasmania has been useful for planning your adventures. Beyond Hobart, Tasmania has so much to offer in terms of adventure, must-see tourist attractions, hiking, nature and more.
I’ve spent several months exploring Tassie and along the way have photographed and documented hundreds of adventures. Below are some more of my favourites.